Despite last weekend’s agreement, Iran still plans to continue its uranium enrichment programme.
At the start of this week I hinted that the negotiations which went on in Geneva last weekend were not a meeting of equals.
On one side were the Iranians, representing the clear wishes of their unelected Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameini. On the other were the P5+1 countries joined by the unelected Supreme Baroness Catherine Ashton whose primary desire seemed to be to just declare some deal – any deal.
So a wretched deal was done which has initiated the fraying and eventual collapse of sanctions, and Baroness Ashton and Secretary Kerry hugged each other for the cameras and got their moment of feeling like world saviours. Now it is business as usual.
Before even leaving Geneva Iran’s Foreign Minister said: ‘Today’s agreement deals with several sectors, the most important of which is that Iran’s enrichment program has been recognized, and this program will continue.’
Yesterday the Speaker of the Iranian Parliament Ali Larijani told the assembly, ‘We don’t need their [westerners’] permission for enriching uranium.’
The Iranian government meanwhile has disputed the very wording of the Geneva agreement. Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said on Tuesday:
‘What has been released by the website of the White House as a fact sheet is a one-sided interpretation of the agreed text in Geneva and some of the explanations and words in the sheet contradict the text of the Joint Plan of Action (the title of the Iran-powers deal), and this fact sheet has unfortunately been translated and released in the name of the Geneva agreement by certain media, which is not true.’
Oh – and despite the fact that the agreed text stated that there must not be ‘any further advances of its activities’ at the Arak reactor, the Iranian Foreign Minister said on Wednesday that Iran will continue ‘construction’ at the Arak site.
Who could possibly have foreseen such betrayal?