Obama Includes Iranian Missiles in Nuclear Talks
by Stephen Lendman
Netanyahu obsesses over a nonexistent Iranian nuclear threat. At his Sunday cabinet meeting, he railed again saying:
"Iran will practically realize its plan to become a nuclear threshold state, with enrichment (capability), and the ability to develop intercontinental missiles."
"This combination of enrichment, weapons, and the ability to launch missiles creates a situation where Iran gets everything and gives nothing."
Reality is polar opposite his rant. Tehran's program is entirely peaceful. It has no military component.
Washington knows it. So do EU partners. Netanyahu manufactures threats. He claims an ballistic missile one. Doing so serves his agenda.
Tehran has missiles able "to target Europe and the US (with) a nuclear payload," he railed.
He replicates Obama. Both leaders are serial liars. Nothing they say has credibility. They know Iran poses no existential threat.
They know its nuclear program is entirely peaceful. It doesn't stop them from lying.
Israel wants unchallenged regional dominance. Iran is its major rival. It's gaining influence at Israel's expense.
Netanyahu wants things reversed. He got Obama to include Iranian missiles in nuclear talks.
Doing so violates agreed on Joint Plan of Action (JPA) terms. Obama already violated them twice. Demanding missiles be discussed is a third time.
It remains to be seen how Iran reacts. Its government has gone all-out to negotiate responsibly. It's put up with more US abuse than most others ever would.
It'll take so much and no more. It wants genuine rapprochement. It won't sacrifice its sovereign rights pursuing it.
Odds favor it rejecting this demand. Or others violating JPA agreed on terms. Obama has other ideas.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said Iranians "have to deal with matters related to their ballistic missile program."
He claimed Security Council Resolution 1929 authority. On June 9, 2010, it imposed new sanctions. It prohibits nuclear weapons ballistic missile capability.
It forbids Iran from "undertak(Ing) any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using ballistic missile technology, and that States shall take all necessary measures to prevent the transfer of technology or technical assistance to Iran related to such activities."
Carney lied claiming Iran agreed in JPA terms. Not according to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Tehran's missile program is excluded from nuclear talks. Demanding it be included is provocative. It violates an Iranian red line.
"Nothing except Iran's nuclear activities will be discussed" in P5 + 1 talks, Zarif stressed. Both sides mutually agreed in Geneva.
Changing procedure in mid-negotiations won't be tolerated. Doing so shows Washington't real intentions.
Obama doesn't want longstanding Iranian hostility ended. He could have done so straightaway when entering office.
In May 2009, he promised "hope," "change," peace, and "a new era of openness" among other pledges.
His June 2009 Cairo speech promised a "new beginning" in US/Muslim global relations. He called it one "based on mutual interest and mutual respect..."
"(B)ased upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, or need be in competition."
"Indeed, they…share common principles...of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings."
His comments were demagogic boilerplate. Straightaway in office, he declared war on Islam. He waged it ever since. He continues it today. He does so at home and abroad.
Muslims are public enemies number one. Obama exterminated millions in office. His comment about "support(ing) reform throughout the region" was code language for business as usual.
His "historic opportunity" for change belied waging war on humanity. It continues unabated.
His Cairo speech concealed his scheme to exploit this resource-rich part of the world. Iran ranks third in global oil reserves.
It's second to Russia in gas resources. It's a prize Big Oil predators covet. Ongoing nuclear talks may be more subterfuge than real.
Demanding Iranian missiles be included may end up subverting them. JPA provisions refer only to "addressing the UN Security Council resolutions with a view toward bringing to a satisfactory conclusion (its) consideration of this matter."
They call for forming a "Joint Commission (to) work with the IAEA to facilitate resolution of past and present issues of concern."
They say nothing about Iran's missile program. Or any other weapons system. At issue only are "possible military dimensions" of Iran's nuclear program."
Its Panchin facility activities are mentioned with respect to any potential nuclear connection. No evidence suggests it.
Israel demands Iran's missile program be included in nuclear talks. On February 20, Haaretz said:
"One of the main issues to be determined is the question of whether to include Iran's ballistic missile program in list of topics to be discussed during the final-status negotiations."
"While the world powers demand the inclusion of the missile program, saying this falls under the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions, the Iranians insist on excluding the missile program as an area unrelated to the nuclear issue."
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman heads US negotiations with Iran.
On Friday, she briefed Israeli officials. She met with Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz, Security Advisor Yossi Cohen and Foreign Ministry Deputy General in charge of arms control, Jeremy Issacharoff.
Before talks began, she spoke with French and British representatives. They coordinated their positions.
They stressed issues Israel calls most important. Steinitz said Iran's missile program must be part of final status (permanent agreement) talks.
He stressed Israel's opposition to any nuclear enrichment on Iranian soil. He demands what JPA provisions don't stipulate.
So do anti-Iranian congressional hardliners. Robert Corker (R. TN) is Senate Republican ranking Foreign Relations Committee member.
On February 4, he challenged Sherman, asking:
"Why did you not...address (Iran's) delivery mechanisms, the militarizing of nuclear arms?"
"Why was that left off since (Tehran, he baselessly claims,) breached a threshold everyone acknowledges?"
Sherman accepted his lie saying final agreement discussions will include what he wishes. It "has to be addressed as part of a comprehensive agreement," she stressed.
At the same time, she admitted that preventing an Iranian nuclear weapon "makes delivery systems almost...irrelevant."
Is Washington trying to sabotage final agreement talks? Will EU partners go along.
Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Rybakov said Moscow "considers that a comprehensive agreement must concern only and exclusively with the restoration of trust in a purely peaceful intention of Iran's nuclear program."
In other words, he suggested Russia won't support efforts to include discussions on Iran's missile program. It's not part of JPA. It can't be included belatedly.
In the 1990s, General Uzi Rubin headed Israel's Missile Defense Organization. He remains active at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.
He says claims about Iran's missile program are wrong. Conventional ones are prioritized. They aim to destroy specific targets.
Nothing indicates an Iranian missile program designed to deliver nuclear weapons. Claims otherwise are fabricated.
Expect lots more from Israel and Washington. Expect Iran to defend its rights. Whether it's enough to agree on final status terms remains to be seen.
Expect Israel to go all-out to prevent it. Obama may have the same objective in mind. By around mid-year, we'll know one way or another.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.