He writes, "According to
In Asia Times, Pepe Escobar writes about Gareth Porter's book on Iran's nuclear program entitled "Manufactured Crisis"
Porter, "the Obama administration has introduced the
subject of 'possible military dimensions' into the nuclear negotiations.
That means that the United States will be demanding an explanation for
'evidence' that the book shows was fabricated. That is a decision that
could threaten the conclusion of a final agreement with Iran."
This is indeed the case. Lets remember that the "Possible Military Dimensions" claims were, prior to the replacement of Elbaradei with US-puppet Amano as the head of the IAEA, they were called the "Alleged Studies" -- alleged, as in never proven, and studies as in things that generally would not be illegal even if they had occurred (as long as there is no diversion of nuclear material for nonpeaceful uses, NPT signatories are perfectly free to conduct whatever nuclear studies they want and it is
generally presumed most that can, do so.) And nothing has since changed about them except that things like the "AP Graph" and the "neutron initiator" documents have proven to be miserable forgeries, thus casting further doubt on the validity of these Alleged Studies.
These "Alleged Studies" claims were the only outstanding issue left over from the Iran-IAEA Modalities Agreement, which ultimately resolved all of the other allegations against Iran to Iran's favor -- a point of history that so often goes unmentioned in the media for obvious reasons. If you'll remember, the
Modalities Agreement specified that Iran would address these claims upon receipt of the documentation, but the US has prevented the IAEA from sharing (or in some cases, itself seeing) the full documentation. So as Elbaradei mentioned in his book, Iran was being put in the ridiculous position of having to disprove allegations contained in documents it could not see.
However Iran did file a 114-page reply to the allegations anyway, pointing out that for example there was no reason to lie about a Green Salt project that Iran very proudly and publicly operates, and furthermore
that much of the documentation bore no security markings of any sort and could have been typed on a home computer, amongst other things as Gareth Porter pointed out. However the IAEA under pressure from the US continued to use these allegations as a reason to avoid giving Iran a "clean bill of health" and since then the entire nuclear issue has been used pretextually, as a cover and justification for another policy of imposed regime change -- just as "WMDs in Iraq" was just a lie and a pretext.
So now the Obama administration has dropped one of the key demands that both the
Obama and Bush administration had previously used as a way to kill-off any chance of a peaceful resolution to the standoff: the US-imposed precondition that Iran first abandon enrichment before talking. Whether this is a result of some sort of genuine change of heart by Obama remains to be seen, but lets not forget that it was the same Obama who killed off the Turkish-Brazilian brokered deal with Iran under Ahmadinejad.
So, don't believe the US media when they claim that the deal was made possible by the sanctions and the election of Rouhani -- no, it was made possible because the US dropped the zero-enrichment precondition; the sanctions have had no effect on the nuclear issue (in fact they've worsened the situation by forcing Iran to increase its enrichment to
20%, something no media outlet in the US wants to acknowledge) and furthermore Rouhani is not making any concessions that Iran has not offered in the past. So really, whatever deal is worked out, if any, it could have been worked out years earlier, and perhaps even a better deal from the US standpoint too -- but OH MY GOD the media in the US really don't want to have to admit that so they'll go on and on about how Rohani's election and sanctions were the reason for the change and you won't hear about "zero enrichment" again.
Anyway, Pepe Escobar continues:
"Russia, China, Turkey, Pakistan, other Asian nations, all Latin American
nations, all African nations, all treat Iran as normal. Beyond the
clash of "heroic flexibility" against American exceptionalism, if only
the US establishment would finally get over it, and deal -
realistically - with what happened in Tehran 35 years ago. Only then
these talks in Vienna will go somewhere, and we may have a final nuclear
deal in 2014.'
And this is indeed the real question that looms over these talks: not whether and how the PMD claims will be resolved, but is the US finally ready to fundamentally come to terms with an independent, sovereign Iran or not? Because if it is, then there's no real justification to continue insisting on these PMD/Alleged Studies claims ... except perhaps only to save some face and pretend that they were legitimate issues all along which will be quiteley and conveniently resolved. Is that the plan? If it is, perhaps the Iranian officials will go along with such a strategy so as to allow the US to save some face by pretending that the PMDs were anything but pretextual, but the rest of us will see through it nonetheless.