Iran Talks Look Set to Blow Through Yet Another Deadline

Two years and counting


State Dept.

If negotiators in Vienna don't come up with a deal by midnight tonight (unlikely), the review period Congress set for itself in Iran legislation that passed in April will be extended from 30 days to 60. The legislation, signed into law by President Obama, requires the secretary of state to provide Congress an analysis of the deal. Congress will have 60 days to vote to approve the deal—if they vote against the deal, the president will be able to veto Congress. If there's no vote in the time allotted then the deal, which will involve sanctions relief, can move forward.

If Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the chair and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, who sponsored the Iran Nuclear Review Act, intended for it to place pressure on Iranian negotiators, it may have had the opposite effect. CNN talked to various unidentified administration sources, who:

would not predict whether a deal would be done by Friday. Most of the issues, the sources said, will take high-level political decisions by Iranian leadership that they may not be willing to make this week.

"If Iran made the decision and said, 'fine, we have a deal,' we could have a deal today and finish up writing the agreement in a couple of days," a senior administration official said. "But they may need to show that (they) are willing to walk away for a while and come back later. They also may need to go back one more time to the Supreme Leader."

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says President Obama told him he believes there's a less than 50-50 chance of negotiations being successful. Sticking points include how quickly sanctions will be lifted, whether the arms embargo will remain in place, inspection of military sites, and an accounting of Iran's previous nuclear research. On the last item, the Obama Administration has pointed to the Iranian supreme leader's fatwa banning nuclear weapons as an impetus to get a deal done. Accounting for previous weapons research now would open the government to being accused of violating a religious edict, and is creating new complications.

Temperatures in Vienna are hitting record highs, and Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif were reportedly in a shouting match yesterday. Russia, participating in the talks, has been pushing an end to the arms embargo—which would require approval by the U.N. Security Council. Zarif did not appreciate comments from Western negotiators about Iran's role in regional instability, pointing to the West's support of Iraq in the 1980s Iraq-Iran War. The U.S., meanwhile, is preparing defense contracts totaling at least $6 billion to send military equipment to Israel and Gulf Arab states concerned about any Iranian nuclear deal.

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  1. Deadline?


    1. You know who else blew through deadlines regarding negotiations over his capabilities for producing weapons of mass destruction?

      1. Saddam Hussein?

        WAIT! NO! HITLER!

        What do I win?

  2. Congress will have 60 days to vote to approve the deal?if they vote against the deal, the president will be able to veto Congress.

    So the President can veto their disapproval, and the deal goes anyway? The vote, in other words, is purely for show? And Congress approved this?

    Jeebus (and Mohammed) wept.

    1. That’s what I thought when I read it.

      Why doesn’t Congress just go the next step and create a law that let’s the president send a budget to them. They vote yay or nay and if they say nay, the president can veto that.

      That’s got to be Friedman levels of government efficiency right there.

    2. He no longer has Reid to cover for him. So there will be a vote and he will need 34 Senators to back him. Getting 34 Democrats to sign on to being held accountable if Iran ever gets the bomb might be more difficult than you think.

      Remember, Obama doesn’t give a fuck. He is leaving office. All he wants is a deal, any deal so that when Iran does get the bomb he can blame it on the next administration and say “we had a deal when I was there”. Sitting Democratic Senators don’t have the luxury. They plan to still be in office if that happens. And they might not be too interested in putting their name on this train wreck.

      1. As I read the article, if he doesn’t get 34 Dems to back him and the deal gets rejected, he vetoes the rejection and the deal goes through anyway.

        It’ll never get approved by the House (I’m assuming that the House gets a vote, too, for what that’s worth). So its not going to be approved by Congress, regardless of how the Senate.

        1. So what is the point of this vote and for that matter The Constitution?

          1. The Constitution tells us little people what rights the government will allow us to have, provisionally. I wouldn’t expect a maple-sucking puck-slapper such as yourself to understand.

          2. Before Obama became president he lamented in an interview that the Constitution was flawed because it defined all the things the Government COULD NOT DO to its citizens, as opposed to laying out all the things that the Government COULD DO to its citizens. For an alleged ‘Constitutional Scholar,’ he clearly doesn’t understand why the US Constitution was created in the first place. But we elected him anyway.

  3. Obama is so incompetent he can’t even successfully surrender.

  4. A deadline? Well, it’s not like a “red-line“…

  5. Obama has yet to promise Iran that they may kill jews without U.S. interference 😀

  6. They also may need to go back one more time to the Supreme Leader.

    Wait a minute. If they’re going back one more time to Obama, can’t he just tell them to take the deal?

  7. Wouldn’t it be quicker and easier to just give them some of our nukes so they can pass them onto terrorists who will use them against us, and Israel? We all know that’s how this is going to play out.

    1. There are people in H&R who seriously believe that giving Iran a nuke would help bring about ME peace. Salon-level crazy isn’t just for Salon.

      1. Too bad the US didn’t patent the Atomic Bomb after WWII. If we had then we could limit the technology to just our allies, or keep it for ourselves.

      2. Or that Iran having the bomb is no different than Brazil or France having it. They just don’t like to face reality since it doesn’t fit their narrative.

        1. Unlike the mature nations of the world, mutually-assured destruction doesn’t deter fanatical Muslims who look forward to death. I don’t trust Iran with a nuke any more than I would trust a child with a loaded machine gun.

      3. It might, but not the way they think.

        After all, shortly after we got nukes, a long-standing conflict was resolved. Could well work out the same way in the ME.

      4. There are people in H&R who seriously believe that giving Iran a nuke would help bring about ME peace.

        Well it might, just not quite in the way I think you mean. Dead people don’t fight so much.

        1. No. The Peacenazis really believe that if only TEH MERICAN MPIRE would just stopp meddling, the ME would peace all over itself.

          1. I give it 10 years tops before a Persian nuke lands in Riyadh. “Wahhabi this, motherfucker.”

            1. Thing is….I wouldn’t mind that. Fuck Saudi Arabia.

              1. Agreed. But what would that do to the price of oil? Would love to see Saudi Arabia wiped off the map, but not it I have to pay $10 per gallon for gas.

                1. We still have metric fucktons of oil in our borders. It’s just been cheaper to buy it from OPEC than to extract it. This could change in one of two ways.

                  1. If there’s a worldwide oil shortage then the price will go up everywhere, and oil companies will sell to the highest bidder.

              2. Not minding a nuke landing in Riyadh isn’t, “Fuck Suadi Arabia.” It’s, “Fuck Saudi Arabians,” and I don’t think I wouldn’t mind that. Which is to say, mass death is abhorrent.

                1. mass death is abhorrent.

                  Not when the ‘right’ people are dying…

                  1. Good point. I should have said, “Mass murder is abhorrent.”
                    Then they would have had to say, “Not when the ‘right’ people are murdering,” without the sarcasm.

                    1. Gulf Arabs are on the whole an extremely backwards. Their culture is evil.

      5. A sea of molten glass IS sort of peaceful…

  8. It’s a bad deal but I am still filled with ennui over it. There were already large holes in the sanctions before and they seemed to be purely a security blanket and an excuse used by various governments to do nothing while Iran murders their citizens. Maybe if a deal goes through it will prod Israel and/or Saudi Arabia to do something serious. Will somebody please think of the children blow something terroristy up?

    1. Some have said that the US would shoot down any Israeli aircraft that attempt to attack Iran. Just imagine the shitstorm if that happened…

      1. We’re already flying air cover for Quds in Iraq. Why not provide air defense for Iran itself?

      2. I doubt that. C’mon, there are somethings you don’t do if you don’t want to end up 1) tarred and feathered or 2) scratched off by Mossad.

        1. Hope you’re right…

    2. Someone on twitter joked that given the directions our negotiations are proceeding we’ll end up just building the bomb for Iran, and probably sanctioning their new Tel Aviv test range.

  9. I would be willing to bet that, shortly after whatever horrible deal is made, Iran successfully tests a nuke. The only question is when, not if.

    So, what’s the over/under? I think part of the “real” deal will be that they don’t do it while Obama is in office, so I’ll take 20 months (call it, March 2017).

    1. Your guess assumes Obama is competent enough to delay it until he gets out of office. That is giving him a lot of credit he doesn’t deserve. My bet would be fall of 2016. They would do it just to fuck him.

      1. I trust Obama to look after Obama, and I think that will definitely be one of the unstated terms.

        Nobody, even in the White House, can possibly believe that this new deal is going prevent Iran from going nuclear. If the only question is when, not whether, well, even Obama can see he will be better off if he’s not in office when it happens.

  10. In case anyone is wondering what the middle east thinks of Obama:

    Yes, those subtitles are accurate.

    1. So, the man who promised to unite us all has become the most divisive president in memory. Plus, our allies hate us and enemies don’t fear us. Great job, President Obama!

    2. That…was….amazing. MOHAMMED MANSOUR FOR GOP NOMINEE.

    1. This is basically in a nut shell everything you need to know about Barack Obama. He’s celebrating a “historic” outline of what will be discussed in future negotiations.

      1. He’s like one of those ancient Egyptian pharaohs who put up statues commemorating victory in battles that hadn’t been fought yet, which they then proceeded to lose.

  11. He said that we have an agreement that could lead to talks that might one day lead to a framework that may lead to a discussion that may earn us points which can be converted into tokens which can be traded for miles which can be converted into points.

    All he was missing was a big Mission Accomplished banner.

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