Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com – 2014-02-22 21:44:12
US Officials Sending Mixed Signals on Iran Talks
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(February 21, 2014) — Israel has made no bones about it. They oppose the interim nuclear deal with Iran, they oppose negotiations with Iran, and they’re not thrilled with anything else that doesn’t lead to a full-scale US war with Iran.
When US officials talk about Iran, that Israeli objection has increasingly colored their statements, as they try to downplay the chances of any deal under any circumstances and try to spin their own demands as every bit as unreasonable as the Israelis would want.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, speaking at Beth El synagogue in Bethesda, Maryland, tried to shift the US demands a bit, saying the goal was not just to prevent Iran having a nuclear weapon, but prevent them having the “capacity” to make one.
That mirror’s Israel’s own statements, and the deliberately vague concept of “capacity” or “capability” means there’s no real way for Iran to meet the requirement, or even any obvious way to tell what the requirement would look like. Israeli hawks, fond of the term, have often presented any civilian nuclear program or theoretical know-how at all as de facto capacity, meaning unless all Iranians can be forced to unlearn how nuclear physics works, they must remain hostile toward them.
Top Obama aide Gary Samore also went into the successful Vienna talks panning negotiations in general, insisting there was “no chance of success” and tacking on myriad demands that have never even been broached at the P5+1 meetings, and would clearly be non-starters.
His rhetoric, too, looks to come straight out of Likud, with claims Iran could conceivably keep its perfectly legal civilian program as is, or shut it down entirely, or anything in between, and still come up with a wholly independent, wholly secret military program.
Boeing, GE Seek Export Licenses to Sell Jet Parts to Iran
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(February 21, 2014) — President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have repeatedly made much of their determination to continue to bar international trade with Iran, despite an interim nuclear deal and growing international rapprochement making such sanctions less and less tenable. Even US companies are now aiming to test those restrictions.
It is now confirmed that both Boeing and General Electric, two major US aerospace companies, have applied for export licenses covering the six-month window of the interim deal, with an eye toward exporting jet parts to Iran.
GE confirmed the effort, saying they’ve been trying to get permission for such shipments since 2004 for safety reasons, since many of Iranair’s passenger jets are several decades old, and have not had access to replacement parts because of US sanctions.
Boeing declined comment on the matter at all, referring questions to the State Department, who similarly declined comment, referring questions to the Treasury Department. They too refused to comment, but didn’t refer questions anywhere else.
GE says they don’t intend to make a profit on the sales, and will either sell parts at cost or give the proceeds to charity. Industry experts say the companies are eager to get a foot in the door in Iran’s aerospace market, as Iranian officials have said that if a deal is reached and sanctions are lifted, they could buy as many as 400 new jets.
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