Time is running out to come to any agreement with the Iranians over their nuclear program. With less than 48 hours left until the deadline, the America, Russian, British, French, German, and Chinese negotiators – and John Kerry in particular – are doing everything they can to ensure that there is a deal, no matter the cost.
Three key events from the past week illustrate the desperate situation that America’s intent on reaching a deal with Iran has put us in.
First came reports that the Iranian negotiating team was resisting a “formal” framework in time for Tuesday night’s deadline. Instead, they apparently prefer a more general “understanding” between the P5+1 powers this month while “hoping” for a written accord by a June 30th deadline.
This was just as baffling to me as everyone else outside of Iran. Of course the Iranians would prefer a scenario in which they could interpret the deal however they please. This just buys them more time and leaves the Obama administration and our partners with the messy job of explaining how we ended up with a verbal agreement, interpreting the agreement, and having to play this game all over again in the coming months.
Second was the news over the weekend that one of Iranian President Rouhani’s closest media aides, Amir Hossein Motaghi, who managed public relations during the 2013 Iranian election, quit his job and is now seeking asylum in Switzerland.
Why did Mr. Motaghi quit? “My conscience would not allow me to carry out my profession in this manner anymore,” he said. “There are a number of people attending on the Iranian side at the negotiations who are said to be journalists reporting on the negotiations. But they are not journalists and their main job is to make sure that all the news fed back to Iran goes through their channels.”
Mr. Motaghi’s stand against Iran’s propaganda machine is to be admired.