No agreement was signed between Iran and the P5+1 group on April 2; no agreement will be signed on June 30.
The text defining the "framework" of some agreement to be signed in June was immediately challenged by Iran. Western leaders speak and act as if they have no idea what Iran is saying or doing.
Western leaders wanted something akin to an agreement. They got something akin to an agreement.
Iran's leaders seem to have spotted pretty soon that Western leaders would willingly concede everything -- and possibly more -- to get any "agreement"; so that is what Western leaders got.
Western leaders not only failed to reach an agreement; they capitulated. The reason for the talks was to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. When, according to Western reports, they saw that Iran would not agree to stop, they "flipped" and instead became complicit.
All signs indicate that the West is planning to give a lawless, expansionist, terrorist regime nuclear weapons capability -- as a reward for violating international treaties again and again. What message are other rogue nations to take from that?
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hugs French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius at the close of nuclear talks in Geneva, Nov. 23, 2014. (Image source: ISNA)
Not only have Western leaders given the Iranian regime the opportunity to acquire nuclear weapons; they have let Iran initiate and sanctify a nuclear arms race to destabilize an already volatile region. They have also given Iran the opportunity to get billions of dollars to accelerate its nuclear weapons programs – and they are negotiating to lift all sanctions either early or late so that Iran can get still more.
They also allowed Iran to keep four American hostages: Jason Rezaian, Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati and Robert Levinson, who has not been heard from for years and may be dead. The State Department has said that "their freedom should not be linked to negotiations," so their release was not even discussed. Their immediate release was the first matter that should have been discussed.
What Western leaders have deliberately ignored is the nature of the Iranian regime: Totalitarian regimes never abide by the agreements they sign. Islamists often refer to Muhammad's treaty of Hudaybiyyah. In 628, Muhammad agreed to a 10-year truce with the Quraysh tribe of Mecca. Two years later, when Muslim forces had gathered strength, Muhammad broke the treaty and marched into Mecca. Since then, in Islam, no treaty can be made for more than ten years, and even then, it is not a treaty, it is a truce -- to be broken again if Islam's side is strong.
This spring, while negotiations were held in Lausanne, Ali Khamenei, the "supreme leader" of Iran, led huge crowds, shouting "Death to America." Every year, he promises a "world free of infidels" as well as the Messianic return of the "Twelfth Imam," the Mahdi, a descendant of Muhammad who will guide martyrs during a "final battle".
Western leaders act as if all important decisions in Iran are made by its President, Hassan Rouhani. They know perfectly well, however, that nothing happens in Iran without the approval of Ali Khamenei, and no one else. Perhaps Western leaders are hoping that Rouhani will unseat Khamenei, a succession scarcely conceivable. The Iranian leadership is not accountable to its people.
Moreover, based on Rouhani's account of how he duped the West in previous negotiations, it is doubtful if Rouhani unseating Khamenei would be any more desirable for the West. Since Rouhani was elected President in June 2013, the number of executions carried out by the regime has soared compared to the number under his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Reportedly, 753 persons were executed in 2014, a 10% increase over 2013. Just 291 of these cases (39%) were announced officially. "The aim of these executions is not to fight crime, but to spread fear among the population," according to Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, director of Iran Human Rights.
To paraphrase Natan Sharansky, if a government does not treat its own people well, it is not likely to treat anyone else any better.
Iran is clearly interested in all oil producing regions. It has taken over four Arab capitals -- Damascus, Beirut, Baghdad and Sana'a -- while the U.S. has fled from three countries: Iraq, Libya and Yemen. Iran now surrounds all the oilfields of the Middle East.
Iran is also trying to take over the Middle East's major sea lanes -- the Strait of Hormuz, the choke point of the Persian Gulf, and the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait at the mouth of the Suez Canal. If Iran succeeds, it will be able to control most of the oil trade in the Middle East.
Iran also continues to repeat its threats of genocide against Israel. In late March, Mohammad Reza Naqdi, commander of Iran's Basij paramilitary force, announced that "the destruction of Israel is non-negotiable."
Hamas is still on the terrorist list maintained by the State Department but was removed from the list of the European Union in December 2014. No Western leader seems to know that Iran has been helping Hamas to build over 100 new tunnels and replenish its weapon stockpiles.
Although many of the terms of the "framework" are, we are told, known only to the negotiators, what we do know so far about what Iran wanted and got includes:
- Retaining its enriched uranium stockpile, not having to ship it abroad.
- Keeping thousands (at least 6000) centrifuges to produce weapons-grade uranium, and modernizing its Arak plutonium reactor.
- Continuing its operations at the Fordow plant, under a mountain, in bunkers designed to withstand aerial attacks.
- A massive lifting of sanctions. It wants still more, "immediately."
- Continuing to develop its intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) program
Iran's ICBM program was not even mentioned during discussions.
Also not included in discussions was Iran's ongoing funding of terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas. Iran's proxy, Hezbollah, was just removed by the U.S. State Department from its list of terrorist threats; and Iran was removed from its list of states that sponsor terrorism.
The "armed wing" of Hezbollah is still on the European Union's list of terrorist organizations, but Hezbollah's "political wing" is not. Iran can tell European leaders that the Iranian regime supports the political wing of Hezbollah, but not its military branch. There is no doubt that European leaders, pressured by companies eager to do business in Iran, will pretend they received a satisfying answer.
On April 12, Russia lifted its ban on the delivery of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Iran. Russia and China have also agreed to build nuclear power plants for Iran. And North Korea has also been supplying Iran with technology, "including components for a long-range nuclear missile," a "minor detail" hidden from the UN by U.S. President Barack Obama. And the U.S. thinks that if Iran is caught cheating, sanctions can be re-imposed?
Iran says it will accept only scheduled visits by IAEA inspectors, and it can endlessly contest any findings. The IAEA in the past never found anything anyway. All the illegal nuclear facilities that Iran wanted to hide were discovered by Iranian dissidents, and American and Israeli intelligence agencies -- not by the IAEA.
Senator Mark Kirk has said that Neville Chamberlain got a lot more out of Adolf Hitler at the Munich Conference. British commentators noted that the difference between Chamberlain and those who negotiated with Iran is that Chamberlain had never encountered that kind of duplicity before, and was the head of a weakened, and largely disarmed, Britain.
Iran supports Shiite militias fighting ISIS in Iraq, where the Shiite militias behave as wildly as ISIS.
Saudi Arabia's King Salman and other Arab leaders have realized that they are facing a clear and present danger. At the Arab League summit on March 29, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi announced the creation of a joint Arab military force. The positions of Iranian-backed Houthi militias in Yemen are being bombarded, but the Houthis do not retreat. Other countries in the region have already started scheduling delivery for their nuclear weapons. They have made it clear that they will not sit idly by while Iran goes nuclear. Iran has already bragged that it will sell "enriched uranium" on the open market, and will be "hopefully making some money" from it, said Iran's Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Benjamin Netanyahu knows that Israel faces an equally obvious danger. He said that "the agreement" would be a "threat to the survival of Israel." Yesterday, on April 15, speaking at the state ceremony commemorating "Yom Hashoah" (the day of remembrance of the Holocaust), he stated, "The danger is there for all to see... and yet the blindness is vast. Even if we are forced to stand alone, we will not falter. ... We will not allow the State of Israel to become a passing phase in the history of our people."
The U.S. President who cut off military supplies to Israel during the Gaza war, who has interfered in the Israeli elections to an unprecedented degree, and who wants to force Israel to return to indefensible borders, said he would "defend" Israel. It is not at all certain that Netanyahu can trust him.
Iran's Defense Minister, Hossein Dehghan, hailed Russia's decision to deliver the S-300 anti-aircraft missiles as a step towards "establishing stability and security in the region." Israel's Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said: "This is a direct result of the legitimacy that Iran obtained from the emerging deal."
On the evening of April 3, Western leaders were smiling. Mohammad Javad Zarif, was smiling too. He was the only one who had good reason to.
 The U.S, the U.K., Russia, France and China, plus Germany.
 William J. Boykin, Harry Edward Soyster, Shariah: The Threat To America: An Exercise in Competitive Analysis, Center for Security Policy, 2010.
 Natan Sharansky, The Case For Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror, PublicAffairs, 2006