Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for August 15, 2022

Newsline: U.S. State Department says Iran must drop ‘extraneous’ demands in nuclear talks

The only way to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal is for Tehran to abandon its extraneous demands, the U.S. State Department said on Monday, saying Washington believes everything that can be negotiated already has been. State Department spokesman Ned Price told a briefing that the United States would provide its response to the European Union’s “final” text on reviving the deal in private but gave no timeline. “The only way to achieve a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA is for Iran to drop further unacceptable demands that go beyond the scope of the JCPOA. We have long called these demands extraneous,” Price said. (https://finance.yahoo.com/news/1-iran-must-abandon-extraneous-192201078.html) The EU asked for a response on Monday, diplomats said, and Iran has said it will comply. U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration has been trying to resurrect the 2015 agreement, named the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was abandoned by Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump in 2018. Under the deal, Tehran limited its nuclear program in exchange for relief from U.S., EU and U.N. sanctions.

Newsline: Taliban mark first anniversary of victory next to US embassy in Kabul

Taliban fighters chanted victory slogans next to the US embassy in Kabul Monday as they marked the first anniversary of their return to power in Afghanistan following a turbulent year that saw women’s rights crushed and a humanitarian crisis worsen. “This great victory came after countless sacrifices and hardships,” Abdul Ghani Baradar, deputy prime minister and co-founder of the Taliban movement, said on Twitter. “On this day… the Islamic Emirate brought the world’s superpower and its allies to their knees and Afghans gained their independence,” added Baradar, who in 2020 signed a deal with Washington offering security guarantees in return for the withdrawal of foreign forces. (https://news.yahoo.com/day-conquest-taliban-mark-turbulent-065835722.html) One group marched past the former US embassy, chanting ‘Long live Islam’ and ‘Death to America’. Exactly a year ago, the hardline Islamists captured Kabul after a nationwide lightning offensive against government forces just as US-led troops were ending two decades of intervention in a conflict that cost tens of thousands of lives.

Newsline: Former US top diplomat warns of war with Russia and China

“We are about to go to war with Russia And the China on issues that we have partially created, with no idea how they might arise or what they should lead to.” To declare that, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the former US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, which the United States should “not accelerate tensions but create options for them.” How do we combine our military capability with our strategic goals and how do we link them to our capability moral purposes “It’s an unsolved problem,” Kissinger said. Modern American diplomacy He is “very sensitive to the feelings of the moment.” (https://hardwoodparoxysm.com/former-us-secretary-of-state-henry-kissinger-we-are-on-the-brink-of-war-with-russia-and-china/) “I think the current period is having a very difficult time identifying one direction. He is very sensitive to the feelings of the moment.” He went on to say that the US leadership is focused on condemning ideas with which it differs, rather than stopping to negotiate and confronting opponents’ thinking. He also warned of what he sees as a gradual loss of balance between tensions between United State and other world powers, Russia and China.

Newsline: Diplomats face three major issues in talks on reviving Iran nuclear deal

Iran and the United States are struggling to overcome divisions on three major issues in indirect talks on revival of a 2015 nuclear deal while months of negotiations have entered a crucial stage. A While Tehran and Washington are set on pursuing diplomacy, a senior EU official shuttling between the parties said on Aug. 8 that a “final” offer was proposed and a response was expected within weeks. (https://news.yahoo.com/factbox-three-major-issues-bedevilling-041258187.html) Iran insists the nuclear pact can only be salvaged if the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) drops its claims about Tehran’s nuclear work. Washington and other Western powers view Tehran’s demand as outside the scope of reviving the deal. Tehran seeks guarantees that “no U.S. administration” will renege on a revived pact. But President Joe Biden cannot promise this because the nuclear deal is a non-binding political understanding, not a legally-binding treaty. The broad outline of the revived deal was essentially agreed in March after 11 months of talks in Vienna. But then talks broke down, largely due to Tehran’s demand that Washington remove its elite Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) from the U.S. Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list and Washington’s refusal to do so. In June, one Iranian and one European official said the demand had been taken off the table to give diplomacy a chance. Several sources told Reuters that Iran had agreed to discuss the matter once the 2015 pact is revived, but in return has asked for removal of sanctions on some economic units of the Guards.