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Is Iran fooling the West?

By Claude Salhani | Tue, 18 February 2014 22:45 | 1

There are growing concerns in some political circles that the pressure placed on Iran to have it stop its nuclear development programs may have been lifted too early.

At the core of the problem is the misunderstanding of what drives the Iranians to so eagerly desire to maintain their nuclear program and the steps they are willing to take to keep it.

Western powers led by the United States are failing to realize a basic tenet regarding Iran and its nuclear ambitions. In very simple terms Iran is not about to renege on its ambitions to acquire nuclear capability, nor is the Islamic Republic about to abide by the West’s diktat any time soon. 

Related Article: Iranian Oil Exports Increase After Nuclear Deal

So much has been made clear by the leadership in more than one way, except the Western powers seem to be in denial, believing they can somehow convince the powers that be that in the end they will manage to talk the Iranians into changing their policy. This is not going to happen.

No later than this week Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said he had no faith in the current round of talks between Iran and the West and that they would fail to produce any concrete results. What makes this statement so accurate is that the supreme leader is very much aware that his country is not about to make any concessions on the nuclear issue.

It was also quite clear that the supreme leader does not trust the West and feels that his country would be more secure if it was armed with nuclear weapons.

 Still, the Western powers choose to believe they can convince the Iranian leadership otherwise.

Meanwhile there is a feeling in some political circles that the pressure placed on Iran to have it stop its nuclear development programs may have been lifted to early.

In what is known as the Joint Plan of Action, the group that has established the amount of oil Iran could export under the sanctions, the limit according to the Obama administration would not rise above $7 billion, according to reports published on Thursday in Foreign Policy.

That report however raises red flags by pointing out that a recent spike in Iranian oil exports was a sign that perhaps the concessions made to Iran may have been “too generous.”

Related Article: No Foreign Drilling to be Allowed in Iran’s Caspian Waters

Those opposed to this agreement assert that it “vastly undercounted relief due to a range of rudimentary and easily identifiable errors.”
The report equates the review of the sanctions on Iran as “giving a shot in the arm to the struggling Iranian economy that could weaken prospects for a comprehensive deal to derail Iranian nuclear weapons development."

The same report goes on to say that the International Energy Agency has placed oil production for Iran in January at "just over 1.3 million barrels per day, worth almost $4 billion a month given the current price of oil."

It should be noted the same time that this increase in production from Iran coincides with clear indications that the economy in Iran is faring better than it was earlier. The country’s rapidly declining currency has in fact slowed down and is actually on the recovery track.

 Indeed, many believe that Iran had no intentions of stopping or even slowing down its nuclear program and was using this opportunity to convince the Western nations to ease up slightly on the sanctions, allowing the country to recover slightly from the depressed economy.

That is clearly the case which means that Iran has outsmarted the others who are trying to force it into a political and economic corner.

By Claude Salhani of Oilprice.com

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  • Robert Millman on February 20 2014 said:
    One wonders why this process ever got off the ground. Clearly Iran wanted to resume oil exports while pretending to slow down its nuclear program. This is just what the west wanted to believe. Why didn't Kerry insist on a definite plan of de-nulcearization with a strong inspection program in place? If Irran balked then the sanctions stay. If they agree they are gradually lifted. But once the genie of trade is lifted then there is no going back. The Obama administration is hopeless in middle eastern politics. Robert Millman

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