Iran wants sanctions lifted now. Will the US cave?

The biggest sticking point in the negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program is apparently a disagreement over when sanctions against Tehran should be lifted.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Iran is demanding that sanctions be lifted at the conclusion of the framework agreement, which is the first step toward a comprehensive accord still to be negotiated. The deal on a framework for negotiations must be reached by the end of this month.

But the US and the EU are insisting that the sanctions must remain in place until the International Atomic Energy Agency says that Iran's nuclear program is not intended to build a bomb. The impasse threatens to shut down the talks.

But never fear. The US and Europe, who desperately want this deal, will probably cave in to the mullah's demands rather than see the talks fail.

The Iranians “say it’s a deal breaker. They don’t want it at all,” said a senior European diplomat involved in the Lausanne talks, referring to Iran’s position on the U.N. sanctions. “There’s no way that we would give up on that…. No way.”

The official said it would take much more than a year or two for U.N. sanctions to be lifted.

“If you’re talking about the IAEA certifying that the Iranian program is clean, I think it will take years by any measure,” the European official said. U.S. officials on Thursday voiced the same position.

Tehran has long demanded that all Western and U.N. sanctions on its energy, finance, and transportation sectors be lifted early and quickly once a deal is concluded. U.S. and European officials have consistently said Tehran’s position is unrealistic.

The two sides have narrowed some of their differences on the sanctions issues, however.

There is wide agreement that many of the unilateral sanctions the U.S. and European Union imposed on Iran could start to be suspended within months, if not weeks, of a deal being stuck.

This would boost Iran’s economy as the EU could resume purchasing oil from Iran and restrictions on Iranian banks could be lifted. Iran could also begin repatriating some of the over $100 billion in oil revenue frozen in overseas accounts.

Still, the Obama administration and its European allies view the broader U.N. sanctions as the backbone of their overall efforts to exert financial leverage on Tehran. Washington fears removing them could rapidly undermine more specific American and European penalties on Iran.

Being able to sell oil to Europe again. allowing Iranian banks to enter markets again, and giving the Iranians access to $100 billion in oil wealth is total capitulation What possible incentive remains for them to come clean about their program?. The UN sanctions are mostly about stopping Iran from acquiring "dual use" technology that could be used in either the making of a bomb or in building a nuclear reactor. The sanctions that bit the hardest would all be lifted before a final agreement was signed.

The Iranians are now apparently trying to humiliate the west by demanding all sanctions be lifted. They have to be extremely pleased about the offer to lift the worst of the sanctions. Anything else at this point is just gravy.

We have gone from a position stated by both President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry that the sanctions would be slowly lifted over a period of years to ditching the sanctions in a coiuple of weeks. How much more of a cave in will there be to satisfy the Iranians?

The biggest sticking point in the negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program is apparently a disagreement over when sanctions against Tehran should be lifted.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Iran is demanding that sanctions be lifted at the conclusion of the framework agreement, which is the first step toward a comprehensive accord still to be negotiated. The deal on a framework for negotiations must be reached by the end of this month.

But the US and the EU are insisting that the sanctions must remain in place until the International Atomic Energy Agency says that Iran's nuclear program is not intended to build a bomb. The impasse threatens to shut down the talks.

But never fear. The US and Europe, who desperately want this deal, will probably cave in to the mullah's demands rather than see the talks fail.

The Iranians “say it’s a deal breaker. They don’t want it at all,” said a senior European diplomat involved in the Lausanne talks, referring to Iran’s position on the U.N. sanctions. “There’s no way that we would give up on that…. No way.”

The official said it would take much more than a year or two for U.N. sanctions to be lifted.

“If you’re talking about the IAEA certifying that the Iranian program is clean, I think it will take years by any measure,” the European official said. U.S. officials on Thursday voiced the same position.

Tehran has long demanded that all Western and U.N. sanctions on its energy, finance, and transportation sectors be lifted early and quickly once a deal is concluded. U.S. and European officials have consistently said Tehran’s position is unrealistic.

The two sides have narrowed some of their differences on the sanctions issues, however.

There is wide agreement that many of the unilateral sanctions the U.S. and European Union imposed on Iran could start to be suspended within months, if not weeks, of a deal being stuck.

This would boost Iran’s economy as the EU could resume purchasing oil from Iran and restrictions on Iranian banks could be lifted. Iran could also begin repatriating some of the over $100 billion in oil revenue frozen in overseas accounts.

Still, the Obama administration and its European allies view the broader U.N. sanctions as the backbone of their overall efforts to exert financial leverage on Tehran. Washington fears removing them could rapidly undermine more specific American and European penalties on Iran.

Being able to sell oil to Europe again. allowing Iranian banks to enter markets again, and giving the Iranians access to $100 billion in oil wealth is total capitulation What possible incentive remains for them to come clean about their program?. The UN sanctions are mostly about stopping Iran from acquiring "dual use" technology that could be used in either the making of a bomb or in building a nuclear reactor. The sanctions that bit the hardest would all be lifted before a final agreement was signed.

The Iranians are now apparently trying to humiliate the west by demanding all sanctions be lifted. They have to be extremely pleased about the offer to lift the worst of the sanctions. Anything else at this point is just gravy.

We have gone from a position stated by both President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry that the sanctions would be slowly lifted over a period of years to ditching the sanctions in a coiuple of weeks. How much more of a cave in will there be to satisfy the Iranians?