Netanyahu warns of western 'collapse' in Iran negotiations

This time last week, as the deadline to reach a final agreement on the negotiations to curb the Iranian nuclear program approached, the two sides were far apart on several key issues, including sanctions relief, the inspections regime, technological upgrades to the Iranian program, and an accounting of Iran's past nuclear bomb making activities.

Now, a week later, optimism reigns in Vienna as all issues that were an impediment to reaching a deal have either been resolved or are on the verge of being resolved.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu smells a total cave in by western powers to Iranian demands. And reports coming out of Tehran would appear to vindicate that position.

Times of Israel:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday accused the six world powers negotiating with Iran of dangerously caving to the Islamic Republic’s every demand, as a long-sought final pact that would see the lifting of sanctions in exchange for curbs on Tehran’s nuclear program was reportedly close to being signed.

“It seems that the nuclear talks in Iran have yielded a collapse, not a breakthrough,” Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. “The major powers’ concessions are growing.”

He said an agreement with Tehran over its nuclear program would “pave Iran’s path to the production of very many atomic bombs and it will also channel to Iran hundreds of billions of dollars that will serve its aggression and terrorism campaigns in our region and around the world.”

Netanyahu likened the deal to negotiations between the US and North Korea, which did not achieve Western powers’ intended result of deterring the Asian state from developing nuclear arms.

“This is a bad deal,” the prime minister said. “It is not less bad – in my opinion it is worse – than the deal with North Korea that led to a nuclear arsenal in North Korea. But this is both a nonconventional threat and a very large conventional threat against Israel, the countries of the region and the world.”

Earlier in the week, western negotiators said that a "process" had been agreed to in order to inspect Iranian military sites for violations of the accord, despite claims by President Obama over the last few months that inspectors would be able to go anywhere to make sure Iran wasn't cheating. Now it appears that inspectors will have to ask Iran's permission to inspect any military facility for illicit nuclear activity - an open invitation for Iran to drag its feet and even deny such requests.

Now, there appears to be an agreement to lift sanctions immediately upon UN approval of the deal.

On Saturday, the Associated Press reported that the so-called P5+1 world powers and Iran had drawn up a draft document on the pace and timing of sanctions relief, advancing on one of the most contentious issues of their negotiations. The development indicated the sides were moving closer to a comprehensive accord that would impose a decade of restrictions on Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for tens of billions of dollars in economic benefits for the Iranians, as they race to complete a deal after extending a June 30 deadline to July 7.

As for the "pace and timing" of sanctions relief, Al-Manar is reporting the Iranian understanding of what that means: 

On the day of the agreement, all economic and financial sanctions by the EU, the US, and the Security Council will be removed and we will take measures to meet commitments, the top Iranian negotiator said, according to IRNA news agency.

Meanwhile, the Iranian diplomat said that both sides are trying to meet the July 7 deadline, but Iran is not bound by the date, adding that Tehran will not accept a bad deal and is looking for an agreement that respects its red lines and the Iranian nation’s rights.

Araqchi said that from the technical perspective, execution of Iran's obligations takes two or three months but execution of other sides of talks' obligations needs just an order.

He said that the Iran and P5+1 are negotiating ways for coincided execution of both sides' obligations.

“We had never advanced this far during the past talks,” he added.

Of course, President Obama swore to Congress that the sanctions would be lifted gradually, over several years. But the Iranian interpretation of the deal directly contradicts the president's statements.

The sudden, catastrophic cave in by western powers was fully expected - the inevitable consequence of the president investing so much of his prestige into making a deal with Iran. And now that we've come this far, failure is not an option. There willl be an agreement with Iran by Tuesday no matter how dangerous it will be to Israel and how humiliating it is to the US.