Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a highly unusual statement on November 8, pleaded with Secretary of State John Kerry not to sign an agreement with Iran in Geneva. Kerry flew to Switzerland after meeting with Netanyahu on a swing through Israel. The Israeli leader told reporters that "Iran got the deal of the century. The international community got a bad deal. This is a very bad deal. Israel utterly rejects it."
Speaking at a press conference after Kerry's departure, Netanyahu spoke bluntly and asked that no deal is better than reaching a bad deal with the Iranians over their continued weaponization of uranium. "I met Secretary Kerry right before he leaves to Geneva," said Netanyhau. "I reminded him that he said that no deal is better than a bad deal. That the deal that is being discussed in Geneva right now is a bad deal. It’s a very bad deal. Iran is not required to take apart even one centrifuge. But the international community is relieving sanctions on Iran for the first time after many years. Iran gets everything that it wanted at this stage and it pays nothing. And this is when Iran is under severe pressure. I urge Secretary Kerry not to rush to sign, to wait, to reconsider, to get a good deal. But this is a bad deal--a very, very bad deal. It’s the deal of a century for Iran; it’s a very dangerous and bad deal for peace and the international community."
The U.S. and other countries will be meeting with Iranian representatives in Geneva to discuss a plan for granting partial and reversible relief from the U.S,-led sanctions on the the Islamic Republic. According to Robert Zarate of the Foreign Policy Initiative, the possible deal contemplates:
1) Partially Increased Nuclear Transparency: somewhat increased inspection and monitoring of Iranian nuclear material, equipment, and facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), but less than enhanced measures authorized by the so-called “Additional Protocol” agreement that Iran has refused so far to ratify.
(2) Freeze on Medium Enriched Uranium: a freeze on Iran’s production of uranium enriched to 20-percent (sometimes called “medium enriched uranium” or MEU), and conversion of Iran’s stockpile of 20-percent MEU into harder-to-enrich reactor fuel plates.
(3) Numerical Limits on Centrifuges to Enrich Uranium: limits on the number of Iran’s actively-enriching first-generation centrifuges, and a delay on the use of Iran’s installed and more advanced second-generation centrifuges.
(4) Delayed Start-Up of the Plutonium-Producing Heavy Water Reactor: deferral on starting up and operating Arak, a heavy water reactor capable of producing spent nuclear fuel containing plutonium that is very well-suited for use in a nuclear weapon.
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