Opinion

Netanyahu’s speech in Congress not convincing

Sarkis Naoum    | Sarkis Naoum |
Published on June 23, 2015 at 16:10 | Last update on June 23, 2015 at 16:14

To my comment that Iran has always claimed not to accept general principles of agreement but only a final agreement, the official who has been tracking the Iranian issue in all its details, ramifications, complexities and background in an "administration" within the U.S. administration responded, "that is correct. But that is also difficult. There are many points to be negotiated and even more points of dispute. There's the enrichment ratio to think about and the number of centrifuges as well, and also the lifting of the sanctions imposed. The agreement can definitely contain some major points or issues, but not in their final stages.

What Iran wants in the end, maybe even in the beginning or it may even be its one demand, is that the sanctions imposed on it by the U.S., Europe and the United Nations be lifted. These sanctions have reduced Iran's oil production and consequently its financial turnover to half of what it used to be. The reduction of oil prices has made the aforementioned turnover reach the quarter of what it used to be before the sanctions were imposed. Noting that Iran has frozen funds whose worth reach 120 billion U.S. dollars. Maybe some sanctions will be lifted with the 'March agreement' (they were not)."

I commented, "the leader and Wali Al-Faqih in Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and its president Sheikh Hassan Rohani both want to reach an agreement. There might be different points of view within the Iranian regime and some centers of power that are in opposition to the agreement with the U.S., but the final decision is in Khamenei's hands. Who knows if there will be any distribution of roles."

He responded, "We have that impression. We want for the agreement to put a halt to the Iranian 'nuclear' threat on the whole region, and more specifically on our two allies: Israel and the Arabs, especially the GCC countries, namely the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They are in need of protection, arms and political support from the U.S., but they refuse to communicate with Iran."

I noted, "Before reaching an agreement and in case agreement is not reached, Saudi Arabia will not communicate with Iran because it fears that the Iranians will be able to strengthen their bargaining position with the U.S. or alleviate their opposing stance to it in case the negotiations fail. After an agreement is reached, Saudi Arabia cannot do any disruptive act. It will communicate with Iran, but only after getting guarantees from its ally, the U.S. The United Arab Emirates also refuses the agreement, but it knows that reaching one will help improve its already strong economy: it will become the main center for trade exchange between Iran and other countries."

He said, "The position of the Israeli Prime Minister in negotiations and agreement with Iran is wrong. He is trying to impose his policies and beliefs on the U.S., and maybe even on Iran, through Congress. He speaks like leader or commander of Israel and the Jews of the world, which he is not. The general elections are in 10 days, and no one knows whether he will win or lose, or whether he will win but need to negotiate with others. His way of speaking, especially in Congress, is unconvincing and unsatisfying. And the behavior of a large number of Congressmen is inappropriate. He (Netanyahu) said, for instance, that Iran controls 4 countries: Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen. That is untrue. Just like you said. Its control of Syria is hanging by a thread, by the Assad family and the Alawites. It only controls the Shiite part of Iraq. In Lebanon, it only has power over Hezbollah, the Shiites and some Christians, and when it comes to Yemen, the country is probably heading towards chaos and civil war, and each person with an opposing idea controls a certain part of it. Houthis are a part of Iran, knowing that Iraqi Shiites are not all waiting for Iran's orders and instructions. It is playing a role to prevent Iraqi militias from attacking us in Iraq."

He commented, "I believe that the Iraqi Shiites did not like Iran before the country decomposed. However, the repression exercised by the late President Saddam Hussein on his people and all their ongoing disappointments in the international and the Arab communities and especially in the United States prompted them to turn to Iran. Hence, they started reconsidering the depth of their strategy. They will not give up on this depth especially after the conflict in the region became deeply religious. And as everybody knows, Iran has generated several conflicts in Iraq. In fact, it has established a sectarian militia by training it, arming it and funding it. So this is why it cannot be said that these militias do not obey their commands and refuse their requests and orders. Conflicts may arise between them but the final decision is always up to Iran. Let us return to Israel, some US influential friends of mine, who were previously in important official positions, have told me in the course of conversations about Israel's struggle with Palestine that it has an important base in the Congress. What do you think of that?



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