US Vice President Joe Biden when he met Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Monday night, Jan. 13, refused to level with him on the detailed agreements which the Americans claimed were reached by the six powers and Iran in their talks earlier this week on the implementation of their first-stage Geneva accord. This is reported by debkafile’s Washington and Jerusalem sources. It was the first time US President Barack Obama personally vetoed a briefing to Israel on the content of the international nuclear negotiations he instigated – notwithstanding his private and public pledges to Netanyahu of “full transparency.”
This secretiveness has stirred concern and mistrust in Jerusalem on two grounds:
1. It denotes a sharp decline in the strategic relations between the Obama administration and the Netanyahu government and leaves Israel in the dark on an issue of vital concern to its security.
2. It is suspected that there is no implementation agreement at all and that the US President, Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are repeating the performance they put on three months ago in Geneva. Then, they presented a very general framework of non-binding clauses reached between the six powers and Iran as a genuine, full-fledged, interim accord, when in reality it omitted the details on how and when Iran would dismantle the military side of its nuclear program, and inter alia neglected to address the critical issue of Iran’s nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.
Three days later, on Tuesday, Jan 15. Iran’s lead negotiator, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Aragchi, went on national television with a less than polite denial: “…different interpretations come out of a single document and that is natural,” he said. “But we had better try to have common interpretations, and that is why during the talks we paused a couple of times and continued with the participation of the higher levels.”
In the light of the conflicting versions coming out the White House and Tehran – and Joe Biden’s refusal to level with Netanyahu on the latest rounds of nuclear talks – Israel is left wondering what in fact US-led international nuclear diplomacy has achieved in the way of curbing Iran’s progress toward a bomb – if anything.
Full article: Obama withholds from Israel details of nuclear accord with Iran: Tehran denies dismantling its program (DEBKAfile)