The interim deal reached in November between the Six World Powers and Iran, described as a “very bad deal” by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is set to take effect on January 20. What is worse is that the deal has not yet been implemented, and therefore, over the past two months, Iran’s nuclear program continues unhindered, says leading American journalist and news analyst Jeffrey Goldberg.

In a piece on the prestigious website – titled “For Iran, 2013 was as very good year” – Goldberg reminds his readers:

“Iran continues to be the most potent state sponsor of terrorism in the world; it is still the prime backer of Hezbollah in Lebanon and of the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria; and it hasn’t shown any inclination to actually roll back its nuclear program.”

Goldberg quotes Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency, as stating, “We have two types of second-generation centrifuges. We also have future generations which are going through their tests.”

Goldberg points out, “Though the interim agreement is still not in effect, Iran is benefiting from the perception that it is.”

In return for freezing parts of its nuclear program, the Islamic Republic – the clear winner in the deal – will receive approximately $7 billion in sanctions relief over the six-month implementation period, Goldberg explains.

An estimated $4.2 billion of the sanctions relief is in the form of access to currently blocked Iranian revenues. Sanctions on Iranian petrochemicals exports, auto manufacturing sector, and precious metals industries were to be lifted without delay.

The signing of the interim agreement opened up Iranian industries to Western investment, which were banned under international sanctions regimes following the Iranian revolution in 1979. Western companies in the pharmaceutical, mining, and auto-manufacturing have already begun lobbying their Iranian counterparts for joint ventures.

In addition to financial benefits, Iran’s ability to influence the Middle East has also been strengthened. Goldberg provides a comprehensive analysis of Iran’s geopolitical standing:

“The Syrian regime, an indispensably important ally of Tehran’s, was not supposed to make it to 2014. The U.S. and its allies were confident in predicting Assad’s downfall. They were so confident, in fact, that they didn’t do anything to speed up this downfall. Iran, on the other hand, committed itself fully to the defense of the government, and deployed both its own people and its proxy militia, Hezbollah, to prop up Assad. To do so, Iran has participated in the slaughter of thousands of Syrians and Palestinians. Today, Assad’s enemies are on the run, and the U.S. has taken itself out of the regime-change business: The Russian-engineered, and Obama-approved, deal to remove Assad’s chemical weapons has given tacit approval to Assad to continue slaughtering his way to success, though ‘only’ with conventional weapons.”

Author: Alex Fiedler, contributor, United with Israel
Date: Jan. 16, 2014