There might be a historic nuclear deal on the table between the five major world powers and Iran if it wasn’t for that meddling France. Word coming out of negotiations in Geneva this weekend points to France as the lone holdout for stricter sanctions than those agreed to by other countries.
There was plenty of optimism heading into Saturday negotiations. But after marathon negotiations, France raised issues with the agreement on the table. The five of U.N. Security Council’s permanent countries — China, Britain, France, Russia and the U.S. — are bargaining for a short-term agreement with Iran to restrain the country’s controversial nuclear program and make it more transparent. In exchange, the five countries have agreed to limited scale backs of international sanctions. France decided Saturday a deal must include calls for Iran to shutdown its Arak nuclear reactor that “could produce enough plutonium for several nuclear weapons a year once it goes online,” according to NBC News. There is so far no proof Iran has any intention to build nuclear weapons. “As I speak to you, I cannot say there is any certainty that we can conclude,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told France Inter radio. He said his country couldn’t accept a “sucker’s deal”.
But other diplomats are very clearly not pleased with their French counterpart. More than a few were perfectly fine with throwing France under the bus to the press. Per Reuters:
“The Americans, the EU and the Iranians have been working intensively together for months on this proposal, and this is nothing more than an attempt by Fabius to insert himself into relevance late in the negotiations,” the diplomat told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Israel will probably be pleased with France’s behavior. Negotiations continued late Saturday but a deal seemed further away than most expected Saturday morning. All hope is not lost. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters negotiations “will continue in one week or 10 days,” if a deal isn’t reached this weekend.
Reprinted with permission from the Atlantic Wire. The original story — which ran on Saturday, Nov. 9 — can be found here.
What We're Following See More »
Hillary Clinton's transition team has in place strict rules to limit the influence that lobbyists could have "in crafting the nominee’s policy agenda." The move makes it unlikely, at least for now, that Clinton would overturn Obama's executive order limiting the role that lobbyists play in government
Federal employees from 14 agencies have given nearly $2 million in campaign donations in the presidential race thus far, and 95 percent of the donations, totaling $1.9 million, have been to the Clinton campaign. Employees at the State Department, which Clinton lead for four years, has given 99 percent of its donations to the Democratic nominee.
Trying to save control of the Senate, the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC with ties to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is spending $25 million on six races over the last two weeks of the race. Republicans have been consistently outspent in a majority of the Senate races this cycle. Aside from spending in Nevada, all the spending will come in defense of Republican-held seats.
In an NBC News interview, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the campaign against ISIS will expand to its headquarters in Raqqa in the "next few weeks." He also reiterated that U.S. forces will not be part of any occupation of territory should it be retaken from ISIS.
Priorities USA, the super PAC aligned with the Clinton campaign, which has already gotten involved in two Senate races, is now expanding into House races. The group released a 30 second spot which serves to hit Donald Trump and Iowa Rep. Rod Blum, who is in a tough race to win re-election in Iowa's first congressional district. The super PAC's expansion into House and Senate races shows a high level of confidence in Clinton's standing against Trump.