Report: Administration tells Israel it lied about Iran deal
posted at 10:31 am on December 11, 2013 by Jeff Dunetz
When P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran was first announced, two different reports about the amount of sanctions relief Iran would get, surfaced. The Obama Administration promised the value to the Iranian economy based on the easing of sanctions would be $6-7 billion dollars. Israel, on the other hand, believed that the Iranian economy would get a shot in the arm of $20 billion or more.
Israeli Newspaper Haaretz, whose editorial stance opposes the Netanyahu Government, reports:
The United States had originally intended to make do with unfreezing Iranian assets in the amount of $3 billion to $4 billion. But during negotiations in Geneva, the P5+1 countries backtracked from their opening position and approved much more significant relief in a wide variety of areas: commerce in gold, the Iranian petrochemical industry, the car industry and replacement parts for civilian aircraft. But the Americans said at the time that this would at most double the original amount.
However according to the Israeli version, the Americans now concede in their talks with Israel that the sanctions relief are worth much more. According to the security sources: “Economics is a matter of expectations. The Iranian stock exchange is already rising significantly and many countries are standing in line to renew economic ties with Iran based on what was already agreed in Geneva.” The sources mentioned China’s desire to renew contracts worth some $9 billion to develop the Iranian oil industry and the interest some German companies are showing for deals with Tehran. “In any case, it’s about 20 or 25 billion dollars. Even the Americans understand this,” the sources said.
An NRO post reminds us that:
…a new report from the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies points out that the White House’s estimate of the economic benefits for the auto industry, $500 million, seems like a serious underestimate: While plenty of sanctions remain on the industry, if the industry recovers to just 10 percent of the contribution it used to make to the Iranian economy, that would be worth $2.5 billion, five times as much economic activity as the White House claimed.
This is not the first report of the Obama administration lied to Israel during the P5+1 process. In mid-November, when the deal fell through because of French objections, it was reported that Obama and Kerry had misled Israel and Saudi Arabia about the deal. But on the day before Kerry was to arrive in Geneva for the talks, British and French officials told Israel more concessions were added, including easing thee ban on trading gold, petrochemical products and replacements parts for machinery and civilian airplanes.
This Tuesday, John Kerry testified about the Iran deal before the Senate; Senator Tim Johnson, the chair of the Banking Committee, said afterwards he was inclined to hold off on a sanctions vote. Actually, the Senate was never going to pass new sanctions. Tuesday’s hearings were simply an opportunity for senators to bloviate against the deal in front of their constituents. Even if another sanctions bill does leave the committee, Harry Reid will not allow it to be voted upon by the entire Senate.
In other words, the deal is done, and beginning on January 15th it will be up to Iran whether it lasts for the full six months. As far as a second step deal, that will be up to the backbone of the United States.
Whether the P5+1 deal leads to some sort of peace between the Western Nations and Iran or not (frankly, the latter is more likely), a negative result of the way Obama and Kerry are handling the negotiations is the loss of trust between this United States government and two of its allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia.