Iranian interpretations of the Geneva interim nuclear agreement, which run
contrary to the White House’s presentation of the accord, are going unchecked by
the Obama administration, a security expert told The Jerusalem Post on
Dr. Emily Landau, who heads the Arms Control and Regional
Security Program at the Institute for National Security Studies, expressed concern
over the White House’s ongoing silence in the face of Iranian attempts to
redefine the Geneva agreement after its signing.
Landau cited recent
examples of Iranian interpretations of the agreement that contradict claims put
forward by the US, including the “immediate Iranian rejection of the White House
fact sheet [on the Geneva interim accord].”
According to Iran’s
publication of its own interpretation of what was achieved in Geneva and an
announcement by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, within days of
the agreement, Iran will continue construction work at Arak.
Landau noted, Iran announced that it is testing its advanced new-generation
All the while, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei is
continuing to air “horrific rhetoric,” Landau said.
have affirmed concerns that any partial deal will “quickly become a platform for
continuing bickering between the two sides, as Iran pushed its own
interpretations of what was agreed, which would not be acceptable to the P5+1,”
“We saw a lot of this in the 2003-2005 period – continuous
arguing over who agreed to what, who is upholding what. That period ended with
the EU3 totally disillusioned with Iran and its lack of good faith,” she
“What we have seen so far, since the late November agreement, is
Iran indeed demonstrating that it will continue to push the envelope with its
interpretations, with statements and pronouncements that certainly do not
indicate ‘good faith’ as far as its intentions to back down from military
aspirations,” Landau continued.
Most disturbingly, the P5+1, and the US
in particular, are “not even reacting,” she said.
In fact, the Obama
administration “seems focused exclusively on Congress,” and appears to have
prioritized the prevention of Congress from passing new sanctions against Iran
over countering Iran’s conduct, she added.
“Why no reaction to Iran? Why
is the administration steadfastly clinging to the narrative that the interim
deal is a historic achievement when many proliferation experts (and even a
Washington Post editorial) are voicing serious concerns?” Landau
The security analyst was also highly critical of the White House’s
failure to define clear criteria for a failure of the diplomatic process,
saying, “Perhaps if the criteria for failure were clear – at least to Congress –
it would be less nervous about the obvious loopholes in the interim
Without a criteria to define failure, the Obama administration
will be able to evade declaring a failure as such, and “interpret any result as
not necessarily constituting a failure, either by saying that they need more
time, or, as they are saying now, ‘it’s not perfect, but that’s the best we
could get,’” said Landau.
Additionally, Landau said, the agreement
carries no mention of the need to inspect Iran’s Parchin site, where suspected
nuclear bomb research has been carried out.
“After two years of pressing
to visit the Parchin military site, and repeated Iranian intransigence on this
count, there is no longer mention of Parchin.
The inspectors came to Arak
and this was played up as Iranian cooperation after the interim deal, but what
about Parchin and the question of Iran’s work on the military dimension of its
nuclear program?” she asked.