The United States, breaking away from official nuclear talks, could unfreeze Iranian assets in exchange for Teheran’s pledge to limit uranium enrichment, a report said.
The Middle East Media and Research Institute asserted that President Barack Obama was examining an option to unfreeze billions of dollars worth of Iranian assets seized in the United States. In a report, the institute, which consults with the U.S. military, said such a move would circumvent both sanctions by Congress as well as the talks by the so-called 5+1 powers with Teheran.
“It should be emphasized that the Obama administration is considering unfreezing tens of billions of dollars’ worth of Iranian assets, a move that would likely be accompanied by an Iranian announcement that it is reducing the level to which it is enriching uranium,” the report said. “By doing this, the Obama administration would be circumventing both congressional sanctions and the 5+1’s consensus that sanctions on Iran not be lifted unless Iran takes a very significant preliminary measure.”
Titled “U.S. Administration Uses 5+1 Talks To Conduct Bilateral Back-Channel Talks With Iran,” the report said Iran and the United States have bypassed the 5+1 negotiations amid a dispute with the European Union over the aims of the talks. The report said Washington, unlike its EU partners, appeared willing to recognize limited Iranian nuclear enrichment as part of reconciliation with the Teheran regime. The next round of 5+1 talks was scheduled for Nov. 7 in Geneva, Switzerland.
“The U.S. is bypassing the 5+1 and talking directly with Iran in order to achieve its own goal — it seeks an historic reconciliation with Iran, or at the very least direct talks on a permanent basis,” the report, authored by Yigal Carmon and A. Savyon, said.
The report, the second by the institute on the nuclear talks in less than a month, said any U.S. recognition of Iran’s enrichment program could “destabilize the global nuclear order.” Carmon and Savyon asserted that such a move would spark nuclear programs throughout the region.
“The American administration’s recognition of a nuclear Iran would necessarily lead to a nuclearization of the leading Sunni and other countries in the Middle East that have no faith in an American nuclear umbrella against Iran,” the report said.
The report said Obama intends to reach a settlement with Iran and then impose this on the 5+1. The president was said to have demanded that the 5+1 negotiations be held in secret, which even Teheran opposes.
Carmon and Savyon said any U.S. agreement for Iran to continue uranium enrichment would bolster Teheran’s proxies. They said the losers would be Arab allies of the United States, particularly Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
“U.S. recognition of a nuclear Iran would significantly reinforce the Shi’ite foci in the Middle East that fight Sunnis, for example Lebanon, Hizbullah, Iraq, Yemen, and Bahrain,” the report said.