I predicted this at the end of last week.
Iran agreed to new steps to contain its nuclear work in exchange for additional sanctions relief from the US as the two sides extended negotiations for four more months to reach a comprehensive deal.
Under Friday’s deal, the US will give Tehran access over the next four months to an additional $2.8 billion in oil export revenues frozen abroad by American sanctions, Secretary of State John Kerry said.
In return for this additional money, this speaking fee for the Iranian negotiators,
Iran agreed Friday to take further measures to curtail the most advanced parts of its nuclear program.
Iran also agreed to dilute its stock of up to 2% enriched uranium into natural uranium, Western officials said, which could slightly lengthen the time it would take to spin that into highly enriched fuel for a nuclear weapon.
And we believe them. Certainly the guy who currently sits in the Secretary of State’s chair believes them. John Kerry said, in announcing this latest American concession,
Let me be clear, Iran will not get any more money during these four months than it did during the last six months.
In other words and as noted above, Iran is going to get more money: the $8 billion to which it got access “the last six months” is only an upper bound to that additional money; the released $2.8 billion may not be the last of it.
One last thing: here’s what President Barack Obama said last January in his State of the Union address when he described the just-expired 6 months of talks that were, then, just getting started:
If Iran’s leaders do not seize this opportunity, then I will be the first to call for more sanctions, and stand ready to exercise all options to make sure Iran does not build a nuclear weapon.
The opportunity is passed. It expired Friday. But, then, that was just a deadline.