Iranians, Israelis could live with ‚bad‘ nuclear deal

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (3rd L) delivers a statement during a ceremony next to British Foreign Secretary William Hague, Germany’s Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, US Secretary of State John Kerry, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (L-R) at the United Nations in Geneva, Nov. 24, 2013. (photo by REUTERS/Denis Balibouse)

The Israeli and Iranian publics can live with what their leaders each consider a “bad” nuclear deal.

Let’s start with Israel. There, the consensus is that the offer from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany (P5+1) to Iran is similar to a deal recommended by Robert Einhornof the Brookings Institution in Washington.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believed that the current P5+1 offer, which if Tehran accepted would leave it with a limited enrichment capacity on its soil, would be a “bad” deal. He has in fact stated that such a deal would be “catastrophic,” despite the deal’s requirement that Iran’s nuclear facilities be placed under some of the most stringent inspections possible by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

This attitude ignores numerous estimates that if Iran accepted the P5+1 offer, it would take a minimum of six months to a year to make a weapon with the limited number of centrifuges left on its soil, if and when Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei decides to give the order.

Leaving Iran with limited enrichment capacity is not an ideal situation for many Israelis. Ideally, the majority of Israelis would most probably prefer that the current Iranian regime, which has repeatedly called for the elimination of Israel, be left without a nuclear program. Most would probably prefer that the current regime in Iran be toppled and replaced with a democratic government.

However, none of this is likely to happen anytime soon. It’s extremely unlikely that Iran would agree to dismantle its entire nuclear program. There is also no sign of an imminent democratic revolution in Iran.

Therefore, if the deal being proposed by the P5+1 is accepted by Iran, would the Israeli public demand war? Would it turn against its own politicians for not stopping such a deal?

Highly unlikely. One major reason is that such a deal would address major concerns of the Israeli public regarding Iran’s nuclear program. These concerns include halting the advancement of Iran’s nuclear program while making it difficult and costly for Iran’s leadership to decide to make a nuclear weapon.

The Israeli public also has other priorities. When Israelis went to the polls last time in January 2013, according to a poll conducted and published by The Times of Israel, only 12% saw Iran as the most urgent issue. The biggest group, 43%, cited economic concerns as its top priority. There is no evidence to suggest that these priorities have changed since then.

The same applies to Iran. Its most powerful figure, and the person with the last word regarding the nuclear program, has publicly set out his 11 red lines regarding the nuclear negotiations.

One of the most notable of these holds that an agreement must enable Iran to ultimately expand its enrichment capacity to 190,000 separative work units. This means that instead of its 9,000 currentfunctioning centrifuges, Iran should be allowed to add approximately 180,000 next-generation centrifuges.

Therefore, anything less would be considered a “bad deal” for him.

So what would happen if Iran accepted the P5+1’s offer to recognize Iran’s right to enrich uranium on its soil in return for Iran halving the number of its operating centrifuges and agreeing to tougher inspections? Would the people of Iran revolt against their government? Would they insist their government reject such an offer at the cost of living under continued sanctions and isolation?

Highly unlikely. We have to remember that when it comes to the nuclear program, the voice and opinion of the people of Iran have a minuscule if any impact on the regime’s elite that designs the country’s nuclear strategy.

It’s not that the people of Iran don’t want to have an impact; they do. In most cases, they are prevented from doing so by the ruling elite.

There are several cases that prove this point.

First and foremost, calls for a referendum over the nuclear program have been rejected. Then there is the fact that the regime does not even allow any debate in the press, especially any that presents ideas that run counter to the establishment’s narrative regarding the nuclear program. When Tehran University professor Sadegh Zibakalam did counter the narrative by publicly stating that he does not see any benefit in Iran’s current nuclear program, he received a suspended sentence of 18 months in prison.

If the Iranian nuclear program belonged to the people of Iran, it would be they who would set the negotiations’ red lines, and not an unelected official such as Ayatollah Khamenei. But this is not the case.

If the leaders of the Islamic Republic are confident of the public’s backing when it comes to their current nuclear strategy, why do they prevent public debate? Why do they sentence to jail those who dispute their narrative? Why not allow a referendum? Iran would not be the first country to hold a referendum regarding its civilian nuclear program. The answer seems clear: Iran’s leadership does not believe that it has the public’s backing for its current nuclear strategy.

Although there have been a number of polls inside Iran, including a July survey by the University of Tehran and University of Maryland that showed public support for the current nuclear strategy of the Iranian government, there is reason to be skeptical of such polls.

In Iran, people can be sentenced to jail for countering the government narrative regarding the nuclear program, especially to an unknown stranger over the phone who has their contact details. In such an atmosphere, the fear factor could affect poll results.

Hassan Rouhani was elected on the platform of improving Iran’s economy and the welfare of Iranian citizens. One of his main campaign slogans regarding the nuclear program was that not only the nuclear program but the economy should also function and thrive.

Although Iran’s economy has improved somewhat since Rouhani entered office, numerous major problems still remain. Inflation is at 20%. Subsidies have been cut. Iran’s economy is still very much suffering because of sanctions, and a historic drought is on the way that will need many billions of dollars to manage.

Much as in the Israeli public, there are no indications that the priorities of the people of Iran have changed since the last legislative elections in the country. Again, like the people of Israel, economic issues seem as if not more important than the nuclear program to the Iranian public. Both populations want the situation to de-escalate, and for their leaders to address other important domestic issues.

The people of both Iran and Israel could live with the P5+1’s current offer to Iran. It’s now up to their leaders, especially the supreme leader of Iran, who has the last word on Iran’s nuclear program.

Source: AL-Monitor

Calais – Letzte Station vor der Insel (England)

Die nordfranzösische Hafenstadt Calais liegt an der engsten Stelle des Ärmelkanals und somit nur 30 km von Großbritannien entfernt. Deshalb dient diese Stadt als Transitstation vieler Hundert Flüchtlinge, die sich quer durch Europa mit dem Ziel Großbritannien bewegen. Sie halten sich „illegal“ in Europa auf und müssen sich deswegen durch das Sicherheitsnetz der britischen Grenzkontrollen schmuggeln. So schleichen sie sich Nacht für Nacht auf LKWs und Züge, in der Hoffnung nicht entdeckt zu werden. Bis dieser Versuch jedoch gelingt vergehen oft mehrere Monate, während denen die Flüchtenden starker Polizeirepression ausgesetzt sind.

Broschüre – Trying for England – Download

A person from Iran was on hunger strike for eight days inside Calais’ immigration prison before he was deported.

Hello my dear friends and thank you for helping me.

I have been in French prison for 20 days. I am going to shorten my speech – I had many difficulties in Iran, that is why I escaped. Religious and political difficulties, I can’t write them all here. Actually you know about the problems in Iran. I shall tell you some of them; firstly, I could never say what was in my heart otherwise I would be oppressed, put in prison or even executed. I escaped from Iran to Europe to have a good and comfortable life and I wish to live peacefully. What a pity it’s not like that. There are the same spiritual and physical oppressions as in Iran, while they claim they are human rights defenders. Is this a human right? Do I have the right to live? If I do, why do they treat us like animals and put us in prison? All of this is lies. They just make speeches on TV but actually everything in this world is lies. All dreams, nothing more.

Now I shall tell you about the difficulties afflicted on me by this country. I have neither seen Hungary, my feet have never touched the soil of Hungary. Nor have I fingerprints or claimed asylum there. Why does Hungary want me? And why is France going to deport me to a country where I have no fingerprints – I have never even wanted to be in that country.

I am very angry about the Judge’s verdict and have stopped eating. I will not eat again until I am judged correctly. I will not eat even if I die. I write this to you dear friends so that you know everything that happened to me. Follow my situation, don’t forget me because the French police have threatened me with three years imprisonment unless I accept the deportation to Hungary.

Thank you dear friends. Until the day of absolutely freedom and correct justice – goodbye.

Source: Calais Migrant Org.

Frankreich: Verschärfung des Asylrechts geplant

Am 25. November 2011 hat der französische Innenminister Claude Guéant Verschärfungen des französischen Asylrechts angekündigt. Ausgelöst hat die erneute Debatte die Zunahme der Zahl der Asylantragsteller in Frankreich, die im Jahr 2011 vermutlich über 60.000 gelegen hat. Eine der geplanten Maßnahmen soll die Ergänzung der Liste der sicheren Herkunftsstaaten sein. Wer aus solchen Herkunftsstaaten kommt, dessen Asylantrag wird in einem beschleunigten Verfahren behandelt. Die hier in Rede stehenden Länder sind Armenien, Moldawien, Montenegro und Bangladesch. Bangladesch steht ganz oben auf der Liste der Neuzugänge in Frankreich. Wie auch in Deutschland hat sich die durchschnittliche Verfahrensdauer in Frankreich durch die höhere Zahl von Asylneuantragstellern erhöht. Bereits im Jahre 2010 betrug sie über 19 Monate. Die gut 40.000 Unterbringungsplätze in Frankreich reichen längst nicht aus, so dass sich Asylsuchende im Winter ohne Dach im Kopf wiederfinden. (Quelle Migration News Sheet, Dezember 2011)

Frankreich: Einwanderung als Thema im Wahlkampf

Die Themen Asyl, Rechte von Einwanderern und Integration werden bei den französischen Präsidentschaftswahlen im April und den Parlamentswahlen im Juni kommenden Jahres eine wichtige Rolle spielen. Die Parteien haben sich bereits programmatisch aufgestellt.

Unter dem Motto „Den republikanischen Pakt stärken“ will die Partei von Staatspräsident Nicolas Sarkozy (UMP, konservativ) mit strengeren Einwanderungs- und Staatsbürgerschaftsregelungen im kommenden Wahljahr Stimmen sammeln. Dies geht aus den Ende November in Paris präsentierten Positionen der Partei zur Einwanderungspolitik hervor. Innen- und Einwanderungsminister Claude Guéant (UMP) kündigte parallel an, das Asylrecht weiter reformieren zu wollen. Bereits in früheren Wahlkämpfen hat Sarkozy versucht, mit populistischen Parolen gegen Einwanderer Stimmen am rechten Rand zu sammeln (vgl. MuB 9/094/09). Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Frankreich: Albtraum für Asylsuchende

Aufnahmebedingungen von Asylbewerbern in Frankreich
Einen Überblick über die Aufnahmebedingungen von Asylbewerbern in Frankreich gibt ein aktueller Beitrag von Dominique Chivot auf der Homepage der Cimade. Eine zunächst für PRO ASYL interne Zwecke und daher unlektorierte Übersetzung findet sich hier (üblicher Speicherort).
In Paris gibt es in den letzten Wochen zahlreiche Aktivitäten der sans-papiers ohne Dach über dem Kopf und ihrer UnterstützerInnen. So z.B. ein Go-In in einem Luxusrestaurant, Aufbau von Zeltlagern für diejenigen, die aus ihren Wohnungen geräumt wurden, Demos etc. Einen Eindruck vermitteln verschiedene Videos auf der Homepage des Vereins DAL (Droit au logement, übersetzt: Recht auf Wohnung).

Die Regierung hat das Problem der fehlenden Unterkünfte im Juli diesen Jahres noch verschärft, als sie der angesehenen Samu Social, die sich in Paris um Obdachlose kümmert, die Mittel um 25 Prozent kürzte. Für die Organisation war es daraufhin nicht mehr möglich, ihre Notunterkunft zu halten und Plätze in Hotels zu mieten.
Der Gründer und Vorsitzende von Samu Social, Xavier Emmanuelli, trat daraufhin von seinem Posten zurück und begründete in einem Interview mit der satirischen Wochenzeitung Charlie Hebdo seinen Schritt u.a. folgendermaßen: „Für die soziale Nothilfe sollen die kleinen grauen Männer, wie Nietzsche sagte, zuständig sein. Die Technologen, die Typen, die Struktur, Budget denken, und nicht Sorge um den anderen […] Mein ganzes Leben lang habe ich gekämpft. So etwas will ich nicht unterstützen“ (zitiert in Libération vom 19. Juli 2011).


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