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Gareth Porter offers critical analysis of the 20-month negotiations with Iran, concluding that the Iranians used their nuclear program to leverage world powers, including the US, to lift sanctions.Porter, the author of Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, was in Vienna for the final stage of the talks. His recent dispatches are here and here.
We open by recapping the central point of Porter's book: Iran did not have an actual nuclear weapons program, but used the ambiguity around its intentions to bring world powers to the table. Casting off the spin and jingoism of US corporate media, Porter praises the tactics of Ayatollah Khamenei in this process, and we note that Iran did not directly respond to the covert ops attributed to the US and Israel that killed numerous Iranian scientists, or the US/Israeli insertion of the Stuxnet virus at Iranian facilities.
Porter also explains he report from Vienna, the US negotiators appeared to intentionally delay a final agreement, playing to the grandstands in the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia. We also discuss how opponents of the deal are raising unrelated demands that were never part of the negotiation.