The Rendon Group Snapshot Report – 18 July 2016

by TRG Alerts Admin on July 25, 2016

The Rendon Group

 

18JUL16

 

Each week The Rendon Group’s media analysts will focus on a different continent and a different issue affecting that continent. As always, we remain available to answer any questions you may have and to provide additional information upon request. For more information regarding The Rendon Group’s products and services, please contact us at Alert@Rendon.com or +1-202-745-4900.

 

Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action: The Iran Nuclear Deal, One Year On

Negotiators posed for a photo after it was announced that Iran and six major world powers (P5+1) reached a deal // Reuters

 

This week’s snapshot focuses on the one year mark since the 14JUL15 signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear agreement with Iran. Leaders responsible for the deal have hailed it as a victory while opponents on all sides continue to criticize the deal as flawed. Since the deal entered into force, Iran has warned that if the other signatories do not live up to their end of the terms, Terhan will restart its nuclear program. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations nuclear watchdog, Iran is complying with the key nuclear parameters. However, the deal, which must hold for years to come in order to be successful, is riddled with fragilities including posturing in the strategic Straight of Hormuz, ballistic missile testing, sanctions relief and overall mistrust.

 

News summary of events during the week of 11JUL17 – 17JUL17

  • 11JUL: Iran said three dual nationals and a foreigner were held in the country and were indicted on unknown charges, following a series of detentions in the wake of last year’s nuclear deal with world powers. (AP)

  • 11JUL: Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps dispatched five military vessels to monitor a US warship hosting one of America’s top generals on a day trip through the Strait of Hormuz, coming as close as 500 yards. (Reuters)

  • 12JUL: The spokesman of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation said Iran and France agreed to cooperate on the multi-national nuclear fusion project known as ITER. (AFP)

  • 12JUL: Iran condemned a rally in France by an exiled opposition group it labelled a “stinking corpse” and said it would denounce any country that backed it. (AFP)

  • 12JUL: Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned the French ambassador over a Paris rally held over the weekend by an exiled Iranian opposition group. (AP)

  • 13JUL: Iran’s president said the Islamic Republic could restore elements of its nuclear program that were halted under its landmark deal if world powers that backed the agreement don’t live up to their end of the bargain. (AP)

  • 13JUL: A poll, conducted for the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM) by the independent polling organization IranPoll.com in JUN16, showed that right after the deal was reached on JUL14 last year, 76 percent of Iranians approved of it. (World Views)

  • 13JUL: Top Iranian negotiator Hamid Baeidinejad said Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers is holding a year after it was agreed but more needs to be done to ensure its full implementation. (AFP)

  • 14JUL: A Russian envoy announced that a meeting of the Joint commission of Iran and the P5+1 on the implementation of the nuclear deal will be held in Vienna on 19JUL. (TASS)

  • 15JUL: Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called on the United States to choose diplomacy over intimidation and to fulfil its obligations under a year-old nuclear deal with world powers. (AFP)

  • 18JUL: Tasnim news agency reported that Russia delivered the missile part of S-300 surface-to-air defense system to Iran, moving to finish the delivery of all divisions of the system to Tehran by the end of this year. (Reuters)

Sample of Twitter handles tweeting about

  • @TomCollina – Tom Z. Collina, Policy Director, Ploughshares Fund

  • @AmbassadorRice – Susan Rice, White House National Security Advisor, former US UN Ambassador

  • @BeladonnaRogers – Belladonna Rogers, Writer, lawyer, former columnist for PJ Media.

  • ‏@NegarMortazavi – Negar Mortazavi, Iranian-American Journalist and Commentator

  • @Cirincione – Joe Cirincione, President of Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation

 

Sample of Third Party Validators regarding the

 

Karim Sadjadpour, Senior analyst, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

“Given the high expectations people had of the nuclear deal, it was inevitable that it would be followed by a degree of popular disillusionment.”

  • “One year after Iran nuclear deal, poll shows growing disappointment among Iranians,” WP, 13JUL2016

 

Nancy Gallagher, Interim director, Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland

“Iranians appear to have underestimated how much the remaining U.S. sanctions coupled with uncertainty about future U.S. policies would affect their ability to access frozen funds and engage economically with countries besides the United States,”

  • “One year after Iran nuclear deal, poll shows growing disappointment among Iranians,” WP, 13JUL2016

 

Bruce Reidel, Director, The Intelligence Project and Senior Fellow, Brookings Institute

The Iran deal is a good one…But it has had consequences that are dangerous and alarming. In the end, Riyadh and Tehran are the only players who can deescalate the situation. The Saudis show no sign of interest in that road.”

  • ‘What the Iran deal has meant for Saudi Arabia and regional tensions,’ Brookings Institute, 13JUL16

 

James F. Jeffrey, Philip Solondz Distinguished Fellow at The Washington Institute and former U.S. ambassador to Iraq and Turkey

The JCPOA’s reverberations continue to echo throughout a Middle East that is arguably less secure than it was last July, in part because of the agreement. The problem lies not so much in the deal’s terms, which will complicate any Iranian effort to obtain nuclear weapons capability for at least ten years. Rather, the region perceives that its political effects have encouraged, even enabled Iran’s hegemonic quest, and there is enough truth in this view that the burden is on Washington to show it is not the case.“

 

Robert Einhorn, Senior Fellow, Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence and Senior Fellow, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative, Foreign Policy program, Brookings Institute

“A final verdict on the JCPOA is many years away. But it is off to a promising start, as even some of its early critics now concede. Still, it is already clear that the path ahead will not always be smooth, the longevity of the deal cannot be taken for granted, and keeping it on track will require constant focus in Washington and other interested capitals.”

  • The Iran deal: Off to an encouraging start, but expect challenges,” Brookings Institute, 13JUL16

 

Sample of open source research conducted by TRG analysts related to the

 

1. One Year On, Kerry Satisfied With Iran Nuclear Deal

 

Media: Wall Street Journal

Byline: FELICIA SCHWARTZ

Date: 14 July 2016

 

PARIS — Secretary of State John Kerry said the Iran nuclear agreement “has lived up to its expectations,” marking the first anniversary of the landmark accord reached last year between six world powers and Iran to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

 

Since the accord took effect in January, Iran has complied with the key nuclear parameters, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations nuclear watchdog. Tehran has slashed its stockpiles of uranium and heavy water in addition to pouring cement in the core of its Arak reactor as part of a process to convert it to a modified reactor that is seen as posing a much reduced nuclear-proliferation threat.

 

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2.  Nuclear deal holding but more work needed: Iran negotiator

 

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Byline: N/A

Date: 13 July 2016

 

Tehran, July 13, 2016 (AFP) – Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers is holding a year after it was agreed but more needs to be done to ensure its full implementation, a top Iranian negotiator said Wednesday.

 

The total process has been relatively satisfactory despite the difficulties that we see in the implementation,” Hamid Baeidinejad told a press conference in Tehran for the first anniversary of the agreement.

 

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3. After nuclear deal, Iran sticks to wary tactics in key Gulf waterway

 

Media: Reuters

Byline: Phil Stewart

Date: 11 July 2016

 

ABOARD THE USS NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) – Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps on Monday dispatched five military vessels to monitor a U.S. warship hosting one of America’s top generals on a day trip through the Strait of Hormuz, coming as close as 500 yards (meters).

 

For Army General Joseph Votel, who oversees all American military forces in the Middle East, the approaches were a safe though worrying reminder of how little time American forces have to decide whether IRGC ships might pose a threat.

 

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4. Iran urges US to choose diplomacy over coercion

 

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Byline: N/A

Date: 15 July 2016

 

Tehran, July 15, 2016 (AFP) – Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has called on the United States to choose diplomacy over intimidation and to fulfil its obligations under a year-old nuclear deal with world powers.

 

The Iran Deal was a triumph of diplomacy over coercion,” Zarif wrote on Twitter late Thursday, the first anniversary of the July 14, 2015 accord with Washington and five other major powers.

 

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5.  One year after Iran nuclear deal, poll shows growing disappointment among Iranians

 

Media: World Views (Washington Post)

Byline: Adam Taylor

Date: 13 July 2016

 

A year ago, the United States and other world powers reached a historic deal with Iran. Economic sanctions that had hobbled the Islamic republic’s economy and led to international isolation would be lifted. In return, Iran agreed to terms that would restrict its nuclear capability, including strict international monitoring.

 

For many in Iran, the immediate response to the agreement was jubilation. As a real deal began to take shape over months of painstaking negotiations, some had taken to the streets to celebrate, honking car horns and waving Iranian flags.

 

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