Iranian Negotiators Complain of Changing Positions as Talks Extended
Though negotiators said that they had hoped to reach a nuclear agreement by today, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that talks would continue into the weekend. As part of a law passed earlier this year, any deal that is reached now will be subject to a longer 60-day period of congressional review. “All we ...
Though negotiators said that they had hoped to reach a nuclear agreement by today, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that talks would continue into the weekend. As part of a law passed earlier this year, any deal that is reached now will be subject to a longer 60-day period of congressional review. “All we are focused on is the quality of the agreement. It has to be able to withstand the test of time,” Kerry said in a press statement yesterday.
Iranian negotiators expressed frustration at what they characterized as shifting positions and disagreements among the P5+1. “It’s not like a multilateral negotiation. It’s like we’re doing five bilateral negotiations,” one negotiator said. “Everyone now has their own red line.” Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said meetings this morning with Kerry and EU diplomat Federica Mogherini were “constructive.” When asked if talks would continue to Monday, he replied, “I hope not.”
Yemen Ceasefire Set to Begin
A humanitarian pause to the fighting in Yemen is set to begin today and last one week, through the end of Ramadan. “The Secretary-General has received assurances through his Special Envoy from the Houthis, the General People’s Congress and other parties the pause will be fully respected and that there will be no violations from any combatants under their control,” a statement from the United Nations said.
- The Assad regime has accepted an additional $1 billion line of credit from Iran, building on $3.6 billion in previous credit.
- France and Germany have agreed to accept 21,000 refugees and asylum seekers from the Middle East and North Africa; 12 people drowned and 500 more migrants were rescued off the coast of Libya.
- The Algerian government has mobilized the army to pacify southern regions of the country after ethnic violence between Arab and Berber residents in the town of Guerara killed 22 people.
- The United States has arrested more than 10 people over the past month for ties to the Islamic State, some of whom were plotting attacks, according to the FBI Directory James Comey.
- Saudi Arabia’s Prince Saud al-Faisal, who was the country’s foreign minister from 1975 until just earlier this year, died at the age of 75.
Arguments and Analysis
“The Brotherhood’s Post-Pacifist Approach” (Abdelrahman Ayyash, Sada)
“The debate is yielding nuanced — and at times contradictory — arguments about the use of violence. At the same time that some Brotherhood members say it is a tactical response to day-to-day police violence; the MB’s old guard seems unable or unwilling to find a political alternative to what young members are proposing: ‘smart violence.’ These MB activists support a specific kind of violence that targets certain elements of the regime — not the indiscriminate sort employed by radical organizations. Indeed, this narrow and tactical approach reflects how far violence is from the core of Brotherhood doctrine; it’s also garnering more support among the group’s ranks. For its part, the MB leadership appears wary of losing ground to its youth wing by outright opposing the use of violence. But gradually, party elites have shifted from issuing a number of statements affirming the pacifist nature of MB political action to offering justifications for its limited use. However, such rhetoric is not yet as prevalent in recent MB discourse as to represent a major strategic overhaul.”
“The Syrian Southern Front: Why it Offers better Justice and Hope than Northern Front” (Marika Sosnowski, Syria Comment)
“While in many ways the union is borne out of strategic necessity the real difference with the formation of the Dar al-‘Adl is that nearly all the factions seem to back it, whereas the courts in the north are more fragmented and affiliated with smaller sets of armed groups. As such, the northern courts do not command the same authority or legitimacy with Syrians that the southern court seems to be garnering. Additionally, the relative strength of the Southern Front, gained in part through the consistent coordination and backing of the MOC, have enabled the creation of a unified court that includes groups such as al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham. The formation of the court draws on lessons learned from the north in seeking to prevent the Islamists from creating their own systems of governance.”
-J. Dana Stuster
JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images