Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Iran Deal Done

Related: Iran Deal Near

"Long talks yielded more progress on Iran nuclear accord" by Matt Viser Globe Staff  July 13, 2015

VIENNA — Both sides had hopes to present an agreement to the world on Tuesday.


"The deal will go down as one of the most defining moments of President Obama’s foreign policy legacy by reshaping the relationship with an avowed American adversary in the Middle East. It will also be one of the signature accomplishments of the long career of Secretary of State John Kerry, The accord was striking, not just on details of a deal that will now be closely scrutinized, but that the agreement came between two avowed adversaries who have barely spoken since Iran seized the American embassy in 1979 and held 52 hostages for 444 days. Thirteen years ago, President George W. Bush labeled Iran one of three countries in the “axis of evil.”.... Deal is struck to prevent Iran from building nuclear arms"

RelatedJailed journalist back in Iranian court

Brought him back up at the bottom, so....

In an episode that seemed to capture the eagerness of all parties to finalize a deal and end the talks, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani publicly endorsed an agreement on Twitter as if it were complete — before quickly backtracking.

A tweet appeared on Rouhani’s account Monday that said the deal “is the victory of diplomacy & mutual respect over the outdated paradigm of exclusion & coercion. And this is a good beginning.” The message quickly disappeared and was replaced with a new one that was more conditional, noting only “if” the deal was struck it “will be good beginning.”

All sides continued working throughout the day Monday, stretching into the early hours of Tuesday morning and missing a self-imposed deadline for the fourth time in two weeks.

Worn down by 17 straight days of negotiations, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he was both “sleepy” and “overworked.” In what has become a near-daily ritual, Zarif, speaking from his balcony at the palace where negotiations have been taking place, indicated with a toss of his head in response to questions that no deal would be announced Monday.

At a White House briefing, spokesman Josh Earnest on Monday said President Obama was confident that negotiations were progressing and did not worry about another blown deadline, saying “If the conversations remain useful, the negotiating team will remain in Vienna.”

“What started out as rather a long list of differences has slowly — I would acknowledge slowly — but steadily narrowed,” Earnest said.

“But what’s also true is that typically some of the most difficult issues are the ones that get kicked to the end,” he added. “And that’s why the president is going to resist any effort to sort of fast-forward toward the closing here. There continue to be significant issues that remain.”


Amid a flurry of rumors and innuendo that has ricocheted around a large gathering of international journalists and delegations from seven countries, US officials have been extremely cautious about claiming progress or suggesting an endgame was near.

Diplomats are believed to be trying to overcome a dispute on whether to lift an arms embargo imposed on Iran. For US negotiators, that has been a nonstarter. It would further antagonize congressional opposition. Russia, which could benefit by selling large numbers of military weapons to Iran, has endorsed lifting the embargo.

U.S. is 75% of world market for moving weapons, and the pot-hollering-kettle selectivity in my paper? Sick of it!

Diplomats are also reviewing a 100-page document that is highly technical and needs to be reviewed by leaders in seven capitals before approval.

A final agreement would be presented to Congress, which will have 60 days to review and vote on it before the terms begin to be locked into place. Opponents would need at least a two-thirds majority to pass a disapproval resolution that could override a presidential veto. Even the possibility of a deal was under bipartisan criticism from US lawmakers and from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In Vienna, the day began with grim-faced negotiators gathering in what many had hoped would be the final day of talks.

“Secretary Kerry, are you going to extend again?” a reporter asked. “Can you rule out extending?”

Both questions were met with silence before reporters were rushed out of the room.

By the end of the day, the State Department released a photo of a last meeting among the six world powers — which concluded Tuesday at 1:16 a.m. Vienna time — and in it, nearly everyone was smiling.


Well, not everyone:

"Israeli PM aims Twitter messages at Iranians" Associated Press  July 14, 2015

JERUSALEM — Israel’s prime minister opened a Twitter account in Farsi on Monday, seeking to reach out to the Iranian public as world powers were getting closer to a nuclear deal with the Islamic republic.

He really is an idiot.

Benjamin Netanyahu strongly opposes the emerging deal, and he used his inaugural tweet to criticize it and what he described as Iranian hypocrisy.

Nice way to win them over, even if the charge were true (it's not; it's USrael that's hypocritical if Congre$$ kills this).

His first tweet included an image of Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian president, and said Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ‘‘has said Iran should fight the US regardless of the agreement, while Rouhani leads demonstrations expressing hatred.’’

Netanyahu’s office said the Farsi account will publish content similar to his English and Hebrew accounts to engage the Iranian people directly. Netanyahu has a popular following on Twitter and often tweets videos with messages critical of the Iranian government and nuclear negotiations.

As if anyone was even listening.

Meir Javedanfar, an Iranian-born Israeli analyst, said Netanyahu’s aggressive rhetoric could backfire with his Iranian audience.

Oh, you think?

‘‘I’m worried. . . . Netanyahu is going to cause more damage if he continues with the same messages,’’ he said.

He can't help himself. It's what he does just by moving.

The account quickly gained more than 600 followers, with many users mocking him.

Twitter, Facebook, and other popular social media sites are technically banned in Iran, but Iranians are active on Twitter through proxy servers.

Key leaders, including Khameini, Rouhani, and Foreign Minister Jared Zarif, all have large followings and tweet official statements.

Netanyahu’s office said it has not decided whether to interact with politicians on the new Twitter feed.

Netanyahu has lobbied against the deal, saying it would leave too much of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure intact. On Monday, the prime minister complained in Jerusalem that world powers are ready to make an agreement ‘‘at any price.’’

Well, it looks like the world is sick of his complaints. 

So when does the rash of Mossad hit teams start descending on certain nations? Just did Tunisia.


Meanwhile, the Saudis continue to bombard Yemen with nary a peep from the "world community."

They are all talking about this:

"New deal for Greece faces stiff opposition" by Suzanne Daley and Liz Alderman New York Times  July 14, 2015

ATHENS — Forced by his nation’s creditors into broad new concessions to avert financial collapse, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of Greece returned home Monday with just days to sell the deal to fractured lawmakers and a dazed electorate.

Not dazed enough to be furious and out in the streets. 

You won't be any words referring to that in this propaganda pre$$ piece. That might give people bad ideas.

The agreement he struck with other European leaders early Monday after a contentious all-night bargaining session would give Greece the chance to receive its third international bailout in five years, a package of as much as $96 billion, as well as easier repayment terms on some of its existing debt of more than $330 billion and a short-term economic stimulus plan.

But it would require Greece to swallow a wide array of measures, including pension cuts and tax increases, and effectively subject itself to intensive international oversight in order to qualify for the aid. 

Listened to the radio show for a bit yesterday and he was right: they just turned Greece over to the bankers, who want to own this whole planet in a return to feudalism.

The agreement gave Tsipras only through Wednesday to win legislative approval for central elements of the agreement, most of which he and his left-wing Syriza party had adamantly opposed for months. And he flew back from Brussels into a political landscape in upheaval, with portions of his party in revolt, his coalition partner rejecting the deal, and his own role in the long-running drama completely changed.

In signing on to the deal, however reluctantly, Tsipras suddenly found himself the champion of policies he was elected to oppose and the best hope for de-escalating a crisis he had helped create.

How interesting. 

Related: Greek debt crisis: Meet the Goldman Sachs banker who got rich getting Greece into the euro

Yeah, Goldman Sachs really $crewed the Greeks.

Now there is talk of a lawsuit?

Not a word in my Globe about that. 

And she got paid how much?

Should he succeed in carrying out the policies set out in the agreement, he would oversee just the kind of market-based, good-government changes that creditors have been demanding and successive Greek governments have failed to deliver for years.

Do the honorable thing, Tsipras. Resign now.

As the talks ended in Brussels, Tsipras, who had once vowed to overturn the austerity policies he says have undercut the Greek economy and left its people suffering, was no longer talking of “blackmail” by creditors or “hostage taking.” Instead, he said the new package of proposals would “maintain Greece’s financial stability and provide recovery potential.”

To Germany and other nations that went into the negotiations fed up with Greece’s inability to get its financial act together, the outcome was fair and the new requirements necessary to assure that the Athens government lives up to its commitments. But to some Greeks, and to critics of the German-led policy of imposing deep budget cuts as a condition for aid, the deal amounted to an unwarranted violation of Greece’s sovereignty.

Yeah. The banking "troika" now own Greece.

Either way, it appeared to remove the immediate threat of Greece’s financial crisis escalating to the point that the country might be forced to abandon the euro as its currency. By Monday afternoon, the European Central Bank had signaled that it would maintain its credit line to Greece’s at its current level, leaving the banks, which have been closed for two weeks, in severe distress but with a chance to muddle through until a bailout deal can be finalized.

When one analyzes what happened there, it was no less than extortion. 

Across Europe, there was relief that a deeper crisis had been averted, but continued debate about whether Germany and its allies, in taking a hard line with Greece, had pushed Tsipras into an untenable and volatile political situation that could lead to further trouble down the line.

“The advantages far outweigh the disadvantages,” Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany said at a news conference Monday morning, explaining her decision to accept the deal and recommend that the German Parliament also grant its approval.

“The country which we help has shown a willingness and readiness to carry out reforms,” Merkel said, referring to Greece.

In Athens, Tsipras spent most of the day behind closed doors meeting with party officials.

By the early evening, some repercussions from the deal were beginning to take shape. The far-left faction of his party announced that it would vote no on the new proposals, while his right-wing coalition partners said the deal was “unacceptable.”

But with many other parties willing to vote for the package, his most pressing problem was more likely the speaker of Parliament, Zoi Konstantopoulou, also a member of Tsipras’s Syriza party, who objected to Tsipras’s attempts to pass narrower proposals last Friday.

Some analysts said Konstantopoulou, a stickler for rules, could prevent him from using the fast-track procedures that would be necessary to get the job done in time to satisfy European leaders. Portions of the plan must be passed by Wednesday, and more a week from Wednesday.

Obama got his fast track under a South Carolina shooting(?), and ever since talk as gone away.

Among the elements that must be dealt with this week are increases in the value-added tax, including the end of a special tax status for the Greek islands, a makeover of the pension system, and the imposition of automatic spending cuts if the government misses budget targets.

Konstantopoulou issued a statement saying she had no intention of resigning, even as Tsipras’s allies talked of impeaching her. 


Tsipras and most Greeks say that austerity is what killed the economy, especially after previous governments slashed state spending 20 percent since 2010 under previous bailouts, mainly by cutting pensions, wages, health care, and social services, impoverishing many Greeks.

It's what the financial wizards and bankers want for us all, and they have their tools in government to accomplish just that. Welcome to the future.

One of the more contentious new demands from creditors — one that is likely to prompt an outcry among Greeks — is that Greece transfer $55 billion worth of state assets to a fund that would have international monitors. The fund would oversee sales to pay down Greece’s debt and help recapitalize its teetering banks.

Otherwise known as a BANK BAILOUT.

So what are those assets? 

Well, "Airports, Airplanes, Infrastructure And Most Certainly Banks."

Although many Greeks are bewildered at the situation, some see a silver lining. 

I'm no longer bewildered that the propaganda pre$$ pos NYT would shovel that.

“You could say that this is actually a good moment,” said Dimitris Zouzoukis, 43, a banker who is involved in trade finance. “Change has to happen somehow in Greece. We need structural reforms.”

Change is coming, but it is never the kind the people want.


Oh, there is a protester.

Heeeere's another one:

"Greek deal not worth celebrating" by Steven Syre Globe Columnist  July 14, 2015

Markets around the world celebrated Europe’s latest deal on the Greek debt crisis, driving stock prices higher from Milan to London to New York on Monday.

The rich got richer!

But celebrate what, exactly?

The agreement, reached early in the morning between Greece and its European creditors, did avert what could have been a true financial calamity this week. The country really was and remains on the brink of running out of money.

The catch: That deal did absolutely nothing to help or even acknowledge Greece’s hopeless inability to pay back the mountain of debt it owes. If anything, it may have made matters worse. The European Union remains one the world’s craziest dysfunctional families.

Yeah, it plunged them even further into debt with all the aid being sent right back as current debt payments. The people will see nothing, and now the banks own their country.

This is the end, and now they will be penetrating Iran, right?

The basics of the latest settlement involve a third bailout loan, probably exceeding $90 billion, in return for a list of more steep concessions. Greece stays in the European Union and keeps the euro as its currency.

But there is a lot that could still go wrong.

Party pooper.

The pact needs approval within the next few days by Greece’s parliament — the same body that, along with voters, rejected less strenuous concessions two Sundays ago. Then there will be negotiations on lots of details for months ahead. What could possibly go wrong?

“We have 36 or 48 hours where lots of things have to get done, conditionality that has to be stamped and approved,” said Erik Weisman, the chief economist at MFS Investment Management in Boston. “Seemingly, any 36-hour period in the past week came with unexpected twists and turns.”

Why the rush? The whole thing is moving in slow motion. Just gotta get that deal signed so they can wave it in your face, "Pay up!!" I mean, this deal is going to nothing, absolutely nothing, to ameliorate the sufferings of the Greek people in the immediate short term. That is what is needed most.

But investors didn’t hesitate when they heard the news Monday.

Hey, I'm happy then. You happy?

Stock markets across Europe rose — from a low of just below 1 percent in Great Britain to nearly 2 percent in France. Bond prices across Europe rose, driving yields lower.

US stock markets followed suit, and the Dow Jones industrial average advanced more than 1.2 percent, climbing 217.27 to 17,977.68.

A couple of exceptions to the positive trend: US government bonds traded down, and the value of the euro slipped more than 1 percent to $1.10 because investors believed calmer conditions in Europe make it more likely the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates before long.

Of cour$e.

But it’s hard to see the news moving all those markets so positively because the agreement between Europe and Greece simply perpetuates a bad situation.

Well, if it is -- and it is -- a rigged game.... ?!

The Greek economy has shrunk by about 25 percent since the crisis began. One of every four workers is unemployed.

Those are depression-level statistics, and Greece’s economy won’t begin to recover anytime
soon without a more constructive approach to the country’s debts, which top $240 billion. That's everywhere.

The global elite, the really .01% although the top 1% are doing fabulous, some is trickling over to well-connected concerns and agenda-pushing companies to the tune of 10%, and then there are the rest of us. We are all Greeks now.

“The net net is they can’t afford it,” said Dan Fuss, a vice chairman and bond fund manager at Loomis Sayles & Co. in Boston. “They’re not going to be able to pay it back, so how much longer do you want to string it out? That’s up to the lender, and that’s Europe.”

How long can they keep the $hell game Ponzi $cheme of private central banking arm-waving and such? Just a little longer so they can scoop up more dough. Hou$e is collapsing around them, the foundations of their projects crumbling, and yet the managers are chasing dollars in a burning home. Sigh.

The austerity conditions imposed by that lender are at least as big an impediment to economic recovery as the actual debt payments due. Among the new requirements: privatizing Greek assets worth about 50 billion euros, or $54.97 billion in US dollars, money that would go into a fund to pay European lenders.

I've already di$cu$$ed the fund.

It’s fair to say Greece needs a lot of economic and governmental reforms, but imposing them in the middle of a depression isn’t leading to better times for anyone. And the latest round of demands — thanks to a group of countries led by Germany — feel more punitive than past measures.

They had to punish Tsipras so no one else would dare challenge the "troika."

Recent negotiations with Greece have stressed other, much more important relationships within the European Union, especially between Germany and France. Economically, Greece is a very small fish in the European pond. Is the conflict over how to deal with its debt and keep it in the eurozone really worth it? 

And yet it could collapse it and have major ramifications? WTF?

For now, leaders in Europe and Greece still believe so. But that difficult relationship is leading to yet another deal that solves none of their real problems. It’s nothing for markets, or anyone else, to celebrate very much.

Must be why Iran is the headline.



"A new agreement between Greece and its lenders helped lift US stocks Monday, extending a winning streak to a third day. The tentative deal removes an immediate threat Greece will default on its debts and abandon the euro. The deal requires Greece’s parliament to pass tax increases and other measures by Wednesday. Major markets in Europe rallied: Germany’s DAX climbed 1.5 percent, France’s CAC 40 surged 1.9 percent, and Britain’s FTSE 100 finished 1 percent higher. Worries about Greece and China have buffeted stocks but barring any bad news from either country, investors will probably shift their attention to earnings reports as major corporations turn in second-quarter results. Marathon Petroleum soared 8 percent Monday, the biggest gain in the S&P 500, following its announcement that a partnership it runs will buy MarkWest Energy Partners, a company that works with natural gas. Microsoft said it would roll out Windows 10 in late July; its stock rose 2 percent. In China, the Shanghai Composite added 2.4 percent, rebounding after a slew of government measures to halt a dramatic slide. The Hang Seng rose 1.3 percent."

I'll probably be dropping links for they rest of the coverage because I'm not going to be into reading the self-adulating articles that will be coming. I'm done with that stuff. I'm happy their is a deal with Iran. We'll see what happens going forward on that. Probably split off the Greece coverage at this point.