Secretary of State John Kerry.
The Secretary of State, John Kerry , acknowledged Saturday the existence of “significant discrepancies” in negotiations with Tehran over Iran’s nuclear program but stressed that there has been “progress”.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the economic conference held in the Egyptian city of Sharm al Sheikh, Kerry said that “the objective of the negotiations is not simply to agree, but getting the right deal”.
He said that Iran may not be ready to accept the conditions, and revealed that if no agreement is reached further action will be taken.
The US official on Monday plans to participate in a new round of negotiations in Switzerland with the head of the Iranian diplomacy, Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Kerry recalled that US President Barack Obama has already emphasized that will not allow Iran to have nuclear weapons, which, as noted, obtain assurances that the Iranian nuclear program is peaceful, and for that consider are not insufficient penalties.
Group 5 + 1 (United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany) wants to conclude here by March 31 a political agreement with Iran to establish the peaceful nature of its nuclear program.
The parties expect complete agreement that includes technical details between now and July 1. In exchange for this agreement, the international sanctions imposed on Tehran to enrich uranium, a likely lead to the production of atomic bombs would rise.
Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has criticized the group of powers and gives a welcome speech on the occasion of the Iranian New Year on March 21.
Kerry will travel beside the Swiss city of Lausanne on Sunday to meet with Zarif.
Alliance with Egypt
On the other hand, Kerry stressed that the United States is committed to “strengthening the alliance with Egypt” and said the Arab country to advance its development requires “more comprehensive agreement with the participation of citizens”.
In his talks with Egyptian President Abdelfatah to Sisi, and Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri, stressed the need for the Egyptian authorities to respect human rights and press freedom.
They also discussed the role of Egypt in the fight against Islamic jihadist group State (EI or ISIS for its acronym in English), and Kerry showed his support for Egyptian efforts to eradicate terrorism in the province of Sinai, where a subsidiary acts the Islamic State.
During the conference, Kerry also met with Jordanian King Abdullah II and Palestinian President Muhammad Abbas, with whom he discussed the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians.
The enemy of my enemy is…
What the enemy of my enemy becomes? Because of the war against the Islamic State, this seemingly simple puzzle is now one of the biggest dilemmas of American foreign policy.
This week, 20,000 members of Shiite militias Hashed to Shabi equipped and probably also run by the Revolutionary Guards of Iran led the storming of the Iraqi city of Tikrit, a battle that can become the beginning of the end of the jihadists of ISIS.
Advances in Tikrit have been supported from the air by the bombing of the international coalition led by the United States, which puts on the same side two opponents behind the scenes trying to extend its influence in the Middle East and are engaged in delicate negotiations Tehran’s nuclear program.
“Clearly, there are some interests aligned between us and Iran,” said Friday the director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), John Brennan, at a conference in New York.
Brennan no pains to hide the obvious, although he assured the wary that “do not speak or I coordinate me” Qasem Soleimani with the commander of the IRGC, which apparently leads some military operations from Iraq.
“(Iran) has it been welcoming our bombing. They want to destroy the Islamic State and we also … It would be a misreading think that there is a mutual interest regarding DAESH (Arabic acronym for the Islamic State),” explained the week Secretary of State, John Kerry, in a tense exchange with Sen. Marco Rubio on Capitol Hill.
Despite progress, Iraqi troops and pro-Iranian militias have engaged in alleged cases of abuse and summary executions in its passage through the territories formerly under the control of Sunni EI, which has raised concerns of sectarian violence.
The sectarian fears
The complexity of the Iraqi scene is shown from war and sectarian mistrust between Sunnis and Shiites, and the conflicting interests of regional powers in the Middle East (such as Saudi Arabia and Iran).
“Iran has said that is the force behind not only Shiite militias, but groups of the Iraqi armed forces, and it is clear to the Iraqis that it (the battle of Tikrit) is an operation led by Iran,” said Anthony Cordesman the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, Thursday to CNN.
In an interview, retired Lt. Gen. James Dubik, expert at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), said this week that, for the moment, the advance of Shiite militias, along with members of some Sunni tribes, is positive and what they learn in battles like those of Tikrit be vital to an even harder goal: making Mosul.
“The only way that the Obama administration pursues its strategy is to assume that the Iranians bear the brunt of the fighting and win the battles on the ground,” said Vali Nasr last week, dean of the School of International Studies Johns Hopkins University, told The New York Times.
“The US strategy in Iraq has been successful in most thanks to Iran,” said Nasr.
But the common enemy does not preclude evidence that despite the millions spent by the United States between 2003 and 2011 to rebuild the post-Saddam Hussein Iraq and the arrival of thousands of American advisers in the last year, troops have been trained by Iran which have led the first major battle against the Islamic State in Iraq, expanding influence that some neighbors do not like.
“Iran could be gaining a lot of influence,” said Cordesman, who expressed concern about the possibility that Shiite militias start sectarian killings, fear that shares the US government.
In his speech to Congress last March 3, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was the most critical representative with the new US strategy: “With respect to Iran and the Islamic State, he warned, the enemy of your enemy is your enemy.”