DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 25, 2013, 10:04 PM (GMT+02:00)
debkafile’s exclusive Washington sources reveal exclusively: President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry secretly agreed to elevate Iran to the status of seventh world power, as a strong inducement for signing the interim nuclear accord in Geneva Sunday, Nov. 24, for living up to its obligations in the coming six months and for then signing a comprehensive agreement.
While Iran has always demanded respect and equal standing as a regional power, never in their wildest dreams had the ayatollahs expected to be granted big power standing, with an authoritative role recognized by the six big powers for addressing issues in a broad region spanning the Persian Gulf, the Middle East and Western Asia, including Afghanistan.
debkafile’s Iranian sources report that President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif presented this awesome achievement Monday to their hard-line critics at home, who accused them of giving away too much in terms of Iran’s nuclear program for the sake of a deal with the West.
We come home from Geneva with recognition as a world power, they replied.
The small print of Iran’s new rating is not yet in place, but Western sources familiar with the new US-Iranian understandings say they would not be surprised to find President Rouhani sitting in future summits on the same side of the table as the six powers who faced Iran in the Geneva negotiations. Zarif would also attend future foreign ministers’ meetings as an world-class equal.
Jerusalem and Riyadh are aghast at this development. Our Jerusalem sources report that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has kept it back from his cabinet colleagues, has been holding back-to-back confidential consultations with the heads of Israel’s security and intelligence services and the high IDF command to decide how to handle Obama’s sudden replacement of Israel with Iran as America’s No. 1 ally in the region.
Most immediately, a hostile Iran with a role in the ongoing US-sponsored negotiations with the Palestinians does not bear thinking off.
The Saudi royal house is deep in similarly anxious and angry discussions.
Some of debkafile’s Western and Israeli sources in the two capitals say Israel and Saudi Arabia both find Iran’s promotion to world status more shocking and deleterious even than its pretensions to a nuclear weapon. Neither had imagined the Obama administration capable of an about face so extreme.
debkafile has obtained full details of the secret US-Iranian deal as concluded between Kerry and Zarif in Geneva and endorsed by the Russian and Chinese foreign ministers. They will be revealed in the coming DEBKA Weekly Issue No. 613 out next Friday, Nov. 29.