Iran Busy Schedule in New York

Too busy in fact to attend Barack Obama’s opening United Nations General Assembly salvo, Iran is quite preoccupied.

Hassan Rouhani delivered his remarks and then left the chamber.

On the side, there are several meetings with Iran and one such provocative session is the Iranian proposal to swap 4 U.S. citizens held in prison for 19 Iranians the United States has jailed for violating sanctions.

There are still on going side discussions over the Iran deal and many open items remain unresolved as well as how the United Nations as a global body will address the human rights violations in Iran, if at all.

Rather than listen to the countless speeches on climate change, which Francois Hollande of France pushed hard, you can bet covert operations are in full swing following who is taking Iranian representatives to lunch, cocktails and dinner.

Lining up to do business with Iran is the order of the day by U.S. corporate CEO’s.

Rouhani meets with American CEOs, seeks Iran investment

Iranian president says economic conditions created by nuke deal should be used by major firms; US companies currently banned from doing business with Tehran

TimesofIsrael: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani met on Saturday with a group of American CEOs and managers to discuss possibilities for future, private US investment in Iran once the nuclear deal signed in July is implemented and sanctions are lifted in exchange for Tehran curbing its nuclear activities.

The meeting came on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York and a day after Rouhani met with a group of editors of American media outlets.

“The post-sanctions atmosphere has created new economic and political conditions which should be used by major trade, economic and industrial firms,” Rouhani told the group of American business leaders.

Following the signing of the nuclear agreement in Vienna in July, many European states rushed to renew trade relations with Iran with countries sending delegations to Tehran to discuss possibilities. European firms were also flocking to Tehran to sniff out lucrative business deals.

The US remains an exception as core sanctions imposed by Washington will remain even after the nuclear-related sanctions are lifted, meaning US companies would not be able to do business with Tehran.

These secondary sanctions are linked to US charges of Iranian human rights violations, terrorism and other allegations of wrongdoing. They have the effect of banning doing business with Iran, with only few exceptions, such as supplying parts for Iran’s civilian aviation sector.

But Rouhani expressed his conviction that these measures would also be lifted, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

“Tehran has not impeded the presence of the US firms, and these companies can also use the competitive atmosphere resulting from the post-sanction conditions for investment and transferring technology to Iran,” Rouhani said at the meeting.

There is a lot to miss out on for US firms in Iran. The country of 80 million people generates a $400 billion economy, boasts the world’s fourth-largest oil reserves, the second-biggest stores of natural gas, and has well-established manufacturing and agricultural industries. It is also investing heavily in the tourism industry.

Rouhani was on a sort of charm offensive in New York ahead of his speech before the UNGA Monday. On Friday, he met with a group US editors to discuss a series of topics including the nuclear deal, developments in the Mideast and US-Iran ties and investment in Iran.

Rouhani said that in the wake of the nuclear deal, a door has opened for foreign investment in Iran.

“I think there are great opportunities, unrivaled opportunities, for American investment in Iran,” if the US government permits, he said.

Rouhani said relations between the two countries had improved in recent years but that there was “still a long road to travel” until they establish normal ties.

The Iranian president said the opposition expressed by some US lawmakers on the Iranian nuclear deal reflected “extremely bitter extremist judgments,” and was not well-received in Iran.

“It was as if they were on another planet,” he said, according to Reuters. “They did not seem to know where Iran was.”

“The nuclear issue is a big test within the framework of issues between the United States and Iran,” Rouhani told the group. “If we can see that we can reach success…and both sides have contributed to that success in good faith, then perhaps we can build on that.”

Rouhani said implementation of the nuclear deal would improve the atmosphere to allow progress to be made.

He also said that Iran can play a constructive role in addressing the threat of the Islamic State group, which has seized control of large swaths of Syria and Iraq, and that world powers were wrong to try to keep Iran out of the discussions on how to deal with the threat.

Iran is “a powerful and effective country in the region, this is undeniable,” Rouhani said. Without Iranian intervention on the side of the Baghdad government at a crucial juncture last year, he said, the Islamic State might already have taken over all of Iraq.

“Had it not been for Iran’s help, Baghdad would have fallen and certainly Daesh would have been ruling in Baghdad,” he said.



Secret Iran Nuclear Inspections, a Proven Fraud

The lies began in the White House with regard to the anytime any location inspections.

John Kerry is defending the IAEA and Iran fraud on the Parchin inspection that occurred last week.

Washington (CNN) The Obama administration is acknowledging that Iranians would be involved in inspections of the sensitive Parchin military site under a draft arrangement with the U.N., but officials are stressing that they are not the only ones who would be investigating the Iranian location long believed to have hosted covert militarized nuclear activity.

A senior State Department official said that the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, would have “total oversight” of sampling and inspections of Parchin under the agreement between the agency and Iran over access to the site.

“Iran is not self-inspecting,” the official said, though this official would not deny that Iranian inspectors will “play a role.”

It seems likely that IAEA staff would either be present or watching via video camera when the Iranians take samples from the site, a practice that the international nuclear agency has used in previous inspections agreements.

A senior administration official, meanwhile, said that while Iranians may be taking the samples at Parchin, individuals from other countries will be a part of their analysis. The official noted that the arrangement satisfies the demands of the IAEA. More details here.

What the secret nuclear inspection accord between Iran and the UN says _ and what others say

By GEORGE JAHN, Associated Press

VIENNA (AP) — An AP report has revealed that the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency has agreed with Iran that Iranian experts and equipment will be used to inspect Iran’s Parchin military site, located not far from Tehran, where Iran is suspected of conducting covert nuclear weapons activity more than a decade ago.

Here are some questions and answers about the document, and what it means for the larger deal between Iran, the United States and five other world powers to limit Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for easing sanctions against Iran.


According to a draft document viewed by AP, Iran has agreed to cooperate with the U.N. in answering longstanding allegations about possible past work to develop nuclear weapons at its Parchin plant — but only with the Iranians conducting the inspections themselves. Iran would collect its own environmental samples on the site and carry out other work usually done by IAEA experts. The IAEA will be able to review the Iranians’ work after the fact. The deal on Parchin was between the IAEA and Iran. The Obama Administration was not a direct party to the agreement, but apparently was aware of it.



Opponents of the broader deal are seizing an opportunity to say the entire exercise of negotiating with Iran is flawed, that it relies too much on trust of the Iranian government.



The Obama administration and other supporters say the wider agreement say it is focused on the future, with ample inspections, and that the side accord between Iran and the IAEA is focused on Iran’s activities in the past and therefore is not central to the overall deal.



Any IAEA inspection of a country suspected of nuclear irregularities is usually carried out by agency experts. They may take swipes of residue on equipment, sample the air or take soil samples in attempts to look for signs of clandestine work on atomic arms or other potentially dangerous unreported activity.

The document on Parchin, however, will let the Iranians themselves look for signs of the very activity they deny — past work on nuclear weapons. It says “Iran will provide” the agency with environmental samples. It restricts the number of samples at the suspect site to seven and to an unspecified number “outside of the Parchin complex” at a site that still needs to be decided.

The U.N. agency will take possession of the samples for testing, as usual. Iran will also provide photos and video of locations to be inspected. But the document suggests that areas of sensitive military activity remain out of bounds. The draft says the IAEA will “ensure the technical authenticity of the activities” carried out by the Iranians — but it does not say how.

In contrast, the main nuclear deal with Iran gives IAEA experts greatly expanded authority compared to what it has now to monitor Iranian nuclear activities as it works to ensure that Tehran is hewing to its commitments; reducing the scope and output of programs that Iran says it needs to generate energy but which can also be turned to making the fissile core of atomic weapons.



Any indication that the IAEA is diverging from established inspection rules could weaken the agency, the world’s nuclear watchdog with 164 members, and feed suspicions that it is ready to overly compromise in hopes of winding up a probe that has essentially been stalemated for more than a decade.

Politically, the arrangement has been grist for American opponents of the broader separate agreement to limit Iran’s future nuclear programs, signed by the Obama administration, Iran and five world powers in July. Critics have complained that the wider deal is built on trust of the Iranians, while the administration has insisted it depends on reliable inspections.

The separate agreement on past nuclear activities does not affect the broader deal signed in July. And it doesn’t appear yet that the revelation will change any votes in Congress for or against a resolution of disapproval, which President Barack Obama is expected to veto if it passes.



It could be a matter of priorities.

The Obama administration’s main focus in the broader Iran deal — signed by the U.S., Iran, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China — is crimping Iran’s present nuclear activities so they cannot be used in the future toward making a bomb. Faced with more than a decade of Iranian resistance to IAEA attempts to probe the allegations of past weapons work at Parchin, there may be a willingness to settle for an agency report that is less than definitive — and methods that deviate from usual practices.

The IAEA also appears to have recognized that Iran will continue to insist the allegations are lies, based on false U.S., Israeli and other intelligence. After a decade of stalemate it wants to close the books on the issue and allow the U.N. Security Council to do so as well.

The alternative might well have been no inspection at Parchin any kind.



Director General Yukiya Amano says, “The arrangements are technically sound and consistent with our long-established practices. They do not compromise our … standards in any way.” He says agreements with Iran on clearing up the nuclear arms allegations “are confidential and I have a legal obligation not to make them public – the same obligation I have for hundreds of such arrangements made with other IAEA member states.”



Ned Price, spokesman for the National Security Council at the White House: “We are confident in the agency’s technical plans for investigating the possible military dimensions of Iran’s former program, issues that in some cases date back more than a decade. Just as importantly, the IAEA is comfortable with the arrangements, which are unique to the agency’s investigation of Iran’s historical activities.”

Olli Heinonen, in charge of the Iran investigation as IAEA deputy director general from 2005 through 2010, says he can think of no similar arrangement — a country essentially allowed to carry out much of the probe of suspicions against it.



U.S. intelligence officials do not consider the Parchin inspections a critical part of the broader deal, according to one official, commenting only on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to be quoted. The U.S. believes most weapons work occurred there in 2003, the official says, and the site has been thoroughly cleaned up since then.


AP Intelligence Writer Ken Dilanian contributed to this report.

Who Signed the Iran Deal in the First Place?

The gesture inspection. formality.

Iranian nuclear experts have taken environmental samples from the military base at Parchin without United Nations inspectors being present, the spokesman for Iran’s atomic energy agency was quoted as saying on Monday.

The procedure for taking the samples, which could shed light on whether Iran’s nuclear program ever had a military dimension, has been under intense discussion since Tehran reached a nuclear deal with world powers in July.

Western diplomats told Reuters earlier this month inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations nuclear watchdog, would observe samples being taken.

“Iranian experts took samples from specific locations in Parchin facilities this week without IAEA’s inspectors being present,” Behruz Kamalvandi was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.

“They followed regulations and standards and the samples were given to IAEA’s experts,” the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) spokesman added. He did not rule out IAEA inspectors being present for future samples being taken.

IAEA chief Yukiya Amano visited the site at Parchin on Sunday, the agency’s first visit there in a decade. Iranian state media described the visit as ceremonial rather than an inspection.

Was the Iran Deal Signed By Anyone? Rep. Pompeo Demands Answers From Kerry

Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-KS) sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, this morning, requesting a complete and signed version of the Iran Deal finalized this summer in Vienna. The copy submitted to Congress for review, Rep. Pompeo notes, does not include the side deals signed between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), nor have any representatives of the P5+1 or Iran signed it.

“As you know, pursuant to H. Res. 411, the House of Representatives considers the documents transmitted on July 19, 2015 incomplete in light of the fact that the secret side deals between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Islamic Republic of Iran were not provided to Congress,” Pompeo wrote.

Rep. Pompeo gave Secretary Kerry the benefit of the doubt, insisting that an administrative error must be at fault for Congress receiving an unsigned version of such a groundbreaking deal. Pointing to other international agreements, which were given to Congress complete with signatures, he assumed that Kerry would tout his accomplishment in organizing this deal by presenting Congress with the full, inked version.

“I am confident that you intended for the JCPOA to be signed by each of the P5+1 participants. I can find no international agreement of this ‘historic’ nature that was not signed by the parties,” he said.

He went on emphasize the importance of having a signature on such a document, to make it binding to all parties involved. He discussed the fact that President Rouhani announced that Iran is not putting the document through its national legislative process, so as not to place legal constraints on the Iranian government or people.

“[Having signatures] is particularly important with respect to JCPOA. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has made clear that he does not believe that JCPOA is legally binding on his nation, saying, ‘If the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is sent to (and passed by) parliament, it will create an obligation for the government. It will mean the president, who has not signed it so far, will have to sign it,” Pompeo asked. “Why should we place an unnecessary legal restriction on the Iranian people?”

He closed the letter by highlighting how many concessions Iran has received in this agreement, and that there is no reason they wouldn’t sign the copy submitted to Congress to approve.

“Given the many benefits that will accrue to the ayatollahs, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, and other unsavory elements of the Iranian regime, I believe that Iran should, at the very least, bind itself to the few requirements placed on it under the JCPOA by signing the agreement,” Pompeo wrote.

*** More real cause to worry about the Iran deal:

Boosted by nuke deal, Iran ups funding to Hezbollah, Hamas

Operating on assumption sanctions will be lifted, Tehran increases support to proxies, while freezing out Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal

Times of Israel:

On Sunday, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano, arrived in Iran for talks on the nuclear agreement, as part of what appears to be an attempt by the UN nuclear watchdog to evaluate whether Iran ran a military nuclear program in the past.

Hezbollah fighters hold party flags during a parade in a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon (AP/Hussein Malla/File)

Amano is expected to meet with various Iranian nuclear scientists for answers on this very subject. On December 15, ahead of the lifting of crippling economic sanctions on Tehran, he is slated to present the world with definitive answers that will determine whether Iran complied with the terms of a nuclear deal signed on July 15. But the Islamic Republic is not waiting for a green light from Amano or the international community, and is working under the assumption that the sanctions will be lifted.

Since the deal was signed, Iran has significantly increased its financial support for two of the largest terror groups in the region that have become political players, Hamas and Hezbollah. In the years before the deal was signed, the crippling sanctions limited this support, which had significantly diminished along with Iran’s economy. But Tehran’s belief that tens, or hundreds, of billions of dollars will flow into the country in the coming years as a result of sanctions relief has led to a decision to boost the cash flow to these terror organizations.

This support, for example, has enabled Hezbollah to obtain highly developed new armaments, including advanced technologies that many militaries around the world would envy. Al-Rai, a Kuwaiti newspaper, reported Saturday that Hezbollah has received all the advanced weaponry that Syria has obtained from the Russians. The report cited a security source involved in the fighting in Zabadani, on the Syria-Lebanon border, where Hezbollah is fighting the al-Nusra Front, the Islamic State, and other groups. It is evidently the growing Iranian financial support that is enabling the Lebanese Shiite militia to purchase advanced weapons, including ones that were hitherto outside of its reach.

The increased Iranian financial support for Hezbollah in the wake of the deal is not unrelated to other political developments in the region. The growing sense of security in Iran with regard to its political status has also been bolstered by a Russian decision to increase its involvement in Syria, and may be what drove Iran to send hundreds of members of its Revolutionary Guard Corps to play an active role in the Syria fighting. Iran, along with Hezbollah and Moscow, has decided to dispatch sizable forces to the Syrian front in the past few weeks to prevent the collapse of Bashar Assad’s regime.

The Shiite-Russia axis has been anxiously watching the Islamic State creep toward Damascus in recent months, and saw the territory controlled by Assad, an important ally, diminished to the coastal region of Latakia south of the capital. The Iranians and Russians grasped that not only was Damascus endangered, but also access to the Alawite regions, from Homs to Damascus — thus the urgency for intervention, including with troops on the ground.

The high morale and sense of security among the Iranians in the wake of the deal don’t stop with increased support of Hamas and Hezbollah. Today, Iran is the main, and likely only, power attempting to build terror cells to fight Israel on the Syrian Golan Heights, in areas under Assad’s control. This does not mean that the Syrian president is aware of these attempts or green-lighted them. But for Israel, that does not matter. Tehran is investing more effort and money after the nuclear deal to carry out attacks against Israel from the Golan, even under Assad’s nose.

As regards the Palestinians, in the past two months, Iran has sent suitcases of cash – literally – to Hamas’s military wing in Gaza. Not everyone is happy about this, including some Hamas officials. Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, who was always the man who controlled the money, has found himself outside the circle of Iranian funding over the summer. Tehran, which was none too pleased by his visit to Saudi Arabia and meeting with King Salman, decided to take revenge on him in an original way. It bypassed Mashaal and has handed over the suitcases, by way of couriers, directly to the leaders of the group’s military wing in the Gaza Strip.

The exiled head of Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, Khaled Mashaal, gestures during a press conference in the Qatari capital Doha, on September 7, 2015. (AFP/ AL-WATAN DOHA/KARIM JAAFAR)

The Hamas military leaders, for their part, are happy about two things: First, the money they are receiving during a difficult economic period in Gaza; second, the opportunity to weaken Mashaal and his cronies, who have been living in luxury in Qatar and dictating to Hamas in Gaza what to do and what not to do, who to get closer to (Saudi Arabia) and who to stay away from (Iran).


Impeach John Kerry, Approving Iran’s Missiles

Iran Expected To Use Missile Saturation

WASHINGTON [MENL] — The United States expects Iran to employ massive salvos of missiles and rockets in attacks around the Middle East.

Leading U.S. analysts, including former senior officials, agreed that Teheran has been hampered by its failure to amass an arsenal of guided ballistic missiles. They said Iran was expected to overcome this through the use of massive salvos against both military and civilian targets.

“Iran’s ballistic missile forces are currently limited by their poor accuracy, but Iran is making strides to overcome this limitation in two key ways,” the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance said. “Iran’s growing production of missiles suggests that Iran will use mass attacks and saturation to overcome missile defenses and make up for limited accuracy.”


Iranian Ballistic Missile Tests Not a Nuke Deal Violation

Iran’s Rouhani: Iran ‘not committed to the restrictions on its missile program’  

WFB: Iran is permitted to test-fire ballistic missiles under the parameters of the recently inked nuclear accord, according to private disclosures made by Secretary of State John Kerry to a leading U.S. senator, the Washington Free Beacon has learned.

Nothing in the nuclear deal prevents Iran from testing a “conventional ballistic missile,” which could be used to carry a nuclear weapon, according to series of written answers provided by Kerry to Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.).

The Obama administration’s failure to rein in Iran’s ballistic missile program has emerged as a key criticism among critics of the deal. They argue that during the 15-year duration of the agreement, Iran will be given the opportunity to perfect its ballistic missile program, which could put it much closer to an operable nuclear weapon.

“It would not be a violation of the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] if Iran tested a conventional ballistic missile,” Kerry informed Rubio, according to a copy of the 86-page document obtained by the Free Beacon.

“The issue of ballistic missiles is addressed by the provisions of the new United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR), which do not constitute provisions of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),” Kerry writes, explaining that the nuclear accord does not cover such matters.

“Since the Security Council has called upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology, any such activity would be inconsistent with the UNSCR and a serious matter for the Security Council to review,” Kerry adds.

However, Rubio and others are concerned the U.N. resolutions are not actually mandatory, meaning that Iran can decide on its own whether it wants to uphold the resolutions.

“According to the new U.N. Security Council Resolution, the prohibition on Iran carrying out ballistic missile work is not mandatory, but rather the text simply ‘calls’ on Iran not to conduct such activity for eight years,” Rubio informs Kerry. “Is that the case? What are the penalties if Iran ignores this international ‘call’?”

Kerry appears to admit this is the case but claims the U.N. resolutions will “not let Iran’s ballistic missile program off the hook.”

Kerry does not elaborate on what penalties, if any, would be issued on Iran should it move forward with a ballistic missile test, saying only that “if Iran were to undertake them it would be inconsistent with the UNSCR and a serious matter for the Security Council to review.”


One senior foreign policy adviser involved in the fight over the nuclear deal called Kerry’s response “terrifying.”

“The administration is admitting that it changed the old binding language against ballistic missile development to a weak non-binding ‘call’ on Iran,” said the source, who was not authorized to speak on record. “So now the Iranians are going to be working on ballistic missiles that can hit the United States, and they won’t suffer any automatic penalties.”

“Instead, the administration says our response will be to have U.N. countries like Russia and China ‘review’ Iran’s work, which is insane—those are the countries that will be selling Iran the technology in the first place,” the source said.

Kerry’s acknowledgment that Iran is spared from restrictions on testing ballistic missiles appears consistent with rhetoric from senior Iranian leaders.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in recent weeks that the Islamic Republic will not abide by any restrictions imposed by the international community.

Iran is “not committed to the restrictions on its missile program,” Rouhani said, adding that a violation of international restrictions would not impact the nuclear accord.

“We have formally announced that we are not committed to these provisions [related to missiles] mentioned in [the] U.N. resolution,” Rouhani was quoted as saying in an Aug. 29 Persian-language speech broadcast on Iran’s state-controlled television networks.

The nuclear deal states that a violation of U.N. bans on Iran’s missile program would not constitute a violation of the JCPOA.

Within the deal, “we have explained that a violation of the U.N. resolution does not mean violation of the JCPOA,” according to Rouhani, who also said Iran’s missile stockpiles have grown under his tenure as president.

If this is not enough, how about the fact that Iran works with North Korea on joint nuclear programs that include enrichment? Well, North Korea has a ‘hot-cell’ unit that is fully operational where atomic weapons operations are based.

Read on here if you can endure more terrifying news.

North Korea's Nodong missiles

North Korea ‘hot cell’ unit could mean better, larger nuclear bombs: U.S. experts

‘Hot cell’ facility
ISIS also raised a red flag over what appeared to be a new “hot cell” facility under construction at Yongbyon, that could be dedicated to separating isotopes from irradiated material produced in the reactor.

“The signatures visible through an historical analysis of satellite imagery are consistent with an isotope separation facility, including tritium separation,” the think-tank said.

Tritium is a key component in the design of more sophisticated thermonuclear weapons with far greater yields than those made only of plutonium and uranium.

North Korea has carried out three nuclear tests — in 2006, 2009 and 2013.

The first two were plutonium devices, while the third was believed — though not confirmed — to have used uranium as its fissile material.

“Whether North Korea can make nuclear weapons using tritium is unknown although we believe that it remains a technical problem North Korea still needs to solve,” ISIS said. Read more here.

Obama/Kerry to Announce Iran Deal Czar

Given the diplomatic background of Stephen Mull, there is nothing of any significance that proves he is up to the newly created position. Simply put, this is a very odd choice but more to a puppet position. In fact, as Ambassador to Poland, he was expelled.

US to name coordinator for implementing Iran nuclear deal

Author: Laura Rozen

AlMonitor: With the Iran nuclear deal expected to emerge intact this week from a grueling 60-day congressional review, the Barack Obama administration is preparing to unveil a new office for coordinating its implementation, to be led by outgoing US Ambassador to Poland Stephen Mull.

The announcement of Mull’s appointment as US coordinator for the Iran nuclear deal implementation is expected to be made by Secretary of State John Kerry as early as Sept. 17 — the deadline for Congress to have sent a resolution of disapproval to the president, a move that was blocked by Senate Democrats — or shortly thereafter, US officials said. It is expected to come as the White House also announces the nomination of State Department Counselor Tom Shannon to succeed Wendy Sherman as undersecretary of state for political affairs, as Al-Monitor previously reported.

A veteran foreign service officer, Mull previously served as executive secretary of the State Department (2010-12), ambassador to Lithuania and, most critically, as senior adviser to then-Undersecretary of State William Burns (2008-10) when Burns was the lead US Iran nuclear negotiator and the United States was helping negotiate UN Security Council Resolution 1929 that sanctioned Iran over its nuclear program, among previous relevant assignments. (Mull was described by one former State Department colleague as “Burns’ right arm.”)

Mull, contacted by Al-Monitor, declined to comment on his anticipated new appointment before it is officially announced. His successor as US envoy to Poland, Paul Jones, was sworn in by Kerry at the State Department on Sept. 11.

Mull “is a brilliant choice,” Richard Nephew, former top State Department Iran sanctions official, told Al-Monitor, noting Mull’s experience on the Iran file under Burns from 2009-10 and wide-ranging work with agencies across the government. He may want to bring on as his deputy coordinator somebody who has invested a decade-plus specifically on the Iran file to complement his experience, Nephew said.

Beyond the near-term ribbon-cutting, the office may get off to a somewhat slow start, as Mull gathers his team, meets with all the senior people throughout the government and foreign interlocutors, and brings himself up to speed on every detail of the past two years of negotiations and the 159-page Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, former US officials suggested.

Mull is expected to oversee a small team of up to seven people, based at the State Department, who will coordinate US government implementation of the JCPOA across US government agencies as needed, including the White House, the State Department, the Treasury Department, the Department of Energy and so on.

The team will be “lean … not more than seven” people, and Mull “will have reach” across the entire interagency to convene what he needs, said a US official, speaking not for attribution to discuss the still-fluid plans for the office.

The small team working under Mull will be “coordinating this very large interagency group of people, hundreds of people,” across multiple agencies, including the State and Treasury departments and the labs employing Department of Energy nuclear experts, to ensure that both Iran lives up to its commitments under the JCPOA, and the United States lives up to its commitments, a second US official said, stressing that “the function of the team is a coordinating function.”

On the nuclear and sanctions issues, Mull brings a variety of expertise to the table, including his experience serving as Burns’ senior adviser from 2008 to 2010 when the United States was helping negotiate the critical UN Security Council Resolution 1929, and as executive secretary of the State Department, in which he coordinated lots of people to serve then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, now Democratic presidential candidate.

The coordinating team will be structured with Mull in charge; he will have an assistant coordinator and a handful of deputies responsible for different functions, including congressional reporting, verifying the nuclear piece, sanctions and sanctions relief.

The other members of the P5+1 — the permanent five members of the UN Security Council plus Germany — are also in the process of organizing themselves to implement the JCPOA. The JCPOA mandated that a Joint Commission — comprised of each member of the P5+1, plus the European Union and Iran — be established to meet regularly to coordinate implementation of the landmark Iran nuclear deal and work out any disputes that may arise.

“We are still in process and have not decided yet who will be representing us in the Joint Commission,” a Russian official told Al-Monitor, adding that Russia is likely to be represented on the Joint Commission at the expert level, rather than by its chief Iran nuclear negotiator, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov.

France is likely to be represented on the Joint Commission by its political director and chief Iran nuclear negotiator Nicolas de Riviere, a French official told Al-Monitor.

Who will lead the European Union team on the Joint Commission “is still a work in progress,” an EU official told Al-Monitor on Sept. 15. An Iran task force has been established at the European External Action Service, led by Portuguese diplomat Hugo Sobral. Also mentioned as a possibility is Stephan Klement, the longtime top nonproliferation adviser to European Union Deputy Secretary-General Helga Schmid, who played the central role in over two years of Iran nuclear deal negotiations and the drafting of the final deal, reached July 14 in Vienna.

Iranian officials told Al-Monitor they were still figuring out their representation on the Joint Commission, and they understood the same to be true of some of the other P5+1 governments.

“At this moment, all these questions are under consideration in Iran and even, I assume, by other P5+1 countries, and no definite position has yet been made on them,” a member of the Iranian negotiating team, speaking not for attribution, told Al-Monitor on Sept.16.

Diplomats from Iran and the P5+1 are expected to meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly opening session that gets underway in New York later this month. Both US President Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani are scheduled to address the UN General Assembly on the first day, Sept. 28.

The first meeting of the Joint Commission is likely to happen in New York at the political director level. “It’s supposed to be held on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York,” a senior Iranian official, speaking not for attribution, told Al-Monitor on Sept. 15. He added that the date is not finalized yet.

“Adoption day” of the JCPOA is Oct. 18 — 90 days after the UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution endorsing the deal, US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz told journalists at a press conference in Vienna on Sept. 14 on the sidelines of an International Atomic Energy Agency general conference.

Barring surprises from Congress, after Sept. 17, “our expectation … is that the agreement will then go forward,” Moniz told journalists in Vienna on Sept. 14. “Certainly our thinking … is [then] on the question of implementation.”

“This is a large task,” Moniz said. “And my view … is that over the next year and a half, the most important thing is in fact implementing well on all sides, and essentially demonstrating the value [of the Iran nuclear deal] so that … next year, what we will see [is that] the Iran nuclear program has been rolled back substantially.”

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