Around discussions between Iran and the West

Around discussions between Iran and the West

Tehrān : Iran | Feb 22, 2012 at 2:59 AM PST
Views: Pending
Iran Starts Enrichment at Fordo underground Site this month- Key Step to Nuclear Weapon 01-08-12

After more than a year break, will resume talks between major powers and Iran regarding its nuclear program, diplomats announced in many western countries. After weeks of tensions in the Strait of Hormuz and while speculation abounds about possible Israeli military strikes on Iranian nuclear sites, diplomacy seems to recover. "Everyone wants to calm things down," said a European official, stating: "calm the Israelis."

If the decision to initiate discussions on the west side seems gained, after an offer of talks made ​​Feb. 14 by Iran, the terms and process parameters are still the subject of intense consultations. A central question is very delicate, even within the group of Western countries dealing with the case of proliferation: how far to make concessions to Iran to maintain a thread of dialogue?

The Obama administration and Germany would support flexibility, while France and the UK warn against negotiations devoid of credibility that would let Iran buy time to continue its nuclear work, if the requirements stringent are not preserved.


Central to the debate: how Iran would be, or not, have to suspend all uranium enrichment, an activity that can lead to the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons. The stay application is included in the resolutions of the Security Council passed UN since 2006. But Iran has refused to comply, at least in full, demanding in return that international sanctions are lifted.

The major powers have yet to agree on the linkage between any freeze of sanctions against Iran? or their growth? and a freeze on uranium enrichment? or part of this activity. France, for its part, seems reluctant to settle for a freeze of Iran's uranium enrichment to 20%, with no guarantee that the enrichment to 3.5% will also be interrupted , binding in a sequence.

But a drive to reduce tensions seems now engaged, and that is precisely the fear of a military slippage in the Gulf region, amid heavy international economic pressures on Iran, which seems to push the protagonists to sit around a table.

REDUCING THE RISK OF Israeli strikes

Diplomats said the target date for the talks is early April, after the Iranian holiday of Nowruz Day, March 21. Interesting coincidence: many "leaks" in the Israeli media had, of late, spread the idea that the "launch window" for a military scenario, begin precisely in the spring.

The resumption of talks between Iran and major powers would significantly reduce the risk of Israeli strikes, at least for a while ... that Iran would have a natural interest in making it last. For, whatever the immediate result of these discussions, it would be difficult for the Jewish state from claiming any legitimacy when bombing resumed efforts to seek a negotiated settlement.

The sequence is preparing diplomatic answer, therefore, a major concern of the Obama administration: "hold Israeli fire" as long as possible, to allow new oil sanctions take effect. Avoid parallel, a slippage in the Middle East military rushed a regional conflagration with unforeseeable consequences, and a surge in oil prices detrimental to the reelection campaign of U.S. President.

What a turn, and, more importantly, what content, have the awaited talks with Iran? Formally, the model would be the same as the Istanbul meeting in January 2011, which had hardly been conclusive. On the one hand, the envoys of the six powers (U.S., Russia, France, UK, China, Germany) since 2008 to coordinate somehow on the nuclear issue, and are supported by the European High Representative, Catherine Ashton. The other, the Iranian envoy Saeed Jalili, who in a recent letter to Ashton, said he was ready for discussions "at the first opportunity."

Russia, which continues to defend the idea of ​​a broad compromise with Iran, including an elimination "step by step" of sanctions, is emerging as the major card on which the regime in Tehran seeks to build. "The Iranians have shown themselves adept and will be difficult for us to maintain the unity of the Group of Six," said a Western official.

The resumption of talks with Iran, if it can give the impression of a complete reversal of the situation after the sound of boots heard in recent months, is not, however, a huge surprise. The Tehran regime has already, in the past, sought to defuse external pressure suitable for diplomatic choreography.

The venue for the upcoming meeting is not fixed. Iran has indicated that he would like everything happens in Istanbul, focusing on the complexity of its relationship with Turkey, both countries and regional competitor essential economic partner. West side, some would prefer Beijing to better engage the Chinese, whose cooperation is sought for the sanctions policy.


French side, we want to see anyway in these preparations a validation of the policy of strengthening international sanctions that the Elysée has strongly advocated in recent months. Iran, the West confronted in efforts to establish a boycott of its oil to international markets, would be willing to make concessions. "If they want to negotiate is that you take the good end," suggests a diplomat.

The Iranian gesture can be read as a form of retreat, since Tehran had once declared "closed" nuclear issue, considering not having to detail the nature of its work. A mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the audit arm of the UN, was to complete, Tuesday, Feb. 21, a new mission in Iran.

But the letter from the Jalili Iranian envoy also contains, as noted by the French Foreign Minister, Alain Juppe, the "ambiguities" significant. It does not waive the requirement of Iranian sanctions lifted and acceptance of uranium enrichment - the two preconditions that derailed the talks in January 2011.

In addition to its consummate art of negotiation, Iran seems very concerned, also, to "manage" its domestic public opinion, on the eve of the election on March 2, the first election deadline in the country for the events of 2009 followed a massive crackdown. Regime, where the clans clash conservative plays on nationalistic chord by announcing scientific achievements more or less credible. By being willing to talk with the great powers, it also seeks to shirk the responsibility of the economic difficulties experienced by the population, due to sanctions

1 of 8
Iran is already under three sets of UN sanctions over its refusal to suspend the sensitive nuclear enrichment
Iran is already under three sets of UN sanctions over its refusal to suspend the sensitive nuclear enrichment
Nazish Fatima is based in Rāwalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
Report Credibility
  • Clear
  • Share:
  • Share
  • Clear
  • Clear
  • Clear
  • Clear

News Stories

  • IAEA says no breakthrough on Iran visit

      NOW Lebanon
    Director General Yukiya Amano said in the statement. "We engaged in a constructive spirit, but no agreement was reached." The statement gave no further details and did not say whether another visit was planned. These negotiations will continue in the...
  • Iran raises tension by threatening pre-emptive action

      Guardian Unlimited
    Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, right, with Mohammad Hejazi, the deputy head of the Islamic republic's armed forces. Photograph: Hasan Sarbakhshian/AP Iran has stepped up its rhetoric with the west by warning that it could launch pre-emptive...
  • Iran threatens pre-emptive strike 'if national interests endangered&#...

      New Europe
    Tensions are rising in the Middle East, with Tehran announcing that it will not hesitate to act pre-emptively rather than wait to be attacked, as Israeli antagonism over Iran's controversial nuclear programme mounts. Our strategy now is that if we...
  • Iran says would act against enemies if endangered

      Zee News
    Iran is facing increasing international pressure and isolation over its disputed nuclear activity. Expanded Western sanctions aim to block its economically vital oil exports and Tehran has said it could retaliate by shutting the Strait of Hormuz...
  • IAEA talks to Iran amid saber rattling

      United Press International
    Iranian and international officials are meeting this week over the country's controversial nuclear enrichment activities but odds of progress were seen as slim. First, Iran was unwilling to recognize the team as inspectors and instead described them...
  • Nuclear talks with Iran have failed, says UN watchdog

      Mail and Guardian
    The United Nations nuclear watchdog said on Wednesday it had failed to secure an agreement with Iran during two days of talks over disputed atomic activities and that the Islamic Republic had rejected a request to visit a key military site. Tehran to...





More From Allvoices

Related People

Report Your News Got a similar story?
Add it to the network!

Or add related content to this report

Use of this site is governed by our Terms of Use Agreement and Privacy Policy.

© Allvoices, Inc. 2008-2014. All rights reserved. Powered by PulsePoint.