Skooter reporting 03/07/12
The global powers dealing with Iran’s not clear-cut nuclear program announced Tuesday that they would resume face-to-face negotiations.
“I have offered to resume talks with Iran on the nuclear issue,” said Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign affairs chief, who represents the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany in dealings with Iran. “We hope that Iran will now enter into a sustained process of constructive dialogue which will deliver real progress.”
The decision to carry on the negotiations could reduce rising pressure from Israel to use military force against Iran but not without risks. Direct talks could allow Iranian negotiators to take advantage of various nations’ differences. Failure could suggest a justification for military strikes.
The positive response of Ms. Ashton to an Iranian proposal made last month to get back into the negotiating table comes at a flimsy moment in the years-long effort to restraint in Iran’s nuclear aspirations. Her answer came just in time after President Obama appealed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to give diplomacy and economic sanctions an opportunity to work before taking impulsive or military action.
The Israelis are in doubt whether international pressure will lead Iran to dump its uranium enrichment activities, which Israel and the West believe are a cover for Iran to achieve the capability to make nuclear weapons. Iran has insisted that the activities are for peaceful means.
Mr. Obama defended his stand on Iran against Republican critics who called him too soft at a news conference in Washington Tuesday. Conversely, Mr. Obama said, he had profoundly cut off the Iranian authorities and had helped to push them to resume negotiations.
Lately oil prices soared due to fears of a pre-emptive Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities and this means it is a threat to the already frail state of a global economy still staggering from a sovereign debt crisis in Europe. At the same moment, the Iranians have extremely felt the grip from sanctions aimed at pushing the government to immobilize its uranium enrichment program.
The resumption of talks signifies a significant step forward because all six parties agreed to participate.
Source: New York Times