Tuesday, 22 May 2012

The Latest from Iran (22 May): Tehran Plays Up Hope for Nuclear Talks

Yukiya Amano and Saeed Jalili0545 GMT: We begin with a notable contrast in presentations of Monday's talks in Tehran between Iranian officials and Yukiya Amano, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency. 

Amano maintained a diplomatic line while revealing little about the discussions, which took place two days before the Islamic Republic meets formally with the 5+1 Powers (US, UK, France, Germany, China, and Russia) in Baghdad:

[The] negotiations were very useful. We held expanded and intensive negotiations in a good atmosphere. Definitely, the progress of talks will have a positive impact on negotiations between Iran and the P5+1. Of course these are two different issues but they can strengthen each other.

Asked about a framework agreement for inspection and safeguards on Iran's nuclear activity, Amano said only, "I will not go into details but the agency has some viewpoints and Iran has its own specific viewpoints." 

Iranian State outlet Press TV is not so reserved. Indeed, it is almost gushing. It features the remark of Saeed Jalili, Iran's lead nuclear negotiator, "We had very good talks with Amano today and, God willing, we will have good cooperation in the future." To drive the point home, a second article profiles the Jalili-Amano meeting with the assurance that the Supreme Leader has said nuclear weapons are forbidden, "Leader Fatwa offers great capacity for N-disarmament: Jalili":

“The Islamic Republic of Iran's approach in opposing nuclear weapons is an important capacity for the agency and Iran will actively work with the agency toward [nuclear] disarmament…and peaceful use of nuclear energy,” Saeed Jalili said.

Amano's more cautious statement? It is headlined, "Talks with Iran in Good Atmosphere".

Iran's embrace of the IAEA should be matched with its opening line for the Baghdad talks: the initial step must be a Western easing of sanctions. Two stories on Press TV, including its top "Iran" article, drive the point home: "Lifting Iran Sanctions Can Prove P5+1 Goodwill: Lawmaker" and "Lifting Sanctions N-disarmament, Focus of Baghdad Talks: Iranian MP".

And behind the hope and the "You First" to the US and European powers, there is still the chest-thumping of the Islamic Republic's strength --- Fars is pushing this story:

Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabadi said threats and pressures cannot deter Iran from its revolutionary causes and ideals, and stressed that the Iranian nation will remain committed to the full annihilation of the Zionist regime of Israel to the end.


from EA WorldView: EA Iran

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