Thursday, 7 June 2012

The Latest from Iran (7 June): Nuclear Talks Fallout

0610 GMT: Blame-the-West Watch. Yesterday we posted the snap analysis, given the possible breakdown of the nuclear talks, that the regime would pursue a strategy to ensure the Supreme Leader was not blamed for Iran's economic difficulties, likely to be accentuated by further outside pressure as well as internal tensions.

More evidence for that assessment --- Ali Saeedi, the Supreme Leader's representative to the Revolutionary Guards, has asked Iranians to fully obey Ayatollah Khamenei because "enemies aim at [destroying] unity between the nezam [system] and the people".

0520 GMT: At one point yesterday, Reuters was preaching optimism over the nuclear discussions between Iran and the "West". The news agency was playing up a statement from Ali Asghar Soltanieh, the Islamic Republic's envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency that a deal on inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities was in sight.

"We will try to continue to work on the text of the structured approach. Hopefully we will be able to conclude it in a way that it will be...a good basis for our work in the future," Soltanieh reportedly said. "I'm always (an) optimist and I hope that the agency also takes into serious consideration our concerns."

Within hours, that statement had evaporated.

Reuters had not seen the text of Soltanieh's statement at the IAEA meeting, published in full by Iranian media. Far from holding out optimism, the envoy was pronouncing that the Agency had become a tool of the US and other powers, collecting and creating intelligence that could be used not only to damn Tehran but also --- although Soltanieh left this implied rather than saying it directly --- endangering Iranians such as the country's nuclear scientists.

The envoy concluded with a defiant line. Iran would not give way on its right to uranium enrichment in any circumstances.

And Soltanieh's statement was only part of a bigger offensive by the Islamic Republic. Its nuclear negotiators, Saeed Jalili and Ali Bagheri, said the European Union's negotiators had refused preparatory talks for the formal meeting in Moscow with the 5+1 Powers (US, UK, France, Russia, Germany, and China) on 18-19 June.

The message was all too clear. Whether from desperation that an agreement --- which could stave off further sanctions --- was receding, from preparation of blame for the breakdown, or from blunt pressure on the "West" to make some concession, Iranian officials were declaring that Moscow would be a show without significance.

Now President Ahmadinejad is part of the campaign. Speaking at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Beijing, he complained:

In several stages, [we have] pursued and requested the continuation of negotiations at the level of [EU foreign policy head Catherine] Ashton’s deputies and the Secretary of our country’s Supreme National Security Council Jalili], and no result has been yielded. 

We believe that the West is after concocting excuses and wasting time.

from EA WorldView: EA Iran

Posted via email from lissping