Saturday, 9 June 2012

The Latest from Iran (9 June): Spiralling to a Nuclear Breakdown

0530 GMT: Friday's news reinforced my belief that the nuclear talks between Iran and the 5+1 Powers (US, UK, France, Germany, China, and Russia). Both sides leaked letters to blame the other for the suspension of preparatory talks before the formal negotiations resume in Moscow on 18-19 June. The Iranians said the US and European Union were refusing their requests for expert discussions. The European Union said the issues had been raised at the high-level Baghdad talks two weeks ago and the Iranians needed to address the political substance of the 5+1 proposals on uranium enrichment.

The further, public signal of difficulty came from Vienna, where the International Atomic Energy Agency said its talks with Iranian officials over a protocol for inspections had been "disappointing", with no date set for a further round. The outcome was strikingly different from that in Tehran 18 days ago, when IAEA head Yukiya Amano said talks with the Islamic Republic had been positive and a deal on inspections was imminent.

In contrast, the IAEA's global head of inspection, Herman Neckaerts was gloomy on Friday: "There has been no progress. And indeed Iran raised issues that we have already discussed and added new ones."

US and European officials used the setback to pile on pressure. "It should by now be clear to everyone that Iran is not negotiating in good faith," one "senior Western diplomat" said, while a European envoy asserted, "This is a dismal outcome....Iran is simply wasting time with its evasions and refusal to engage."

Nackaerts said his team had come to the meeting with a desire to finalize the deal and had presented a revised draft that addressed earlier stated concerns by Iran.

"However, there has been no progress," he told reporters.

"And indeed Iran raised issues that we have already discussed and added new ones. This is disappointing. A date for a follow-on meeting has yet to be fixed."

from EA WorldView: EA Iran

Posted via email from lissping