Saturday, 26 January 2013

Iran Live Coverage: The Blame Game over No Nuclear Talks

0715 GMT: Nuclear Watch. More signals on Friday that there will be no talks between Iran and the 5+1 Powers (US, Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia) over Tehran's nuclear programme before the Iranian Presidential election in June....

Last week Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi proposed that the high-level discussions, last held in Moscow in June, resume soon in Cairo. The US and European Union made no response to that offer, saying instead that Tehran was procrastinating over terms for significant talks.

On Friday, Fars News Agency said Helga Schmid, the deputy negotiator for the 5+1 Powers, had called her Iranian counterpart Ali Bagheri. She allegedly asked for a delay in the date for talks to February “because the P5+1 isn’t ready”.

Michael Mann, spokesperson for lead 5+1 negotiator Catherine Ashton, threw back the claim, "Nonsense....The reason for the hold-up is not the 3+3 [5+1 Powers]. Iran is constantly moving the goalposts. We are ready and have been for a long time.”

Western officials have already revealed the deadlock behind the rhetoric, telling reporters that the 5+1 Powers will not make significant changes to their proposal from last June. "Stop, ship, and shut" demands that Iran halt enrichment of 20% uranium, send all existing stock outside the country, and close its second enrichment plant at Fordoo.

The Iranians have made clear, through their proposals of step-by-step reciprocity, that they will only give up 20% enrichment for significant sanctions relief and recognition of their right to enrich uranium, probably to 5%.

from EA WorldView: EA Iran

Posted via email from lissping