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Iran-Big Six talks are no success

Iran-Big Six talks are no success

Five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany are expecting Iran's response on halting its nuclear programme.

Iran proposed Cairo as venue for talks on the nuclear programme with the “Big Six” international negotiators scheduled for late January. Egyptian authorities already approved the meeting in Cairo. Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) of Iran Saeed Jalili and EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton are now finalizing the date and time of the meeting. Earlier, the negotiations between Iran and the Big Six were reported to be held on January 28-29 in Istanbul.

PanARMENIAN.Net - In 2012, representatives of the “Big Six” and Tehran held three rounds of talks in Istanbul (April 14), Baghdad (May 23-24) and Moscow (June 18-19). All these meetings yielded no decisions.However, the meeting of the “Big Six” and Iran has been postponed. “To my deep regret, the reasons for such delays are absolutely inadequate. Some of our partners from the “Big Six” and the Iranian side fail to agree the venue of meeting. They engage in ideological dispute on the venue,” the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said. “I see no point in continuing such sticky conversation on a trivial matter. We are ready to meet anywhere and as soon as possible,” Lavrov emphasized. “The essence of our talks is more important than the entourage of this or that place. I hope the reason will prevail, and we’ll stop these childish whims,” Lavrov stated.

The background of these meetings is as follows: Five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany expect Iran's response on halting its nuclear programme, but the impression is the parties fail to hear each other. None of them wants to step back to achieve a compromise, but they will have to. In 2012, the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that Washington would not tolerate an open-ended dialogue between the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany and Iran. “We expect to see concrete commitments from Iran,” she said.

Also, the U.S. will further press Iran through various sanctions, Clinton mentioned.

“We enter into these talks with a sober perspective about Iran's intentions. It is incumbent upon Iran to demonstrate by its actions that it is a willing partner and to participate in these negotiations with an effort to obtain concrete results,” she declared. “Our policy is one of prevention, not containment. We are determined to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

The “Big Six” expects Iran to suspend its nuclear programme, while Tehran flatly refuses to do so. The Iranian side persists that its nuclear programme is meant for peaceful purposes only, and it does not strive to develop nuclear weapon. In this case, it’s worth mentioning again that the U.S. and EU vigorous “activities” with regard to Iranian nuclear programme have no grounds whatsoever. Israel which claims it fears a nuclear strike by Iran has around 400 nuclear warheads ready to be launched. Yet nobody asks where it took this weapon from and who it aims to strike. Turkey too has nuclear war-heads, the Ameican ones. This does not change anything either; no sanctions are looming over Israel or Turkey and will hardly ever be. The situation is different in case of Iran. The U.S. seeks to strengthen its position in Central Asia after the infamous war in Afghanistan and tries hard to break Iran’s resistance. Many observers say that all this aims not to halt the nuclear programme but rather change the regime the West cannot control, and the nuclear programme is too suitable a pretext not to use one.

The U.S. is free to believe it was the one who forced the Iranian government get back to negotiations. However, the global policy is not pursued so directly, nor does it go the way Washington wishes. Iran perhaps is heading for talks to tell the truth about its nuclear programme to the world; even IAEA inspectors could not say anything about the potential military orientation of this programme.

It should be noted that this will be the last meeting with Iran with participation of Hillary Clinton. The new Secretary of State John Kerry is said to be pursuing a milder negotiation-based policy. Kerry will hardly support Obama if the latter suddenly decides to attack Iran. The results of the recent vote in Israel should also be taken into account. Benjamin Netanyahu is not much convincing in his efforts to present Iran as the “devil incarnate”. Most likely, the negotiations will continue for a longer period until Iran really faces serious economic and social problems. In any case, the data on Iranian nuclear bomb is much exaggerated. Same was the case with Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction and Bashar Assad’s alleged chemical weapon. As to Kerry, he has not yet demonstrated a wish to get involved in dubious undertakings. The U.S. should have worried about strengthening of Qatar and Saudi Arabia instead of Iran’s nuclear programme. In addition, the consequences of the Arab chaos also need to be tackled.

Karine Ter-Sahakian
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