The recent round of talks between Iran and the 5+1 group (five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) on Iran’s nuclear program ended in Almaty, Kazakhstan, with the two sides promising to further deliberate on details and inform each other about how they would continue the negotiations in the future.
During the recent talks, Iran seemed very determined to reach a deal with the 5+1 group as it put forward a new plan containing tangible solutions for the nuclear dispute. Now, it is the other side’s turn to reach a consensus on how to interact with Tehran and stop adopting fragmented and politically motivated views toward Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities.
The talks ended with no hint at where and when the two sides would meet again in the future. This was mostly due to the Western governments’ inability to decide on Iran’s initiative. European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who lead the major powers in the talks, announced at the end of negotiations that Iran and the 5+1 group are still much distanced on their views. However, the position seemed to fit the Western members of the group and not the views of China and Russia.
Iran has always adopted a realistic stance and declared that it is ready to cooperate in case the other side recognizes Tehran’s fundamental rights. However, the other side continues to go the opposite way and insists on its bullying stance which further delays the talks bear fruition. This is while Western governments, including the U.S., have repeatedly claimed that they are hopeful about a diplomatic settlement to the nuclear dispute with Iran.
The West is in need of diplomacy with Iran otherwise it will suffer huge setbacks. The recent talks in Almaty clearly manifested Iran’s determination to interact and cooperate with the international community. Now, it’s time for the West to prove its goodwill.
Mohammad Jamshidi is a professor of international relations at the University of Tehran.
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