|Only time will tell if 5+1 is interested in serious negotiations: professor||
TEHRAN – A South Alabama University professor says only time will prove that the Western powers are interested in “serious negotiations” with Iran over its nuclear program.
“Only time will tell if the 5+1 is interested in serious negotiations,” Nader Entessar tells the Mehr News Agency.
During the talks in Moscow on June 18 and 19 Iran and the major powers (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) agreed to hold technical talks in Istanbul on July 3.
Entessar says, “If the nuclear discussions are depoliticized and are focused on technical and legal issues, Iran has a strong negotiating position.”
Following is the text of the interview:
Q: What is your assessment of nuclear negotiations between Iran and the 5+1 group in Moscow?
A: The Moscow talks between Iran and 5+1 can best be described as inconclusive. The most concrete result of the talk was that both sides agreed to continue the talks at the expert level. This can be viewed as a nod to Iran's position, which had always insisted on meeting of technical experts to lay the groundwork for substantive discussions should they become necessary in the future. Of course, we will have to wait and see what will transpire in the expert-level meetings, but I am not hopeful about the sincerity of 5+1 at the upcoming Istanbul expert meetings. It should be clear by now that if the nuclear discussions are depoliticized and are focused on technical and legal issues, Iran has a strong negotiating position. The Western members of 5+1 are keenly aware of this fact. That is why they have sought to turn Iran's nuclear negotiation into a political, rather than a technical/legal game. Only, time will tell if 5+1 is interested in serious negotiations or if it simply wants to prolong the current negotiations to give the impression that it is not engaged in a deceptive charade.
The role of the United States is the most crucial one. Since this is a presidential election year in the U.S., the Republican opponents of Obama have already turned Obama's Iran policy into their most significant foreign policy issue by attacking Obama for not being "tough on Iran." Some Republican groups are now running political ads asking the United States to launch a military attack against Iran. Given the toxic atmosphere of domestic American politics, it may well be that Obama would like to maintain the status quo and do nothing until after the November elections are over. But it is not certain that Obama will engage in meaningful negotiations with Iran even if he is reelected in
November. The record of the Obama administration in the past three years, especially in the areas of economic and cyber warfare against Iran, is not encouraging. The 5+1's long-term strategy now seems is based on dragging the sanctions regime on Iran and adding up to it as the time goes on while pretending to be interested in a meaningful diplomatic compromise with Iran. In the meantime, the West hopes that the Iranian economy will eventually collapse under the weight of sanctions, thus forcing Iran to capitulate to Western demands.
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|Last Updated on 25 June 2012 17:26|