Iran must insist on its nuclear policy in Rome talks

October 23, 2007 - 0:0

TEHRAN - The Iranian nuclear team must appear unified in Tuesday’s talks with European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, political analyst and former diplomat Ali Khorram said on Monday.

Ali Larijani has resigned as Supreme National Security Council secretary and has been replaced by former deputy foreign minister Saeed Jalili.
Larijani will meet with Solana in Rome today along with Jalili.
“The negotiating team should have full unity and coordination so that its views will be influential,” Khorram told the Mehr News Agency.
“It is not at all proper and will have a very bad reflection abroad if it is perceived that Larijani has taken part in the Rome negotiations as the representative of the Supreme Leader and Jalili as the representative of the president. Instead, the behavior of the Iranian negotiating delegation must demonstrate unity in strategy and no change or differences in nuclear policies.”
Under an August 21 deal, the IAEA and Tehran agreed on a timetable for addressing the remaining ambiguities about Iran’s nuclear activities. IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei has called the agreement “an important step in the right direction.”
Khorram said the U.S. and its European allies were trying to downplay the importance of the nuclear deal between Iran and the IAEA, and in such a situation, where the 5+1 group has said that the results of the talks between Larijani and Solana, along with ElBaradei’s report about progress in Iran-IAEA talks, will affect its decisions, Tehran should not allow the U.S. to use the change of negotiators to take advantage of the situation.
Before Larijani resigned as SNSC chief, the West described him as “conservative” but now it is saying that he was a “moderate” who favored nuclear talks, Khorram noted.
He went on to say that if Jalili proves himself as a “flexible politician” and even takes a “more moderate” position than Larijani, then it can be said that Iran will pass this stage.
International expert Alireza Davari said that the Rome nuclear negotiations are of great importance since the sanctions committee of the UN Security Council will make decisions based on the outcome of the talks.
Commenting on Larijani’s performance, Davari said Larijani had efficiently carried out his duties and his presence at the talks will be an encouragement for Jalili as the new nuclear negotiator.
“The world should know that any change in posts will not alter Iran’s nuclear policy,” he told MNA.
In a separate interview with MNA, MP Reza Talaii-Nik said that Iran should try to manage the repercussions of Larijani’s resignation in the nuclear talks in the best way possible.
He predicted more tension over Iran’s nuclear activities, saying that Iran should not leave the path of “reasonable persistence.”
Lawmaker Heshmatollah Falahat-Pisheh said the Iranian team should insist that the country’s nuclear dossier should be taken off the agenda of the UN Security Council and returned to the IAEA.
Journalist Jalal Khoshchehreh said Larijani’s resignation has made the EU uncertain about Iran’s nuclear stance.
The Tuesday meeting should assure the European side that Iran’s nuclear policy will not be altered, he added