Thursday, June 19, 2014

Iran Nuclear Talks: Major Gaps Remaining

‘Almost no major area of dispute has been effectively settled yet’ 
With just one month remaining in the expiration of the interim nuclear agreement, JPOA, Iran and P5+1 negotiators seemed today unable to settle any major areas in dispute, Al-Monitor reported tonight. There is now a real possibility that the two sides would be forced to renew JPOA for another six month, questioning the viability of any comprehensive agreement in future.

The biggest news in the current round of talks is the surprisingly strong Russian and Chinese support of United States and EU’s insistence on reducing the current size of Iran’s enrichment centrifuges. Russia and China have been regarded as the most consistent and sympathetic allies of the Iranians

Uranium enrichment is an area Iran needs to make a hard choice between continuing its demand to increase its current centrifuge numbers to between 50,000-100,000 or accept the unified (and not just Western) P5+1 demand of reducing the current inventory to a few thousands. Iran wants to provide fuel to Bushehr power reactor, even though Russia is committed to do so, and the West wants to prolong Iran’s breakout capability.

The current round of talks between Iran and P5+1 will end on Friday. There are reports that the next round would be held on 2 July, three weeks before the expiration of JPOA.

Photo credit: (L to R) EU Deputy Secretary General Helga Schmid, Vice President of the European Commission Catherine Margaret Ashton, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Iranian deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi attend P5+1 talks with Iran at the UN headquarters in Vienna, June 17, 2014. (Dieter Nagl/AFP/Getty Images/Al-Monitor)


Mark Pyruz said...

From Iran's perspective, the "demand" is an insistence of pursuing a civil, industrial-scale nuclear power program, within the framework of the NPT.

While the Russians and Chinese represent the more moderate view at this level of nuclear talks, a fuller rendering of support for Iran is provided within the 120-nation organization that is the Non-Aligned Movement.

Anonymous said...

but Iran's government's perspective is not shared by the rest of the world and will do nothing to save Iran's economy or help Iran's people.

Anonymous said...

The big power should know Iran's plan "B" is already simulated and in fact very much valid should the sanctions not being removed. The path towards the plan "B" was already initiated during the reign of Ahmadinejad and it has continued to be updated during Rohani's time. As a matter of fact the precondition for any talk was to get the new government to fully accept the plan "B", this was the reason the IRGC didn't object the election of the moderate Rohani and it was exactly the reason for stopping Mosavi and Kahrobi five years ago as the platform for the preparation of plan "B" was yet not ready and the IRGC wanted free hands and time to complete it.
The Russians and the Chinese are aware of this plan due to their extensive intelligence network in Iran and that is the reason they have a softer tone against Iran and want the negotiations to continue. Russia and China are not sharing this information with the West as they think it might put Iran even in a worse relationship with the Western powers.
Western powers on the other hand believe they can push Iran into "win/lose" game as the current government is afraid of the sanctions and its implications. What they do not know is the shadow power of IRGC which will ensure redlines are not crossed.
The plan "B" is a complex multi-faceted and detailed preparation for staged reactions to external/internal actions/threats in the domains of economic, military, social and political areas. This plan will replace government's policies and indirectly give IRGC the full control of the country. The "when" and "if" of the execution of the plan is determined by the Supreme Leader. As such Rohani has no say to stop its execution or the timing of it. Part of the plan includes the "realization of strategic deterrence capability".

Unknown said...

The Non-Aligned states are simply that, non aligned and immaterial.

It comes as a surprise though, that Russia, which is now under U.S sanctions as well, is siding (along with China) with the West to pressure Iran on its nuclear program. It's like no one wants an industrial-scale nuclear program in Iran.

Can anyone explain the Russian position to me and what lies behind it, I mean the strategic and political calculations of the Russians?

Nader Uskowi said...

Russia does not want to see a nuclear Iran next door. They consider Iran's insistence that it needs to operate 50,000+ centrifuges to fuel Bushehr unacceptable, because they have already committed to providing the fuel, and they are indeed doing that, and Iran does not have any other reactors. The suspicion on their part, as well as the West, is that Iran needs those large numbers of centrifuges for rapid breakout capability (the amount of enriched uranium needed to make a nuclear weapon).

Anonymous said...

God forbid if the islamic regime is nuclear armed. The worse type of dictatorship is a religious dictatorship. This curse must be removed from Iranzamin.

Unknown said...

Uskowi, I cannot but wonder, what exactly is your personal view on Iranian breakout capability? Don't you think Iran needs to have it for defense purposes (the idea that a strike on Iran would trigger nuclear armament on Iran's part, wich makes the attack too costly)?

And don't you think that, had Iran acquired nuclear weapons (or breakout capability, without the actual nukes) 34 years ago, it wouldn't have had to spend 500 billion dollars on the war with Iraq, and that it would be much safer today?

Isn't it the duty of Iranian leaders, after 8 years of imposed war (6 years were Khomeini's choice but it came as a response to Saddam's invasion) and a massive Soviet-Anglo invasion prior to that, to acquire some sort of capability that would deter enemies from attacking or even threatening?

I know this isn't Iran's formal position in the nuclear talks, but I'm just asking.