Iran Nuclear Talks in Istanbul End in Failure for the West

ISTANBUL (Washington Post) – Diplomatic efforts to end the eight-year-old impasse over Iran’s nuclear program ran aground Saturday after Iranian officials refused to bargain with the United States and other world powers unless they first agreed to conditions including an immediate halt to economic sanctions.

The standoff, played out over two days inside a picturesque palace on the shores of the Bosporus, ended with dueling diplomatic statements and deepening pessimism about prospects for solving one of the Obama administration’s most vexing security challenges.

There was no discussion of further talks in the near future.

“This is not the conclusion I had hoped for,” Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign-policy chief, said after the talks ended shortly past noon. She acknowledged that negotiators never came close to tackling the core issues, such as Iran’s uranium enrichment program, because of Iran’s insistence on concessions from the West.

“These preconditions are not a way to proceed,” Ashton said.

U.S. and European officials said, however, they were encouraged by the cohesion shown by the six countries on the other side of the negotiating table. Those countries – the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany – have often disagreed on Iran, but the group was in lock step in their opposition to Iran’s proposed conditions, according to U.S. and E.U. officials who participated in the talks.

The group’s unanimity could enhance prospects for a broad international agreement on future sanctions or other punitive measures to force concessions from Iran in the future, the officials said.

“The Iranians are tough negotiators, and their aim was to test for splits [among the six nations] and to see if they could extract concessions on their preconditions,” said a senior Obama administration official who participated in the meetings. “They left with a pretty clear impression of the unity of this group.”

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One Comment;

  1. Norin Radd said:

    This “cohesive” group should stop playing games, reign in the 200+ nuclear arsenal Israeli now brandishes first, then we can talk about Iran’s nuclear enrichment for their nuclear power plants. This is a 30+ year one sided cat and mouse game. Every time Iran wants to make economic progress, some ridiculous excuse is used to put crippling sanctions into place while Israel is simultaneously strengthened even more.

    Iran currently has chemical weapons that are already dangerous enough and could have used them or sold them if that was their agenda, so this whole “nukes in the dangerous hands” business is nothing but a ruse to cripple them economically to prevent them from rising to world power status, which is exactly what would happen if nuclear fuel became available to them and they developed their vast gas and petroleum reserves for export. This cohesive group wants what Iran has, namely, energy, but they do not want to get it at a good price, they would like to buy it dirt cheap from an underdeveloped Iran, a developed Iran would be too tough to squeeze into a corner.

    Armenians should learn valuable lessons from the games played here by our “fellow Christians”, ultimately similar reasoning from this group of governments is behind 90+ years of allowing the atrocities committed against our people to go unnoticed except in the face of our own fellow Armenians screaming, shouting, and taking up arms to counter the “sweep under the rug” campaign that this “cohesive” group tried to pull on us.

    Nayek hyer, yev sovorek, es yerkirneren yerpek mer masin chen metaztir vorovhetev iran ztaxvatz en gelxakavor joxovuytin vor mer deme misht ashxatum.

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