Last Updated: Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:35 pm (KSA) 09:35 am (GMT)

Renewed nuclear talks with Iran begin in Kazakhstan

World powers and Iran's representatives sit at a table during talks on Iran's nuclear programme in the Kazakh city of Almaty on February 26, 2013. (AFP)
World powers and Iran's representatives sit at a table during talks on Iran's nuclear programme in the Kazakh city of Almaty on February 26, 2013. (AFP)

World powers will meet negotiators from Iran in Kazakhstan on Tuesday, in a renewed bid to reach a breakthrough over its nuclear program.

P+5 representatives from Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States are hoping to coax concessions out of the Iranian team, led by Saeed Jalili.

However Iran has already dashed hopes by installing next-generation centrifuges at its Natanz nuclear plant, according to a U.N. nuclear watchdog report.

Jalili also stated that his country would not go beyond its obligations or accept anything outside its rights under the non-proliferation treaty (NPT).

“If they want constructive negotiations, it’s better this time they come with a new strategy and credible proposals,” Jalili told reporters before he left for Kazakhstan.

Dr. Theodore Karasik, of Dubai based think-tank INEGMA, says that for progress to be made “we are going to have to see what each side brings to the table, a middle ground” will have to be found.

World powers will present Iran with a “good” offer, said the spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

“We hope that Iran will seize this opportunity and come to the talks with flexibility and commitment to make concrete progress towards a confidence-building step,” he said according to Reuters.

Speculation over the P+5 offer has been centered on a potential softening of sanctions against Tehran, possibly starting with a lifting of measures against its gold industry.

The track record of such meetings, the last of which was held in Moscow, June 2012, has not been positive. They yielded “no results,” according to Karasik.

The crux of the dispute remains Iran’s insistence that it will not abandon its uranium enrichment operations.

The two day meeting takes place as sanctions bite against the Islamic Republic and the possibility of an Israeli air strike against Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons drive lingers on.

However, Karasik says the threat is not perceived as valid by Iran.

“Iran is able to read Israel and the West and what they are planning, it seems Israel and the West have lost the political will for a military solution,” to the decade-long crisis.

If Iran is going to advance its program, they beleive “now is the time to do it.”

North Korea as a role model?

There are fears that North Korea’s nuclear testing, which has continued unabated despite international condemnation, has buoyed Iranian efforts to advance their own program.

North Korea could act as a model for Iran, says Karasik, in fact “ because of the close relationship between the two, some commentators believe Iran is using the Asian country as a research and testing ground.”

The negotiations will take place in the city of Almaty and will run until Wednesday.

Comments »

Post Your Comment »

Social Media »