Iran news headlines on Thursday include EU expressing pessimism over next Iran nuclear talks; Iran distributing staple-food coupons to help country’s poor; Iran envoy to Baghdad warning of strait closure if US chooses war; Iran’s former top nuclear negotiator decision to run in upcoming presidential elections and dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University remarks over sanctions against Iran nearing end of effectiveness.
More than two months after US President Barack Obama’s re-election opened the way for new six-power nuclear talks with Iran, no date or location for their first meeting since June has been set.
The apparent scheduling woes have combined with recent comments from an Iranian official to raise concerns that the unprecedented sanctions pressure imposed on Iran over its nuclear programme has failed to make the country more pliable — on the contrary even.
Iran’s government may distribute staple foods to 17 million of the country’s poorest people before the Iranian year ends on March 20, Mehr reported, citing an unidentified Commerce Ministry official. Rice, sugar and cooking oil would be handed to those identified as being in need, the official said, according to a report today by the state-run news agency.
The United States has nothing left to pressure Tehran over its nuclear programme except for war, and if it chooses conflict Iran could close a key energy chokepoint, its envoy to Baghdad told AFP on Thursday. Ambassador Hassan Danaie-Far insisted in an interview that Tehran retained the right to close the Strait of Hormuz, through which a third of the world’s traded oil passes, in response to any aggression, military or otherwise.
There are various speculations on the possibility of Hassan Rowhani candidacy in the 11th presidential election which is scheduled to be held in June 2013. Hassan Rowhani, Iran’s former top nuclear negotiator in an interview with Fars said, “I’m still evaluating the issue.” Meanwhile, Tasnim News had claimed yesterday that the candidacy of Hassan Rowhani in June’s presidential election has become “final.”
A leading academic says there’s not much more the world can do to sanction Iran, and that such penalties could drive Tehran to take radical action. The regime of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear activity “really has reached its end,” Vali Nasr, dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, said during the World Economic Forum in Davos.
The Iran Project is not responsible for the content of quoted articles.