Iran round-up: Tehran & 5+1 powers prepare for nuclear talks

SUMMARY: Delegations from Iran and the 5+1 Powers (US, UK, Britain, France, Germany, and China) will meet today in preliminary talks before Tuesday’s resumption of high-level discussions on Tehran’s nuclear programme.

The negotiations in Geneva are the first since discussions in Almaty in Kazazhstan made little progress in February and April. Since then, President Rouhani’s election in Iran, on a platform of “engagement” with the West, has raised hopes that advance can be made over Tehran’s uranium enrichment and the US-led sanctions hampering the Islamic Republic’s economy.

Iran has again set out its core demands in the past week. It is offering to limit uranium enrichment to 5%, with a system of inspection and supervision, provided 1) the 5+1 Powers recognize its right to enrichment; 2) it has a guaranteed supply of 20% uranium for its Tehran Research Reactor; and 3) major sanctions are lifted.

So far, the US has not indicated whether it will moves toward any of those demands. This spring, Washington insisted on “Stop, Shut, and Ship” — Iran closing its Fordoo enrichment plant, halting all 20% enrichment, and shipping the 20% stock out of the country — before any offer to ease sanctions.

However, there are indications that Britain and Germany — and possibly the European Union’s Catherine Ashton, the lead negotiator for the 5+1 Powers — are concerned about an inflexible US approach and are seeking some reciprocal step in exchange for Iran’s move towards 5% enrichment.

State TV Promotes Kerry’s Optimism on Nuclear Talks

State outlet Press TV gives a headline boost to the nuclear discussions, “Window for Iran Diplomacy Opening Up: Kerry“.

The website promotes US Secretary of State John Kerry’s remarks on Sunday:

Right now, the window for diplomacy is cracking open. While we seek a peaceful resolution to Iran’s nuclear program, words must be matched with actions.

Nor does Press TV make any derogatory comment about Kerry’s audience — the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

By EA WorldView


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