Participants sit at a table during talks on Iran.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Stanislav Filippov)
American and Israeli analysts are pessimistic over reports that Tehran will
provide a written promise to the UN that it will not develop nuclear
“Iran plans to declare in the UN that it will never go after
nuclear bombs,” Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi said on Tuesday, AP quoted
the Iranian Mehr news agency as reporting.
He further claimed that
international sanctions against Iran were trying to stop its “scientific
progress,” according to the report.
Experts are, however, pessimistic
about any chance of success in negotiations with Iran. Different Iranian leaders
are saying contradictory things, Patrick Clawson, the director of research at
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told The Jerusalem Post
“[Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei’s speech a few weeks ago took a
much more plausible approach than Rahimi’s ‘never’ comment: Khamenei said if
Iran wanted nuclear weapons, no country could stop it, but Iran does not want
the weapons,” Clawson said.
“Rahimi is given to flamboyant comments,”
“In the March 12 Mehr news account of his speech, he said,
‘The sanctions are to Iran’s benefit.... Without a doubt, the pain [from the
sanctions] led to a great treasure for Iran.’ He went on at length about how
well Iran can do without oil because of its great scientific and technical
He then added, ‘Without oil, our neighbors would be riding
around on camels.’ Great for Iran’s relations with the Iraqis and GCC [Gulf
Cooperation Council] states.
In other words, his words don’t mean much,”
Prof. Meir Litvak of the department of Middle Eastern
history and the director for the Alliance Center of Iranian Studies at Tel Aviv
University, told the Post
on Wednesday that Iran’s word is not good
“What can be said is that promises are nice, but you need
mechanisms to verify such pledges, and make sure that Iran does not renege at
any time it wants, and God is always in the details,” Litvak said.
flurry of recent reports of Iranian officials taking conciliatory positions is
seen by analysts as an attempt to relieve the pressure of sanctions on the
Islamic Republic’s economy.
Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia and Oceania
Seyed Abbas Araqchi said on Tuesday that the G5+1 (the five permanent UN
Security Council members plus Germany) negotiations were better than in the past
and he hoped for positive results, the Fars News Agency reported.
Monday, the Iranian ambassador to France, Ali Ahani, said, “We are seeking a
peaceful use of nuclear energy, which is completely within our legal and
Because of this, we are insisting on this legitimate
right of ours because our people should be able to use this technology for
energy and medical purposes,” Mehr news reported.
“We have announced our
readiness to reach an agreement to provide the necessary guarantees that our
nuclear program is civilian and will remain civilian,” he said.
month, a confidential International Atomic Energy Agency report stated that Iran
had begun installing advanced centrifuges at its main uranium enrichment plant
in Natanz. These machines could allow Iran to speed up its nuclear
Michael Rubin, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute
and a former Pentagon official, told the Post
that “Iran has a decades-long
history of breaking promises. The day after they promised to lift the bounty on
[author] Salman Rushdie, for example, so as to get the British ambassador back,
they reimposed it. And don’t even ask about promises to respect
embassies.”Reuters contributed to this report.