The on-again, off-again talks between Iran and the world powers known as the P5+1 will resume in Istanbul on Tuesday, at a low level.
Helga Schmid, the deputy secretary-general of the European External Action Service, is scheduled to meet Ali Bagheri, the deputy secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council.
According to a statement from the office of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, this meeting will be followed by another between Ashton and Saeed Jalili, the secretary of Iran’s National Security Council, about “the prospects for a future meeting at the political level.”
Tuesday’s meeting will be the first since technical talks were held between the two sides in Istanbul three weeks ago.
The P5+1 are the US, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany.
Israel continues to hold out little hope for success of the talks, which US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during her visit to Jerusalem last week had not achieved any substantial results.
Clinton said the proposals Iran put forward so far were “non-starters.” Despite three rounds of talks, she said, “It appears that Iran has yet to make a strategic decision to address the international community’s concerns and fulfill their obligations under the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] and the UN Security Council.”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in an interview on Fox News on Sunday, said the current round of talks with Tehran “hasn’t stopped the regime one bit, not an inch.” In fact, he said, since last year’s round of talks, Iran has “enriched material for five nuclear bombs.”
According to the prime minister, the Iranians are “basically thumbing their nose” at the international community and the P5+1.
“They are basically saying, we can talk, we can delay and we can deceive while we continue to race toward atomic weapons. So, that’s effectively what is happening.”