|Uranium-processing site in Isfahan 370.(Photo by: Reuters)|
Iran expects continued ‘constructive’ nuclear talks
By JOANNA PARASZCZUK
Tehran "very serious" about renewed talks with IAEA and P5+1, but Gaza crisis delaying possibility, expert tells 'Post'.
Tehran expects nuclear talks with global powers to continue “in a constructive
manner,” Iran’s ambassador to Russia said Monday.
Ambassador Mahmoud Reza
Sajjadi said that Iran was “looking forward to a constructive attitude from the
P5+1 [permanent UN Security Council members China, France, Russia, UK, US plus
Germany],” according to Russia’s ITAR-TASS news agency.
Sajjadi said that
Tehran hoped reelected US President Barack Obama would help “change the conduct
of the United States as regards Iran and choose a more logical
“We hope that Obama will stick to the promises he made
regarding the Iranian [nuclear] issue during his first term,” Sajjadi told
reporters at a press conference.
The P5+1 powers are set to meet on
Wednesday to discuss negotiating strategy.
Last week, Russia’s Deputy
Foreign Minister Sergei Riabkov urged the resumption of nuclear
Riabkov made his comments during a meeting with Iran’s nuclear
negotiator Saeed Jalili in Tehran, and said that the talks could also include a
recognition of Iran’s right to enrich uranium, according to Iran’s state news
Three rounds of talks since April have failed to resolve the
long dispute over Iran’s nuclear program, which Western powers and Israel say is
aimed at developing a nuclear weapons capability.
The last round of talks
in June ended in deadlock.
Some analysts say that the current crisis in
Gaza may hamper future nuclear talks, however.
Scott Lucas, an expert on
Iran from Birmingham University in the UK and founder of the EAWorldview site,
told The Jerusalem Post on Monday that Iranian regime were “very serious about
renewed talks on the nuclear program –- with the International Atomic Energy
Agency and with the 5+1 Powers.”
“But the Gaza crisis has put a hold on
the possibility,” he said.
The latest developments regarding nuclear
talks come days after the IAEA released its latest quarterly report on Iran’s
nuclear program; and weeks before Iran is set to resume discussions with the
IAEA December 13 regarding the inspection of its nuclear facilities.
IAEA report found that Iran has installed additional centrifuges at its Fordow
underground enrichment complex – although the total number of centrifuges in
operation has not increased – and at its Natanz complex, both of which
facilities are regularly inspected by the IAEA.
According to the Arms
Control Association’s summary of the report, the IAEA said Iran has continued to
enrich uranium to the 20 percent level, producing 232 kilograms of enriched
material, of which 96 kg. has been either converted or earmarked for conversion,
ostensibly to produce fuel plates for its Tehran Research Reactor.
overall stockpile of 20% enriched uranium has increased slightly by 43
Overall, ACA said the IAEA report “provides further troubling
evidence that Iran is continuing to pursue sensitive nuclear fuel-cycle
activities in violation of UN Security Council resolutions and is slowly
enhancing its nuclear weapons breakout potential.” It added however that Tehran
is “years, not months” away from a working nuclear arsenal.
In the weeks
before the IAEA released its latest report, and particularly after Obama’s
reelection, Iran has given what appear to have been mixed messages regarding its
willingness to continue with nuclear talks – including whether it would be
willing to conduct direct negotiations with Washington.
conservative figures, such as the head of Iran’s judiciary, Ayatollah Sadegh
Larijani have expressed cautious optimism about talks with the
Earlier this month Larijani said he did not rule out direct talks
with the US over the nuclear issue, but warned that Iran’s relations with
Washington were “not simple.”
Meanwhile military and IRGC leaders have
continued to issue threats and warnings, particularly after the US announced
that Iranian fighter jets had shot at a US drone in the Persian Gulf.
mixed messages could indicate divisions within the regime, although they may
also reflect a more pragmatic strategy to reach out for talks that will include
discussion of Iran’s right to enrich, while maintaining a tough military
A report published on Iran’s Intelligence Ministry’s new website
this month which suggests that Tehran may be open to direct nuclear talks with
the US, may offer some insights into Iran’s position.
The report, titled
“Reasons and Barriers to the Zionist Regime’s Military Strike on Iran,” says
that the US has a “completely different perspective” to Israel regarding Iran’s
The report does not indicate that Iran expects any
diplomatic solution to the nuclear crisis to involve a discussion about ending
its enrichment program.
However, it claims that “some analysts” in the US
believe that Tehran’s attaining nuclear technology could help restore peace to