Israel has low expectations for Iran, P5+1 talks

Gov't sees little hope in upcoming low-level talks, which aim to see if there is reason to convene another full meeting.

July 3, 2012 04:37
1 minute read.
Iran- P5+1 nuclear negotiations in Baghdad

Baghdad nuclear talks 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Israel has almost no expectations that low-level technical talks between Iran and world powers set to begin Tuesday in Istanbul will lead to any substantial breakthrough, government officials said Monday.

Following talks two weeks ago that failed to produce any significant movement, the parties agreed to hold a low-level parley of technical experts to see if there was any reason to convene another full meeting.

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Three rounds of talks this year so far – in Istanbul, Baghdad and Moscow – have failed to get the Iranians to curb their nuclear program.

“Obviously we have supported the sanctions that have been in place, and call for their expansion,” one government official said of Tuesday’s talks. “Simultaneously we call for the international community to step up demands on the regime, and for a total cessation of all uranium enrichment, high and low.”

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Jerusalem has been highly critical of the three rounds of talks, saying that the world has allowed the Iranians to buy time while watering down its demands on Tehran from a full cessation of uranium enrichment, to a halt of all enrichment to 20 percent.

Prior to the meeting, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who is leading the P5+1 – the US, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany – in the talks, said, “We hope Iran will seize the opportunity of this meeting to show a willingness to take concrete steps to urgently meet the concerns of the international community, to build confidence in the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program and to meet its international obligations.”

A statement issued by the EU said the meeting is aimed at reaching greater clarification of the proposals made to Iran in Moscow, of the Iranian response and of issues Tehran has raised at the recent rounds of discussions.

The talks will talk place just two days after the EU clamped an embargo on Iranian oil.

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