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Iran Twice Threatens to Walk Out of ‘Complicated and Difficult’ Talks (Kommersant, Russia)


“On the first day of talks, the Iranians threatened to walk out. But they never reached the point of packing their briefcases. On the second day, Iran's chief negotiator Saeed Jalili, exclaimed, 'I've had enough!' and ordered his delegation to start packing. But the threat didn’t materialize this time either. A diplomatic source explained that this was a 'much-used tactic ... that heightens the drama – and then they agree to something inconsequential.'”


By Yelena Chernenko and Vladimir Soloviev


Translated By Anastassia Tapsieva


June 20, 2012


Russia - Kommersant - Original Article (Russian)

Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council and chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili: Russian and Western sources attest to his tendency to drama - threatening to walk out of talks, then returning to the table and 'agreeing to something inconsequential.'


BBC NEWS VIDEO: Iran nuclear talks in Moscow end 'without a breakthrough' June 20, 00:02:27RealVideo

Two days of talks on the Iranian nuclear issue ended yesterday evening in Moscow. The main result was a decision to continue the dialogue: the experts will meet on July 3 in Istanbul. However, it seems as if the United States no longer sees the point of continuing, and as Kommersant has learned, it has prepared a new package of sanctions, which are intended to isolate Iran from the outside world. Moscow considers this approach ineffective.


Great tension marked both days of talks. On Monday, after a break for lunch and prayer, the leader of the Iranian delegation told reporters that the atmosphere at the talks was “not very positive” and chided international negotiators for “wasting time” after the previous round of talks in Baghdad in May. A little later, the Iranians even threatened to walk out. But they never reached the point of packing their briefcases.


Taking stock after the first day of negotiations, Iran’s Deputy Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Bagheri described the talks as “constructive and serious.” The head of the Russian delegation, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, also tried to radiate optimism. “What matters most is that both parties have the political will,” he said, while adding as an aside that, “the positions of the parties are quite complicated and difficult to reconcile.” Members of the E.U. foreign policy committee were the most forthcoming, calling the exchange of views “harsh.” Neither side made any concrete statements about the content of the talks.


Consultations resumed yesterday around noon, and information has become ever-more scarce. The Hotel “Golden Ring,” where the talks took place, was closed to the press. When a few negotiators did run into members of the press corps, they expressed conflicting opinions. A source in the Iranian delegation said that Tehran had presented its proposal to the “six” and was awaiting a response, when secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Saeed Jalili, exclaimed, “I've had enough!” and ordered his delegation to start packing. But the threat didn’t materialize this time either: instead of heading to the airport, Mr. Jalili met with E.U. foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton [Catherine Ashton's full title is "high representative of the Union for foreign affairs and security policy."]

Posted by Worldmeets.US


Kommersant’s diplomatic source from one of the “six” who is familiar with the negotiations explained that this was a “much-used tactic ... that heightens the drama – and then they agree to something inconsequential.” According to the diplomat, it was unclear to international negotiators exactly what Tehran wanted in exchange for halting its uranium enrichment program. The same source did not exclude the possibility that “the status quo is beneficial to the Iranians for domestic political reasons, as way of unifying the population.”


As a result, the status quo prevailed. The talks dragged on for a record nine hours - and many negotiators, including Catherine Ashton, had to reschedule their flights. An agreement to continue the dialogue was reached late into the night. The first will be a meeting of experts from each delegation in Istanbul on July 3. After that, delegation deputy chiefs Ali Bagheri and Helga Schmid will communicate; and then the ultimate decisions will be taken by Saeed Jalili and Catherine Ashton.


“Negotiations were extremely difficult and very strained. Unfortunately, the two sides are still very far apart,” a source in the Russian delegation said. “But we will continue to seek mutually acceptable solutions. Talks will continue with virtually no interruption – it is extremely important.”




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However, some representatives of the “six” - particularly the U.S. - no longer see the point. A Kommersant source close to the American delegation reported that Washington has already prepared a new package of sanctions against Tehran. The U.S. may declare an embargo on Iranian ports of entry to foreign air and marine vessels. Those who disregard the embargo will be denied access to the infrastructure in the U.S. and E.U. Sanctions of this magnitude will practically isolate Iran from the rest of the world. The calculation is clear: if Iran's economy is on the verge of collapse by the time the 2013 presidential election rolls around, Iranian citizens will vote against the regime that proclaimed the right to nuclear proliferation as a national idea.


Moscow categorically opposes unilateral sanctions, regarding them as illegal and ineffective. “The Iranians have continued their enrichment activities, despite harsh sanctions,” explained a Kommersant source close to the Russian delegation. “Strengthening the implementation of sanctions or following a scenario of force (promoted by Israel and the U.S.) may instead cause the Iranian population to rally around the regime. The consequences of an escalation of violence in the region would be unpredictable.”




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[Posted by Worldmeets.US June 21, 2:12am]





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