Iran Nuclear Talks Conclude With Little Positive Outcome
Two-day nuclear talks between Iran and P5+1 countries, (the US, Britain, Russia, France, China + Germany) which were stalled one year back in November 2009 have been concluded unfruitfully in Geneva. Iran’s chief negotiator, Saeed Jalili, and senior officials from five veto-wielding countries plus Germany have participated in the talks, along with EU foreign affairs chief Baroness Ashton.
The meeting was held in an atmosphere sullied by the recent murder of a senior Iranian nuclear scientist. Iran accused the US of the scientist’s murder. Iran negotiator Saeed Jalili said, before the commencement of the meeting, that the Security Council must be held accountable before the international community in connection with the assassination of Iranian scientist Majid Shahriari on November 29 in Iran's capital. Iran’s contention is that the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) inspectors have announced the names of Iran scientists, while Security Council listed the names in its sanctions resolutions. Iran says this has compromised the security of its scientists.
Saeed Jalili has described the assassination as a terror act. Iranian President Ahmadinejad described the US state as worse than the most dictatorial dictators.
Reuters reported that Iran's President said the negotiations could be fruitful if only the sanctions imposed on Iran and Iranian individuals were lifted. Western powers argue that Iran should show some progress to lift the sanctions. Western powers have been skeptical of Iran’s nuclear program, fearing that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program. The Security Council has issued ultimatums several times to suspend uranium enrichment program. Iran insists that it does not intend to build nuclear weapons and its uranium enrichment is for medical and energy purposes.
The next meeting is planned in Istanbul the last week of January 2011. Iran representative Jalili said there would be no discussions on Iran’s nuclear rights and Iran would not succumb to pressure tactics. Swapping of low enriched uranium would be discussed only with the Vienna group comprising Russia, France and the US, Iran made clear. Neither side is optimistic of any solution in the near future.Continued on the next page