Crucial talks are underway in Moscow to try to break the long-running stalemate over Iran’s nuclear programme.Meetings of the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) on the Iranian nuclear issue are becoming a monthly occurrence. The next meeting will be held in Moscow in mid-June. The last two meetings – in Istanbul in April and in Baghdad last week in May – did not produce any results. The reason for this can be found in the changes in the political situation in Iran that occurred in late March.
Tehran is meeting the group of six world powers as Europe and the US prepare to slap their toughest sanctions to date on the Islamic republic.
Israel is calling on its allies to threaten Iran convincingly with military action during the current talks in Moscow, media reports say. Tel Aviv believes Tehran does not take the threat of war seriously yet.
The current Moscow round of talks between Iran and the Group 5+1 over Iran’s nuclear ambitions is unlikely to end in the signing of a final agreement, an Iranian negotiator said on Monday.
The Moscow talks, including the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany (5+1) commenced on Monday and are expected to last until Tuesday. Iran’s team of negotiators is headed by Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Saeed Jalili, while EU foreign policy Chief, Catherine Ashton, heads up the Group 5+1 delegation.
“As of right now the chances of making progress in Moscow are very small, minimal,” the Iranian delegate said, adding Iran has no reason to alter its position.
“We have our principles. If the Group of Six accepts our proposals we will be ready to accept theirs.”
His view was echoed by an EU spokesman.
“In terms of any adjustments, no, what is on the table is what was put on the table in Baghdad,” said Michael Mann, spokesman for the European Union’s top foreign policy official, Catherine Ashton. “It’s in black and white on paper, and it’s there for all to see, so we’re hoping they can take it point by point.”
He described the atmosphere at the talks as “businesslike” adding that they are due to last until evening.
Iran may agree to a new round of talks if progress is made in Moscow, a member of the Iranian delegation said.