Iran Nuclear Talks Fail To Break Deadlock

Diplomacy Takes Back Seat to Upcoming Elections

By Reuters

Published May 15, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The United Nations’ nuclear agency failed to persuade Iran on Wednesday to let it resume an investigation into suspected atomic bomb research, leaving the high-stakes diplomacy in deadlock.

With Iran focused on a presidential election next month, expectations had been low for the meeting between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which has been trying for more than a year to reopen an inquiry into “possible military dimensions” of Tehran’s nuclear work.

“We had intensive discussions today but did not finalise the structured approach document that has been under negotiation for a year and a half now,” IAEA Deputy Director General Herman Nackaerts said after the eight-hour meeting, referring to a long-sought framework deal for the investigation.

“Our commitment to continue dialogue is unwavering. However, we must recognise that our best efforts have not been successful so far. So we will continue to try and complete this process.” No date was set for future talks.

Iran’s envoy, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said both sides had put forward proposals during “intensive technical discussions” and the aim was to bridge the differences in future talks. Iran denies it has any aims to develop nuclear weapons.

The United States, which accuses Tehran of using stalling tactics at the IAEA talks and parallel negotiations with world powers, said it expected the nuclear agency to eventually urge the U.N. Security Council, which has imposed several sanctions resolutions on Iran, to take more action.

“At some point, the director general of the IAEA will have to return to the Security Council and say: ‘I can go no further. There has been no response. You have to take further action,’” Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman told lawmakers in Washington. That could happen in June or in September, she said.

TWO TRACKS

Later, the European Union’s foreign policy chief met Iran’s nuclear negotiator for dinner in Istanbul to discuss the other line of talks which are a bid to resolve a row that could ignite war in the Middle East.

The meeting between Catherine Ashton, who represents six world powers in the talks, and Saeed Jalili, who is running for president in Iran, follows a failed round of diplomacy in April.

Ashton said she hoped Jalili would respond to a “good, comprehensive, fair and balanced” proposal that the powers had already made to Iran.

“This is not a negotiating meeting, but it is an opportunity to take time to consider further the good proposals we have put forward,” she said in a statement.

The two sets of talks represent distinct diplomatic tracks but are linked because both centre on suspicions that Iran may be seeking the capability to assemble nuclear bombs behind the facade of a declared civilian atomic energy programme.

Any movement in the decade-old standoff will now probably have to wait until after Iranians vote on June 14 for a successor to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The gap between Tehran and the powers - the United States, Russia, France, Germany, China and Britain - is wide: they want Iran to suspend its most sensitive nuclear activity. Iran wants them to recognise its “right” to refine uranium - which can have both civilian and military purposes - and to end sanctions.

Israel and the United States have threatened possible military action if diplomacy and increasingly tough trade and energy sanctions fail to make Iran curb its nuclear programme.

In the latest U.S. step to try to choke off funding for that programme, the U.S. Treasury blacklisted an exchange house and a trading company based in the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday, saying they had dealt with Iranian banks that Washington has declared off limits.

Tehran says its nuclear activity has only peaceful purposes and that it is Israel, widely believed to be the Middle East’s only nuclear-armed power, that threatens peace and stability


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.