Latest Nuclear Talks with Iran ‘Failed’

On-the-spot reports from Almaty, Kazakhstan, on the latest talks between Iran and the P5+1 (including the United States), indicate no progress.  If the negotiations are aimed at avoiding a military strike on Iran — or even a wider Middle East war — we are now a step, although probably only a small step, closer to an outbreak of violence.

Al-Monitor, an independent website specializing in Middle East news, has Laura Rozen tweeting from the Kazakh capital — with perhaps a hint of hope: a U.S. source saying there was a “whole new level of engagement” and “very intense talks on substance,” but the sides remain “far apart.”

Netanyahu at the UN in New York, September 2012

In a report by Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, Western diplomats were said to be “puzzled” that Iran did not fully respond to an offer that might have moved some way toward Iran’s demand that its right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes be recognized.

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, although busy (as expected) with domestic issues and his new coalition cabinet, can be expected to find the time — most likely at the Sunday cabinet meeting — to issue a form of “I told you so.” He has repeatedly expressed his doubts that negotiations and sanctions will persuade Iran to halt its work aimed (in the view of Israel and most Western governments) at building nuclear bombs.

While welcoming President Barack Obama’s declaration that the United States won’t allow Iran to create or obtain a nuclear weapon, Netanyahu and Obama still disagree on what is and isn’t acceptable.

As is said in the Middle East, they disagree on what is the Red Line.  The U.S. and Israel obviously will need a lot of behind-the-scenes discussions if they are to establish a united stand.

In the meantime, covert actions — including unprecedented joint operations by American and Israeli espionage agencies — aimed at slowing Iran’s nuclear work are believed to be continuing.

 

April 14, 2013

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