Tag Archives: Catherine Ashton

Geneva – Iran presented a new proposal to resolve the nuclear program

Today in Geneva, started the next round of talks between Iran and “six” of international mediators / known as P 5+1 – five permanent members of the UN Security Council (UK, China, France, Russia, US) plus Germany trying to resolve the Iranian “nuclear dossier”. The previous round of talks was held in Alma-Ata in April this year.

What might happen over the next two days ?

These are the first such talks since President Rouhani took office in August. Seen as a relative moderate, Mr Rouhani has said he wants a deal on Iran’s nuclear programme within six months.

In particular, speaking to the 68th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, said that Iran’s nuclear program “is intended purely for peaceful purposes”. “Nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction have no place in Iran’s military doctrine – he said. – This weapon is contrary to our fundamental religious and ethical convictions”. According to him, is the national interest of Iran – to remove any suspicions about its nuclear program. However, Rouhani said that other countries should respect the right of Iran to enrich nuclear material.

General view prior to the start of the two days of closed-door nuclear talks on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013 at the United Nations offices in Geneva, Switzerland. (AP Photo/Fabrice Coffrini, pool)

General view prior to the start of the two days of closed-door nuclear talks on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013 at the United Nations offices in Geneva, Switzerland. (AP Photo/Fabrice Coffrini, pool)

The European Union says Iran has opened the latest round of talks with the international community by proposing a new plan to resolve the dispute over its nuclear program. Michael Mann, the spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, made the announcement after the start of two-day talks in Geneva. He particularly noted that the constructive atmosphere is connected, in particular, statements that have made the Iranian side. “We are coming to the talks with cautious optimism and determination, because it’s time for real results – he added. – It is necessary to consider all the details. Hopefully these two days will be productive”. “Our proposals include measures to build trust. We’ll see what has to offer Tehran” – continued Mann. According to him, the negotiation process as a whole should continue as long as necessary to achieve the result.

Mann added that the chief of the European Union diplomacy Catherine Ashton and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, held in Geneva constructive bilateral meeting. “The parties have discussed over dinner existing issues, the meeting was constructive and held in a positive atmosphere” – he said.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, a senior member of negotiating team, said Sunday that Tehran is bringing a new proposal to the talks to dispel doubts about the nuclear program. While offering no details, he told Iran’s student news agency ISNA that the Islamic Republic should “enter into a trust-building path with the West”. In the interest of the negotiation process, the parties do not intend to disclose the contents of the new proposals of Iran.

The Iranian team is led by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, although much of the actual negotiating is expected to be delegated to his deputy, Abbas Araqchi. Catherine Ashton is leading the 5+1 group. Iranian officials say they will present a roadmap aimed at ending the decade-long dispute over the nature of their country’s nuclear programme. No breakthrough is expected in the initial two days of talks in Geneva, but Iran’s foreign minister said he hoped a “roadmap” could be agreed.

On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it would be wrong to ease pressure on Tehran. Speaking in parliament, he said that any move to let up on the Iranian government would only strengthen its “uncompromising elements”, and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei “will be perceived as the winner”.

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The most recent report by the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), says Iran has 185 kilograms of 20 percent enriched uranium and is maintaining this level by converting excess material into fuel rods.

In April 2013, the P5+1 proposed that Iran:

  • Cease enrichment to 20%
  • Ship most of stockpile of 20%-enriched uranium abroad, keeping some for Tehran research reactor
  • Accept comprehensive verification regime
  • Address questions about military research activity

Iran responded by demanding P5+1:

  • Recognise Iran’s “right” to enrich uranium
  • Ease all UN, US and EU sanctions
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Iranian file – Moscow : another useless summit?

Varianta în limba română poate fi citită pe noul site al PPW.

Lately, it seems to become common as the leaders of the world to meet in the many and various summits just to change their contradictory opinions and, of course, stoically to smile at the group photo.

In this way things are showed also in long discussions on the Iranian file, and meeting in Baghdad was no exception. From EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton found (after a two-day meeting in Baghdad, where six world powers* holding nuclear talks with Iran) that was achieved some common ground despite remaining differences. Ashton said that another round of negotiations will take place in Russia Federation. “We will maintain intensive contacts with our Iranian counterparts to prepare a further meeting in Moscow,” she told a news conference in Baghdad. The next meeting, the third in the latest round of talks that began in Istanbul last month, will be held in Moscow on June 18-19.

So, something has been achieved. Something that can not be defined, because it is part of the negotiation process, say officials if are asked to be more specific. And if you compare the statements of those involved realize that there are real works of art in words which say nothing concrete. Lets take a look about: “The two sides’ commitment to diplomacy in the absence of any clear agreement is a positive sign,” said Ali Vaez, Iran expert at the International Crisis Group think-tank. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said there would be no let up in sanctions against Iran, even as talks continue. “As we lay the groundwork for these talks, we will keep up the pressure as part of our dual-track approach,” she told reporters in Washington hours after the talks ended in Baghdad. “All of our sanctions will remain in place and continue to move forward during this period.” Western powers insist Tehran must first shut down enrichment activities before sanctions can be eased. In reply, the Islamic Republic has repeatedly ruled out suspending all enrichment as called for by several U.N. Security Council resolutions, saying nuclear energy is a matter of national sovereignty and pride in technological progress.

What they want ?

The powers want Iran to send its more highly refined uranium abroad and close an underground plant devoted to 20 percent enrichment which is largely invulnerable to air strikes. In return, the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany have offered fuel to keep Iran’s medical isotope reactor running, assistance in nuclear safety and an end to an embargo on spare parts for Iran’s ageing civilian aircraft. The six powers were going to try to advance the talks “as fast as we can”. But it is too early to talk about technical level or expert meetings because the political issues still needed to be clarified. EU spokesman Michael Mann told VOA the world powers presented a “clear” proposal calling on Iran to address international concerns about its nuclear program in return for “reciprocal measures” that the six-nation group believes will be attractive to Tehran. He said it is important for Iran to engage in the negotiations “seriously.”

 What Iran wants ?

Amos Gilad, a senior Israeli defense official, predicted that Iran would take a conciliatory tack at the Baghdad talks while not abandoning its goal of becoming a nuclear power. “They will be willing to show what appears to be flexibility as long as it doesn’t affect their strategic direction, meaning that they will be able to develop nuclear weapons if that decision is made,” Gilad told Army Radio. More, “It appears that the Iranians are trying to reach a ‘technical agreement’ which will create the impression of progress in the talks, in order to remove some of the pressure before the talks tomorrow in Baghdad (and) put off the intensification of sanctions,” Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in a statement.

Iran needs nuclear talks to stabilize currency. But Iranian officials have labored to insist that they do not need a nuclear agreement with the international community and that their economy can survive more punishment. But one look at the recent gyrations of Iran’s currency suggests otherwise. The rial tanked early this year after the Barack Obama administration signed a law barring US banks from any dealings with foreign banks that do business with Iran’s Central Bank. The currency sank on so-called unofficial markets to 20,000 to the dollar — half what it was a year ago — before stabilizing at about 16,000 after a new round of nuclear talks in Istanbul in April.

It is well to remember that meeting in Moscow in June comes as a preamble to other sanctions. European sanctions to block Iran’s economically vital oil exports are to take force in July and Israel has mooted military action. A defiant Iran, which denies any ambition to acquire atom bombs, has threatened reprisals and oil prices have risen on fear of a new Middle East war hitting a wobbly world economy. The US official said sanctions coming into effect in coming weeks would increase leverage on Iran in the negotiations. “Maximum pressure is not yet being felt by Iran,” the official said, adding there were many other potential sanctions that remained to be employed.

*The world powers include the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (UK, China, Russia, France, United States) plus Germany – known as P5+1.