´Iran´s political rivalries cloud nuclear policy´ (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Ynet Published: 04.12.12, 11:32)
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Cracks appear in façade of Iranian unity ahead of nuclear
negotiations with Western powers; as tensions between Khamenei,
Ahmadinejad seep into strategic policies
Internal political divisions in Iran seem to be impeding the Islamic
Republic´s efforts to present a united front vis-à-vis the West in
the coming round of negotiations over its nuclear program.
A Wall Street Journal analysis hedged Thursday that the tensions
between Iran´s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may make it harder for the former to negotiate a
compromise on Tehran´s controversial atom work.
The talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN
Security Council and Germany, have been set to begin on Saturday in
Istanbul. Iran initially suspended the negotiations in 2009.
The West wants Iran to suspend or – at the very least – significantly
reduce its uranium enrichment activities, as well as allow UN
inspectors unlimited access to its nuclear sites.
"The international community is united, Iran is isolated, the way to
change that dynamic is for Iran to live up to its international
obligations and to forsake its nuclear weapons ambitions," White
House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on Wednesday.
Iran insists that its nuclear program serves peaceful purposes, but
the West believes Tehran is striving to achieve nuclear weapons.
Iran´s relentless refusal to change its nuclear policies has sparked
speculations of a possible military strike by Israel.
Iran has so far presented a "grand policy" of bargaining with the
West, i.e. – it presents a united front which aims to rise above
But with just days ahead of the talks, the rivalries between Khamenei
and Ahmadinejad appear to have seeped into the country´s sensitive
"I am doubtful that there are creative technical resolutions to the
nuclear conflict absent a broader (domestic Iranian) political
accommodation," Karim Sadjadpour, of the Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace, told the newspaper.
While Iranian officials have made contradictory comments on whether
Tehran would be willing to compromise on the matter, it is widely
known that Khamenei has the final say on all state matters. But the
brewing domestic divisions could sway his stance.
"If Khamenei feels the internal divisions are getting serious he will
not give in because he sees concession as a sign of weakness," the
report quoted an adviser in Iran´s Foreign Ministry.
Iran´s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and top nuclear negotiator
Saeed Jalili – both of whom are affiliated with the ayatollah – have
expressed hope that Iran and the West would be able to reach a
"Iran´s representatives will bring innovative ideas to the
negotiating table and we hope that the five plus one countries have a
productive outlook as well," Jalili said Wednesday at a news
conference in Tehran.
Head of Iran´s Atomic Energy Organization Fereydoon Abbasi-Davani
said Monday that Iran could suspend enrichment to the 20% level of
purity if its needs were met.
Ahmadinejad, however, reiterated his stance that Iran will not give
so much as one iota on the matter.
"Iran will not back down… you (Western countries) will be forced to
change your attitude toward Iran," he said.
But on Tuesday Tehran´s Parliament passed – with an overwhelming
majority vote – a bill that would "pave the way for an easy and quick
process to impeach Ahmadinejad."
Political woes aside, the Iranian public´s support of the nuclear
program is also waning, as the people seem more divided than ever on
the matter, as the West´s biting sanctions have all but crippled the
The report noted that "A popular saying in Iran these days… is that
Khamenei should drink the jar of poison and compromise with the
West." (Copyright 2012 © Yedioth Internet 04/12/12)
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