Surrounded by Mistrust, Administration Resumes Iran Nuclear Talks (JEWISH PRESS) By: Yori Yanover 05/22/12)
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The notion President Barack Obama has entertained, that his path to
ending Iran’s nuclear threat would lead through a mix of sanctions
and diplomacy, is being tested on a grand scale this week.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, will see the start of new talks, in Baghdad,
intended to persuade Iran’s government to halt the enrichment of
uranium, and also allow international inspectors complete access to
its facilities. Ideally, Obama would have liked to manage the
progress of these talks, perhaps the most crucial in a decade-long
struggle between the West and the Iranians.
Indeed, according to the Mehr News Agency, Iran’s Supreme National
Security Council secretary and chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili
has already arrived in Baghdad on Monday night, eager to start the
talks with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus
Meanwhile, Mehr reports that International Atomic Energy Agency
Director General Yukiya Amano said in Tehran on Monday that a good
atmosphere prevailed in his talks with Iranian officials.
Amano spoke after a two-hour meeting with Saeed Jalili, before the
latter departed to Baghdad.
But back in Washington it appears that both the Republican-led House
and the Democrat-led Senate don’t completely trust the executive
branch to do the right thing on Iran.
On Monday, the U.S. Senate approved even tougher new penalties on
Tehran, aimed to squash its nuclear hopes.
By a unanimous voice vote, the Senate decided on measures to target
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (barring their affiliates from entry
into the U.S.), demand that companies trading on the U.S. stock
exchange disclose their Iran-related business to the SEC, and expand
penalties for energy and uranium mining joint ventures with Iran.
Last week, the House passed a resolution, with 314 sponsors, calling
on President Obama “to reaffirm the unacceptability of an Iran with
nuclear-weapons capability.” The resolution demanded reaffirmation of
the U.S. “opposition to any policy that would rely on containment as
an option in response to the Iranian nuclear threat.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not been concealing his
own skepticism regarding the president’s chances in negotiating away
Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.
“Iran wants to destroy Israel, and it is developing nuclear weapons
to fulfill that goal,” he said.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said last week that “the
pressure will be on the Iranians to demonstrate continued good
faith,” which he defined as concretely discussing their program,
meaning the nitty-gritty aspects of where, what percentage uranium
enrichment, how close are they to building a nuclear device, and so
on. The U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany would like
to know, in detail.
Take, for example, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov,
who insisted on Sunday that the coming negotiations needed to produce
evidence of progress to the international community, according to
“Practical results are needed that can be shown to the international
community as evidence that we are moving forward,” Ryabkov said.
The Russian “step-by-step” proposal wants Iran to gradually increase
cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, and for each
step it would be rewarded with a gradual easing of sanctions.
AA’s Bill Wilson meets the Ayatollah Humeini, if you will.
But Republicans in both houses have been having a field day with
their accusation of an Administration ineptness on Iran.
Chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Ileana Ros-
Lehtinen of Florida, said, “The administration’s foolish embrace of
yet another round of negotiations will only embolden the regime. The
administration has made concession after concession in its
negotiations with Iran only to come empty-handed. The Iranian
approach seems to be, ‘What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is
negotiable.’” (© 2012 JewishPress. 05/22/12)
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