The administration of President Barack Obama should put more emphasis on diplomacy in its quest for a satisfactory resolution of Iran’s nuclear programme, according to a major new report
released by The Iran Project.
The U.S. should not only focus on the short-term goal of “suspending or delaying” Iran’s alleged quest for a nuclear weapons capability, but also on “curtailing Iran’s other worrisome activities in the region while encouraging - or at least, not derailing - a better relationship with the citizens of the pivotal state,” according to a report released Thursday
by the Washington-based Atlantic Council.
On the eve of its second round of talks with Iran on curbing its nuclear programme in Almaty, Kazakhstan, the so-called P5+1 (U.S., Britain, France, China, and Russia plus Germany) is showing signs of growing disunity, according to the European Union’s former top foreign policy official.
Since Barack Obama became president of the United States, messages marking the Iranian New Year – Norouz - celebrated at the onset of spring have become yearly affairs. So have responses given by Iran’s Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei from the city of Mashhad where he makes a yearly pilgrimage to visit the shrine of Shi’i Islam’s eighth imam, Imam Reza.
While the U.S.-led sanctions regime on Iran has produced substantial economic hardship, analysts here are increasingly pointing out that Tehran’s controversial nuclear activities have continued unabated.
The meeting between Iran and the so-called P5+1 (five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany) that took place in late February in Almaty, Kazakhstan was described as positive and even a "turning point" by Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili.
In the same week that talks between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany) concluded in Kazakhstan with rare positive Iranian feedback, a joint resolution declaring U.S. support for Israel in the event of an Israeli military strike on Iran's nuclear programme was brought before Congress.
On the eve of resumed talks between Iran and the P5+1 (the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China plus Germany) in Almaty, Kazakhstan over its nuclear programme, two former hostages of the U.S. embassy takeover in Tehran argued that the aura of mistrust that has dogged relations for decades must be addressed.
After a year of fruitless negotiations that are expected to resume soon, Iranian and U.S. experts are urging both sides to show more flexibility and make more concessions on its nuclear programme.
Four U.S. non-proliferation specialists are urging the Obama administration to impose tougher economic sanctions against Iran and issue more explicit threats to destroy its nuclear programme by military means.
As the Iranian leadership prepares to engage in negotiations with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany (P5+1) over the fate of its nuclear programme, the conversation inside Iran has moved beyond the nuclear issue, and now includes a debate about the utility of engaging in direct talks - even relations - with the United States.
The one agreement that talks between Iran and the P5+1 - the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany - produced after a "technical meeting" in Istanbul was a decision to schedule more talks.
On the eve of a third round of critical talks between Iran and the so-called P5+1 – the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany – on Tehran's nuclear programme, optimism about a breakthrough is hard to come by.