Friday, May 25, 2012

Baghdad Talks End In Deadlock - Iran Refuses to Curb Nuclear Program

The talks about talks between Iran and the so-called P5+1 (the five permanent Security Council members plus Germany)came to an end yesterday without any concrete results.

Meanwhile, the Iranians made use of the months of time granted them to double their stockpile of uranium that is close to weapons grade at 20%, and to vastly increase the amount of working centrifuges at it's hidden Fordrow plant, where IAEA inspectors reported they had found particles of 27% enriched uranium. well above weapons grade.

The Iranians are apparently unwilling to give up 20% plus enrichment or provide what the western nations consider adequate monitoring of their nuclear program in exchange for what's been put on the table thus far, which includes medical isotopes, some nuclear safety cooperation and spare parts for civilian airliners that are badly needed in Iran.

Saeed Jalili, Iran’s lead nuclear negotiator, claimed the Western plan's were 'unbalanced' and accused the West of “language and phrases very similar to those employed by Israeli government leaders”.

This takes real nerve on Jalili's part, considering that the entire Iranian nuclear program was clandestine and illegal according to the non-Proliferation Treaty Iran signed until it was outed by Iranian dissidents in 2004.

The talks are expected to resume on June 18-19 in Moscow according to European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

“It is clear that we both want to make progress, and that there is some common ground,” Ashton, who is formally leading the talks, told reporters at the end of the talks. “However, significant differences remain. Nonetheless, we do agree on the need for further discussion to expand that common ground.”

So far, there doesn't seem to be much common ground - but a great deal of Iranian success in playing for time while the centrifuges run and they work at getting their nuclear facilities out of harm's way.

The Iranians have run this game successfully several times before, and it remains to be seen if they'll manage to pull it off again.And especially, whether the Israelis are going to decide to do some 'talking' of their own.

One thing's certain. Iran is not going to give up its nuclear weapons program because of any agreements or incentives from the West. if that were on th etable, it would have happened already.

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