U.S. President Barack Obama waves from his car after landing at the airport in Los Cabos June 17, 2012. REUTERS/Henry Romero
Big day today. While Obama and Putin are meeting across the globe at the Group of 20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, both are well aware there’s a showdown going on in Moscow. With American and Russian positions diverging on multiple fronts (missile defense, Syria) the climate heading into the P5+1 meeting in Moscow between Iran and world powers is fraught with quandary.
The US will not be offering any option of easing the harsh sanctions. Nope, just like in Baghdad– no proposals to ease the sanctions will be presented. Yes that’s a harsh prediction, but so far those are the rumors.
While not budging on lifting existing sanctions or those already decided upon, diplomats familiar with the talks told The Associated Press the six are also prepared to guarantee that no new U.N. penalties will be enacted if Tehran shows enough compromise. The diplomats demanded anonymity because that possible offer has not yet been formally made.
For Iran, the main demand is international recognition of its right to enrich and related issues. Although it is under U.N. Security Council sanctions for refusing to stop that activity because of concerns it could use it to arm nuclear missiles, Tehran insists it has a right to do so to for its stated goal of creating reactor fuel and medical isotopes.
“No new U.N. penalties will be enacted if Tehran shows enough compromise.” Where is the compromise if the offer to ease the sanctions is not on the table?
That sounds more like a demand for submission. Does this mean the UN security council will adopt the US version of harsher sanctions?
In Baghdad, Iran expressed the hope that its proposals would be met with the principle of reciprocity: if they agreed to limit enrichment, the sanctions would be eased. Talib Mahdi, a member of the Iranian delegation in Baghdad stated Iran would accept a proposal limiting enrichment to 5% if the sanctions were eased. But Iran’s bottom line is recognition of a right to enrichment, and they are not even interested in discussing further rounds of negotiations without this recognition.
A member of Iran’s team engaging in the new round of negotiations said Monday the talks are doomed if his country’s “right” to uranium enrichment is not recognized.
“If this demand isn’t recognized, the negotiations are certainly headed for failure,” the official said, according to state news agency IRNA, which did not identify him.
“If our demand on the acceptance of the right to enrichment is not recognized, we are not afraid of the talks failing,” he added.
“As long as there is no agreement on that, we don’t want to talk about any future negotiating rounds,” he said.
Russia called for an immediate easing of the sanctions in preparation for the Moscow talks and has repeatedly denounced further restrictions by the US and the EU aimed at ratcheting up existing UN sanctions.
In March feathers were ruffled when Obama was overheard telling Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev to give US ‘space’ on the nuclear issue. It isn’t Russia he needs to give him space. It’s Israel, the lobby and US congress squeezing him. The pressure on Obama keeps escalating severely limiting any room for negotiation.
MOSCOW, June 17 (Xinhua) — Potential U.S.sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program will “deal a blow” to Russian-U.S. relations, a senior Russian official said Sunday, presuming a hard-line stance before the long-waited meeting of the heads of the two states.
Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov told reporters that U.S. sanctions on Iran would “run against international law and affect third countries.”
Moscow could not accept if Russian firms and banks become potential victims of such unilateral actions from the U.S., Ushakov warned.