The P5+1 is currently holding its first meetings with Iran in more than one year. What do you think are the objectives of the two sides in these meetings?
The objective of the P5+1, particularly the United States and Europe, is to commence a process whereby Iran would eventually, in the near term, agree to meaningful and binding nuclear compromises and greater transparency. Whereas in previous discussions the goal of the United States was for Tehran to cease uranium enrichment, I think it’s understood that is no longer a realistic outcome.
Iran’s objective will be to buy time and stave off pressure by trying to create cleavages within the P5+1, namely to split China and Russia from the United States and Europe. So far the greatest ally the United States has had in keeping the coalition together has been Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He has shown a unique ability to alienate, whether we’re talking about individuals or nations.
What has recently happened that allowed these meetings to take place?
Both sides agreed several months ago to recommence talks, but there was some quibbling about the participants and location. Iran tried, unsuccessfully, to include Turkey and Brazil in the discussions, and suggested that the meeting be held in Istanbul.
U.S. officials have recently stated that sanctions on Iran are increasingly having an effect. How do these sanctions shape the atmosphere around the talks?
Sanctions haven’t c... >>>
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