- Posted October 14, 2013 by
Geneva talk, beginning of the end or milestone of nuclear tension resonance
Geneva for the fourth time will be the host for next round of long nuclear negotiation of Iran and 5+1 group(Russia, China, US, Britain, France and Germany) on Tuesday. Many eyes are watching the Geneva talks whether a breakthrough will finish the 10 years nuclear struggle marathon?
Almost there is consensus inside Iran among majority of people, civil society forces and opposition and some government fractions to say welcome to nuclear compromise in within frame of Iranian national interests and avoiding war and wrecking effect of economic sanction.
Roohani’s relatively moderate speech in NY in compare with his predecessor and his historical telephone conversation with Obama injected hopes for change of the confrontation to conciliation. However the last presidential election results cultivated a new constructive approach in Iran foreign policy.
Although there is significantly potential for peaceful resolution, But considering the background, challenges, and the realities on the ground suggests being cautious about optimism toward the outcome. The process of moving both sides to ease of the conflict is complex and not straight forward.
So far there is no detail about the offer of Iran or 5+1. It seems the six countries is being kept the presented package at last session in Almaty 2 , but Iran new officials emphasized the negotiation should be started from a new point. Abbas Araghchi , the head of Iran delegates in Geneva expressed the time and condition of 5+1 in Almati2 is gone and Iran no longer consider it and instead present a new offer to be discussed . He added “Iran said it would not allow any of its enriched uranium stockpiles to be shipped abroad”
Some sources reportedly disclosed 5+1 in Almaty offered to Iran sustaining the sanctions regarding petrochemical and precious stone in return with halting 20% Uranium enrichment and prorogate of Fardo an underground nuclear facility near the holy city of Qom. Iran former nuclear chief, Saeid Jalaili rejected this offer. Now it seems this offer is baseline for US and its allies to move forward.
Javad Zarif, Iran foreign minister and head of nuclear negotiators said: “I will put forward a new plan to resolve the dispute over Iran’s nuclear activities during the next round of talks with the Group 5+1”
Yet he reiterated the official position of IRI to reject Washington and its western allies accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program.
John Kerry, US secretary of state insisted Iran should convince in fast pace the world about peaceful substance of the nuclear program and meeting the UN resolutions demands. He itemized peaceful resolution of Iran nuclear crisis in the cases of ending high degree of Uranium enrichment, joining to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty extension, and allowing the investigators of international atomic agency to visit unconditionally the disputed location inside Iran.
Kerry in the press conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia expressed he has been in secret talks with Zarif to find the mutual interested solution, without elaborating on the contents of the talks.
He made remark in his satellite speech in AIPAC meeting,” the window for diplomacy is cracking open. But I want you to know that our eyes are open, too”
Kerry also stressed: “words must be matched with actions,” "In any engagement with Iran, we are mindful of Israel's security needs. We are mindful of the need for certainty, transparency, and accountability in the process. And I believe firmly that no deal is better than a bad deal.”
How likely the Geneva intensive talk paves the road for possible nuclear compromise as both sides interested time table of 3 month to one year?
Well- thought of answering to this questions need addressing accurately the related challenges.
It is not clear enough the hardliners in Iran have real intend to change the nuclear strategy. If Khamenei ‘s remark as strongest man in Iran power circle on “heroic flexibility” would be serious, then it can be resulted he and his allies in the establishment decided to stalemate the disputed nuclear activities in order to get rid of crippling sanctions that has created big trouble for proper ruling the country.
It should be notified that Roohani and Khamenei do not follow completely the same plot in foreign policy approach. Although they have some in common and now agreed to a time sensitive advance moderate tone and attitude of Roohani.
Khamanei look at nuclear compromise as a tactic and temporal halt to the contractive approach in foreign policy, not in change of anti-western discourse. After returning of Roohani, the hardliner tried to criticize the efforts regarding the ending to enmity with USA.
Hence in the last week the level of rhetoric and actions against America was increased inside the Iran. These events confirm the idea that the supreme leader and his supports such as revolutionary guard’s generals refuse to normalizing relation with the country which they labeled it as Great Satan.
It seems they just want to manage the quarrel in a way that the worst damage will be disappeared through limited bargain.
But Roohani is seeking ease tensions with west and recalibrate Iran foreign policy in non-contention path. But since his ability and authorization is dependent on Khamanehi’s support, so he tries to minimizing the conflict with US and normalize relationship with EU.
Therefore the separation between “Iran- US freeze breaking” and “nuclear compromise” plays a key role in the success of Geneva meeting. Tying these two factors incense the hardliner inside Iran and Israeli and Arab countries near Persian Gulf which are sensitive to improvement of Iran and US relations.
So the focus to achieving the breakthrough can avoid the possible perturbation in this matter.
The gap between Iran new official’s Conciliatory declaration and action in nuclear standing is another significant challenge. Any remarkable difference will affect devastatingly the course.
But the most important barrier is big discrepancy between both side expectations. Iran reportedly wants cessation of sanctions in the energy and finance sections to give some privilege as reducing the active centrifuge scores, put some limitations in the nuclear activities scope, and temporal suspension of high degree uranium enrichment. Iran also insist US and international community recognize the producing low level nuclear fuel ( 5% uranium enrichment) to consent substitute having legal uranium enrichment instead of gaining the full capacity.
But the west and specially USA has not displayed any indication to meet these desires. Obama administration has difficulties to ease sanction regarding central bank and the oil selling in timely manner. It needs first finding confidence the trustworthy of Iran action that takes time.
However the ignorance of US government in enforcing of current bilateral sanction could be a way that solves in Du Facto some problem of Iran.
Also US government should get approval of congress that is a not easy. The congress believes to the validity of tightening the screws on Iranian leaders. The congress mindset sees the returning of Iran on the negotiation table as a product of tough sanction policy, so they have no rush to stop playing with this card.
The observation of the mentioned challenges makes clear the breakthrough needs more flexibility of US officials in offering concessions and encouragements after taking the first step by Iran.
The success and mutual satisfactory of both sides needs realistic and construct facing with the above challenges. The Geneva success will be beginning of the end in the Iran nuclear confrontation otherwise could be a milestone for deterioration the situation.