Showing posts tagged as "nuclear talks"

Showing posts tagged nuclear talks

29 Aug
"Iran should accept more quantitative constraints on the number of its centrifuges and postpone plans for industrial-scale enrichment. In return, the P5+1 should accept the continuation of qualitative growth of Tehran’s enrichment capacity through research and development."

—From Crisis Group’s latest briefing: Iran and the P5+1: Getting to “Yes”

27 Aug
Iran and the P5+1: Getting to “Yes”
Istanbul/Tehran/Washington/Brussels  |   27 Aug 2014
November’s deadline could be the last chance to avoid a breakdown in the Iran and the P5+1 nuclear talks. Compromise on Iran’s enrichment capacity is key to ending the impasse, requiring both sides to walk back from maximalist positions and focus on realistic solutions. 
Despite significant headway in negotiations over the past six months, Iran and the P5+1 (U.S., UK, Russia, China, France and Germany) remain far apart on fundamental issues. In its latest briefing, Iran and the P5+1: Getting to “Yes”, the International Crisis Group argues that both sides have forgotten the lessons that brought them this far. They have wrongly assumed that desperation for a deal would soften their rival’s bottom line and compel it to ignore its domestic political constraints. The result is a dangerous game of brinkmanship that, if continued, will yield only failure. Though there is little room for error and no time to waste, a workable compromise is still possible. Iran and the P5+1: Getting to “Yes”, Crisis Group’s latest briefing, building on the 40-point plan for a nuclear accord it detailed in May, explores a half year of talks, investigates the new realities facing negotiators and offers an innovative way out of the impasse.
The briefing’s major findings and recommendations are:
Iran and the P5+1 should find common ground by reverse-engineering political concerns underlying their technical differences. For Iran, this means a meaningful enrichment program; continued scientific advancement; and tangible sanctions relief. For the P5+1, this requires a firewall between Iran’s civilian and potential military nuclear capabilities; ironclad monitoring mechanisms; and sufficient time and cooperation to build trust.
Iran should accept more quantitative constraints on the number of its centrifuges and postpone plans for industrial-scale enrichment. In return, the P5+1 should accept the continuation of qualitative growth of Tehran’s enrichment capacity through research and development.
Iran should commit to using Russian-supplied nuclear fuel for the Bushehr reactor for its entire lifetime, in return for stronger Russian guarantees of supply and enhanced P5+1 nuclear cooperation, especially on nuclear fuel fabrication. This would gradually prepare Tehran to assume responsibility for a possible additional plant, or plants, by the end of the agreement, in eleven to sixteen years.
An accord should be based on realistic, substantive milestones such as the time the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) needs to investigate Iran’s past nuclear activities ­ to determine the duration of the final agreement’s several phases rather than subjective ones dictated by political calendars.
“Neither side’s arguments bear scrutiny in the debate over the number of centrifuges, because the roots of their differences are fundamentally political”, says Ali Vaez, Iran Senior Analyst. “Negotiators are both driven and constrained by their respective domestic politics, especially the U.S. and Iran, where powerful constituencies remain skeptical of the negotiations and have the leverage to derail them”.
“The moment of truth for Iran and the P5+1 has arrived. Should it be lost, it is unlikely to soon reappear”, says Robert Blecher, Acting Middle East Program Director. “The parties could allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good and watch the best opportunity to resolve this crisis devolve into a mutually harmful spiral of escalation. Or they could choose wisely”.
FULL REPORT

Iran and the P5+1: Getting to “Yes”

Istanbul/Tehran/Washington/Brussels  |   27 Aug 2014

November’s deadline could be the last chance to avoid a breakdown in the Iran and the P5+1 nuclear talks. Compromise on Iran’s enrichment capacity is key to ending the impasse, requiring both sides to walk back from maximalist positions and focus on realistic solutions. 

Despite significant headway in negotiations over the past six months, Iran and the P5+1 (U.S., UK, Russia, China, France and Germany) remain far apart on fundamental issues. In its latest briefing, Iran and the P5+1: Getting to “Yes”, the International Crisis Group argues that both sides have forgotten the lessons that brought them this far. They have wrongly assumed that desperation for a deal would soften their rival’s bottom line and compel it to ignore its domestic political constraints. The result is a dangerous game of brinkmanship that, if continued, will yield only failure. Though there is little room for error and no time to waste, a workable compromise is still possible. Iran and the P5+1: Getting to “Yes”, Crisis Group’s latest briefing, building on the 40-point plan for a nuclear accord it detailed in May, explores a half year of talks, investigates the new realities facing negotiators and offers an innovative way out of the impasse.

The briefing’s major findings and recommendations are:

  • Iran and the P5+1 should find common ground by reverse-engineering political concerns underlying their technical differences. For Iran, this means a meaningful enrichment program; continued scientific advancement; and tangible sanctions relief. For the P5+1, this requires a firewall between Iran’s civilian and potential military nuclear capabilities; ironclad monitoring mechanisms; and sufficient time and cooperation to build trust.
  • Iran should accept more quantitative constraints on the number of its centrifuges and postpone plans for industrial-scale enrichment. In return, the P5+1 should accept the continuation of qualitative growth of Tehran’s enrichment capacity through research and development.
  • Iran should commit to using Russian-supplied nuclear fuel for the Bushehr reactor for its entire lifetime, in return for stronger Russian guarantees of supply and enhanced P5+1 nuclear cooperation, especially on nuclear fuel fabrication. This would gradually prepare Tehran to assume responsibility for a possible additional plant, or plants, by the end of the agreement, in eleven to sixteen years.
  • An accord should be based on realistic, substantive milestones such as the time the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) needs to investigate Iran’s past nuclear activities ­ to determine the duration of the final agreement’s several phases rather than subjective ones dictated by political calendars.

“Neither side’s arguments bear scrutiny in the debate over the number of centrifuges, because the roots of their differences are fundamentally political”, says Ali Vaez, Iran Senior Analyst. “Negotiators are both driven and constrained by their respective domestic politics, especially the U.S. and Iran, where powerful constituencies remain skeptical of the negotiations and have the leverage to derail them”.

“The moment of truth for Iran and the P5+1 has arrived. Should it be lost, it is unlikely to soon reappear”, says Robert Blecher, Acting Middle East Program Director. “The parties could allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good and watch the best opportunity to resolve this crisis devolve into a mutually harmful spiral of escalation. Or they could choose wisely”.

FULL REPORT

7 Aug
U.S.-Iran Seek Fresh Momentum in Extra-Time Nuclear Talks | Jonathan Tirone
U.S. and Iranian diplomats are meeting to inject fresh momentum into nuclear negotiations after differences over the Persian Gulf nation’s future uranium enrichment forced negotiators to seek extra time.
Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, the No. 2 ranked U.S. diplomat, will lead talks with his Iranian counterparts in Geneva today, the State Department said late yesterday. Iran and world powers pledged to keep talking after they failed to clinch a long-term deal following 16 days of negotiations in Vienna last month.
“After a 2 1/2-week break it’s time for the negotiations to get back on track,” Ellie Geranmayeh, a fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said in an interview. The sides “made it clear that during the extension period they would meet in different formations.”
FULL ARTICLE (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Photo: European External Action Service/flickr

U.S.-Iran Seek Fresh Momentum in Extra-Time Nuclear Talks | Jonathan Tirone

U.S. and Iranian diplomats are meeting to inject fresh momentum into nuclear negotiations after differences over the Persian Gulf nation’s future uranium enrichment forced negotiators to seek extra time.

Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, the No. 2 ranked U.S. diplomat, will lead talks with his Iranian counterparts in Geneva today, the State Department said late yesterday. Iran and world powers pledged to keep talking after they failed to clinch a long-term deal following 16 days of negotiations in Vienna last month.

“After a 2 1/2-week break it’s time for the negotiations to get back on track,” Ellie Geranmayeh, a fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said in an interview. The sides “made it clear that during the extension period they would meet in different formations.”

FULL ARTICLE (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Photo: European External Action Service/flickr

11 Nov
Radio France International

Ali Vaez on Iran nuclear talks

Analyst Ali Vaez spoke to Radio France International about this weekend’s nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1.

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Iran nuclear negotiations at crucial juncture over Arak reactor | Julian Borger and Saeed Kamali Dehghan
The fate of Iran’s heavy-water reactor has become a sticking point in high-level nuclear negotiations in Geneva, according to the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius.
The Iranian delegation is believed to have presented western powers with a draft text of an agreement on Friday, which is now the focus of the negotiation. But Fabius told France Inter radio on Saturday that Paris would not accept a “sucker’s deal”. He said: “As I speak to you, I cannot say there is any certainty that we can conclude.”
FULL ARTICLE (The Guardian) 
Photo: United Nations - Geneva/Flickr

Iran nuclear negotiations at crucial juncture over Arak reactor | Julian Borger and Saeed Kamali Dehghan

The fate of Iran’s heavy-water reactor has become a sticking point in high-level nuclear negotiations in Geneva, according to the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius.

The Iranian delegation is believed to have presented western powers with a draft text of an agreement on Friday, which is now the focus of the negotiation. But Fabius told France Inter radio on Saturday that Paris would not accept a “sucker’s deal”. He said: “As I speak to you, I cannot say there is any certainty that we can conclude.”

FULL ARTICLE (The Guardian) 

Photo: United Nations - Geneva/Flickr

21 Oct
All Sides Say Iran Talks Get Serious While Long Road Remains | Indira A.R. Lakshmanan, Kambiz Foroohar and Jonathan Tirone
The pace of talks on Iran’s nuclear program picked up after a two-day meeting in Geneva, as the participants described a new level of intensity in negotiations and agreed to reconvene next month.
U.S. and European diplomats said the discussions, the first since Hassan Rouhani was elected president and pledged to repair Iran’s global standing, went into more detail than previous rounds and took place in a better atmosphere. Specialists will meet on technical and sanctions-related aspects of the proposals before Nov. 7, when political talks will resume in the Swiss city.
FULL ARTICLE (Businessweek) 
Photo: Flickr/European External Action Service - EEAS

All Sides Say Iran Talks Get Serious While Long Road Remains | Indira A.R. Lakshmanan, Kambiz Foroohar and Jonathan Tirone

The pace of talks on Iran’s nuclear program picked up after a two-day meeting in Geneva, as the participants described a new level of intensity in negotiations and agreed to reconvene next month.

U.S. and European diplomats said the discussions, the first since Hassan Rouhani was elected president and pledged to repair Iran’s global standing, went into more detail than previous rounds and took place in a better atmosphere. Specialists will meet on technical and sanctions-related aspects of the proposals before Nov. 7, when political talks will resume in the Swiss city.

FULL ARTICLE (Businessweek) 

Photo: Flickr/European External Action Service - EEAS

6 Sep
Syria Crisis Yet to Derail Iran Nuclear Talks | Jasmin Ramsey
Even with potential U.S. strikes against Iranian ally Syria looming, Washington and Tehran appear to be preparing for the resumption of nuclear talks.
U.S. foreign policy analysts have been bustling since the Aug. 4 inauguration of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, who may have ushered in a new era of Iranian diplomacy and international relations.
“Syria has become Iran’s Vietnam, and [Bashar al-] Assad’s extensive use of chemical weapons, in equal parts amoral and stupid, had magnified Tehran’s quandary.” — Mark Fitzpatrick of the International Institute for Strategic Studies
“As the architect of the sole nuclear agreement between Iran and the West  – a not inconsiderable achievement given the depth of mistrust –  Rouhani presents a real chance for making progress in nuclear talks,” Ali Vaez, an Iran expert at the International Crisis Group, told IPS.
FULL ARTICLE (Inter Press Service) 
Photo: European External Action Service - EEAS/Flickr

Syria Crisis Yet to Derail Iran Nuclear Talks | Jasmin Ramsey

Even with potential U.S. strikes against Iranian ally Syria looming, Washington and Tehran appear to be preparing for the resumption of nuclear talks.

U.S. foreign policy analysts have been bustling since the Aug. 4 inauguration of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, who may have ushered in a new era of Iranian diplomacy and international relations.

“Syria has become Iran’s Vietnam, and [Bashar al-] Assad’s extensive use of chemical weapons, in equal parts amoral and stupid, had magnified Tehran’s quandary.” — Mark Fitzpatrick of the International Institute for Strategic Studies

“As the architect of the sole nuclear agreement between Iran and the West – a not inconsiderable achievement given the depth of mistrust –  Rouhani presents a real chance for making progress in nuclear talks,” Ali Vaez, an Iran expert at the International Crisis Group, told IPS.

FULL ARTICLE (Inter Press Service) 

Photo: European External Action Service - EEAS/Flickr

16 Jul
US must not miss new opportunity to engage with Iran
by Ali Vaez, Senior Iran Analyst
Squandering any opportunity for détente has been the norm in US-Iran relations during the past three decades. Iranians missed a major opening when President Obama came to power in 2009. Americans – especially as they meet with their allies in Brussels today to discuss next steps in nuclear negotiations with Tehran – should avoid a redux with Iran’s President-elect Hassan Rouhani.
FULL ARTICLE (Christian Science Monitor)
Photo: Mojtaba Salimi / Wikimedia Commons

US must not miss new opportunity to engage with Iran

by Ali Vaez, Senior Iran Analyst

Squandering any opportunity for détente has been the norm in US-Iran relations during the past three decades. Iranians missed a major opening when President Obama came to power in 2009. Americans – especially as they meet with their allies in Brussels today to discuss next steps in nuclear negotiations with Tehran – should avoid a redux with Iran’s President-elect Hassan Rouhani.

FULL ARTICLE (Christian Science Monitor)

Photo: Mojtaba Salimi / Wikimedia Commons

5 Apr
Iran, big powers appear miles apart at nuclear talks | Reuters
By Yeganeh Torbati and Justyna Pawlak
Iran appeared to side-step responding to proposals by world powers to defuse tensions over its nuclear program at talks in Kazakhstan on Friday, diplomats said, and instead came up with its own plan - a measure of the gulf between the two sides.
The six powers - the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany - had sought a concrete response from Iran to their February offer of modest sanctions relief if Tehran stops its most contentious nuclear work.
But instead Iranian negotiators outlined their own “specific” plan to resolve the dispute, which has been plagued by mutual mistrust and on-off negotiations for a decade.
FULL ARTICLE (Reuters)
Photo: Marjolein Katsma/Flickr

Iran, big powers appear miles apart at nuclear talks | Reuters

By Yeganeh Torbati and Justyna Pawlak

Iran appeared to side-step responding to proposals by world powers to defuse tensions over its nuclear program at talks in Kazakhstan on Friday, diplomats said, and instead came up with its own plan - a measure of the gulf between the two sides.

The six powers - the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany - had sought a concrete response from Iran to their February offer of modest sanctions relief if Tehran stops its most contentious nuclear work.

But instead Iranian negotiators outlined their own “specific” plan to resolve the dispute, which has been plagued by mutual mistrust and on-off negotiations for a decade.

FULL ARTICLE (Reuters)

Photo: Marjolein Katsma/Flickr

Iran Signals Flexibility as World Powers Seek Progress | Bloomberg
By Jonathan Tirone & Indira A.R. Lakshmanan 
Iran countered a proposal intended to address concerns over the Persian Gulf country’s nuclear ambitions by urging world powers to outline their vision for bringing the decade-long dispute to an end.
Iran wants to define the “dimensions” of the negotiating process as well as its “final outcome,” Ali Bagheri, deputy secretary of Iran’s supreme national security council, said today in Almaty, Kazakhstan, where a new round of talks began. The Islamic republic’s counterparts said earlier they expected “concrete” progress from the meeting.
“Confidence-building measures are measures that both sides in an agreement need to take,” Bagheri said through a translator. “They are part of a comprehensive set of measures.”
While Iran seeks a lifting of sanctions saddling its economy, world powers have offered some easing of the restrictions in return for halting atomic work they say may enable weapons production. Iran’s nuclear costs, estimated at $100 billion and rising, may make compromise more difficult as diplomats seek a breakthrough in Kazakhstan.
FULL ARTICLE (Bloomberg)
Photo: Flickr/European External Action Service

Iran Signals Flexibility as World Powers Seek Progress | Bloomberg

By Jonathan Tirone & Indira A.R. Lakshmanan 

Iran countered a proposal intended to address concerns over the Persian Gulf country’s nuclear ambitions by urging world powers to outline their vision for bringing the decade-long dispute to an end.

Iran wants to define the “dimensions” of the negotiating process as well as its “final outcome,” Ali Bagheri, deputy secretary of Iran’s supreme national security council, said today in Almaty, Kazakhstan, where a new round of talks began. The Islamic republic’s counterparts said earlier they expected “concrete” progress from the meeting.

“Confidence-building measures are measures that both sides in an agreement need to take,” Bagheri said through a translator. “They are part of a comprehensive set of measures.”

While Iran seeks a lifting of sanctions saddling its economy, world powers have offered some easing of the restrictions in return for halting atomic work they say may enable weapons production. Iran’s nuclear costs, estimated at $100 billion and rising, may make compromise more difficult as diplomats seek a breakthrough in Kazakhstan.

FULL ARTICLE (Bloomberg)

Photo: Flickr/European External Action Service