June 12, 2012
A spokesman for EU foreign executive Catherine Ashton, who heads the six-power group in nuclear negotiations with Iran, reported Monday night, June 11, that Tehran is now willing to discuss high-grade uranium enrichment in the next round of nuclear talks in Moscow on June 18-19.
The claim is false. Tehran consistently refuses to discuss its “right to enrichment” and threatened not to turn up for the Moscow session after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton demanded last week that Iran come to the table with “concrete plans” for curbing uranium enrichment up to 20 percent purity.
Iran has not backtracked: Ashton got nothing new from an hour of tense conversation with senior negotiator Saeed Jalili and had to be satisfied with issuing the noncommittal statement, “The Iranians agreed on the need for Iran to engage on the (six powers’) proposals, which address its concerns on the exclusively peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program.”
Enrichment remained unmentioned – least of all, any reference to the international inspectors’ discovery that Iran was enriching uranium up to 27 percent – and the “exclusively peaceful nature” of Iran’s nuclear program was endorsed.
From the outset, the talks between the six powers (US, China, Russia, Germany, France and Britain) in Istanbul (April 14) and Baghdad (23.5) and Tehran were falsely presented by the US and the European Union as different from previous diplomacy in that Tehran was now prepared to discuss the controversial aspects of its nuclear program.
This article was posted: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 3:09 am