Prospect of Istanbul nuclear talks less promising

14:35, January 20, 2011      

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After eight years of struggle over Iran's nuclear program, the prospect of the upcoming nuclear meeting between Iran and the G5+1 countries in Istanbul on Friday and Saturday seems to be less promising.

Both sides are taking steps into the talks with no road map having been developed for the advancement of the talks, instead absolute rhetoric from both sides persisting their earlier stances overshadows the outcome of the meeting.

Local observers here believe the new round of talks in Istanbul would hardly bear any fruits since it is next to impossible that Iran would withdraw from its claims to its nuclear rights.

"There is absolutely no possibility that Iran will give up its peaceful nuclear program" including "the production of nuclear fuel for its civilian reactors," said Dr. Seyed Mohammad Marandi, a research fellow at the Institute of North American and European Studies of Tehran University.

Explaining his views to Xinhua on Sunday only a few days ahead of the Istanbul meeting, Marandi warned that the U.S. persistence on the confrontation policy with Iran in the talks in order to force Iran to withdraw from its nuclear rights "will lead to an increasingly dangerous situation in which the U.S. will not win."

This holds true for the nonflexible rhetoric of Iranian leaders as it comes closer to the meeting days.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that tens of resolutions will not stop Iran's nuclear drive.

"We drive our peaceful nuclear program ahead day by day," and if the Western countries issue tens of other resolutions against Iran, the resolutions will not have any impact on our country's will, Ahmadinejad told a group of official IRNA news agency staff.

Iran is under sanction pressures by the United States, European Union and other western countries over its controversial nuclear program which they believe are moving to the atomic weaponry developments. However, Tehran denied the allegations, claiming that its nuclear program is aimed at civilian and peaceful purpose.

In the latest move in December, the United States imposed unilateral sanctions on several Iranian companies, including two banks, an insurance company and a local shipping line accused of involvement in Iran's nuclear energy program.

Dr. Marandi, denounced the sanctions move as a hostile measure taken by the west, especially by the United States.

He observed the role of the United States in this regard as "a negative role" since, he argues, this "basically ... prevents the issue from being resolved."

"The more the pressure on Iran, the more determined Iran will be to speed up the nuclear program and to push back its antagonists," said the Iranian scholar.

Dr. Marandi's comments are echoed by local analysts when the Iranian president pronounces, only two days ahead of the new talks, another hardliner position by saying that Iran will not withdraw an iota from its nuclear objectives.

The position is further amplified when his words are followed by the Wednesday announcement of a "successful" missile test-fire at Iran's Khondab nuclear sites near Central Arak city.

Amid Iran's tough stance when it says the Islamic Republic will not discuss its nuclear rights in the upcoming nuclear talks, the west also shows no signs of compromise over the nuclear issue.

The EU's foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said last Thursday that the world power would address Iran's nuclear issue despite Tehran's refusal to talk about its nuclear program during the coming talks.

The EU rejection of Iran's invitation for a tour of its nuclear facilities from Saturday to Sunday, which was later turned down by some other world powers, was also considered by the local observers as a sign of pessimism towards the outcome of the talks.

Source: Xinhua

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