Another round of nuclear negotiations with Iran has started today, although few people believe the talks are going to bring any major breakthroughs. On the other hand, it is important that the present negotiation effort, is described as a move for building confidence with Tehran. Confidence is an extremely important negotiation factor:
World powers began a new round of high-level talks with Iranian officials Tuesday, trying to find a way out of a years long tussle over Tehran’s nuclear program and its feared ability to make atomic weapons in the future. Few believe the latest attempt to forge a compromise will yield any major breakthroughs, but negotiators are optimistically casting it as a stepping stone toward reaching a workable solution. Officials described the latest diplomatic discussions as a way to build confidence with Iran as the country steadfastly maintains its right to enrich uranium in the face of harsh international sanctions. “The offer addresses the international concern on the exclusively peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program, but it is also responsive to Iranian ideas,” said Michael Mann, spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who is leading the negotiations. “We’ve put some proposals forward which will hopefully allow Iran to show some flexibility.” Mehdi Mohammadi, a member of the Iranian delegation, said Tehran was prepared to make an offer of its own to end the deadlock but will resist some of the West’s core demands. The Obama administration is pushing for diplomacy to solve the impasse but has not ruled out the possibility of military intervention in Iran to prevent it from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Israel has threatened it will use all means to stop Iran from being able to build a bomb, potentially as soon as this summer, raising the specter of a possible Mideast war.
But, bargaining in the broader Middle East means that you have to wait till the last moment for evaluating the final offer:
If you know anything about bargaining here in the Middle East, the final offer is not made until the last moment, and not a second before. The same principle, say Israeli officials, could be applied to the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. “We will only know at the last minute of the last round if Iran has an offer to make and wants to strike a deal,” one Israeli official said. Tehran and the so-called P5 Plus One – the United States, China, Russia, Germany, France and Britain – agreed to hold five rounds of talks aimed at persuading Iran to curb its nuclear program, because of suspicions that the program aims to produce weapons.The first two rounds, in Istanbul and Baghdad, produced only enough progress to move to the next round in Moscow. In Baghdad, the six major powers made a proposal for Iran to curb its production of high-grade uranium, ship any stockpile of it out of the country and close its underground facility at Fordo, where uranium enrichment is taking place. After signs of an impasse, Iran said it was willing to discuss the proposal next week in Moscow in exchange for easing sanctions. But Israel sees Iran’s gestures as all part of the game. And while officials will be watching next week’s talks with great fanfare, they aren’t expecting any breakthroughs.”All we have seen so far is posturing, preparing the ground and atmospherics,” the Israeli official said. “This was to be expected.”
Iran’s efforts to expand its nuclear activity, is an issue of crucial strategic importance for the U.S. and the West, as Washington puts on table its proposal for a limited sanctions relief, as Tehran is in great commercial and financial need for improving its relations with the rest of the world:
Iran said it was prepared to make an offer to major powers in talks on its nuclear program in Kazakhstan on Tuesday, after the United States proposed limited sanctions relief in return for a halt to the most controversial work. The first meeting in eight months between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany - the “P5+1″ – aims to resolve a dispute that threatens to trigger another war in the Middle East. Iran has used the last eight months to expand activity that the West suspects is aimed at enabling it to build a nuclear bomb, something that Israel has suggested it will prevent by force if diplomacy fails. The negotiations in the city of Almaty – which follow inconclusive meetings last year in Istanbul, Baghdad and Moscow – were expected to run through Tuesday and Wednesday. But with the Islamic Republic’s political elite preoccupied with worsening infighting before a presidential election in June, few believe the meeting will yield a quick breakthrough. “It is clear that nobody expects to come from Almaty with a fully done deal,” a spokesman for the European Union’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who oversees contacts with Iran on behalf of world powers, said shortly after talks started.
Israel on its part, is moving forward with further testing the new Arrow 3 next generation interceptor which is developed in cooperation with the U.S.:
Boeing, Israel Aerospace Industries complete first Arrow 3 Interceptor flight test – Avionics Intelligence
The new Arrow 3 interceptor, which Boeing and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) are co-developing to enhance Israel’s ballistic missile defense, today successfully completed its first flight test. Arrow 3 is the next-generation interceptor for the Arrow Weapon System jointly developed by Israel and the United States. It can be launched earlier and engage threats at higher altitudes outside the Earth’s atmosphere than previous interceptors. “This successful test underscores the effectiveness of the decade-long cooperative relationship we have forged with IAI on the Arrow program and other international missile defense initiatives,” said Jim Chilton, Boeing vice president and general manager of Strategic Missile & Defense Systems. “Boeing is proud to help advance the Arrow program, which provides Israel with a proven asset in the country’s multi-tier anti-ballistic missile defense strategy.” Today’s flight happened during a test of Israel’s national missile defense system conducted by the Israel Ministry of Defense and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency. The test began at 12:52 a.m. Eastern time when the Arrow 3 interceptor launched from an Israeli test range and concluded with the interceptor being terminated over the Mediterranean Sea.
Finally, everyday negotiation practice proves that, cultivating trust and confidence between different sides in a negotiation process is worth the time and effort invested on it. Although it may not yield realistic results from the first effort. Nuclear negotiations with Iran is a big diplomatic challenge…