During a full day of talks in a Moscow hotel, the chief Iranian negotiator, Saeed Jalili, repeatedly called for relief from international sanctions and international recognition of Iran’s right to enrich uranium. He also rejected a multilateral confidence-building proposal for Iran to suspend the production of 20%-enriched uranium ”“ widely viewed as a significant proliferation risk ”“ shut the underground plant where much of it is made, and export its stockpile of the material.
In return for these demands ”“ which a senior western diplomat summarised as “stop, shut and ship” ”“ the six-nation group negotiating with Iran, comprising the US, UK, Germany, France, Russia and China, offered to provide fuel for a medical research reactor, as well as help on civilian nuclear safety and parts for civilian airliners.
Jalili rejected this offer. He called for sanctions relief in return for co-operating with the UN nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, and international acceptance of Iran’s right to enrich uranium, something the west is refusing to grant without far greater Iranian transparency on its programme.
“We had an intense and tough exchange of views,” Michael Mann, an EU spokesman speaking on behalf of all six countries, said. “They responded to our package of proposals from Baghdad but, in doing so, brought up lots of questions and well-known positions, including past grievances.”
“We agreed to reflect overnight on each others’ positions,” Mann added.
Double-plus ungood. The warmongers are waiting in the wings, salivating.