A new round of talks between Iran and the G5+1 has begun in Moscow amidst Western pessimism about the outcome and Iran’s defiant claims that it does not fear a breakdown in negotiations.
Reports indicate that the G5+1 representatives are demanding that Iran stop enriching uranium to high levels, and that Tehran might consider this demand if the West recognizes Iran’s right to enrichment. The Iranian state news agency IRNA quoted an informed source from the Iranian negotiating team, who says that if Iran’s right to uranium enrichment is not recognized, the negotiations are sure to fail, and Iran has no fear of such an eventuality. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said in an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine that if European countries provide Iran with 20-percent-enriched fuel, then Iran is prepared to suspend its uranium-enrichment program. Western diplomats, according to international media, are not hopeful about the outcome of the Moscow talks.
Reuters reports that Western diplomats will not be satisfied with a mere openness to continue talks and are looking for concrete results. This is the third time the negotiators have met in the past three months, and so far the talks have yielded no breakthroughs. Iran insists on an easing of sanctions and the recognition of its right to uranium enrichment, but the West maintains that Iran must take tangible steps before any such move.
Iran has continuously denied allegations that its nuclear program has any military dimension and insists that its nuclear activities are its absolute right under the NPT.