Experts: EU mediation efforts in Iranian nuclear issue not to give results

Azerbaijan, Baku, June 11 /Trend, E.Ostapenko/

The European Union has little chances of success as a diplomatic mediator between Iran and the West in the Iranian nuclear program, experts say.

"The EU now is seen to be very much in line with the US which means it can not really mediate, because it is part of the game. And that was what Iran was in this sense signaling when it turned to Brazil and Turkey instead," European expert on Iranian policy Rouzbeh Parsi wrote in an e-mail to Trend. 

The UN Security Council on Wednesday adopted another, fourth resolution imposing new sanctions on Iran, who refuses to give up its uranium enrichment activities. 12 members of the Security Council supported the document, Turkey and Brazil voted against, Lebanon abstained.

The new resolution calls for sanctions against Iranian banks abroad, if there is suspicion that they are relevant to the development of Iran's nuclear or missile programs. In addition, the document calls for vigilance in carrying out transactions involving Iranian banks, including the Central Bank.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said that the European Union is ready to discuss the Iranian nuclear issue at the highest level even after the adoption of the resolution on new sanctions.

Immediately after the decision of the Security Council became aware, Ashton said that would seek to meet with the chief Iranian negotiator on the nuclear issue, Saeed Jalili as soon as possible until Iran's nuclear issue will be on the agenda.

"The EU and U.S. understand that new sanctions are not going to stop Iran from its nuclear program whatever it is about. So it is the way they are showing Iranians they can be tough against, but at the same time trying to say "yes, we can still talk"," Parsi, an analyst at the EU Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) in Paris.

То, что ЕС принял в вопросе ядерной программы позицию США, лишило его доверия в самом Иране, и уменьшило шансы успешного посредничества.

"Iran does not trust either the EU or the U.S., as their positions on Iran are the same and therefore, the EU's acting as a mediator is not possible," the chairman of Evrosevik Research Center in London Pirooz Mojtahedzadeh told Trend by telephone.

The mediator must be impartial, but the EU acts together with the U.S. and exerts pressure on Iran in every possible way, Mojtahedzadeh said, doubting that any new means of pressure from the EU will force Iran to make concessions.

The last resolution, consisting of ten pages, is also expanding the UN embargo on arms delivery to Iran and the "black list" of the Iranian companies, which can be imposed restrictive measures. It named the companies associated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps - an elite unit of the armed forces of Iran. In addition, the resolution calls for a regime of inspection of goods, such as that which is applied with regards to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

U.S. and other Western countries accuse Iran of developing nuclear weapons under the guise of peaceful nuclear energy program. Tehran denies the charges, claiming that its nuclear program is aimed at covering the country's electricity needs.

The situation around Iran's nuclear program worsened after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on February 11 that Tehran has made the first batch of uranium enriched at 20 percent and has the potential to produce uranium with a higher degree of enrichment. He also announced plans to triple its production of low enriched uranium.

The opportunity to withdraw from the deadlock was a tripartite agreement on the exchange of Iranian uranium on Turkish territory reached in May between Iran, Turkey and Brazil. According to the document, Iran should send to Turkey 1.2 tons of its low-enriched (3.5 percent) uranium and during a year receive 120 kilograms of nuclear fuel enriched at 20 percent.

The EU, however, did not agree with this proposal. The reason was to change the original terms of the agreement, said expert on Iran Konstantin Kosten.

"Meanwhile Iran has far more enriched Uranium so that 1,200 kg would not be sufficient to eliminate the concerns of the E3+3 and the possibility of Iranian enrichment for one nuclear warhead," Kosten, North Africa and Middle East Program Officer at German Council on Foreign Relations, told Trend.

Another reason are the conditions of the deal which allows Iran to cut it off at any time, he said.

"However, one should take into account that fresh initiatives like the Brazil-Turkish one might be a future opportunity and a starting point for further talks," Kosten said.

Last autumn, the "Vienna Group" (Russia, France, USA and IAEA) offered Iran to conduct additional enrichment of uranium in Russia, but citing the unreliability of the Western partners, demanded that the exchange have to be carried out in the country.

The EU not just could, it also has to be a far more active mediator in the Iranian nuclear issue, Kosten said. Given the fact that Iran is one important player in its region, the EU shall also conduct new means of effective diplomacy, said Kosten, positively assessing EU proposal to conduct dialogue with Iran.
Iran also plays a key role with regard to stability and economic progress in the region which would be of strategic importance for the EU.

D.Khatinoglu contributed to the article.

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