Ex-Iranian ambassador: No progress to be achieved in upcoming talks

Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 30 / Trend T.Konyayeva /

No progress will be reached in talks until all of the parties are ready to compromise, Iranian First Ambassador to the U.N., International Relations Professor at Bennington College, Vermont, Mansour Farhang told Trend today.

"I doubt that there will be any progress because both stand on their public statements," Farhang said. "There does not seem to be a common objective that could be a compromise."

In early November, Iran offered to negotiate its nuclear program in Istanbul on Nov. 23 or Dec. 5. The proposal was made in a letter to EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton. According to media, Ashton intends to adopt a proposal to convene a meeting of the "Six" (Russia, the United States, China, Britain, France and Germany) on Dec. 5, but in Geneva.

The talks were interrupted in 2009 when the IAEA Board of Governors condemned Iran for building a second uranium enrichment plant in Qum. The board also called on Tehran to prove that no decisions had been made to build other nuclear facilities that had not been declared to the agency.

Farhang said progress in the negotiations is impossible, as Iran is not going to compromise with respect to its uranium enrichment and so far the United States seems to be following the so-called "two-track" policy of putting more and more economic and political pressure on Iran.

Following the adoption of Resolution No. 1929 in June by the U.N. Security Council, the U.S. Congress passed a bill on unilateral anti-Iran sanctions on June 24.

Later, in July this year, EU leaders, and later foreign ministers, proposed additional sanctions against Iran at the Brussels meeting. On Oct. 25, the foreign ministers of all EU countries approved additional sanctions against Iran at a meeting in Luxembourg.

The West's consent, Iran's right to a nuclear program, and its will to submit to unqualified and unconditional IAEA inspections are required to achieve success in the talks, Farhang said.

"But I do not see that possibility in the upcoming talks," he said.

The United States and other Western countries accuse Iran of developing nuclear weapons for military purposes under the guise of a peaceful nuclear energy program. Tehran denies the charges, claiming that its nuclear program is aimed solely at meeting its electricity needs.

Nevertheless, the Iranian authorities twice in the last six months denied IAEA inspectors entry into the country. The inspections were aimed at confirming that all of the nuclear material in Iran is used for peaceful purposes.

Iran will definitely continue its enrichment program. There is no chance that Iran will stop enrichment under any circumstances, Farhang added.

"It may be that they will accept up to certain level that is not weapon-grade enriched uranium in exchange for serious economic and political concessions but not stopping enrichment," he said.

The purity of uranium in its natural form is 0.7 percent. If one increases the content to three or five percent, then low-enriched uranium may be used as fuel for nuclear power plants.

The repetition of the enrichment process leads to the production of uranium with a higher degree of purity. Weapons-grade uranium must have a certain level of critical mass and 90 percent purity. The expensive and lengthy process of obtaining highly enriched uranium is carried out with only one purpose - to manufacture nuclear bombs.

The U.S. expert believes that the only way out of this difficult situation is to find a compromise on key issues.

"Otherwise, these negotiations could continue to go on because the United States is not ready to take military actions and Iran wants to pretend that its nuclear program is completely peaceful," Farhang said.

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