Iran’s talks with "5 +1" countries - why Kazakhstan?
Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 5 / Trend /
Dalga Khatinoglu, Trend Iran News Service chief
Kazakhstan has officially confirmed that the country will host talks on the nuclear program between Iran and the "5 +1" countries. But why Kazakhstan?
Upon Iran's initiative, talks on the nuclear program were held in Turkey, Iraq and Russia in 2012. Iraq's Shiite government led by Nuri al-Maliki is a close ally of Iran. Turkey is not only a Muslim country, but also a country in non-compliance with Western sanctions, and the largest economic partner of Iran. Russia is one of the six countries (along with the U.S., Great Britain, France, China and Germany) and holds about the same position with Iran against the West.
This year Iran offered to hold talks in Egypt, but the "5 +1" countries dismissed this proposal. Egypt is a Muslim country, in addition, Iran has been seeking to expand relations with the country for many years. It should be noted that there have been no diplomatic relations between Iran and Egypt for 33 years. Both countries are members of the Non-Aligned Movement. Last year, the OSCE Chairmanship was passed to Iran from Egypt.
Except for Egypt, Iran offered to hold talks in Sweden, Switzerland and Turkmenistan. Switzerland refused to implement European sanctions against Iran, as the country is not a EU member. According to the media of Western countries and Israel, in January 2012, Sweden was against European sanctions on Iran's oil and banking sectors.
As for Kazakhstan, it is also a Muslim country and a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, created as a counterweight to NATO. Furthermore, it is a country that annually exports 20,000 tons of uranium.
Therefore, any proposal from Iran pursues a particular goal.
It is clear that the venue of the talks on the nuclear program does not matter in terms of the results. However, it seems that Iran is working in two directions. The first is improving relations with the countries with which there is a potential for expansion of cooperation, and an attempt to show them attention. The second is extension of "5 +1" format. Iran has previously claimed the country's support to the involvement of other countries, such as Turkey or Egypt to talks on its nuclear program.
It remains to be seen whether Iran will be able to end the "monopoly" of the "six" countries. However, at least this attempt coincides with the desire of the Muslim countries to participate in such negotiations, and therefore they should be given a greater role in resolving international issues.