Expert: Both Iran and US have reasons to move quickly towards nuclear deal
Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 10 / Trend, S. Isayev
Both Iran and the US have reasons to move quickly toward a deal, and both should realize that urgency is in their own interest, observer of Middle Eastern affairs and research scholar at The University of Texas at Austin, Saif Shahin told Trend.
The expert was commenting on the upcoming nuclear talks between Iran and IAEA on September 27.
Shahin said that while it is too early to predict a breakthrough, he expects the upcoming nuclear talks to be an opportunity for Western diplomats to familiarize themselves with the new Iranian negotiating team.
"Western diplomats will be able to assess how far they are willing to go to assuage Western concerns," he said.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has previously officially assigned the Foreign Ministry to take charge of future nuclear talks with the P5+1 group and the IAEA.
Iran and IAEA are scheduled to hold the next round of nuclear talks on September 27 in Vienna.
Shahin believes the US and he EU would like to see some signs that the new Iranian government will make real concessions at the upcoming nuclear talks.
"The best-case scenario would be for the talks with IAEA to lead to direct negotiations with P5+Germany," Shahin said.
On September 9, Michael Mann, the spokesman for EU Foreign Policy chief and chief negotiator for the P5+1 Catherine Ashton, dismissed rumors on P5+1 having new proposals for Iran. He said that the latest proposals that were made during the talks in Kazakhstan are still on the table.
The P5+1's Almaty proposal offers halting some imposed sanctions against Iran during the following six months as long as Tehran agrees to decrease Fordow site's activity, and suspend uranium enrichment to 20 percent.
Saif Shahin believes that this is the best time for both sides to take things forward if they are serious about it.
"The US mid-term elections are a year from now, which means President Obama will start feeling the heat from the Republicans over his "soft" foreign policy in a few months," Shahin said. "That will curtail his ability to offer anything meaningful to Iran."
Meanwhile, Rouhani has the mandate to change Iran's nuclear stance right now, but that may not remain the case for too long, he said.
"Rouhani is already upsetting powerful interests, and power equations can change very quickly in Iran, as previous president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's experience showed," Shahin underscored.
The U.S. and its Western allies suspect Iran of developing a nuclear weapon - something that Iran denies.
The Islamic Republic has on numerous occasions stated that it does not seek to develop nuclear weapons, using nuclear energy for medical researches instead.