By Sara Rajabova- Azernews:
Never the twain shall meet could be an appropriate title for the current nuclear talks between Iran and the P5 +1 group.
Deep disagreements and mistrust remains between the two sides, Iran on the one hand, and the Western Allies on the other. Although a new round of talks are in going on, they are not expected to lead to any concrete results. Though there is some optimism, West's demands are considered as "excessive" by the Islamic Republic.
Both sides also admit that "deep disagreements" still remain between Iran and the six world powers-the United States, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany.
Tehran says there will be no deal with the P5+1 if Iran's demands are not met. Besides, Iran blames the United States for failure of the negotiations, saying its actions are the main obstacle to a final nuclear deal on Iran's nuclear energy program. Iran has criticized the U.S. for putting forward "excessive demands" during the nuclear discussions.
On the other hand, the West urges Iran to prove that its nuclear energy program is completely peaceful and the country has no intention to develop nuclear weapons.
The main source of disagreement between the sides is the number of centrifuges. The P5+1 call for reduction of the number of centrifuges, however, Iran is against it.
As might be expected, this issue has cast doubt about the future of talks.
Commenting on the prospects of the talks, Professor of economics at U.S. Northeastern University, Kamran Dadkhah told AzerNews that the issue can be assessed under two assumptions: "1. Iran intends to build a nuclear bomb and all negotiations are a cover to buy time; 2. Iran wants nuclear technology but not weapon."
"Many in the West wonder that if Iran is not after a nuclear weapon, then why it its spending more than one hundred billion dollars on this project," Dadkhah said.
He noted that if Tehran's objective is to produce electricity, it could have been accomplished by far less investment in non-nuclear technology or even by buying nuclear fuel from other countries. "Why does Iran need so many centrifuges?" he said.
Dadkhah stressed that if Iran wants only nuclear technology, it could agree with the West's demands.
"On the other hand, if Iran is sincere enough and wants only nuclear technology, then why so much foot dragging? Iran should agree with Western demands. The agreement would lead to lifting of sanctions and revival of Iran's economy. Once good will prevails, it wouldn't be difficult to come back and ask for more centrifuges or other upgrades," he noted.
Dadkhah said at present Iran has a good opportunity to conclude the negotiations and lift the sanctions if it is not really vying for nuclear weapon.
"The threats and atrocities of the Islamic Government (ISIS) have provided an opportunity for cooperation with the West. Iran can show its willingness to cooperate with the West and earn some advantages in negotiations," he said.
Dadkhah went on to say that continuing with prolonged pointless negotiations would be harmful to Iran.
Iran and the six countries signed an interim deal in Geneva last November, which took effect on January 20 and expired six months later on July 20. The two sides have agreed to extend negotiations until November 24.
The negotiating sides are expected to hold a new round of negotiations in New York on September 18.