After nuclear talks fail, Iran rails at 'enemies' – and leaves door open for new round
Iran responded to the failure of nuclear talks last weekend with dual-track rhetoric, saying that 'there is hope' but accusing the West of 'blocking progress.'
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On the diplomatic side, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for a resumption of talks, telling a crowd of thousands in northern Iran on Sunday that “there is hope that in the next sessions, good results would be achieved” if the six world powers were “committed to law, justice, and respect.”
Brushing aside the fact that two days of talks in Istanbul failed to get out of the starting blocks – stalled over two Iranian preconditions, and with no plans for future sessions – Mr. Ahmadinejad said that “in the upcoming meetings there will be good agreements made, provided the two parties remain committed to the spirit of the talks.”
And on the pressure side, that spirit might be tested by some of Ahmadinejad’s other language. To the crowds, he accused “uncultured Zionists [Israelis] and some people in America” for blocking progress and making sure “the [Iran] issues remain unresolved.”
Speaking later to veterans and martyrs’ families, Ahmadinejad railed against familiar “enemies”: the US and Western nations – the most powerful of them represented at the nuclear talks – and Israel.
“The Iranian nation will stand fast until oppression is rooted out and the flag of justice is raised in the world, keeping the enemy wishing forever that Iran take even one step back,” said Ahmadinejad, as quoted by the semiofficial Fars News Agency. “They [the enemy] committed numerous crimes and even violate the rules and restrictions that they themselves had set.”
Talks stuck on Iran's 'right to enrich'
Expectations were low for the talks in Istanbul between Iran and the so-called P5+1 – the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, the US, Russia, China, Britain and France, along with Germany – but few predicted failure to get beyond Iran’s preconditions that its “right to enrich” uranium be stated, and that sanctions be lifted.
In his lengthy press conference after the talks, Iran’s chief negotiator Saeed Jalili said his up-front insistence on the two points “are not preconditions, rather they are requirements [also translated as prerequisites] for talks and discussions.”
The UN Security Council requires Iran to stop enriching uranium – a process for making fuel for nuclear power plants, as well as at much higher levels for a bomb – until the Islamic Republic clarifies remaining questions about possible weapons-related designs. The Council has imposed four sets of sanctions on Iran.