Iran nuclear talks in Moscow may be delayed, say diplomats
Two diplomats close to the Iran nuclear talks, one Iranian and one European, each explain to the Monitor the frustrations and concerns that could delay the June 18-19 talks.
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If the scheduled talks – the third round in just over two months – do take place June 18-19, says an Iranian diplomat close to the negotiations, they will be "really tough."
"Even if the Moscow talks start [on] time, I believe that it will be the scene of complaints for Iran and [world powers] and may finally agree to have a next round as a result," says the Iranian diplomat, contacted in Tehran. "But the question is: How long could it be continued like this?"
Officials from both sides accuse each other of not being "serious" about engagement, of stalling for time, and being unwilling to strike a deal that would calm Western and Israelis fear about Iran ever trying to build a nuclear weapon; lift crippling sanctions on Iran; and avoid possible military strikes by Israel or the US.
That call will come amid increasingly acrimonious exchanges that illustrate the stark challenges that remain to a negotiated solution between Iran and the P5+1 group (comprised of the US, Russia, China, England, France and Germany) represented by Ms. Ashton.
Iranian diplomat: 'Nothing but some vague replies'
The most recent letter late yesterday, from Mr. Jalili's deputy to Ashton's deputy, Helga Schmid, expressed "surprise" that Ms. Schmid's earlier letter "tabled issues that were a long way apart" from previous agreements and did not address Iran's counteroffer put forward in Baghdad in late May.
Jalili's deputy, Ali Bagheri, also asked why the P5+1 refused to meet at the experts level prior to the Moscow talks.
"If the agreements of each round of talks cannot be followed up at the level of deputies and experts, what guarantee will there be for the success of future talks?" Bagheri wrote in the letter that was leaked to Iranian media.