Nuclear talks with Iran resume in Geneva
A possible nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 is once again on the table as talks resume in Geneva.
On Wednesday, Iran and the United States, France, Russia, China, Britain and Germany began negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear programme. Just ten days after the previous talks ended due to a lack of consensus, officials seem far more optimistic second time round.
Top of the agenda for the P5+1 is to ensure that Iran agrees to limit its uranium enrichment programme and agrees to more stringent nuclear inspections whilst Iran will push for formal recognition of its right to enrich uranium and reinforce its assertion that it is not pursuing a nuclear weapons programme.
Having long since suspected that Iran is developing a nuclear weapons programme, officials in the West have indicated that Geneva could lead to greater international cooperation with Iran.
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said of the talks: “It is the best chance for a long time to make progress on the gravest problems in foreign policy.”
The very fact that talks are happening so soon after the first round failure is astounding.
In the run up to talks neither the P5+1 nor Iran indicated that they are willing to concede very much.
However, considering the fact that America has imposed restrictions on Iranian activities in the form of sanctions since 1979 and, since 2002, have barely spoken to Iran other than to warn of grave consequences should they ever consider pursuing a nuclear programme and the fact that David Cameron this week became the first British prime minister to telephone an Iranian president in over a decade, talks seem like a good place to start.
Certainly, earlier this year it seemed as if the United States were ready to use military force on Iran with comments from vice president Joe Biden to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee indicating a willingness to move beyond sanctions.
Of the Geneva talks, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani stated that this week’s diplomatic efforts are a step in the right direction.
The president said: “Gunpowder and threats cannot be influential.”
Talks are expected to run until Friday with discussions over a draft agenda expected on Thursday.