US Threatens More Iran Sanctions on Eve of Istanbul Talks

Despite Official 'Optimism' Little Expected From Talks

by Jason Ditz, January 19, 2011

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton greeted the day before the beginning of the high profile P5+1 talks with Iran is Istanbul the way US officials so often have, by threatening yet more sanctions that will likely undermine what little good will remains.

Officially everyone (except the US) seems to be going into the talks filled with optimism, and with pledges that the serious deals which have eluded all the previous discussions will suddenly crop up this time.

Privately though, it doesn’t seem that anyone really believes the talks will accomplish much of anything, beyond giving each participant a chance to blame someone else for the inevitable failure.

The Obama Administration is going into the talks with even more onerous demands than the ones which were rejected previously, and Iranian officials still aren’t considering the abandonment of their civilian program. Those two positions leave no serious room for negotiation between them, and it is expected that the talks will fairly quickly break down, as they did in Geneva.

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