US Criticizes Iran After Talks With IAEA

There is a transparent effort to make Iran appear inflexible, while Western postures reveal the same stubborn approach

by John Glaser, June 09, 2012

Western officials are pointing to a supposed lack of success in Iran’s parallel talks with the UN nuclear watchdog as a further point of leverage ahead of a third round of negotiations between the Islamic Republic and world powers.

“We’re disappointed,” said Robert Wood, acting U.S. envoy to the IAEA, in reference to the failure of Iran and the IAEA to come to a final agreement on Friday.

“Yesterday’s outcome highlights Iran’s continued failure to abide by its commitment to the IAEA, and further underscores the need for it to work with the IAEA to address international community’s real concerns,” he said.

The IAEA had been pressing Tehran to give its inspectors immediate access to the Parchin military complex – not a declared nuclear facility – where it believes testing or research for weaponization might have recently taken place, although they’ve offered almost no evidence for the charge.

Western powers have little to criticize Iran for in this diplomatic process, given they’ve demanded Iran halt all or most of its uranium enrichment – thus denying the rights afforded them under international treaties – and refused to ease the harsh economic sanctions dragging down Iran’s economy.

All of this is being done in an environment of intimidation. As Reza Nasri over at PBS Frontline’s Tehran Bureau put it recently, “world powers are again poised to ‘solve’ an international crisis through an ‘agreement’ that is essentially predicated on intimidation, illegal threats of military action, unilateral ‘crippling’ sanctions, sabotage, and extrajudicial killings of Iran’s brightest minds.”

After the failed talks in 2009 and 2010, wherein Obama ended up mysteriously rejecting the very deal he demanded the Iranians accept, as Harvard Prof. of international affairs Stephen Walt wrote last week, the Iranian leadership “has good grounds for viewing Obama as inherently untrustworthy.”

The Iranians have offered a full stop to uranium enrichment at 20 percent – the supposed pretext for these talks – so long as the West agrees to ease the economic warfare crippling Iran’s energy and banking sector. But the West has not yet responded to such overtures, which could lead to a breakdown of talks altogether.

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