No Progress in Latest Round of Iran Talks

P5+1 Not Offering Significant Sanction Relief

by Jason Ditz, March 19, 2013

Iranian officials say that little progress was made in yesterday’s P5+1 talks in Istanbul, Turkey, a sort of secondary set of talks in between the big talks in Kazakhstan, the next round of which will be held next month.

This failure comes as something of a surprise, as both sides seemed to be quite pleased with where they left the matter in February, after the last Kazakhstan meet, and saw one another nearing common ground on some issues.

Yet the Western demands appear to have gotten more onerous, with previous calls to reduce activity at Fordow turning into what Iranians say is tantamount to a full closure, and demanding a full end to all 20 percent uranium enrichment in return for “sanction relief.”

The problem is that while Iran seemed open to either or both of those remedies for US complaints, the “relief” appears to be getting smaller, with Western officials determined to keep a full ban on oil exports and international banking regardless of what Iran does to improve relations. Unless that changes and soon, the April talks could end in quick failure.

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