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Regime set to blame West for talks failure.

The Islamic Republic appears to making preparations to try to blame the Big Six countries for any suspension of talks over Iran's nuclear program.

Over the last few weeks, Iranian officials have frequently been saying the Big Six do not appear to be interested in continuing then talks. Some officials have said the complete opposite--for example, some have said that President Obama is desperate to keep the talks going beyond the November elections so he does not look like a failure.

But the trend has been to prepare the Iranian public for an end to the talks. The key evidence for that comes from Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, Mohammad Khazaee, who last Friday held a very rare news conference in New York for the purpose of blaming the Big Six nations for any breakdown.

Khazaee said the West appears unready for constructive negotiations with Iran.

He said falsely that the main focus of the talks is the recognition of Iran's right to enrich uranium under the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Khazaee said, "The US and some Europeans have said they are going to increase their pressure and sanctions on us. This by itself indicates that they are not willing to engage with us in a meaningful dialogue."


He further said, "At the same time, it is clear to us that some members of the 5-plus1, for whatever reasons--obviously and mainly political reasons--are not forthcoming and serious enough for finding a solution.

"If the talks do not proceed as they should, we are going to have another standoff in the talks, Therefore, we can say that we are at a critical point in our talks."

Further talks were scheduled for this week, on Tuesday, after the Iran Times went to press. They were at the "ex pert level," not the political level that has been meeting to date. Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief, said this was the last opportunity for Iran to show some progress. Without something emerging from Tusday's talks, there would be no justification for further senior level talks, she said.

Some have surmised that the lower level talks were proposed by the West on the hope that Iran might permit some low-level staff to make concessions; if those concessions blew up at home, the Islamic Republic could sacrifice the low-level officials and the higher-level officials who actually authorized he concessions would be protected.

There is a widespread belief that no one in the upper ranks is willing to make concessions for fear that almost everyone else in the upper ranks will condemn them. Many analysts see that major political figures all want to settle the friction with the West, as the public desires, and reap the credit for that. At the same time, no one in the establishment wishes to allow someone else in the hierarchy to reap the credit--so anyone who steps out front gets stepped upon by the rest of the establishment.

If that is an accurate analysis, it is also a prescription for no progress whatsoever.
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Publication:Iran Times International (Washington, DC)
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:Jul 6, 2012
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