EU HR Catherine Ashton Wants Progress in Iran Talks

European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton

Stop Fundamentalism – Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative, calls for progress in nuclear negotiations between western powers and Iran that is taking place in Almaty, Kasakhstan today.

In a statement released by European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton, emphasized the concerns of the international community with regards to the nature of Iran’s nuclear program.   She described west’s ambition for the talks to be seeing “progress by the end of the meeting.”

The western powers have announced in advance that they will be coming to the talks with a new deal or what Catherine Ashton described in her statement as “new revised offer.”

A Reuters report, quoting a U.S. official, indicates that the world powers are ready and will offer Iran relief from crippling sanction they have imposed on the country if Tehran would accept easing down on its nuclear program.

However, many media and political observers doubt that the efforts would result in any major breakthroughs. Multiple negotiations with Iran in the past have not yielded any progress as Tehran continues to race forward with its nuclear program.  The west suspects the program has military objectives and some warn that Iran would be able to produce a nuclear bomb in a very short period of time in the future.

While the U.S. President, Barak Obama, is pushing for diplomacy with regards to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, he has not ruled out military options to stop the country from acquiring nuclear weapons.  Obama has repeatedly emphasized in the past that Iran having a nuclear bomb would be a “red line” for his administration.

AP reports that the first session of the talks are taking place privately in a hotel in Almaty, Kasakhstan and reporters are not allowed in the premises while the talks go on because they are considered very sensitive.

Representing Iran in the Negotiations, Saeed Jalili, is considered the voice of Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei, who holds the role of the main decision maker with regards to Iran’s nuclear program.  Khamenei rejected a Washington-Tehran direct negotiation just recently.

The west is using what they call a dual-track approach with Iran as they use sanctions and negotiations to force Tehran to curve its threats against the west, specifically the advancement in it uranium enrichment program.

Iran however wants, as a precondition to negotiations, the sanctions to be removed.

Some observers fear that Iran uses the negotiations to play with time giving it the opportunity to get closer to developing the bomb.