Thursday, January 24, 2013

Iran is playing hard to get ...

[TIME] "... Although Iran’s efforts to learn the contents of the next P5+1 offer ahead of another round of talks have been rebuffed, Marashi says signals from Russia and China have persuaded Tehran that it will not include substantial sanctions relief. ”The fact that Russia has publicly demanded that the U.S. show greater flexibility is a sign that the package being offered by the P5+1 is unlikely to interest Iran,” he explains, “which may be why they’re holding off on committing to new talks for fear of being blamed for their failure. Iran won’t be able to stay away from the negotiating table beyond February or March, though, because Russia and China wouldn’t accept that and would turn up the pressure. Still, if the basic positions being offered by the two sides doesn’t change, the result may simply be more talking for talking’s sake.”
Iran is playing hard to get because its decision makers reportedly believe Iran faces no imminent threat of military action, and are confident in their ability to absorb the impact of further sanctions. Moreover, some of the voices around Supreme Leader Ayatullah Ali Khamenei claim that the West won’t offer a deal that recognizes Iran’s nuclear rights, meaning that talks inevitably fail and tee up further escalations of pressure..."

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