Iran has learned many things from North Korea with respect to its nuclear program, and will likely take a page from the DPRK playbook on this matter as well. Negotiations are a means to take some heat off and buy time, of looking busy with negotiations for the sake of appearances while continuing business as usual. The threat of walking out of negotiations becomes another instrument of blackmail.
Negotiations with Iran might wind up a lot like an unregistered temporary marriage, which you can also do in Iran after a long and arduous day of concealing your nuclear program. “France says Iran “two-faced”, skeptical talks can succeed,” by John Irish for Reuters, March 7:
PARIS (Reuters) – France voiced skepticism on Wednesday that a planned revival of talks between six world powers and Iran would succeed, saying Tehran still did not seem sincerely willing to negotiate on the future of its contested nuclear program.
The EU’s foreign policy chief, who represents the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany in dealings with Iran, said on Tuesday they had accepted Iran’s offer to return to talks after a standstill of a year that has seen a drift towards conflict in the oil-rich Gulf.
The talks could dampen what U.S. President Barack Obama has called a rising drumbeat of war, alluding to talk of last-resort Israeli attacks on Iran that he and many others worry would kindle a wider Middle East war and hammer the global economy.
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, however, raised doubt about what the talks could achieve. “I am a little skeptical … I think Iran continues to be two-faced,” Juppe told France’s i-Tele television.
“That’s why I think we have to continue to be extremely firm on sanctions (already imposed on Iran), which in my view are the best way to prevent a military option that would have unforeseeable consequences,” he said.
Iranian officials in Tehran were unavailable for comment.
Iran has pledged to float “new initiatives” at the talks, whose venue and date must be decided, but has not committed itself explicitly to discussing ways of guaranteeing that its nuclear advances will be solely peaceful, as the West demands.
Previous talks have foundered over Iran’s refusal to discuss what it deems its “inalienable” right to develop nuclear energy, and recent Iranian comments have not diverged from that line.
“With God’s help Iran’s nuclear course should continue firmly and seriously. No obstacles can stop our nuclear work,” clerical Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said last month….