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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Surprise: P 5+1 talks a failure

The P 5+1 talks on Monday were a disaster, and although there will be another round of talks on Tuesday, it sounds like any future talks are in jeopardy.
The international diplomatic bloc—comprised of the five permanent United Nations Security Council members, plus Germany—are seeking Iran's willingness to suspend its enrichment of uranium to 20% purity, which is viewed as dangerously close to weapons grade.

But the Iranian delegation, led by chief negotiator Saeed Jalili, restated its position that the international powers must first recognize Iran's right to produce nuclear fuel and offer relief from sanctions. The Obama administration and its diplomatic partners have so far refused.

The U.S. believes Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran says its program is purely for civilian purposes.

The international group is led by Catherine Ashton, the European Union's foreign-policy chief. Her spokesman said after Monday's session that the talks had been "very intense, tough."

On Monday night, members of the Iranian delegation dined with their Russian hosts before a second day of meetings. The Iranians had been hoping to ease some of the Western sanctions, especially the oil embargo. But by recommitting to the imposition of the embargo, the international bloc rejected the overture.
But what will happen with Obama's reelection bid?

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