Iran has begun a second day of talks in the hopes of advancing the legitimacy of its nuclear program. The Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Saeed Jalili, met with EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton in Moscow on Monday.
Russia is playing host to the talks, maintaining its position as broker of progress in dialogue with Iran as the nation struggles with international pressure against its nuclear program. The EU is hoping to make gains in the now decade long standoff where all other measures have failed.
Iran maintains that its nuclear operation are for medical and energy purposes but refuses to commit to any promises not to develop a military grade nuclear program unless the six powers publicly recognize that they have the right to enrich uranium for a peaceful nuclear programme.
Sanctions have been a key aspect of the negotiations. New U.S. and European Union sanctions are due to come into effect in two weeks. Though the easing of sanction are hampered by the findings of an independent panel of experts to UN Security Council that is reporting that Iran has breached the sanctions in three illegal shipments of arms to Syria during the current crisis facing the Al-Assad government in which thousands of Syrians have been killed.
The report has not yet been released, but the Security Council meets today in an emergency session on Syria where French Permanent Representative to the UN, Martin Briens, has promised to push for stronger sanctions against Syria. He also stressed that in the case of Iran, “Syria, which brutally represses its people, is implicated in most of the cases of violations of the arms embargo notified to the committee.”