Negotiations wrapped up on Tuesday in Moscow between Iran and world pow- ers over Iran’s controversial nuclear programme. Host nation and broker of the dialogues, Russia said that after “tense and tough” talks, in conclusion, little ground was gained.
The two-day Moscow meeting fol- lowed a decade long standoff over Iran’s nuclear programme, which it maintains is peaceful. The United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany want assurances from Tehran that it has no intention of enriching uranium for military driven nuclear aims.
For its part Iran hopes to gain some breathing room from intense sanc- tions and at least a public recognition from the world powers of its right to enrich uranium, which it believes is the prerogative of sovereign nations. With Iran’s non-cooperation with Interna- tional Atomic Energy Agency inspec- tors it is not a public recognition they will receive.
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov led their delegation at the talks and told reporters that he wasn’t discouraged by the poor out- come of the talks in Moscow. He said he still hoped for a “reasonable outcome.”
Skeptics of dialogue with Iran claim that Tehran is using diplomacy to buy the time needed to reach weapons- grade enrichment levels, which would alter its bargaining position significantly.
But Iran is facing a tough crowd. Fresh financial sanction on Iran by the US are set to take effect at the end of the month followed by an EU embargo on Iranian oil immediately after that.
With little gains from Moscow, financial markets continue to wobble over the threat of higher oil prices. Iran is exporting 40 percent less oil in the last year as a result of sanctions and has only served to exacerbate volatility in oil prices caused by critical events in crucial oil producing nations including the transition to a new heir in Saudi Arabia this week and the conflict in Libya last year.
The Moscow talks are the third at- tempt to gain ground on the stalemate a year and a half of saber rattling from the West and Israel with threats of attacks against nuclear facilities in Iran and the suspicious deaths of nuclear scientists.