Jerusalem, May 24 – The world’s top powers face an uphill battle at talks with Iran, which so far is refusing to stop enriching uranium or open its secret nuclear sites to international inspection unless tough economic sanctions against it are first lifted.
“Iran underlined that the talks with the six world powers in Baghdad should result in a removal of the western sanctions, stressing that the West's embargos have no legal basis,” the Iranian FARS news agencyreported.
The talks in Bagdad pit Iran against Russia, China, France, Germany, the U.K. and U.S., who are united in insisting the Islamic republic, finally comply with numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions. Those resolutions have demanded since 2006 that Iran stop enriching uranium and prove to the International Atomic Energy Agency that it is not developing nuclear weapons. Iran refuses to cooperate and claims its program is peaceful, but it will not allow IAEA inspectors into its top secret nuclear facilities.
While details of the talks remain secret, CNN reported that Iran rejected the idea of completely stopping its uranium enrichment as demanded by the U.N. Highly enriched uranium is used to make nuclear bombs.
A new IAEA report on Iran expected to be released Friday will say Iran has installed 350 new centrifuges. If confirmed, it is likely to be seen as a sign of continued defiance by the Islamic state of international demands to suspend such activity, Reuters reported.
“The Iranian regime's long record of deceit and defiance should make us extremely cautious about its willingness to engage in good-faith diplomacy,” American senators Lindsey Graham, Joe Lieberman and John McCain opined in the Wall Street Journal. “And its nuclear pursuit cannot be divorced from its other destabilizing actions—support for violent extremist groups such as Hezbollah and the Taliban, threats against Arab governments and Israel, attempts to assassinate foreign diplomats, and lethal assistance to the Assad regime in Syria.”
Israel’s largest daily newspaper Yediot Aharonot commented, saying: "If the Iranians are determined and if they apply their keen minds in order to fool the entire world, they will have a nuclear installation.”
“The conclusion, as of now: Within a short time Iran will go nuclear and endanger the peace of the world, certainly the existence of the State of Israel,” they paper wrote.