Farid Marjai asked me to contribute some questions for an interview (also in Farsi) of Mr. Peter Jenkins, former British ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency,ent who has recently published a piece on LobeLog entitled The latest offer to Iran of nuclear talks: don’t hold your breath. Regarding this:
IRD: In your article you express pessimism regarding the current p5+1 negotiations because, you ask “what would the West have to offer Iran?”
Could you explain why this question is a cause of pessimism with respect to the talks?
PJ: In any meaningful negotiation a degree of reciprocity is required to produce an agreed outcome. Supposing Iran were to tell the P5+1 that it was ready to apply the Additional Protocols and modified code 3.1, to resolve all outstanding IAEA questions, and to volunteer a number of "confidence-building measures" (CBMs) to show to neighbors that it intends to continue respecting the NPT – how could the West reciprocate? The White House cannot concede any diminution in the pressure of bilateral or UN sanctions in an electoral year, for fear of the President’s opponents accusing him of weakness, and the White House would be unhappy if the European Union were to rescind bilateral EU sanctions. Conclusion: it is hard to envisage any progress through talks/negotiations this year, even if the P5+1 were to drop its insistence on full implementation of all UN demands as a precondition.