Scott Petersen of the Christian Science Monitor reports that "Hopes fade for progress at Iran nuclear talks in Baghdad":
Hope for swift progress on a nuclear deal with Tehran faded dramatically today, as world powers presented Iran with a list of stringent demands to curb its uranium enrichment but offered little sanctions relief in return.
Gee, when has that happened before?
In general this document [the EU offer belatedly made to Iran pursuant to the Paris Agreement deal of 2003] is vague on incentives and heavy on demands. It proposes
new processes of further dialogue with the potential for cooperation in a number of
areas, but few concrete offers. The demands upon Iran in contrast are specific and
Well, I hate to say it, but I told you so.
This is particularly sad:
"This is what we were afraid of," says the Iranian diplomat. "No one is going to accept these things this way. The 20 percent and shutting down Fordow, in return for nothing? Nothing?"
Yes, nothing. Just like before. You know, they say the definition of insanity is doing things over and over, and each time expecting a different result. Sheesh! How many times do we have to watch this same movie again?
Now, some optimists will say that this is only the begining, perhaps even these talks were intended to end badly so that each side can mark out their initial starting points whilst protecting their backs and flanks from charges of giving in too easily, etc...but wishful thinking, hopes and desires are no substitute for objective observation of a long pattern of similar incidents through out the history of this standoff, in which a lot of hope was invested into a process that the US side killed, torpedoed and undermined, starting from the Paris Agreement deal to the Turkish-Brazilian uranium swap deal. I just don't see this process ever panning out. The pundits can write out long articles giving advice about how everyone just has to get along, and how they have to break the rules, etc. etc. but let me remind everyone that the nuclear issue was never really the problem anyway. That was merely a pretext and cover for a deeper policy, namely, of imposing regime-change on Iran. So there's no point in discussing how to get to yes with Iran if one side has no intention or desire to get to yes but in fact specifically wants to not get to a yes. There are just too many fundamental, structural problems to these talks which haven't been overcome, namely, that the US side has still basically not given up the plan to regime-change Iran.