US to press nuke issue at talks with Iran

US negotiators will demand access to the recently revealed nuclear facility near Qom during the P5+1 talks that begin today in Geneva.

CNN has the story:


"These will not be easy talks," warned one senior U.S. administration official.

The first task in Geneva will be to test whether Iran is ready to engage on the nuclear issue. The question will be: "What steps are they willing to take to build confidence with the international community," said one official.

According to three senior U.S. administration officials, the United States wants IAEA nuclear monitors to have unfettered access to the facility.

The first option would be to persuade Iran to change its ways through dialogue, but if that fails, then isolation and sanctions are other options, they said.

"If it's not going to succeed, then there has to be consequences," an official said.

Pressure could also come from the U.N. Security Council, the United States or other like-minded nations.

"They will respond," one official said referring to Iran. "If not, they will pay the price."

The still unspecified "price" - almost certainly referring to sanctions - Iran will pay for non-cooperation in the nuclear sphere will be so watered down by the time they are passed as to be next to meaningless. In fact, it would not be surprising if Iran walked out of these talks and withdrew fro the Non-Proliferation Treaty - something they have threatened to do in the past.

Also of note, the Iranian Foreign Minister paid a visit to Washington yesterday:

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was in Washington visiting the Iranian interest section at Pakistan's U.S. Embassy, a State Department spokesman said Wednesday.

"There are no plans that he will meet with anyone from the United States government. And I'm not aware of any plans that he would meet with anyone on behalf of the United States government," P. J. Crowley said at the daily State Department briefing.

Crowley said U.S. officials granted permission for Mottaki to come to the United States after Iran made a request for the visit. Asked when it was decided to grant the permission, Crowley said, "it might have been in the last 24 hours."

"I wouldn't read too much into this. It was a straightforward request, and we granted it," he said. But he also noted that "it's probably been awhile" since an Iranian foreign minister was in Washington.

Mottaki's presence in Washington may suggest some "back channel" negotiations to some but I'm doubting it. Why should the Iranians negotiate when the world has yet to demonstrate that they have the will to stop them from making nuclear bombs?







US negotiators will demand access to the recently revealed nuclear facility near Qom during the P5+1 talks that begin today in Geneva.

CNN has the story:


"These will not be easy talks," warned one senior U.S. administration official.

The first task in Geneva will be to test whether Iran is ready to engage on the nuclear issue. The question will be: "What steps are they willing to take to build confidence with the international community," said one official.

According to three senior U.S. administration officials, the United States wants IAEA nuclear monitors to have unfettered access to the facility.

The first option would be to persuade Iran to change its ways through dialogue, but if that fails, then isolation and sanctions are other options, they said.

"If it's not going to succeed, then there has to be consequences," an official said.

Pressure could also come from the U.N. Security Council, the United States or other like-minded nations.

"They will respond," one official said referring to Iran. "If not, they will pay the price."

The still unspecified "price" - almost certainly referring to sanctions - Iran will pay for non-cooperation in the nuclear sphere will be so watered down by the time they are passed as to be next to meaningless. In fact, it would not be surprising if Iran walked out of these talks and withdrew fro the Non-Proliferation Treaty - something they have threatened to do in the past.

Also of note, the Iranian Foreign Minister paid a visit to Washington yesterday:

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was in Washington visiting the Iranian interest section at Pakistan's U.S. Embassy, a State Department spokesman said Wednesday.

"There are no plans that he will meet with anyone from the United States government. And I'm not aware of any plans that he would meet with anyone on behalf of the United States government," P. J. Crowley said at the daily State Department briefing.

Crowley said U.S. officials granted permission for Mottaki to come to the United States after Iran made a request for the visit. Asked when it was decided to grant the permission, Crowley said, "it might have been in the last 24 hours."

"I wouldn't read too much into this. It was a straightforward request, and we granted it," he said. But he also noted that "it's probably been awhile" since an Iranian foreign minister was in Washington.

Mottaki's presence in Washington may suggest some "back channel" negotiations to some but I'm doubting it. Why should the Iranians negotiate when the world has yet to demonstrate that they have the will to stop them from making nuclear bombs?