May 22, 2005


Stakes High for Iran Talks: This week's summit in Geneva will focus on containing the nation's nuclear ambitions. The alternative could be a face-off with the U.S. (Alissa J. Rubin and Sebastian Rotella, May 22, 2005, LA Times)

Amid Iranian threats to break off negotiations and European warnings about "irreversible gestures" on Tehran's part, the stakes are high as the two sides prepare to meet over the Islamic Republic's nuclear ambitions.

The outcome of the meeting, scheduled for midweek in Geneva, is crucial not just because of what it could portend for Iran's attainment of nuclear capability. If Iran leaves the negotiating table, the move could raise tensions throughout the Middle East and set the stage for a face-off between Tehran and the United States.

"The immediate concern is that if Iran carries out its threat, the U.S. will bomb them, and people in the region have had enough of wars between the United States and Muslim countries," said Gary Samore, a former advisor to the National Security Council and now director of studies at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. [..]

French diplomats plan to send a message at the Geneva meeting that an Iranian move to restart activity related to uranium enrichment would scuttle the talks and could result in a response by the U.N. Security Council, a French diplomatic official said Friday.

"We will tell them that committing an irreversible gesture makes no sense. It is not in their interest politically, technically or economically. It will put them in the position of being an isolated country. That's not good for their security," said the official, who declined to be identified.

Forget the EU, have the President travel to Iran himself to meet with its leaders about nukes and with reformers about its future.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 22, 2005 12:00 AM
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