Not too many pundits are biting when it comes to the just-completed P5+1 talks in Almaty. Perhaps the headlines aroused a sense of deja vu – as in “positive”, “constructive”, “useful”. The suspicious Iranian enthusiasm overdose may also have made them wary.
Iran’s chief negotiator caused The Washington Post editorial board to come out punching:
“Unfortunately, an equally plausible explanation for Mr. Jalili’s comment was that he was celebrating the fact that, in the eight months since Iran last agreed to meet with the international coalition, the offer to Tehran had grown more, rather than less, generous.”
The Post’s reporting wing, for some reason adopted the Iranian spin and led with this positive headline: ‘Iran nuclear talks end on upbeat note‘, pointing out:
Under the proposal, Iran would freeze production of a more highly enriched form of uranium that can be quickly converted for use in a weapons program. It would also have to agree to more intrusive inspections of its nuclear facilities and to halt uranium enrichment at Fordow, a plant built inside a mountain near the city of Qom.”
This is something Iran still refuses to do — a fact warranting mention.
Meanwhile, Al Monitor , a generally optimistic publication when it comes to these talk sessions, tries to put on a brave face:
“Negotiators from Iran and six world powers announced they would hold two more meetings over the next month to discuss a new international proposal aimed at curbing Iran’s 20% enrichment and nuclear breakout capacity, in exchange for some sanctions relief.”
Al Monitor’s oversight was nothing when compared with the Telegraph’s op-ed by former FM of UK Jack Straw – the same Jack Straw who’s flip-flopped on the issue of force since he had the golden opportunity to stop Iran’s nuclear program in its infancy, way back in 2003. It’s time he read my posts on the potential of a new nuclear arms race – maybe then he’ll finally understand that he dropped the historical ball and owes the international community a serious apology…
Anyway, while most of the Almaty headlines spread season’s greetings and good cheer, the battleship of pressure continues to sail ahead. For instance, as in a new congressional legislative proposal to expand sanctions.
That Kazakhstan media yawn is sheer bliss.