With Iran increasingly manipulating the ISIS crisis in Syria and Iraq as leverage to demand nuclear concessions, the now-extended nuclear talks between Tehran and the six world powers are becoming fraught with even more tension.
The deadlock between Iran and the US on the issue comes at a crucial juncture in the nuclear talks as the November deadline looms. Though few details emerged from last week’s closed-door talks, it appears that Iran is still struggling to “walk the tightrope”, while juggling, and still referring to the Western expectations as “illogical demands”.
Things weren’t looking too good last week. The US penalized Iranian banks and firms for violating the sanctions already in place by imposing yet more sanctions. Iran, predictably, did not take well to this, describing the sanctions as “an invasion” to which Tehran must respond by “putting the invaders in their place,” according to the RT report. Vice focused its own coverage of the matter on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif who accused Washington of being not only “obsessed,” but “infatuated” with sanctions.
Apparently, with the resumption of the talks in New-York, a new love story has been introduced into the nuclear soap opera, bringing yet more turbulence into the relationship between Iran and the United States. With two months left to reach a nuclear deal, one of the parties could soon walk away: higher probability the Iranians. According to a recent op-ed by Trita Parsi on Foreign Policy, the Iranian nuclear negotiators in Vienna may choose to head back to Tehran empty-handed. With Western firms lining up to do business with Iran, writes Parsi, the momentum for more sanctions has been lost. And with Iraq and Syria descended into instability, the threat of a military strike on Iran seems unrealistic.
So if, as Parsi puts it, “Iran can afford to say no to a deal that doesn’t meet its bottom line requirements,” will the West blink first? Will the west do what Tehran wants to ensure that the relationship continues – or will it once again end in divorce?