“Iran counterproposal may validate Western skepticism of negotiations”

“Iran counterproposal may validate Western skepticism of negotiations”
October 26-29, 2009
     Iran is reportedly set to demand revisions to the IAEA deal [previously covered here]. Julian Borger writes that Iran’s demand to export its low-enriched uranium in stages through simultaneous exchanges for higher-enriched uranium would effectively undermine the West’s intentions to alleviate tensions by temporarily removing a large portion of Iran’s LEU stockpile (Guardian).
     Andrew Lee Butters writes that Tehran is divided between ideological and pragmatic interests, arguing that while President Ahmadinejad needs a deal with the West in order to avoid sanctions and military action while bolstering his regime’s domestic and international standing, hard-line conservatives remain against accepting US conditions too easily. Butters adds that Iran has long engaged in brinksmanship to successfully soften the West’s position on Iran’s nuclear program (Time).
     In an analysis written prior to this month’s Iran-P5+1 talks, Raymond Tanter argues that Tehran simply uses negotiations to buy time to continue its nuclear activities. Predicting a “vague and drawn out proposal-counterproposal cycle”, Tanter calls for the West to pursue “crippling” international sanctions, political recognition of opposition groups and the threat of military strikes (Middle East Strategy at Harvard).
Guardian | Time | Middle East Strategy at Harvard

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