Editorial: A chance that Iran should seize

 

Share
Related Topics

It is good news that Tehran has agreed to resume talks with the major world powers on its nuclear programme later this month. Dialogue between Iran and the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany broke down in Moscow last June in an atmosphere of frustration and anger. Now, with the second Obama administration in place, Iran’s Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, has said he hopes for progress when the talks convene in Kazakhstan.

There are tentative grounds for optimism. Mr Salehi has made positive noises about a possible change of tack by Washington that would not have been possible before the presidential election. There is also a growing sense that what the US Vice-President, Joe Biden, has called “the most robust sanctions in history” are taking their toll on the Iranian economy: Iran has lost $46bn in oil revenues; its currency is at an all-time low; inflation has soared above 30 per cent; staples such as chicken, rice and eggs have risen rapidly in price. The pressure is mounting on Iran’s political leadership ahead of the presidential election in June.

But there are formidable obstacles. Iran wants sanctions to be relaxed before talks begin. The world powers want Iran to begin reducing its growing stockpile of enriched uranium, the essential ingredient for a nuclear bomb. Yet only last week Iran told the International Atomic Energy Agency that it plans to install more sophisticated centrifuges at its principal enrichment plant. This would enable it to accelerate the processing of uranium, a move likely to alarm not just Israel and the US.

The fear must be that Iran is entering new talks simply to play for time while it develops its weapons capability. There should be concern that Tehran has yet to respond to an invitation from Mr Biden to take part in direct one-to-one talks with the US. Tehran should accept that offer. And Washington should make sure there is something substantive to talk about. The more time that passes, the greater the danger that conflict could break out.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Programme Test Manager

£400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently seekin...

IT Network Manager - Shepherd's Bush, London

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Network Manager - Shepherd's Bush...

Secondary supply teachers needed in Peterborough

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Secondary supply teac...

Modern Foreign Languages Teacher

£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Group: Full time German Supply Teacher...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh  

Scottish independence: Forget Yes and No — what about a United Kingdom of Independent States?

Ben Judah
Francois Hollande at the Paris summit on Iraq with ministers from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain on 15 September  

What's going to happen in Syria and Iraq? A guide to the new anti-Isis coalition's global strategy

Jonathan Russell
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week