Six world powers and Iran have failed to reach a breakthrough at talks in Moscow on the Iranian nuclear programme and only agreed to set a date for a technical follow-up meeting in Istanbul, rather than for further political negotiations.
Reaction in Iran’s newspapers on Wednesday was varied, though all concluded that the talks had collapsed and that Israel had sabotaged them.
Javan Daily, a hardline paper, said only the US and its allies in the so-called “P5+1” – the permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany – would suffer if they failed to get Iran to agree to limit uranium enrichment, close down its underground enrichment facility at Fordo and allow greater UN scrutiny.
“The American government – as the pillar of negotiations with P5+1 – is trapped by Israeli demands,” it said. “The Westerners are in need of negotiations and its continuation regardless of the possible results.”
“In case the negotiations fail, Iran does not have anything to lose while America and Europe should be prepared for the consequences of such a failure.”
Israel has implicitly threatened to attack Iran’s nuclear sites to prevent the Islamic Republic developing nuclear weapons. Iran denies it has any such aim and insists its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful.
The hardline daily, Keyhan, blamed the West for not keeping its promises.
“While there are formulas for reaching agreements and addressing ambiguity, why does the West not have the ability or preparedness to reach a clear agreement with Iran? And whenever any relative agreement is made, why does the West break its promise?” it asked.
Siyasat-e Ruz, a conservative newspaper, said it believed that the P5+1’s plans were “built on an axis of destruction” and blamed foreign media for waging psychological warfare against the talks.
“When Michael Mann, the psychological operations officer of US Central Intelligence Agency gets assigned as the spokesman for [EU Foreign Policy Chief] Catherine Ashton, it indicates the West’s determination to sabotage the talks,” it added.
Political activists in the country believe that Iran employed the right tactics so far, while rejecting “the illogical demands of the West”.
“Now the West is aware of the fact that Iranians are not even thinking about giving up what they have achieved in nuclear fields without the help of outsiders and only by standing on their own knees,” one university professor said.
Mohsen Rezai, the former commander-in-chief of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and current secretary of the Expediency Council, believes that the talks should continue despite the deadlock apparent on Tuesday.
“I do not agree with the idea of stopping the talks,” he said. “If the sabotage continues a new path with a new dialogue should be formed for the continuation of the talks.”
“Iran wants to co-operate and form a new dialogue, but some countries like the Zionist regime do not like the talks to be continued.”
Gen Rezai is not alone in pointing to Israel as the main trouble-maker of Iran’s nuclear tension.
Esmail Kowsari, a leading member of the National Security and Foreign Affairs committee of the Iranian parliament, told the Mellat-e-Ma newspaper that the 5+1 had so far been swayed by Israel’s demands.
“If the Westerners want to move under the instructions of the Zionist regime, these talks will have no results and each side will return to their countries empty-handed.”
Ten years after the beginning of the nuclear talks between Iran and the West, each side is trying to set the stage for blaming their possible failure on the other while at the same time insisting that the only way to deal with the crisis is through negotiation.