Monday, June 17, 2013

17-Jun-13: Whether Iran's government is more moderate, less reformist, whatever - one thing stays the same

Amano of the IAEA
This just in from Reuters:

Iran nuclear program advances despite sanctions: IAEA chief 
| VIENNA | Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:34am EDT | (Reuters) - Iran is making "steady progress" in expanding its nuclear program despite international sanctions that do not seem to be slowing it down, the U.N. nuclear agency chief told Reuters on Monday. Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), also said he remained committed to dialogue with Iran to address concerns of possible military dimensions to its nuclear activity. But no new meeting had yet been set after 10 rounds of talks since early 2012, he said.
"There is a steady increase of capacity and production" in Iran's nuclear program, Amano said in an interview.
Asked if tightening sanctions - imposed by Western powers to make the Islamic Republic curb its atomic activity - were slowing down Iran's nuclear work, he said: "I don't think so... I don't see any impact."
To make the point more forcefully, the item below went up an hour ago on The Independent's website...

No change on Iran's uranium enrichment and nuclear programme, says President-elect Hassan Rouhani
The Independent (UK) | ALISTAIR DAWBER | MONDAY 17 JUNE 2013 | Hassan Rouhani has given his first news conference since being declared as Iran’s new President-elect, vowing to continue to enrich uranium and so putting him on a collision course with Western powers. There had been hope in Western capitals and among moderates in Iran that Mr Rouhani’s election would herald a new era of cooperation after eight years of isolation under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. However, his first public comments since being confirmed as Mr Ahmadinejad’s successor suggest that on the key issue of Iran’s nuclear programme there may be little agreement [more]
You get a sense of the Iranian gameplan in what the Washington Post quotes him saying, also from a couple of hours ago:
“First, America must not interfere in Iran domestic affairs based on the Algiers Accord. They have to recognize our nuclear rights, put away bullying policies against Iran,” Rouhani said. “And if such, and they have good intent, then the situation will change.” He also said relations between the United States and Iran are “complicated and difficult,” adding that any talks with the United States “should be based on mutual respect and from an equal stance.”
 Carrot, stick. So who is the donkey?

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