Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Iran Meetings Begin With Crimea Tensions as Backdrop
Iran launched nuclear talks with six powers amid uncertainty about how tensions over Ukraine may affect the dialogue, the New York Times reports.
Russia's steps aimed at annexing Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula had unclear implications for the ongoing dialogue between Iranian diplomats and their counterparts from China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Their latest high-level meeting -- expected to continue through Wednesday -- is part of a series of discussions aimed at negotiating a long-term deal to address global suspicions that Iran is pursuing a nuclear-arms capability under the guise of a peaceful atomic program.
Michael Mann, a spokesman for European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, on Tuesday said he had not seen "any negative effect" from the crisis, Reuters reported.
"We continue our work in a unified fashion," Mann said to journalists. Ashton has communicated with Iran on behalf of the six other negotiating countries.
Shortly prior to the talks and a Crimean secession vote, a high-level U.S. government insider voiced hope that Russian actions "will not put these negotiations [with Iran] at risk," the Times reported.
Former Obama administration WMD czar Gary Samore, though, said the Crimea crisis could have significant implications for Iran's discussions with the five permanent U.N. Security Council member nations and Germany.
"If [Russian President Vladimir Putin] goes ahead with his apparent intention to annex Crimea, we're going to have to sanction Russia, and they are going to have to retaliate, and it's really going to screw up the P-5+1 negotiations," Samore said.
"Iran will feel much less pressured to make any concessions if they think the P-5+1 are squabbling," he said. "They are not inclined to make any concessions anyway, but they are going to be less inclined until there is a resolution" of the standoff over Ukraine.
Robert Einhorn, who last year stepped down as U.S. State Department special adviser for nonproliferation and arms control, said the tensions may encourage Moscow to "undermine the sanctions" on Iran if the talks hit an impasse, Bloomberg reported.
Note to our Readers
GSN ceased publication on July 31, 2014. Its articles and daily issues will remain archived and available on NTI’s website.
Sept. 23, 2015
The Nuclear Disarmament Resource Collection contains information and analysis of nuclear weapons disarmament proposals and progress worldwide, including detailed coverage of disarmament progress in countries who either possess or host other countries' nuclear weapons on their territories.
Aug. 30, 2015
Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar urge Congress to support the nuclear agreement with Iran in an op-ed for Politico.
This article provides an overview of Iran's historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.