World press on Iranian nuclear crisis (January 17, 2013)

"Prospects for nuclear talks with Iran dim" is an article published
today by the Washington Post.

"Four weeks after agreeing in principle to nuclear talks, Iran has
gone silent about its plans for the negotiations, baffling U.S. and
European diplomats while also signaling internal discord over what
analysts on both sides see as the best chance in years for a nuclear
bargain with the West. Prospects for the talks — which U.S. officials
last month described as imminent — have grown more uncertain after
Iran declined to respond to at least two proposals for meeting dates,
Western diplomats said," the article reads.

"The maneuvering over meeting dates and venues cast a shadow over a
visit to Iran this week by officials from the International Atomic
Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog. The IAEA is prodding Tehran
to grant access to military facilities where the agency believes Iran
secretly conducted research on nuclear weapons a decade ago. Iran
insists its nuclear program is exclusively peaceful. Although Iran and
the IAEA reported progress last month toward resolving the dispute,
the agency’s chief, Yukiya Amano, told reporters that he was “not
necessarily optimistic” about the outcome of the meeting."

Even though Iranian former officials have urged to find a diplomatic
settlement of the conflict "Iran is unlikely to accept a deal that
does not include clear timelines for sanctions relief, which would be
key to gaining public support for a settlement," the newspaper cites
the opinion of Iranian policymakers. The author of the article adds
that "who in Iran would make any decision to bend remains unclear."

"…the pragmatism required for Iran to grow economically, militarily
and politically in an unstable region replaced many of the regime’s
more fundamental tendencies and widened the field of domestic players,
who often have diverging interests. Today, with opposing political
factions seeking to advance their own agendas, what is often perceived
abroad as mixed signals from Iranian leaders is actually a set of
competition visions for Iran’s diplomatic future," the article
suggests.

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