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Russian experts optimistic about talks over Iran’s nuclear program

March 05, 2015, 16:34 UTC+3 Alexandrova Lyudmila

MOSCOW, 5 March. /TASS/. Russian experts are optimistic about the outlook for the conclusion of an agreement on the future of Iran’s nuclear program. As soon as the deal materializes, it will contribute a lot to stabilization in the Middle East and lend more strength to the reform-minded forces in Iran.

Another round of talks over the Iranian nuclear dossier between the political directors of the international sextet (five permanent UN Security Council member-states and Germany) and Iran is underway in Montreux. On Wednesday, the Iranian and US foreign ministers held a series of discussions. The Iranian foreign minister said that "there was certain progress at the negotiations on some key aspects, including the problems of sanctions."

Earlier, the foreign ministers of the international sextet and Iran made a decision to the effect a political solution of the "nuclear dossier" issue must be achieved by the end of March and the agreement itself inked by the end of June. As German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Wednesday, neither Iran, nor the United States, nor third countries were prepared for continuing the talks beyond the established deadlines. US President Barack Obama said the discussions with Iran were very serious.

Progress in the negotiations is not bad, but most probably a comprehensive agreement will be concluded within the established deadlines, because it would benefit all, in the first place Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and his US counterpart Barak Obama, senior research fellow at the Oriental Studies Institute under the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Sazhin, has told TASS. "For both men their political prestige is at stake. In particular, this is true of Rouhani," he believes. "Failure may discredit both Obama and the whole Democratic Party. As far as Rouhani is concerned, the lifting of sanctions from Iran is the main thrust of his policy."

Sazhin believes that the policy of sanctions has put the Iranian economy on the brink of collapse.

"The very existence of the regime is on the agenda, and even Iran’s spiritual leader, Ayatolla Hamenei — a person of very conservative views — has arrived at the conclusion that sanctions should be avoided somehow, so he gave his consent in 2013 to Rouhani’s rise to presidency. That man looked as the sole candidate capable of steering the country in the right direction."

"If the agreement is eventually concluded, Iran will prove a lucrative prize for world businesses. Already now, that the sanctions have eased just a little bit, business people from all over the world have gathered in Tehran," Sazhin said. According to his estimates, the sanctions will take up to two years to lift, but foreign businesses will start operations in Iran without delay. After that Iran will develop a fast westward drift."

Deputy chief of the Iranian sector at the Middle and Near East Studies Center under the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Oriental Studies Institute, Nina Mamedova, too, is certain that an agreement on Iran will be concluded on time: "The situation in the Middle East as it is, Iran’s participation in efforts to resist the Islamic State will be highly welcome. In the meantime, should the negotiations fail, power in Iran may end up in the hands of certain forces that may cause tensions in the country’s relations with the world community. The agreement is crucial to lending more strength to Rouhani and his supporters, because they are the forces capable of carrying out reform.


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