Jeffrey LewisParis Negotiations Update 20: EU Confidential

Reuters and AP obtained the full-text summary of the recent Iran-EU3 negotiations.

The press coverage focuses on the underlying pessimism of the document, which notes:

The Iranian position is obviously guided by the goal of maintaining the fuel cycle. Without being more specific, they only saw scope for some additional assurances, inter alia, increased verification and certain restrictions on the level and extent of the uranium enrichment programme.

EU3/EU made clear that the outlined approach was unacceptable and that Iran missed the point with this presentation. Iran has to recognise that the fuel cycle programme is the core of the problem and to be more precise in defining its proposal for objective guarantees.

It isn’t clear to me that this is news. We always knew the Iranians want to access to the complete fuel cycle, while the West would rather Tehran not. That’s why we are negotiating.

I wonder why the summary was leaked. To undermine the talks? To pressure the Iranians?

When European officials have names, they’ve been saying positive things. EU external relations commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner , for example, told the German Bild am Sonntag newspaper, “Negotiations will be difficult, but I firmly believe that diplomatic efforts will be successful.”