02/19/2014, 00.00
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International experts: No to new sanctions against Iran

The group "The Iran Project" says that if there are any new sanctions dialogue could fail, the international community would be divided and the conservatives would claim another victory in Tehran. The U.S. wants to keep open the possibility of a military attack along with Israel. Javad Zarif: Negotiations are the only way.

Vienna (AsiaNews ) - A group of experts in foreign policy, have published a study warning against imposing new sanctions on Iran because it would complicate negotiations on the Iranian nuclear issue and may even cause it to fail completely .

The study was organized by the "The Iran Project" which includes professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( MIT) , diplomats and experts in international politics. The 20 page text titled " Looking to a Comprehensive Nuclear Agreement with Iran Assessing Claims and Counter Claims over New Sanctions" was published just as dialogue with Tehran and the 5 +1 (USA, Russia, China, Britain , France, Germany) got underway to search for an agreement on the Iranian nuclear program. 

On the eve of the talks, several leaders expressed their pessimism. Such pessimism is even stronger especially on one side of the U.S. Congress and Israel. Two months ago, a bill called Menendez / Kirk suggested to the Senate vote new sanctions against Iran ("to keep pressure on during the negotiations") and against those who purchase its oil. In addition, it would provide military support to Israel, economically and diplomatically, in the event it decides any military action against Iran.

Among the various reasons that advise against putting new sanctions on the already suffering Iranian people, the authors point out that a greater pressure in this direction is likely to divide the international community. Today, several European Union countries do not agree with the sanctions already in place and are keen to soften them.

Another reason is that threatening sanctions would undermine the good faith of non-Iranian partners at the talks, causing them to fail.

Finally, tightening sanctions and derailing the talks would affect the authority of the new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, opening the door to the conservatives in the country and those who want a confrontation with the West.

Commenting on the start of negotiations and the widespread pessimism, the Iranian foreign minister and head of their delegation, Javad Zarif said that "the statements of the last two months - referring to the Menendez/Kirk proposal - have created concern in Iran whether the U.S. is serious in their desire to reach an agreement".

"But nevertheless - he concluded - these statements aside, it is really possible to make an agreement because of a single overriding fact, and that is that we have no other option. If we want to resolve this issue the only way is through negotiations".


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