U.S., Allies Press Iran for Action at Talks

(Wall Street Journal) Jay Solomon - The U.S. and other world powers began a second round of negotiations with Iran in Istanbul on Friday, vowing to press Tehran to take concrete steps to ensure its nuclear activities are peaceful and to justify the continuation of an eight-year diplomatic track that has yielded few gains. Iran came to Turkey offering no signs that it is willing to respect UN Security Council resolutions and suspend its production of nuclear fuel. "There is nothing to discuss" about Iran's nuclear program, an Iranian official said Thursday. "In Istanbul, we will speak about something else." On Thursday, Iranian President Ahmadinejad maintained a defiant tone, saying in a televised address that Western powers "tried their best so Iran doesn't become a nuclear nation, but we achieved this goal because there is no turning back the clock." Tehran is also viewed as having secured a diplomatic victory just by getting the international community to accept Istanbul as the venue for the talks. Iran is also coming to Istanbul in a strengthened position regionally. In Lebanon, Tehran's close ally Hizbullah forced the collapse of the pro-Western government last week. Efforts by Washington's allies in Saudi Arabia and France to mediate the crisis have fizzled.

2011-01-21 08:19:10

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