Iran Is Under Mounting Pressure

(Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University) Ephraim Kam - Iran is again proposing a return to the negotiating table to discuss the nuclear question. In the past, negotiations on the issue were a way for Iran to buy time to advance its nuclear program. This time the situation is different because the West has a new form of pressure: the expected oil sanctions with a set timetable of July 2012. Foot-dragging for Iran now has a downside. Without concrete steps on its part that would allow discussions to start, in a few months Iran will find itself subject to a wave of sanctions more painful than prior measures. Moreover, in the background there is the threat of an Israeli attack on Iran, and the signals coming from Israel suggest that time is running out. While the governments of the West have reservations about such a move, they are using the Israeli threat to ramp up the pressure on Iran. The West is thus prepared for a resumption of the negotiations, but only on condition that Iran presents a serious attitude and does not revert to its old patterns. At this point Iran's position is that under no circumstances will it give up advancing its nuclear program. However, the closer the new sanctions date approaches, one cannot rule out the possibility that it will be forced to show flexibility and make a proposal that will allow the resumption of negotiations on the nuclear issue.

2012-03-02 00:00:00

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