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Iran: It's Time to Uncover the Ploy - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Last Thursday was a day replete with Iran, from Geneva to New York and even Washington. At the same time that the world was watching the G5 + 1 negotiations with Iran over its nuclear file in Geneva, and Tehran announced its acceptance that uranium enrichment would take place outside of Iran – the proposed location for this being Russia – Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was visiting the US capital, Washington, DC.

Mottaki’s visit to Washington remains shrouded in mystery, with one Iranian media agency saying that the Iranian Foreign Minister had met with two members of the US Congress, while [official] US statements denied any meetings with Mottaki had taken place.

In addition to this visit, there was also the 45-minute meeting held on the sidelines of the Geneva negotiations between Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, and US under-secretary of state, William Burns.

These US – Iranian meetings all taking place in just one week represents a high political dosage following a diplomatic break between the two countries of 30 years, especially as these meetings came at the same time as the Iranian announcement of its acceptance of uranium enrichment outside of its territory. However things remain unclear, has Iran made real concessions after years of escalation, or is Tehran continuing to play the game that it has mastered, namely the waiting game?

The Western response to Tehran’s acceptance of uranium enrichment taking place outside of Iran can be characterized as cautious optimism, and this can be seen in the West calling for Iran [to demonstrate this] in actions, not words. As for Iran, according to Iranian media agencies, some still believe that Tehran’s nuclear rights cannot be relinquished, while others believe that it is the West that has made concessions, not Iran.

Therefore the opinion on Iran’s true position with regards to these negotiations remains unclear, for what has Iran presented until now?

Even if this is seen as a concession, it means that Iran has only made half the journey, with the road ahead being long and hard. Even if we believe the Iranian position, this means that this concession will result in gains for Iran, or the region, therefore the logical question is; what is the price of this recent Iranian reasonableness?

As we have noted before, there is also the Israeli actions to be taken into account, and whilst Ahmadinejad was conducting interviews in New York in which he showed a positive side to the Americans, Iran was shocked by the West’s disclosure of its [secret] Qom nuclear facility. Iran believes Israel to be behind the exposure of its nuclear facility to the world.

So with the start of the West’s negotiations with Iran, and Iran’s new concessionary position, we are on our way to discovering Iran’s ploy. We will discover whether the Iranian’s are deceiving the international community with a false acceptance of its uranium enrichment taking place outside of Iran, or whether they are deceiving the internal followers of the regime who were promised a nuclear Iran that would not bow down to superpowers, which is something that Iran is currently doing. We will discover whether the Iranians have deceived those in our region who believed in them, and rushed to embrace them, serving Tehran’s agenda within our countries and at the expense of our issues, or perhaps it will be made clear to us and the Iranians that in the end they have deceived themselves and their supporters.

In the end, we are facing an Iranian ploy, and the time has now come to uncover it.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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