Washington, Asharq Al-Awsat—Iranian Supreme Guide Ali Khamenei will likely agree to conditions proposed in the talks in Kazakhstan between Tehran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany).
Well-informed sources have told Asharq Al-Awsat that the talks that began earlier today will see Iran allow International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) representatives to inspect Iranian nuclear sites and agree to stop uranium enrichment at a certain limit in return for easing Western sanctions imposed on the country.
Under the terms of the offer, Iran would stop enriching uranium to more than the 5 percent needed for power generation, while in return some of the restrictions on the trade in precious metals would be lifted.
US officials are refusing to comment on the negotiations, which began earlier today and are likely to continue until Saturday. One US administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that Washington is expecting a positive response and concrete measures from the Iranian side during the negotiations.
These talks are taking place at a time when Iran is gearing up for presidential elections, scheduled to take place in June. Any traction in the nuclear negotiations, particularly in return for an easing of Western sanctions imposed on the country, may be part of attempts to win over Iran’s economically beleaguered electorate.
Iran argues that its nuclear activities are in accordance with its right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes under the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and denies that it is seeking to obtain nuclear arms.
During a speech at Almaty University on the eve of the latest talks, Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili stressed that the latest talks hinges on the “acceptance of the rights of Iran, particularly the right to enrichment.”