(ALMATY, Kazakhstan) — Baby steps are about all the U.S. and five other super powers can expect as they continue to negotiate with Iran about freezing its rogue nuclear program.
During Wednesday’s final day of talks in Almaty, Kazakhstan, the super powers received assurances from Tehran that there would be more discussions in the future.
To reach that point, the so-called P5+1 had to scale back some of their demands that included no longer asking for a permanent shutdown of Iran’s key Fordo nuclear facility. Meanwhile, the group would also allow Iran to keep small amounts of weapons grade uranium.
The other concession was anticipated: a small reduction in the sanctions that have nearly crippled Iran’s economy. The proposal would permit Tehran to use gold and various precious metals in its businesses dealing with other countries.
With all that seemingly in the bank, Iran said it would meet again next month in Istanbul with officials from the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany.
Naturally, there is skepticism about Iran’s softening of its position, given that the Islamic Republican often seems on the verge of agreeing to compromise and then suddenly pulls back, refusing all attempts by the international community to get it to suspend uranium enrichment, a key step to developing nuclear weapons.
Israel is especially wary of Iran’s posturing, arguing that sanctions should be toughened, not loosened, and threatening Tehran with military power if it ultimately rejects all diplomatic solutions.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Arthur Brice, CNN
Kareem Khadder, CNN
Billy Hallowell, Deseret News