The Washington Post reports on some disturbing results from ongoing negotiations between the P5+1 and the Iranian regime in Kazakhstan. From the WaPo:
Negotiations opened in the Kazakh city of Almaty with Iranian diplomats unveiling what they described as a “comprehensive proposal” for ending international tensions over Iran’s advances in nuclear technology. The deputy leader of the Iranian delegation, Ali Baqeri, said at a news conference that the new offer was intended to allay the concerns and “establish a new bedrock for cooperation.”
Iranians reportedly put forward only a vague proposal that reflected little change from previous positions.
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But Western diplomats, after a break in the talks, said the Iranians put forward only a vague proposal that reflected little change from previous positions. A few additional details were extracted during an afternoon session before the sides adjourned for the night, said a Western diplomat, insisting on anonymity in describing the give-and-take inside the meeting room at a posh Almaty hotel.
The piece continues:
But hopes for further progress appeared to fade during the opening hours of Friday’s talks. Instead of a detailed counteroffer, the Iranians appeared to be repeating talking points from a previous round of negotiations that fell apart last spring, the Western diplomat said.
“There has not yet been a clear and concrete response,” said the diplomat, who described his colleagues as “somewhat puzzled” by what the Iranians had put on the table. “There were some interesting but not fully explained general comments on our ideas.”
And so it goes. The regime stalls, vacillates, and obfuscates in an effort to use talks to buy time. This is part of an effort by the regime to convince the world that they are being reasonable. What is clear, is that they aren’t the reasonable party. Adding to the complication of making the reality of the Iranian regime’s manipulation clear is that Iran’s favorite rogue ally, North Korea, is currently sucking all the air out of the room with its own unique brand of bellicose manipulation.
As tantalizing as Kim Jung-Un’s latest tantrum is, it is important to remember that the dilemma posed by these regimes are of a piece. Let’s keep our eyes on events in Almaty as well as Pyongyang.