April 6, 2013 -- New York -- AJC urged the P5+1 -- the five UN Security Council permanent members and Germany -- to make clear to Iran that it cannot drag out negotiations endlessly, while simultaneously pushing ahead with its nuclear program. The latest round of talks in Almaty ended today in stalemate.
"The P5+1 have tried innumerable ways, including all-important direct negotiations, to stop Iran's drive for nuclear-weapons capability. Iran has consistently frustrated these overtures," said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "The disappointing, but not surprising, outcome of the Almaty talks on Iran's nuclear program further underscores the need to convince Iran that trying to run out the clock won't work."
In advance of the Almaty talks, Iran indicated it would present a new proposal to resolve the issue of its controversial nuclear program. But Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief who has led the negotiations with Tehran, said after this round of talks that the sides "remain far apart on the substance."
The Almaty negotiations was a follow-up round to the meetings in the Kazakhstan capital in February, and of technical experts in Istanbul last month.
Among those world leaders most suspicious of Iran's intentions is IAEA Director Yukiya Amano, who told the Associated Press days before the Almaty talks of his concerns. "We have information indicating that Iran is engaged in activities relevant to the development of nuclear explosive devices, and continues to deal with that," said Amano.
Moreover, President Barack Obama reiterated last month during his Middle East visit that "all options are on the table" to stop Iran from achieving nuclear-weapons capability.
"With no date set for another round of talks, and Iran advancing its nuclear program, the U.S., together with the other five powers, must consider what additional concrete actions are necessary to underscore their resolve, and to convince the Iranian regime of the dire consequences of continued non-cooperation," said Harris.