Jim Lobe: U.S. Neo-Conservatives Assail Possible Compromise on Iran Talks

As at least two days of talks on the future of Iran’s nuclear programme got underway in Baghdad Wednesday, neo-conservatives and other hawks escalated their campaign against any compromise agreement, particularly one that would permit Tehran to continue enriching uranium on its territory.

Fearful that the U.S. and the other members of the so-called P5+1 (Britain, France, Russia, China, plus Germany) will strike an interim accord with Tehran under which it would agree to limit its uranium enrichment to five percent, they argued that Iran should instead be forced to comply with a 2006 U.N. Security resolution calling for it to stop enriching altogether – a position that most Iran experts here believe is certain to kill any prospect for progress.

“Given the Iranian regime’s long-standing pattern of deceptive and illicit conduct, we believe that it cannot be trusted to maintain enrichment or reprocessing activities on its territory for the foreseeable future – at least until the international community has been fully convinced that Iran has decided to abandon any nuclear- weapons ambitions,” wrote three prominent pro-Israel senators in the Wall Street Journal Thursday.

“We are very far from that point,” according to Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsay Graham and independent Democrat Joseph Lieberman, the so-called “Three Amigos”, who often travel overseas together and have long argued that U.S. military action will likely be the only way to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

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Jasmin Ramsey

Jasmin Ramsey is an Iranian-born journalist based in Washington, DC.