Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Ali Nizkad (1)


Iran Live Coverage: The Supreme Leader's Men Launch Their Presidential Campaign

See also Iran Audio Feature: Hype & Reality from Syria to "Explosion at Nuclear Plant" --- Scott Lucas with Monocle 24
Friday's Iran Live Coverage: Tehran Mayor --- Why We Are Engineering the Presidential Election

1622 GMT: Nuclear Snap Analysis. The headline from the Munich Security Conference is of a statement by US Vice President Joe Biden that Washington is ready for direct talks with Tehran and that it is past time for Tehran to negotiate seriously.

Biden's declaration has been complemented by a message from European Union foreign policy head Catherine Ashton, the lead negotiator for the 5+1 Powers. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle added that, despite the failure to resume high-level discussions, there was no reason for military action, a point echoed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Three pointss:

1. In the short-term, both Tehran and the US-European bloc are trying to lay blame for the inability to agree on talks on the other side.

2. Talks about talks will now be put on the back-burner while the Iranian regime concentrates on the Presidential election in June.

2. Most importantly, both sides are signalling that --- despite the effective suspension of diplomatic efforts --- they are ready to pick up the negotiations in the autumn.

Biden's statement follows the pointed message of Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani on Monday that there are no "red lines" against direct talks with the Americans. What's more, Larijani invoked the name of the Supreme Leader in making that statement.

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