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Iran baulks at "list of Israeli demands"


Iranian media on Thursday said the chances of tottering talks with world powers continuing after the current Baghdad negotiations are "very low," with several outlets saying Iran had essentially been handed Israeli demands.

A correspondent with Iran's Al-Alam network reflecting the Iranian delegation's views in Baghdad said the so-called P5+1 – the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany – had to sweeten incentives for Iran to suspend parts of its disputed nuclear program for talks to go on.

"All depends on whether the other side is ready to adjust their proposals," the reporter said. "But due to the shortage of time, the possibility of coming up with these decisions is very low."

Al-Alam, and the Fars and Mehr news agencies all criticized a P5+1 package of proposals on the issue as essentially echoing demands from Israel – an indication that the assessment was held by Iran's leaders.

"The discourse used in the talks very much resembles...that used by the Israeli prime minister and defense minister," the Al-Alam correspondent said.

"Remarks from the P5+1 seem to be echoing those of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu," the Fars news agency said.

"In the Baghdad meeting, the P5+1 team, in particular the United States, is making remarks similar to those of Israeli officials," the Mehr news agency said.

The outlets also suggested that the United States was dominating the P5+1 side and that it was "stonewalling," as Mehr put it.

They speculated that the P5+1 delegations had insufficient authority to modify the proposal they had made.

Israel – the only nuclear power in the Middle East – is lobbying its Western allies to pressure Iran into abandoning its own nuclear program, threatening unilateral military action if diplomatic efforts fail.

The Jewish state fears a nuclear Iran will erode its regional military supremacy, and has avoided international scrutiny over its arsenal due to its privileged status as a US ally.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

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