Insider news & Analysis in Iran

By INU staff

INU - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visited the city of Qom, the center of Iran’s Islamic scholarship on Wednesday, where he spoke to leading clergy and students of religion about the ongoing negotiations with the P5+1 over Iran’s nuclear program.

Reuters portrays the speech as an attempt to defray criticism from religious scholars who are overwhelmingly hardliners. The report suggests, as others have done, that there is serious discord between such hardliners and the Rouhani administration, which Reuters describes as “moderate.” But many analysts reject this narrative and suggest that the two sides are closer together than they would have Western negotiators believe.

The International Business Times reported on Tuesday that Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had been invited to Tehran by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, potentially making her the first senior Australian official to visit the Islamic Republic in 10 years.

By INU staff

INU - The latest round of negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 over the Iranian nuclear program wrapped up on Monday in Geneva, where US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had joined for the latter two days of a four day session. The negotiators’ public statements about this stage of the talks are not significantly different from their commentary at prior stages. Agence France-Presse reports that those talks are once again being described as productive but plagued by significant gaps between the positions of the United States and the Islamic Republic.

By INU staff

INU -Although little to no concrete progress has been reported in the latest nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty reports that the continuation of those negotiations is still boosting Iran’s confidence in its prospects for penetrating new foreign economic markets.

While Israel, conservative members of the US legislature, and other critics of the Obama administration have taken issue with the US president’s permissiveness and conciliatory attitudes toward Iran, other forces both inside and outside of the United States government continue to make efforts to exhibit their own pressures upon Tehran.

By INU staff

INU - On Friday, a column in the USA Today responded to the conflict over Iran sanctions, which was temporarily resolved this week when Senate Democrats agreed to avoid a floor vote on proposed legislation but nonetheless contributed to the passage of that legislation through committee. A bill will now be held at the ready so that it can be quickly voted on and likely passed in the event that ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program fail to reach a framework agreement by the end of March.

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