With nine days to go, Iran still has not agreed on a location for talks with world powers over its nuclear program, Western officials said Wednesday but suggested Istanbul remained the most likely venue.
Iran’s suggestions of alternative sites raised the possibility of complications to get talks under way as expected on April 13 between Iran and envoys from the five permanent U.N. Security Council members and Germany. It also could bring accusations of stall tactics by Iran’s leaders.
The possibility of other locations also was raised by Mohsen Rezaei, a former Revolutionary Guard commander and now spokesman of Iran’s Expediency Council. On Monday, he suggested Baghdad, Damascus, or Beirut, Lebanon.
His comments reflected frustration with Turkey, a recent ally that has moved to reduce critical oil shipments from Iran and agreed to host a NATO defense shield radar that would send a warning if the Islamic Republic fires missiles.
I have to wonder if the Iranian leadership has simply decided that these "talks" have been engineered to fail by the West, and that it is simply not worth their time to go, when a war against it appears to be the favored outcome already chosen by the US and Israel.