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The importance of seeing and grasping the opportunities

The annual month-long meeting of the General Assembly’s First Committee, responsible for issues of international peace and security, begins today in New York. Two issues have been on the media’s agenda: disarming Syria of its chemical weapons and the next round of nuclear talks between Iran and the E3+3. Both involve a degree of optimism, perhaps even an excitement around the possibilities, rarely seen in the U.N. corridors in recent years. Perhaps it is because these openings for progress have been so unexpected.

The Iran-Russia Relationship & Reviving Nuclear Negotiations

Recent developments in the Middle East look to be further strengthening the relationship between Iran and Russia. The election of relative moderate, Hassan Rouhani, holds great promise for the future of the diplomatic approach to Iran’s nuclear programme that the Russians have invested a great deal in, and in which they have supported reduced sanctions.

Iran Update 165

  • Next E3+3 talks finally scheduled; Iran-U.S. bi-lateral talks a possibility
  • Another round of IAEA talks conclude without progress; next meeting scheduled for mid-February
  • Iran’s nuclear program prominent subject for Obama’s nominees at confirmation hearings

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Iran Update: Number 160

  • Moscow talks leave both parties frustrated
  • Latest IAEA-Iran talks end without making progress; Iran produces fuel plates for reactor
  • Putin proposes Iranian involvement in Syria crisis
  • Iran announces development of nuclear-powered submarine
  • Iranian and British representatives hold difficult bi-lateral meeting

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Iran’s Nuclear Impasse: Breaking the Deadlock

This report, published by Oxford Research Group, is based upon a series of consultations with individuals close to the decision making process on the Iranian nuclear file with the aim of envisioning a workable and realistic solution to the impasse. It looks into the principles that need to be observed in talks between the E3+3 and Iran over the coming months if they are to have any chance of success.

Iran Update: Number 151

Iran Update: Number 148

Getting to Zero Update

The Obama Administration was hoping for the U.S. Senate to ratify the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) now that the U.S. mid-term elections are over. If the treaty is not brought to the floor before the end of the year, then prospects for the treaty dim in a Senate where more members will be reluctant to hand the President a foreign policy achievement, and votes in favor of the treaty will be more difficult to muster.

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Iran Update: Number 142

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