10 years of 19 rounds of Iran N-talks: an overview

10 years of 19 rounds of Iran N-talks


Iran’s senior nuclear negotiator has congratulated Iranians on the deal agreed with the Powers in Genève, “blessed be the spirit of our nuclear scientists,” he tweeted.

Mehr News Agency: 10 years elapsed since the Saad Abad nuclear negotiations; in other words, from Saad Abad to Geneve-3, or better to say, Geneve-6 is a path spanning 10 years. The year when Hassan Rouhani met the representatives of France, Britain, and Germany in Saad Abad Palace as the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security and the year when Mohammad Javad Zarif his foreign minister sits with foreign ministers of France, Britain, Germany, US, China, and Russia; after ten years, ultimately the west recognized Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear energy. In this long path, sometimes Hassan Rouhani, some other times Ali Larijani, and other times, Saeed Jalili had been leading the negotiations; Iran bore the brand of the sanctions; it even suffered martyrdom of its nuclear scientists, and relying on its indigenous scientists, kept centrifuges operating.



During Saad Abad negotiations in October 2003, Iran implemented the additional protocol of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and suspended voluntarily gas injection to centrifuges in Natanz site as a confidence building measure; it opened its nuclear sites to the IAEA inspectors. Germany was committed to block refereeing of Iran’s nuclear dossier to the UN; Britain and France accepted to veto the resolution by the UN if the dossier referred to the Security Council. Brussels and Paris were Rouhani’s other negotiation venue. In March 2004 Javier Solana entered the negotiation process; Rouhani attended his last session as Iran’s chief negotiator. The west did not live to its promises.

Breaking the Seal

After Paris agreement signed, Iran, upon seeing the Western lack of commitment, announced in 2005 that it would no longer be committed to its voluntary suspension of enrichment, and breaking the seal of Isfahan UCF, it would operate under the IAEA supervision. In March 2006, Iranian nuclear scientists managed to design the complete map of nuclear fuel cycle in laboratory scale, sending Iran to the Atomic Club.


In June 2007, after meeting with Javier Solana, EU foreign policy chief, Ali Larijani announced that Iran had found its nuclear capacity and was ready to resume talks with world powers to settle the differences and come to a common understanding through a ‘constructive negotiation.’ Less than a month later in Lisbon, Ali Larijani and Javier Solana agreed on drafting a timed modality to solve the remaining issues. But since Iran’s negotiation team changed the leader, the plan was aborted. Geneve-1, 2, and 3 when Jalili was Iran’s chief negotiator, were held. Three rounds of talks with Solana in Genève on the proposed package by P5+1 intended to encourage Iran to suspend Uranium enrichment. They stated that if Iran would not provide immediate and clear response to the package, no alternative other than sanctions would remain.

West Smiles; Iran responds

In May 2012, Jalili said during a Parliamentary session about Geneve-2 held in 2009: “Tehran’s reactor required 20-percent enriched Uranium. This was another example of peaceful nuclear energy applications. 850,000 patients would enjoy Tehran’s research nuclear reactor. Our initial need was 20-percent enriched Uranium, but by that time, our enriched Uranium was in 3.5 percent level. In talks, we made clear that enriching Uranium up to 20 percent was our right according to and granted us by the NPT and IAEA regulations, and if you facilitate this [enriching 20 percent] and provide for us, we are ready to buy… but they denied but said that they were ready to exchange… there, we announced that if you deny us the enriched Uranium, we would produce it ourselves. I would not forget when they smiled, meaning that ‘go and if you can, produce,’ since it was a difficult task, and they were right. Producing 20-percent fuel and converting them into fuel rods was a complicated task, needing complex calculations.”



Later, with the hard exertion and effort by nuclear martyred scientists such as Masoud Alimohammadi, Darious Rezayinejad, Mustafa Ahmadi Rowshan, and Majid Shahriari, Iran enriched Uranium up to 20-percent level. In May 16 2010, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Lola Da Silva (Brazilian president) and Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Turkish prime minister) agreed in Tehran that fuel exchange would be carried out in Turkish or Brazilian soil, to which the West paid no heed.

Enters Zarif

In November 2010 and since Geneve-3, Catherine Ashton joined the negotiations in European side. Istanbul-1 was dubbed by the West as the most disappointing round. Istanbul-2, Baghdad, Almaty-1 and 2 were sites to later negotiations. With presidential in Iran and incumbency of Rouhani, who led the negotiations 10 years ago, Iran’s nuclear issue got an opening turn. In New York, Mohammad Javad Zarif met a constellation of foreign ministers of 5 powers when the first nuclear negotiations with Rouhani as a president were held.



On the same day, the parties to the talks agreed that negotiations are held in a UN headquarters city and Genève was chosen as permanent negotiation venue. Genève was hosting 3 rounds of talks again and this time a revamped Iranian negotiation team was led by Zarif and Araghchi, during which Laurent Fabius last-minute issues aborted a deal. Geneve-3 discussions seemed graver. After 4 days of heated debate, when in Tehran time was 5:30 AM in the morning, Powers recognized Iran’s right to enrichment and this was stated in joint statement.



“Our right to enrichment was recognized. I dedicate this to Iran’s great nation for their ten years of resistance,” twitted Araghchi, Iran’s senior negotiator.

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