The nuclear talks Friday and Saturday between Iran and six representatives of the international community were not a success, but, given that few people expected much from negotiators in Almaty, Kazakhstan, they were no failure either.

“It became clear that our positions remain far apart,” said Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s senior diplomat and the international community’s lead nuclear negotiator, after the two days were over. “We proposed our plan of action, and the other party was not ready and they asked for some time to study the idea,” her Iranian counterpart Saeed Jalili countered.

An anonymous US official summed it up best in an interview with Reuters: “There may not have been a breakthrough but there also was not a breakdown.”

Victor Kotsev

Asia Times Online, Hong Kong

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