Obama administration walking the line on deal with Iran

      During this week's meeting between US and Iranian negotiators in Geneva, Tehran has agreed to send most of its openly declared enriched uranium outside Iran to be turned into fuel, but the Obama administration is still sceptical about its victory. President Barack Obama's strategy of 'direct engagement, without preconditions, with Iran' seemed to have worked, but considering Iran's backtracking history, Washington is still wondering whether the Islamic country is serious this time? Iranians have often been accused of making promises and encouraging more meetings, while waiting for political currents to change or the closed ranks among the Western allies to break. "Taking the step of transferring its low-enriched uranium to a third country would be a step towards building confidence that Iran's program is in fact peaceful. "We're not interested in talking for the sake of talking. If Iran does not take steps in the near future to live up to its obligations, then the United States will not continue to negotiate indefinitely, and we are prepared to move towards increased pressure," the New York Times quoted a cautious Obama, as saying. According to the paper, the lukewarm announcements were exact opposite of what a White House usually does after major international talks. Instead of painting tepid concessions as major breakthroughs and going on and on about "warm substantive" meetings, officials were treating a major breakthrough as if it were a suspicious package. "This is actually quite important if it takes place. If you establish an arrangement whereby Iran's fuel is exported abroad, then that relieves some degree of your proliferation concern. You don't want to go out and celebrate an achievement and then watch the Iranians backtrack. You have to actually get that L.E.U. on a plane, said Ray Takeyh, a former Iran adviser to the Obama administration. Further deteriorating Washington's concern were Iranian officials, who did not sound as if they had promised anything. "No, no! The idea of sending Iran's enriched uranium out of the county had "not been discussed yet," Mehdi Saffare, Iran's ambassador to Britain said.

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