January 17, 2011
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Jan. 17 (UPI) — Iran’s president has made the country’s economy a “disaster,” but Tehran probably won’t compromise on its nuclear aspirations, a think tank official said.
Jonathan Paris of the London-based think tank, the Legatum Institute, said President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s power figure, are unlikely to be fazed by Iran’s second series of talks with six major powers about its nuclear actions, Dubai’s al-Arabiya reported Monday.
The talks scheduled for Jan. 21-22 in Istanbul, Turkey, follow EU, U.S. and U.N. sanctions placed on Iran last year targeting gas and oil interests crucial to the Iranian economy, al-Arabiya reported.
“The reality is that even if the economy is hurting, it has a very small place in the calculus of Khamenei and Ahmadinejad. Unless the severity of the sanctions dramatically escalates, it is unlikely that Iranian leaders will see the sanctions as a domestic threat to their survival in power,” Paris said.
“Enormous pressure is required to lead them to compromise on the nuclear program.”
Al-Arabiya reported if Iran can weather the current sanctions imposed after eight years of debate over Iran’s nuclear quest, its leaders may believe the world community’s unity will cave in and not be able to sustain the sanctions.
“If sanctions fail to induce a compromise, then it seems that the only remaining measure is to convince Iran’s leadership that there is a credible threat of a U.S. attack,” Paris said.
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