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As Potential Deal Draws Near, Iran Talks Critics Out in Force

As Potential Deal Draws Near, Iran Talks Critics Out in Force
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As Potential Deal Draws Near, Iran Talks Critics Out in Force

As world powers and Iran continue nuclear negotiations in Vienna, many observers are optimistic a deal will be reached soon. But hardliners are amping up the rhetoric on both sides. And while a deal that can be implemented successfully may be difficult to reach, analysts say out-dated ideas are simply no longer a practical factor in negotiations.

While talks continue in Vienna critics are out on the Internet in force, accusing American and Iranian diplomats of making a deals with the enemy.

“They are saying the same thing, whether you are in Tehran or in Washington," noted Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council. "They are all saying that ‘the negotiation team is selling their country short. They are agreeing to everything. They are giving too many concessions. This will be a disaster. This is the worst thing that ever happened.”

Some of the critique, he says, may come from supporters of Iran’s rivals who fear the country will grow stronger. But analysts say some hardliners are also subscribing to an out-of-date view of international relations, according to Yan Saint Pierre, who heads Berlin-based security firm MOSECON in an interview on Skype.

“Their point is based on their impression of Iran and the United States out of the 1980s and the 1990s of both sides being ideologically opposed," Saint Pierre said. This mindset is not constructive and is not adaptive to the context of 2015.”

He says international relations now require so-called “enemies” to work together.

“For example the United States and Iran are on the same side fighting the Islamic State in Iraq, but are on opposing sides in Syria and Yemen," he remarked.

Parsi says the issue of international inspections of Iran's nuclear sites will be a carefully laid out process rather than the unfettered access some politicians want. The other sticking point is the timeline for sanctions relief, which Iran wants to happen immediately.

“The sanctions have had a devastating impact on the life of average Iranians in combination though, with the incompetence and this mismanagement of the Iranian government," Parsi said.

Since the United Nations ordered Iran to suspend nuclear activities in 2006, international sanctions have frozen assets and limited trade.

Parsi says the real work to convince critics the deal will make everyone safer, will not begin until one is made.

“It is easy to get lost in the weeds," he said. "These negotiation have been going on for some time. Most of the questions and issues we are dealing with is technical issues from within the negotiations.”

He says most international relations change dramatically after a nation is defeated militarily, but these talks may be an opportunity to prevent conflict from turning into war.