The Back Channel

Exclusive: Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee on War, Peace and Nukes

Wednesday, Jul. 11, 2012 | Barbara Slavin, Washington Correspondent

Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee’s spoke with Al-Monitor correspondents Barbara Slavin and Laura Rozen on July 10 2012. Read excerpts from the wide-ranging conversation.

Iran’s UN Envoy: We Will Not Initiate Confrontation

Wednesday, Jul. 11, 2012 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

EXCLUSIVE: Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations said that Iran will not "initiate any provocative steps" with the West despite the imposition of draconian sanctions, in a wide-ranging interview with Al-Monitor's Laura Rozen and Barbara Slavin. He also described recent nuclear talks as tentative and vague. Read more from the conversation.

Draft Communiqué From Action Group on Syria

Sunday, Jul. 1, 2012 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

Although Russia continued to oppose language in the Action Group on Syria statement calling for Bashar al-Assad to leave power, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton insisted the changes made at Saturday's meeting in Geneva did not alter that key demand. Al-Monitor's Laura Rozen obtained a draft communiqué, linked below.

US Hardens Stance In Iran Nuclear Talks

Wednesday, Jun. 27, 2012 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

Iran was prepared to discuss halting 20% enrichment in Moscow, but refused other conditions that could have meant an end to the nuclear standoff. Laura Rozen and Barbara Slavin write that the western members of the P5+1 insisted that Iran meet all the conditions in their proposal, which may indicate that the US has hardened its position.

NATO Backs Turkey But Mute on Response Over Downed Plane

Wednesday, Jun. 27, 2012 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

NATO ambassadors expressed strong solidarity with Turkey over Syria’s downing of a Turkish military reconnaissance plane last week, writes Laura Rozen. But the military alliance remained notably quiet on the looming question of what further action it may be willing to contemplate.

On to the Next Round Of Iran Nuclear Talks

Wednesday, Jun. 20, 2012 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

After two grueling days of nuclear negotiations, diplomats from Iran and six world powers agreed on at least one thing, writes Laura Rozen. They were not yet ready to let the recently re-launched diplomatic process collapse.

Latest Iran Nuclear Talks Reveal Wide Gaps, ‘Intense and Tough’

Tuesday, Jun. 19, 2012 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

For the first time, Iran gave a point-by-point response to an international proposal on halting its 20% enrichment activities on June 18 in Moscow. But international diplomats said the presentation only made the diplomatic challenge of narrowing the gaps between the two sides in the near term more daunting.

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