Daily Archives: June 20, 2012

James Blitz

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili smiles at a press conference in Moscow, on June 19, 2012. ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/GettyImages

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili at a Moscow press conference on June 19. (Alexander Nemenov/AFP/GettyImages)

Over the last two months, Iran and six world powers have met three times – in Istanbul, Baghdad and Moscow -  to try and resolve the crisis over the Iranian nuclear programme. On all three occasions, little or no progress was made in resolving the dispute.

Indeed after the Moscow talks, negotiations have been downgraded to little more than a pledge to hold discussions between technical experts in early July – and possibly no more than that. So this is a time to take stock of what the diplomacy of the last few months has taught us – and whether it can avert a descent into military action. 

John Paul Rathbone

Amazon rainforest destruction. Reuters

Rio de Janeiro, where tens of thousands of delegates are gathered this week for the Rio +20 summit, is sometimes described as more of a landscape than a city. But what a landscape: the hard rock mountains and jungles that percolate down to Rio’s beaches give the impression that modernity and the environment can coexist.