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Page last updated at 11:55 GMT, Thursday, 1 October 2009 12:55 UK

Press mulls chance of success in Geneva

Javier Solana and Saiid Jalili
Iran and six world powers took part in the talks.

Talks on Iran's controversial nuclear programme began in Geneva on Thursday, days after the country admitted it was developing a second uranium plant and followed this up by test-firing its most advanced long-range missiles.

The Iranian press adopted a bullish tone towards the talks, saying that Iran was not prepared to take part in them with its hands tied and that it was up to the West to show it had moved beyond its previous entrenched positions.

An Israeli paper called for tougher sanctions against Iran, saying that time was running out to curb the country's nuclear ambitions, while the pan-Arab and Middle Eastern Arabic press doubted that either side would be prepared to give much ground at Geneva.

IRAN'S SARMAYEH

Iran revealed the existence of its second uranium enrichment site in the central city of Qom and then immediately tested its long-range and short-range missile. This shows that Iran does not want to attend the Geneva talks with its hands tied and it is trying to change the path of the nuclear talks for better, and take the upper hand in the negotiations.

IRAN'S KAYHAN

The talks could mark a turning point in relations if the West sets aside the political cliches they have been trapped in for the last six years. In proposing its new package, Iran has offered the West a very good opportunity... however, the noises coming from them are not at all promising. There is no indication that they have understood the meaning of the proposed package.

IRAN'S IRAN

[The latest developments mean that for the West] the statement that "all options are on the table but we prefer the option of negotiations" should be modified to "we have no choice but to negotiate with Iran, because all options are no longer on the table!"

EITAN HABER IN ISRAEL'S YEDIOT AHARONOT

The free world is not left with many options and, most of all, not much time. The opposite is the case: the sand in the hourglass is running out. What is left to be done is to immediately sharpen the sanctions and enlist the support of the whole world for them.

EDITORIAL IN LONDON-BASED AL-QUDS AL-ARABI

Today's meeting in Geneva may be a test for the West to send a decisive message to Iran. However, all the signs are that Iran will stick to its position and will reject threats. This means that the likelihood of the meeting failing is greater than that of success.

HODAH AL-HUSAYN IN LONDON-BASED AL-SHARQ AL-AWSAT

The threatening language the West is likely to use during the negotiations may well bring them to a swift end and open the door to a military strike on Iran.

ZUBAYR QUSBAYNI IN LONDON-BASED AL-HAYAT

What is certain is that neither Europe nor America will yield to Ahmadinejad's threats. They will not leave Iran the chance to think about possessing a nuclear bomb and establish its hegemony over the Gulf and the Middle East.

RAJI AL-KHURI IN LEBANON'S AL-NAHAR

The best the meeting between Western states and Iran... will achieve is to leave an open window for dialogue between the two sides that will pave the way to a formula of understanding instead of the continued exchange of fiery threats... It is merely a tense handshake on top of a volcano.

MUHAMMAD KHARUB IN JORDAN'S AL-RA'Y

What is unfortunate is that there is a total absence of the Arabs [from the Geneva talks] yet everyone knows that they are the ones who will pay Iran's bills.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.



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