It has become clear soon after the failed Geneva Talks of October last year that the P5+1 swap proposal for most of Iran’s low-enriched uranium (LEU) to Russia with the vague hope of receiving fuel rods from France for its research reactor in Tehran somewhere down the road had never been serious. In particular, Iran’s defeated presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi and former chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani had vehemently opposed the untenable, in fact, indecent proposal. While Tehran has constantly been suggesting several further modalities of a possible swap, the apparent position of the Obama administration which desperately sought support for new UN sanctions was, take it or leave it.
When Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has travelled to Tehran on the occasion of the so-called G15 summit of developing countries, and Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who surprisingly managed to make it to Tehran, yesterday brokered a new swap deal with Iran it shows that all attempts of the Obama Administration to isolate the country und impose new ‘crippling’ UN Security Council sanctions must eventually be in vain.
Iranian news agencies report today that the Iranian government has agreed to a draft proposal whereby Iran will send some 1200 kg of its 3.5 percent enriched uranium over to Turkey in exchange for a total of 120 kg of 20% enriched uranium. The International Atomic Energy Agency will officially receive a letter with regards to the swap deal “within a week.” This is good news and it is hoped that the Iranians who have a notoriously bad reputation for last minute turns take it very seriously this time.
Americans will be skeptical. They now seem to insist that 2000 kg rather than the 1200 kg LEU of last October should be swapped, given the fact of Iran’s considerable efforts to further enrich in recent months.
Last update May 17, 2010.