Iranian Envoy Sees New Momentum on Arak Reactor Dispute

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
Global Security Newswire Staff
April 8, 2014, 7:51 a.m.

A seni­or Ir­a­ni­an en­voy has hin­ted at pro­gress in resolv­ing a dis­pute over a heavy-wa­ter re­act­or cap­able of gen­er­at­ing plutoni­um, the Wall Street Journ­al re­ports.

Ir­a­ni­an Deputy For­eign Min­is­ter Majid Ravan­chi said Ir­an is re­view­ing “ideas” presen­ted by six oth­er coun­tries for resolv­ing fears that the Arak site could pro­duce the bomb-us­able sub­stance upon ac­tiv­a­tion, the news­pa­per said on Monday, be­fore new high-level talks began. Tehran denies har­bor­ing any nuc­le­ar-weapon am­bi­tions, but has joined dis­cus­sions on po­ten­tially re­strict­ing its arms-rel­ev­ant atom­ic activ­it­ies in ex­change for sanc­tions re­lief.

“We know each oth­er’s po­s­i­tions on Arak very well,” the dip­lo­mat said, re­fer­ring to ne­go­ti­at­ors from Ir­an and coun­ter­parts from China, France, Ger­many, Rus­sia, the United King­dom and the United States. The sides are try­ing to ham­mer out a long-term suc­cessor to an in­ter­im nuc­le­ar ac­cord reached late last year.

Tehran, Ravan­chi said, is “ready to ad­dress le­git­im­ate con­cerns about the pos­sible pro­lif­er­a­tion that might arise with re­gard to Arak.”

A spokes­man for a key dis­cus­sion co­ordin­at­or con­firmed that the heavy-wa­ter fa­cil­ity is a cent­ral fo­cus of a two-day mul­ti­lat­er­al meet­ing that began on Tues­day, Bloomberg re­por­ted.

“We’re in­volved in very de­tailed and sub­stan­tial ne­go­ti­ations,” said Mi­chael Mann, a spokes­man for European Uni­on For­eign Policy chief Cath­er­ine Ashton. Ashton joined Ir­a­ni­an For­eign Min­is­ter Mo­hammad Javad Za­rif to open this week’s gath­er­ing in Vi­enna, but the of­fi­cials later turned over lead­er­ship of the talks to lower-rank­ing of­fi­cials, Re­u­ters re­por­ted.

A second high-level Ir­a­ni­an dip­lo­mat said the per­cep­tion of Arak “as an easy and speedy way to de­vel­op a nuc­le­ar bomb raises con­cerns which we have agreed to ad­dress,” ac­cord­ing to Bloomberg.

Still, “this doesn’t mean it will be closed or con­ver­ted to an­oth­er fa­cil­ity,” Ir­a­ni­an Deputy For­eign Min­is­ter Ab­bas Araq­chi said last week.

What We're Following See More »
INCLUDES WAIVER FOR MATTIS
Congress Releases Stopgap Funding Bill
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Congressional negotiators released a stopgap spending bill Tuesday night to avert a partial government shutdown at midnight Friday and to fund federal agencies and programs through April 28." The 70-page continuing resolution includes $170 million to aid Flint, Michigan's water supply, and a waiver that would allow Ret. Gen. James Mattis to assume the role of secretary of Defense.

Source:
INTERSTATE COMPACT GAINING TRACTION
Democrats Explore Electoral College Changes
1 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

"A number of Capitol Hill Democrats have revived proposals to reform or abolish the Electoral College," chief among Michigan's John Conyers, who "held a panel on Capitol Hill Tuesday to discuss options for eliminating the Electoral College and replacing it with a system where a national popular vote elects the president. ... The plan with the most support to reform the election college at the panel was the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, a proposal first developed in 2001 that would give the national popular vote winner the majority of electoral college votes through an agreement between the states."

Source:
EFFORT LIKELY TO DIE IN COMMITTEE
Jordan Can’t Force a Floor Vote on Impeaching Koskinen
15 hours ago
THE LATEST
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan attempted to force a floor vote on impeaching IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, but "the House voted overwhelmingly to refer it to the Judiciary Committee. ... The committee will not be required to take up the resolution." Earlier, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi "made a motion to table the resolution, which the House voted against by a 180-235 margin, mostly along party lines."
Source:
AFTER THE VOTE FOR SPEAKER
Ryan: No Committee Assignments Until New Year
20 hours ago
THE DETAILS

House Speaker Paul Ryan has decreed that House members "won’t receive their committee assignments until January — after they cast a public vote on the House floor for speaker. "The move has sparked behind-the-scenes grumbling from a handful of Ryan critics, who say the delay allows him and the Speaker-aligned Steering Committee to dole out committee assignments based on political loyalty rather than merit or expertise." The roll call to elect the speaker is set for Jan. 3, the first vote of the new Congress.

Source:
EXPECTED TO FUND THE GOVERNMENT THROUGH SPRING
Funding Bill To Be Released Tuesday
1 days ago
THE LATEST

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters on Monday that the government funding bill will be released on Tuesday. The bill is the last piece of legislation Congress needs to pass before leaving for the year and is expected to fund the government through the spring. The exact time date the bill would fund the government through is unclear, though it is expected to be in April or May.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login