Iran Yields on Enrichment-Right Wording as Nuclear Talks Resume

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
Nov. 20, 2013, 9:02 a.m.

Ir­a­ni­an For­eign Min­is­ter Mo­hammad Javad Za­rif’s sig­nal of flex­ib­il­ity this week re­gard­ing West­ern re­cog­ni­tion of his na­tion’s right to en­rich urani­um offered heightened an­ti­cip­a­tion of an in­ter­na­tion­al deal as talks re­sumed on Wed­nes­day in Geneva, the Lon­don Guard­i­an re­por­ted.

Speak­ing on Tues­day, Za­rif said Ir­an’s urani­um-en­rich­ment right is “non-ne­go­ti­able” but his coun­try sees “no ne­ces­sity for its re­cog­ni­tion as a right.”

The word­ing could re­move the is­sue as an obstacle to agree­ment be­cause of P-5+1 un­ease about ex­pli­citly grant­ing in writ­ing a right to en­gage in a pro­cess that many sus­pect Ir­an has used as an os­tens­ibly peace­ful cov­er for secretly mov­ing to­ward a nuc­le­ar-arms cap­ab­il­ity.

This week’s con­fab con­sti­tutes the third such meet­ing since last month aimed at lock­ing down an ini­tial agree­ment on the Middle East­ern na­tion’s dis­puted nuc­le­ar activ­it­ies, the New York Times re­por­ted.

Del­eg­ates from the six ne­go­ti­at­ing powers — China, France, Ger­many, Rus­sia, the United King­dom and the United States — began Wed­nes­day’s dis­cus­sions by co­ordin­at­ing with their top in­ter­locutor, European Uni­on for­eign policy chief Cath­er­ine Ashton. Ashton was next slated to meet one-on-one with Za­rif on Wed­nes­day, pri­or to a Wed­nes­day or Thursday gath­er­ing of all the par­ti­cipants.

Pro­pos­als un­der con­sid­er­a­tion at the planned three-day meet­ing in Geneva would grant Ir­an a de­gree of re­lief from in­ter­na­tion­al eco­nom­ic pres­sure in ex­change for steps to help as­sure oth­er coun­tries that its atom­ic am­bi­tions are strictly peace­ful.

Both sides have in­dic­ated that they could yield some ground on key fric­tion points that pre­ven­ted them from reach­ing a deal in talks earli­er this month, the Guard­i­an re­por­ted on Tues­day. At that ses­sion, France pressed Tehran to halt pre­par­a­tion of a heavy-wa­ter re­act­or cap­able of gen­er­at­ing bomb-us­able plutoni­um upon com­ple­tion, and Ir­an stressed its leg­al en­ti­tle­ment to en­rich urani­um — an activ­ity that holds the po­ten­tial to pro­duce ci­vil­ian atom­ic fuel as well as nuc­le­ar-bomb ma­ter­i­al.

France, for its part, is re­portedly di­vided over its po­s­i­tion on the Arak heavy-wa­ter site.

“There is a de­bate go­ing on in Par­is, between the Quai d’Or­say [the For­eign Min­istry] and the Élysée [the pres­id­ency] on that po­s­i­tion,” a French de­fense in­sider told the Guard­i­an.

In a Wed­nes­day at­tempt to re­as­sure Ir­a­ni­an con­ser­vat­ives, the na­tion’s su­preme re­li­gious lead­er said the gov­ern­ment would ad­here to strict lim­its on what it could con­cede, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­por­ted.

Ayatol­lah Ali Khame­nei said that Tehran’s primary ob­ject­ive in the talks is “sta­bil­iz­a­tion of the rights of the Ir­a­ni­an na­tion, in­clud­ing nuc­le­ar rights.”

What We're Following See More »
TIME TO SPLIT
House Passes CR, Sends Bill to President’s Desk
6 hours ago
THE LATEST
CAN’T NAME ONE WORLD LEADER
Gary Johnson Stumbles Again
7 hours ago
WHY WE CARE
GOES TO PRESIDENT
Senate Approves Bill to Preserve Rape Kits
7 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The Senate on Wednesday approved legislation ensuring sexual assault survivors in federal criminal cases have access to forensic evidence collection kits, sending the bill to President Obama's desk. The legislation, known as the Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act, was passed by unanimous consent as lawmakers prepare to leave Washington until after the election. The House passed the measure earlier this month."

Source:
2-MONTH GIG OR 8-YEAR GIG?
Alec Baldwin to Play Trump on ‘SNL’
9 hours ago
THE DETAILS
STRIKES DOWN NEW HAMPSHIRE BAN
Court: Selfies in Voting Booth Now OK
11 hours ago
WHY WE CARE
×