Mixed Signals from Iran on Nuclear Deal

Western Officials Seem Unlikely to Accept Simultaneous Exchange

As the Obama Administration digs in its heels against the prospect of continued negotiations, the Iranian government is sending mixed messages as to whether or not it intends to complete the deal as currently constituted.

Saeed Jalili, the Iranian government’s top nuclear negotiator, seems to be on the side of accepting the proposal, and insisted that Iran “welcomed” the negotiations on the deal and said he hoped it would be completed “as quickly as possible.”

At the same time, Iran’s state media is citing unnamed diplomatic sources as saying the government to press for a “two-staged, simultaneous exchange” of uranium instead of the current deal which calls for Iran to simply send its uranium overseas en masse and get it back at a later date.

Western officials have already angrily condemned this compromise, but with growing concern in Iran that the hawkish French govenment will renege on the deal and keep Iran’s uranium there seems to be much resistance to any deal without some guarantee.

Iran’s current uranium is enriched to 3.8%, but Western officials have speculated that if they chose to, the nation might be able to further enrich this uranium to the level needed for weaponization, and eventually could produce a single atomic bomb. This would require a lot of luck on Iran’s part, and since their enrichment facilities are under IAEA surveillance would also require them to make their intentions obvious before they could even begin the mad dash for a bomb.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.