Iran to Push Nuclear Fuel Swap Amid Sanction Threats
The Iranian nuclear disarmament summit came to an end today, with a call from Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki for a global nuclear disarmament and a call for all nations to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). He also put forth the prospect of a new diplomatic push.
According to Mottaki Iran will soon hold direct talks with 14 of the 15 members of the UN Security Council, and indirect talks wth the United States. All the talks will be aimed at one thing, finalizing the stalled third-party enrichment deal.
Originally proposed by Iranian President Ahmadinejad in September, the third party enrichment deal would allow Iran to continue its operation of the Tehran Research Reactor in producing medical isotopes without having to continue its efforts to produce 20 percent enriched uranium, something the US and other nations have objected to.
The deal was negotiated in October, ending with a “draft” agreement. Iran has sought revisions to the initial draft and further talks on the matter, but to this point had been refused. The US has demanded that Iran accept the draft exactly as written, and has said their refusal to do so proves the need for further sanctions, something they have been pressing at the UN Security Council for months.
Exactly how much this discussion will accomplish is unclear, but with China firmly on the side of more talks this second chance for diplomacy will at the very least have some serious support.
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