While insisting that he preferred to finalize the current draft enrichment deal as agreed to in talks with Brazil and Turkey, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said his nation was ready to hold additional talks.
“We are ready to negotiate with the Vienna group in order to draw up a written agreement,” Mottaki insisted today during a meeting in Belgium.
The P5+1 reached a preliminary draft deal with Iran in October calling for a third party enrichment deal, though internal debate among the Iranians delayed their acceptance for several months. The Turko-Brazilian deal is materially the same as the previous deal, but includes Turkey as a guarantor of the exchange.
But despite reaching virtually the same deal the Obama Administration had been demanding all along, the US has condemned the new enrichment deal, saying it was “too late” to make an exchange of 1,200 kg of low enriched uranium for 120 kg of fuel rods needed for medical isotopes.
At this point it seems unlikely that any deal will be acceptable for the US, but the continued offer to negotiate on key points will make it all the more difficult for the Obama Administration to claim it is punishing Iran for “refusing to negotiate.”
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