US: World Obviously Won’t Accept Iran’s Civilian Enrichment of Uranium

Talks End With a Promise for Another Round in June

The Baghdad summit between the P5+1 and Iran has come to an end, with both sides agreeing to launch another round of talks next month in Moscow. No agreements beyond this were apparently reached today, with Iran reiterating its rights under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

In particular, Iranian negotiator Saeed Jalili was emphasizing that members of the NPT have a right to uranium enrichment for civilian purposes and wanted the agreement to include a P5+1 concession to that effect. US officials said that “obviously was not something we were prepared to do.

Interestingly, the reports leading up to the Baghdad meeting suggested that the West was willing to back off this demand, and even Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak issued a statement saying Israel was fine with Iran enriching uranium to 3.5 percent, though Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later disavowed this position, saying Iran had to not only stop civilian enrichment but give away all its existing civilian stockpile.

The vast majority of Iran’s enrichment is at 3.5 percent, the level needed to run the Bushehr power plant. A smaller portion is enriched to 20 percent, with efforts to produce fuel rods for the aging Tehran Research Reactor, a US-built facility from the 1960’s that makes medical isotopes.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.