West May Drop Demand for Iran to Halt Civilian Enrichment

Lithuania FM: If Program Is Peaceful It Can Continue

According to a top EU official familiar with the details, western nations are prepared to offer a deal on the settlement of their long-standing complaints on Iran’s nuclear program that would allow the nation to continue enrichment of uranium to civilian use levels.

US officials have repeatedly presented ending civilian enrichment as a primary demand, but Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius says that his understanding is that Iran can continue the program if they agree to some other concessions that will convince western nations of the program’s continued civilian nature.

On the one hand, that’s pretty easy, as weapons grade uranium is over 90 percent, whereas Iran’s enrichment has never gone beyond 20 percent, and is increasingly focused on 3.5 percent, well below theoretical military use levels. At the same time, the “uncertainty” around Iran’s program is mostly supposition not based on anything, and it isn’t clear how people who aren’t convinced already of Iran’s enrichment being for civilian purposes, when materially all of its enriched uranium is being directly used for civilian purposes, can ever be convinced.

The deal, if confirmed, will also enrage Israel even further, since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has insisted Iran cannot be allowed to keep any of its civilian program, let alone the enrichment portion, and has demanded that Iran be forced to surrender every bit of its uranium stockpile to the international community.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.