Offer May Divide US From Rest of Negotiators
According to Western officials familiar with the situation, Iran is expected to bring a package of serious proposals for a permanent settlement of the ongoing nuclear program dispute to the Geneva conference with the P5+1 next week.
The package will offer specific limits on the number of centrifuges Iran’s civilian enrichment program will use, and will reportedly also offer to phase out 20 percent enrichment and allow additional inspections above and beyond the requirements under their safeguards agreement, in return for an easing of sanctions.
The Iranian government has been winding down 20 percent enrichment at any rate, having made enough fuel rods for its aging US-built medical reactor for the rest of its life, and is more focused on ensuring a supply for its Bushehr power plant now, which runs on 3.5 percent enriched uranium. Weapons-grade uranium would need to be over 90 percent.
The offer may well split the P5+1 on the talks, with most of the nations likely to be in favor of an extremely reasonable Iranian offer and the US likely to be driven primarily by Israel’s opposition to any deal in general more inclined to counter with an “offer” for Iran to do all of this and more unilaterally without any real sanctions easing.
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