Fresh off of yesterday’s assurances from Iranian President Hassan Rohani that he is determined to reach a nuclear deal, and Secretary of State John Kerry’s own threats to attack Iran seemingly for the heck of it, Kerry is now demanding Iran “prove” that its civilian nuclear program is civilian in nature, because apparently the adjective “civilian” doesn’t do that by itself.
Kerry went on to insist Iran has “the opportunity to prove” the program is peaceful in nature, and issued a slew of new demands above and beyond the conditions in the P5+1 nuclear deal.
Among Kerry’s demands was for Iran to immediate abandon plans to build a heavy water reactor at Arak. The reactor is set to replace the aging Tehran Research Reactor (TRR) as a source of medical isotopes.
The TRR runs on 20 percent enriched uranium, and amid Western demands Iran has agreed to stop enriching at those levels. The Arak reactor runs on unenriched uranium, seemingly to get around the griping about their enrichment, but Kerry’s comments make clear that at least in his view, that’s no good either.
Issuing so many new demands the same week the interim deal began to take effect is just bizarre, and while much of it was likely rhetoric for show at the Davos conference, it doesn’t inspire confidence that the US is negotiating seriously when they keep inventing new conditions and threatening war on a seemingly daily basis.
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