Report: Turkey Working With Iran on New Enrichment Deal

New Deal Seems Plausible, But Will US Accept It?

Diplomatic sources are reporting that the Turkish government is busily working with Iranian diplomats to try to come up with a new third party enrichment deal to provide fuel rods for the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR), the source of medical isotopes for Iran.

The rumored terms of the deal seem to include only subtle revisions to the previous version, negotiated by Turkey and Brazil but angrily rejected by the United States. The new deal would, however, have Iran transport its entire (trivially small) stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium, part of a failing effort by Iran to produce the fuel rods themselves.

The deal certainly makes more sense for all concerned than the new deal proposed by the US at the Geneva talks, which demanded Iran submit far more of its 3% enriched fuel to additional enrichment than it could ever possibly use in the aging TRR.

But that may be a mark against it in and of itself, as the Obama Administration pushed for a third party enrichment deal last year right up to the day Iran agreed to it, then angrily changed course and condemned the acceptance. The offers, then, are not necessarily meant to be accepted, and a deal that is suspiciously sensible may well be dismissed out of hand by officials who are only looking at the P5+1 talks as a way to score political points by railing against Iran.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of