The goal line keeps shifting in the P5+1 talks with Iran, and after Iran did everything they were asked in the interim deal, the expectation of having a civilian nuclear program with some manner of self-sufficiency at all is suddenly being presented as a “sticking point” that could kill a deal.
US and other Western officials have been conceding for awhile that Iran has every right to a civilian nuclear program, and uranium enrichment to a level well short of weapons grade. Even though weapons grade is 90 percent, Iran agreed to give up its 20 percent enrichment, and is now only doing 3.5 percent enrichment. And the line keeps shifting.
Now, Iran’s baseline expectation, that they’d be allowed to continue to produce 3.5 percent uranium in the quantities needed to fuel the Bushehr nuclear power plant, is being condemned by the West as “unrealistic.”
Though Western officials are presenting the enrichment as a weapons risk, there is no credible basis for that claim, and rather the big driving concern seems to be from Russia, who built the plant and has a 10-year contract to provide fuel. The fuel contract is pretty lucrative, and would be even moreso if Iran lacks self-sufficiency after the 10 years is over, meaning there is an economic interest in keeping Iran’s plants dependent on them going forward.
2 thoughts on “Iran’s Civilian Enrichment Remains a Sticking Point in Talks”
I do respect your insight on a myriad of topics, but do you have any credible evidence that the Russian side is raising these concerns? To my knowledge they have been very supportive of Iran's right to low level enrichment.
Interesting idea that fuel miners/producers might be drivers of this 'stalemate.' Even more interesting (even disorienting…) if the real drivers were 'Russian' companies…even though Bibi & 'The West' have been the more visible drivers. Brings up images like Strangers on a Train (1951) "Each one has someone he'd like to get rid of…so… they swap murders…criss cross!" I guess if some singular monetary interest is all that could explain the treatment of Iran…I might have to accept the idea. And it could fit just how wonderfully Clinton/Kerry/Bibi play Bad-Cop/Woman-You-Love-To-Hate. Reeeeallly–to hate them, I loved!
An ulitmate rice bowl breaker might be molten salt reactors. If the fuel's also the coolant, fuel rods are obsolete/legacy crap, etc. …
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