Is US shifting its position on Iran’s nuclear program, allowing Tehran to enrich on its soil?

According to an article in Tuesday’s Guardian, and the Wall Street Journal, Iran is willing to accept  intrusive inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities ( outlined in the document known as the Additional Protocols without officially  acknowledging its acceptance of the document),  in return,  Iranians expect sanctions relief and breathing room for their economy.  The Iranian foreign minister & lead negotiator,  Javad Zarif, posted a message on his Facebook account saying the Geneva talks were “the start of a difficult and relatively time-consuming way forward”. He said: “I am hopeful that by Wednesday we can reach agreement on a road map to find a path towards resolution. But even with the goodwill of the other side, to reach agreement on details and start implementation will probably require another meeting at ministerial level.”  According to the Guardian,  ” Iran is also prepared to negotiate on the number of centrifuges it uses to make 3.5% enriched uranium, suitable for fuel for nuclear power stations, and on how much each centrifuge makes.”

All of this still could fall short of the demands by US and Europeans for closing of the facility at Fordow, and scaling down of operations at Arak nuclear power plant.    Yet,   Iranian change of tone and  willingness to address the concerns of the P5+1 group is clearly a step forward in the diplomatic dance between Iran and P5+1.

 

Bahman Baktiari

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