Iran Nuclear NewsIran bows to UN threat over nuclear programme

Iran bows to UN threat over nuclear programme

-

The Times: Iran formally suspended its controversial uranium-enrichment programme yesterday — but doubts remain about its true intentions. The United States is convinced that Tehran is engaged in a clandestine nuclear weapons project. The Times

By Michael Evans, Defence Editor

IRAN formally suspended its controversial uranium-enrichment programme yesterday — but doubts remain about its true intentions.

The United States is convinced that Tehran is engaged in a clandestine nuclear weapons project.

At first glance the European triumvirate of Britain, France and Germany, which has been diplomatically pummelling Iran into reversing its momentum towards a nuclear bomb, won a notable round with Iran yesterday.

However, although Iran appeared to have conceded to the European Union’s entreaties in return for trade and political deals, there are still question marks about what Iran may have been up to in secret and whether it will stick to the latest moratorium. The last suspension of uranium enrichment, announced in November last year, survived for only seven months.

Now Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, has told Tehran that if it reneged on this latest suspension deal, the three European nations would reserve the right to “take the country to the United Nations”, a move Iran has been fighting to avoid.

Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is based in Vienna, said that the suspension of Iran’s operation appeared to be genuine. “I think pretty much everything has come to a halt,” he said.

Final confirmation is expected at a meeting of the IAEA board on Thursday.

Colin Powell, the outgoing US Secretary of State, said last week that Washington had intelligence that indicated that Iran was trying to equip long-range missiles to carry nuclear warheads.

However, even John Bolton, the Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security and one of the most hawkish members of the US Administration, has conceded that Iran would not be in a position to “weaponise” its missiles with nuclear warheads until the end of the decade.

An IAEA official said that the nuclear watchdog’s inspectors, who are in Iran, had reported that Tehran, up to last week, had succeeded in converting two metric tonnes of basic uranium “yellow cake” into uranium hexafluoride, a gas that can then be introduced into a centrifuge system, resulting in bomb-grade highly enriched uranium (HEU).

However, the inspectors have not found any evidence of this and, even if they had, two tonnes of basic uranium converted into gas would still not produce a “significant quantity” of HEU.

A nuclear warhead would need to have a minimum of 25kg (55lb) of HEU; and two tonnes of yellow cake would produce only 15 per cent of the required amount, the official of the IAEA said. Nevertheless, with the United States playing a waiting game and greeting every apparent Iranian concession with maximum scepticism, the Europeans are hoping that their “tough diplomacy” will keep the hardest of the hardliners in Tehran, and the hawks in Washington, at bay.

One diplomatic source said: “When you are falling over a precipice and you see a branch sticking out, you grab it. So today’s suspension is a good step, but who knows? Perhaps the Iranians are just buying time.”

Latest news

Iranian People’s Resistance Changed the Appeasement Policy

Soon after the new US government started its obligations in January 2021, hand in hand with the European governments...

Khamenei’s Disgraceful Campaign Against Piranshahr and Javanrud, Who Will Be the Loser?

On the 67th day of Iran’s revolution, the Iranian regime attempted to put a halt to the protests in...

Iran: Expensive Medicine, Cheap Human Life

A look at the equipment and weapons that the Iranian regime has been using against its people to suppress...

Who Is Abolqasem Salavati Iran Regime’s Killer Judge?

Last week, it was announced that the case of several people who were arrested during the Iranian People's uprising...

Iran Revolution Characteristics

More than two months have passed since the start of the latest round of protests in Iran against the...

Iran’s Regime Is Unable To Eradicate Protests

Totalitarian governments, whether be it a monarchy or a clerical regime, and their international supporters are pursuing the same...

Must read

PRESS DIGEST – Iran – Jan 11

Reuters: These are some of the leading stories in...

Iran’s Rafsanjani: U.S. made mistake in launching war on Iraq

Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Jun. 01 – Iran’s former...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you