7 Reasons Not to Worry about Iran's Enrichment Capacity

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Seyed Hossein Mousavian

Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany are aiming to end the standoff over Iran's nuclear program by Nov. 24. Iranian and US officials have confirmed that progress was made in the extremely complicated nuclear talks in mid-October in Vienna.

“There was progress in all the fields. We still need serious discussions over various issues," Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said following a six-hour meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry and European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton in Vienna.

With less than six weeks to go, the future scope of Iran's production of enriched uranium, which can have both civilian and military use, remains the key sticking point. While Zarif, Kerry and Ashton are supposed to meet in Muscat Nov. 9-10 to discuss steps toward a comprehensive final deal, Washington should not derail the opportunity to reach a solution by overemphasizing its demand to limit Iran’s uranium enrichment program.

The progress achieved to date is unprecedented. US nuclear negotiator Wendy Sherman said Oct. 23, “We have made impressive progress on issues that originally seemed intractable. We have cleared up misunderstandings and held exhaustive discussions on every element of a possible text.” If a deal is not reached, it will mean no limits at all on Iran’s enrichment program and missing the best opportunity in a decade to resolve the nuclear standoff with Iran.

The following are seven reasons not to be too overly concerned about Iran’s breakout capability:

1- Under the current International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) rules and regulations, the maximum level of transparency for nuclear activities would be secured by the implementation of its three arrangements: the Safeguard Agreement, Subsidiary Arrangement Code 3.1 and the Additional Protocol. The world powers negotiating with Iran have a clear understanding that Iran is ready to commit to all three arrangements in a final comprehensive agreement.

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*Ambassador Seyed Hossein Mousavian is a research scholar at Princeton University and a former spokesman for Iran's nuclear negotiations. His latest book, Iran and the United States: An Insider's view on the Failed Past and the Road to Peace, was published in May.

Source: Al Monitor

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*These views represent those of the authors and are not necessarily Iran Review's viewpoints.

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