Sunday, December 20, 2009

” Understanding Iran's Defiant Nuclear Policy ”, Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty. By Hossein Aryan (01/12/2009)

By Hossein Aryan (01/12/2009)

The diplomatic standoff over Iran's nuclear ambitions has grown more intense since President Mahmud Ahmadinejad announced publicly on November 29 that his government intends to build 10 new sites to enrich uranium to supply nuclear power plants that will increase the country's annual generating capacity by 20,000 megawatts over the next 20 years. He explained that in order to achieve this, Iran will need to install 500,000 centrifuges at the planned facilities to produce 250 to 300 tons of nuclear fuel annually.

'Yes, No, Maybe'

Although a majority of Iranian lawmakers have asked the government to scale back its cooperation with the IAEA, Iranian officials have made it clear that the country has no intention of leaving the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and that the door remains open for further negotiations. Parliament speaker Ali Larijani too, in spite of an earlier intemperate statement about the IAEA for criticizing Iran, later said that notwithstanding the latest tension, Iran is still open to diplomacy. He added that if the major powers "adopt other policies, Iran would adopt other policies, as well." This is not the first time that top Iranian officials have sent such mixed signals, alternating blustery statements with conciliatory gestures. The recent rejection of the P5+1 (Britain, China, France, Russia, United States, plus Germany) proposal to send Iran's low-enriched uranium (LEU) to Russia in exchange for nuclear fuel for Tehran's research reactor is another example. The Iranian leadership initially accepted the proposal in principle, triggering a host of arguments

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