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IRANIAN NUCLEAR, THE NEW COURSE

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Everything has stopped on the Iranian Front. It has been three months since nuclear centrifuges have been activated. Seven thousand of them, reveals a trusted WikiLao source, have been practically idling. It could be a sign, one of many.
Anyone who has contacts with Iran confirms: the approach to the nuclear issue, with the election to the presidency of reformist Hassan Rohani, has effectively changed.

Iran’s new representative to the IAEA, Ambassador Reza Najafi, has explained that the objective is to reach an agreement “as soon as possible.” The timeline, however, can hardly be that indicated recently,” reveals a diplomat who has been following the dossier for some time. One year – the present hypothesis – would serve only to define a political agreement that resolves the dispute. Particularly because – they argue in Vienna – the Iranian negotiating team has been enhanced with several new elements, presumably handpicked by Najafi. “They will have to be conceded some additional weeks to become familiar with the dossier.”

Openings are accompanied by prudence, which, an authoritative source adds, is necessary, because Najafi has already shown himself to be intransigent on a thorny problem like the Parchin site: “He doesn’t exclude opening it to inspection, but he says no to inspections without a specific purpose and, in any case, he denies that they have cleared it.”
The Iranian position is holding the IAEA back from presenting its very secret wish list on which all the sites they would like to check are listed. The fear is that they could fall into what is known in Vienna as the “Parchin Trap.” They explain from Vienna: “We communicate to them the coordinates of the sites we would like to visit, and the Iranians take their time and, in the meantime, they clean them up.”

Another outstanding issue: past military nuclear activities. “Here, too, we’re in denial,” says a WikiLao deep throat source at the IAEA. “And the problem is that the comparison must be made with the cases most similar to this one. Those who renounced nuclear energy, like Brazil and South Africa, had to provide clarifications on the military use of atomic energy to enter into full international legitimacy. Those clarifications, at least at this stage of the Iranian issue, seem light years away.”

(Photo: REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bade)

October 25, 2013