Nuclear talks: Iran agrees to meet US, world powers twice more in October
Iran appeared to understand there was new urgency on the nuclear issue, agreeing at the Geneva talks to open its second enrichment facility to inspectors.
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In Geneva, Solana said Iran had pledged to cooperate fully and swiftly with inspections by the UN nuclear watchdog agency of a small, incomplete second uranium enrichment facility revealed in recent days.Skip to next paragraph
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Mr. Jalili acknowledged that that facility south of Tehran, near the religious center of Qom, was being built because of the "daily" threats of attack that Iran heard from Israel, the US, and the West against Iran's far larger enrichment facility at Natanz – which is designed to one day house more than 50,000 centrifuges.
After the talks, Jalili said Iran was ready to use its "might and power" to ensure peace in the region, and said Iran's slogan was nuclear "disarmament for everyone, and peaceful nuclear energy for everyone."
He repeatedly said that Iran was subjected to "media terrorism" that unfairly hyped Iran as a threat while neglecting real dangers in the region.
President Obama promised to talk to Iranian leaders, and administration officials briefed before the Geneva meeting said that they would remain flexible to developments.
Solana said the P5+1 also pressed again its freeze-for-freeze plan, in which Iran would halt its uranium enrichment and the building of more centrifuges – already at more than 8,000 – in exchange for no more new sanctions against Iran.
Tehran did not accept the offer last year, but this time had not yet given a "complete answer," Solana said. The European diplomat had been on the phone with the head of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohamed ElBaradei.
The agency offered Iran a deal to use some of Iran's homemade low-enriched uranium – enriched to just 5 percent, for nuclear fuel – and take it to a third country to be enriched further and returned for use in a small and very old medical research reactor in Tehran that is running out of fuel. Russian news media reported that Moscow had offered to do the enrichment.
Iran's proposal: tactical delay?
The Iranians were evidently pleased by their return to the international stage after the violence that marred the aftermath of the presidential election. Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said the talks were "positive" and said they could be boosted to the heads-of-state level of a summit.
But Iran wanted its own proposals – put forward in the five-page letter three weeks ago – to serve as the framework for future talks, though they do not mention Iran's nuclear program.
"Iran's package of proposals is representative of Iran's commitment to continue negotiations," Mr. Mottaki said, speaking in New York as talks wrapped up in Geneva. "We have a concrete, clear agenda and an action plan."
Both sides agreed to meet for a preparatory lower-level meeting, and then a higher level one by the end of the month. How the Iranian proposals will be handled is unclear.
"That letter is typical of their point of view: 'We'll consult about how the world should be governed,'" says Shahram Chubin, a nonproliferation specialist for the Carnegie Endowment based in Geneva.
"I think that some [Iranian diplomats] understand that this is a blatant delaying tactic and doesn't work to their advantage," says Mr. Chubin. "But the ones who are like that are the ones who have been purged [during Ahmadinejad's tenure since 2005]. They are the professional diplomats who see that it doesn't have much mileage. The others are ideologues."