Tehran details Iran nuclear deal amid debate over UN sanctions
Tehran officially informed the IAEA today that it was ready to ship 1,200 kg of enriched uranium to Turkey. Turkey and Brazil are lobbying hard to save the deal from being ruined by UN sanctions.
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Khamenei has likely signed off on Iran nuclear deal – analyst
Under the nuclear fuel swap deal, Iran’s 3.5 percent enriched uranium would be stored in Turkey under IAEA seal, and then traded within a year for 20 percent enriched fuel rods made abroad for a reactor that makes isotopes for medical purposes.Skip to next paragraph
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Analysts say that the deal, negotiated in Tehran with sign-off by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – who has declared repeatedly that Iran would not step back “one iota” from its nuclear rights – almost certainly has the backing of Iran’s supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.
“I don’t see this as merely an Ahmadinejad move,” says Farideh Farhi, an Iran specialist at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. “I think there is no way you could have gotten the kind of reaction you get now in Iran – like 238 members of the parliament writing a letter in support – unless there is a definite signal from the highest office.”
Iran demands 'inalienable rights' under NPT
The letter to the IAEA restates that Iran remains “committed to its obligations” under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and notes its “wide-ranging cooperation with the IAEA.”
In return, it “expects that the inalienable rights enshrined” by the IAEA Statute and the NPT – which include nuclear technology for peaceful purposes and energy production – will be respected. Under the NPT, Iran has the right to enrich uranium – the process that creates nuclear fuel – but which at higher levels of enrichment creates the material used for weapons. Still, due to IAEA concerns, the UN Security Council (UNSC) has issued several resolutions requiring Iran to halt all uranium enrichment.
Not mentioned, either in Iran’s letter to the IAEA or the tri-partite deal agreed on May 17, are still unresolved IAEA concerns about possible weaponization projects that Iran denies.
Turkish PM sent weekend letters to 14 Security Council members
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton brushed aside the significance of the Iran-Turkey-Brazil within hours of its signing last week, declaring that Washington had cobbled together agreement of the five permanent UN Security Council members for “strong” new sanctions against Iran.
Nine of the 15 UN Security Council members would have to approve sanctions for them to take effect. While not among the five permanent members that can veto any resolution, Turkey and Brazil are rising regional powers that could persuade some fellow rotating members on the council not to support the sanctions.