Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Talks in Moscow on Iran's Nuclear Program Collapse

Syria – Iran – Russia: is the West ready for any kind of compromise?
Failure of latest talks makes an Israeli attack on Iran more likely
Despite initial hopes going into the negotiations, it appears as though the latest round of nuclear talks between the P5 + 1world powers (Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany) and Iran have collapsed in acrimony.  The aim of the talks has been to convince the Iranians to give up their plan to enrich uranium to 20% purity, which is only one step away from the 90% level needed to enrich to the 90% level needed to produce an atomic bomb. 

While the world powers have agreed that Iran can enrich uranium up to 5% on their own soil, they have been adamantly opposed to Iran's enrichment taking the next step to the 20% threshold.  Although the negotiations were intense, it appears as though the P5 + 1 simply did not offer Iran enough of an inducement to stop their current enrichment strategy.  The only things the Iranians were offered as an inducement to give up their right to enrich uranium to 20% were help with nuclear safety and spare parts for its aging fleet of planes.  Neither of these inducements were of much interest to the Iranians.  Although the talks will continue, lurking in the background is the understanding that the longer the negotiations drag on without success, the more likely it is that Israel will launch an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities on its own.

Here is a good summary article of the Moscow talks from the New York Times.

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