Today the negotiation teams from Iran and the P5+1 group – The United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, China and Russia – meet again in Geneva to try and reach an agreement between Tehran and the world powers to limit Iran’s nuclear enrichment program.
The parties have been meeting for over a decade without solving the outstanding issues, and with Iran significantly advancing its nuclear program in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.
The November 20-22 talks come less than two weeks after the previous round of talks finished, and although no agreement was reached there is a renewed sense of progress, as well as a marked intensification in the concerns raised by Israel as to the implications of any interim agreement reached with Tehran (read more here).
While the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report from November 2013 showed that Iran has not installed any new IR-2m centrifuges and only increased the number with four new machines, it also documents that Tehran has continued to produce near 20% and 3.5 % enriched uranium at the same rate as reported in August, and its enrichment capability at the Natanz and Fordow facilities remains essentially unchanged. This means that Iran has all it needs to produce weapons-grade uranium for a nuclear weapon and could do so if and when the Supreme Leader makes such a decision.
The issues on the table in Geneva
The issues on the table will be similar to the last round: Iran’s insistence on its nuclear rights and demand for lifting significant sanctions on the regime. The YouTube video released on the eve of the talks by Foreign Minister Zarif was a crystal clear example of this. Meanwhile, the P5+1 is demanding that Iran ends all nuclear enrichment linked to military purposes, and provides the IAEA with evidence as to the peaceful nature of Tehran’s nuclear program.
Read the whole thing here
She’s written another piece as well – it goes hand in hand with the one above:
Israel has many questions left unanswered. Photo credit: AP
November may well be the month when the deadlock with Iran over the country’s nuclear program is broken (read more here).
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Netanyahu has been increasingly outspoken about Jerusalem’s opposition to an interim deal, characterizing it as a “bad deal” and warning the P5+1 group – The United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, China and Russia – not to rush into an agreement that would leave the Iranian nuclear program factually operational.
From an Israeli perspective, a nuclear Iran poses a grave and unacceptable threat to the country’s security, as well as the stability of an already volatile region.
Jerusalem’s position is that Iran can be allowed a peaceful, civilian nuclear program – like Canada – but precludes enrichment of uranium within the country. Additionally, all components of the program that are linked to actual and potential militarization must be removed. This is known as the so-called “ship, shut, stop” model, in which Iran agrees to ship its stockpile of enriched uranium abroad, shut down enrichment facilities and stop the enrichment program altogether, before the P5+1 groups eases the financial sanctions. In addition, Netanyahu has been calling attention to the plutonium facility and the heavy water reactor in Arak and demanding it dismantled as well.
At WIIS’s site is the complete closer look at two concerns voiced by Israeli officials and members of the intelligence community regarding a deal with Iran. Both have been ignored by the media in recent weeks.