West drops demand to close Fordowdropped its demand that the Mullahcracy close its Fordow uranium enrichment plant, instead offering an agreement that Iran will not enrich uranium there - except for a 'tiny bit' of 20% enriched uranium that Iran claims to need for medical isotopes.
But the six powers dropped their demand that Iran shut down its enrichment plant at Fordo, built deep underneath a mountain, instead insisting that Iran suspend enrichment work there and agree to take a series of steps that would make it hard to resume producing nuclear fuel quickly. The six also agreed, in another apparent softening, that Iran could keep a small amount of 20 percent enriched uranium — which can be converted to bomb grade with modest additional processing — for use in a reactor to produce medical isotopes.Before you decide that this is 'reasonable,' keep in mind that Iran is a regime that has consistently deceived the world as to what it is doing and what its intentions are - just yesterday I reported on a newly discovered Iranian attempt to make a bomb out of plutonium.
For that it's worth, the Iranians are now exuding optimism about the negotiations, and the West is a little less optimistic.
The chief Iranian negotiator, Saeed Jalili, called this week’s meeting positive, asserting at a news conference that the six powers, representing the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany, had offered a revised proposal that was “more realistic” and “closer to the Iranian position.”The West thinks it has imposed enough conditions to make sure Iran cannot resume enrichment again, and it regards letting Iran keep the plant as a 'face-saving measure.' But what will happen when Iran bars IAEA inspectors again?
Mr. Jalili, whose comments were notably short of the aggressive wording he has used in the past, called the meeting “a turning point.”
But senior Western diplomats were less enthusiastic, saying that Iran had not in fact responded to the proposal of the six and that real bargaining had not yet begun. A senior American official described the meeting as “useful” — refusing to call it positive — and emphasized that it was “concrete results” that counted, not atmospherics.
A senior European diplomat was even more skeptical, saying that the technical meeting was essentially to explain the proposal to the Iranians once again, and that Iran might very well come back in April with an unacceptable counterproposal that swallows the “carrots” of the six and demands more.
Iran is running out the clock and the West is going along with it. What could go wrong?