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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Warheads, Arak and 20% enriched uranium

Haaretz's Barak Ravid reports that Israel has been pushing three points through ongoing contacts with negotiators at the P 5+1 talks in Geneva.
1. Israel asked that the agreement also address suspected Iranian research and development of nuclear warheads and detonators. Steinitz made clear that the agreement must not give Iran legitimacy to continue to develop other aspects of its nuclear program under the definition of "scientific research," which could disguise military dimensions of the nuclear program.  Israel suggested adding a clause stating that the agreement "does not detract from Iran's commitment to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons or to the decisions of the International Atomic Energy Agency."

2. Israel asked that world powers do not relinquish their demand that Iran halt all activity at the Arak heavy water reactor. Israel is concerned that without such a clause in the agreement, Iran will continue to develop the reactor, which it could later use to produce plutonium for a nuclear bomb.

3. Israel asked that world powers insist the agreement committed Iran to convert all of its 190 kilograms of 20-percent enriched uranium into oxide, which cannot be used to develop nuclear weapons. Steinitz stressed that leaving even a small amount of 20-percent enriched uranium in Iran's hands would give the Iranians future legitimacy to reengage in uranium enrichment to this level.

The senior official said that when the talks end, senior diplomats from some of the countries taking part in the talks will visit Israel to brief officials on the results of the negotiations and on future plans.
Bottom line: If these talks end in an agreement, the sanctions are over.

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