Saturday, April 5, 2008

Iran Rejects Proposal to Stop Enrichment

Iran has rejected recent EU overtures to halt its uranium enrichment program in return for incentives, saying it will continue to expand, not halt, its nuclear program, Iran’s government spokesman told reporters today in Tehran.

“Iran does not trade its rights in return for incentives,” government spokesman Qolam Hossein Elham said. “The Islamic Republic of Iran doesn't need incentives from Europe to obtain its rights.”

Iran has repeatedly said its right to enrich uranium under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty was “non-negotiable.”

Iran reportedly has installed more than 300 of its new generation of centrifuges, IR-2, at Natanz. The new centrifuges can enrich uranium three times faster than the older P-1 machines, 3,000 of which are currently in operation at Natanz.


Joseph Sixpack said...

It may be Iran's right to develop a nuclear program - peaceful or otherwise - but it is also the right of other countries to decide whether to conduct trade with Iran. What is Iran's rationale for pushing forward with a nuclear program on their terms, when it puts them at significant risk of continued existing sanctions and possibly greater trade sanctions in the future? Whether the program is peaceful or not, I don't see how this is in their long-term interests.

Nader Uskowi said...

This is my view on enrichment.

Iran does not have a working nuclear reactor yet. When its first one at Bushehr is opened next year, the fuel will be provided by Russia (actually Russia has already shipped the fuel needed to Iran).

The construction of any future nuclear reactor will take years, probably a decade, to be completed. Iran would not need fuel for those future reactors for another decade or so.

So, what’s the rush to enrich uranium at such an accelerated rate? If the government is believed that its only purpose to enrich uranium is to run nuclear reactors to generate electricity, then what’s the rush now, especially with the high political/economic price the government is paying.

Arguing enrichment in purely legal terms does not make any sense. There are a number of “rights” that countries and individuals forgo everyday, because they have other priorities. As an individual, I have the right to jump out of my window at a high rise building, but I do not exercise that “right.” Paying such stiff price to prove one’s right, without any need for the product itself, makes no sense.

Unless their real aim at enriching so much uranium now is to make a bomb.