U.S. Rejects the Plan's Structure
The New York Times reports that Iran has offered a “nine-step plan” to resolve its nuclear impasse with the West. The U.S. has reportedly rejected the plan for requiring many concessions by the West prior to Iran’s abandoning parts of its nuclear program. The Iranian offer comes amid the free fall of its national currency, skyrocketing of prices at home and resulting street protests, exposing the high cost of the nuclear program-related sanctions for the country.
The “nine-step plan” calls for gradual suspension of the country’s 20-percent uranium enrichment program at Fordo Enrichment Facility near Qum in return for dismantling of all the sanctions by the West. The U.S. objection was reportedly on the way the offer was structured, namely calling for dismantling of all sanctions and restoration of the country’s oil revenue before would there be a suspension of work at Fordo, just one of the country’s nuclear facilities. The plan also would keep Iran’s current inventory of 20-percent fuel inside the country.
“The way they have structured it, you can move the fuel around, and it stays inside the country,” a senior Obama administration told the Times. “They could restart the program in a nanosecond.”
“(Under the plan), they don’t have to answer any questions from the inspectors” about evidence that they conducted research on nuclear weapons technology, but nonetheless would insist on a statement from the agency that all issues have been resolved,” the official added.
Source: The New York Times, 5 October 2012