Monday, September 16, 2013

Rouhani Willing to Decommission Fordo if West Lifts Sanctions – Der Spiegel

Der Spiegel, the German weekly news magazine renowned for its investigative journalism, reported today in its online edition that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani would be willing to decommission the country’s Fordo uranium enrichment facility if the West lifts its sanctions against Iran.

Saying that the international sanctions are taking their toll on Iran’s economy, Spiegel said intelligence sources now expect Rouhani administration to make major concessions during the upcoming nuclear talks with the six major powers on
the long-running standoff over the country’s nuclear program.

The report reiterated previous concerns in the West that Fordo uranium enrichment unit, not far from the holy city of Qom, is viewed as a particularly grave threat. Researchers working deep underground at Fordo are using 696 centrifuges to enrich uranium to 20 percent purity. It only takes a relatively small step to reprocess the product into highly enriched uranium required for building nuclear bombs.

Fordo, which went into operation in 2011, is reportedly the most modern plant in the Iranian nuclear program and is virtually indestructible; its enrichment cascades lie 70 meters (230 feet) under the surface.

Spiegel said that it has leaned that aside from decommissioning Fordo, Rouhani is also prepared to allow international inspectors to monitor the removal of the centrifuges from the plant.

In return, Rouhani would demand that the U.S. and the EU lift the ban on Iranian oil exports and allow the country's central bank to do international business again.

President Rouhani will address the UN General Assembly on 24 September, but it was not expected that he would offer specifics on any compromises in such open forum. The Iranian nuclear negotiating team, led by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, is however expected to meet with the representatives of the six major powers by the end of the month.


Mark Pyruz said...

"renowned for its investigative journalism"

Spiegel doesn't have a very good track record on its Iran reporting, particularly where unnamed and unattributed sources are concerned.

The sticking point has always been "right to enrich."Strange this isn't referenced by the unnamed source or the report.

But if any deal can be made between the U.S. and IRI, that'd be good news.

Nader Uskowi said...

That's what Spiegel is: renowned for its investigative journalism. Could the sources of the story have been wrong? Yes. But if the story is true, it could pave the way rather quickly to end the nuclear impasse.

Iran has already earned the "right to enrich" and the West has already recognized the country's right to maintain civilian nuclear program. That is not an stumbling block anymore. The issue is nuclear weapons. By electing not to enrich beyond 5% purity, and closing the 20% enrichment facility, then the basis of a compromise will be created. And I agree that an agreement with the U.S. and the EU to end sanctions would be indeed good news.

Iran's official statistics center reported yesterday that the country's economy contracted by 5.5% in the last Iranian calendar year (ending March 2013). Inflation is also reported to pass the 40% mark. These numbers are not sustainable for Iran and the country needs to end the sanctions to start a difficult road back to economic recovery. Rouhani is the most capable politician in Iran today to lead that journey.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like more wishful thinking from the west,that rouhani will be the one to capitulate to western demands,even if the iranians were to give up 20% enrichment,which could be possible as they now may have enough fuel for the trr,it makes no sense to shut down fordow,doing so would leave irans nuclear program very vulnerable to military attack.Just because iran has the right to enrich does not mean that the west has accepted that right,any deal would have to have western public acknowledgement of this right.I also have no doubt that the west would demand limits on the size of the 5% stockpile and the numbers and types of centrifuges.This whole story has the same smell as the on again off again s300 stories ie bullsh!t

Anonymous said...

Good point, Anon 12:00 AM. When has the west accepted Iran's right to enrichment or even to have a nuclear programme? Unless that happens, there is no point in Iran reaching any kind of agreement with the USA.

Anonymous said...

The number one priority of the islamic terrorist regime is self preservation so that they can rape for just a little bit more.