“Achieving an agreement is far from certain,” Hague said. “Significant differences remain... which are yet to be bridged. But I am convinced that the current negotiations are the best opportunity we have had in years to resolve this issue.” (Wiener Zeitung/Reuters, 10 July)
This week, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had apparently raised the bar for the Iranian negotiators by saying Iran needed to significantly increase its capacity to enrich uranium to meet its long-term energy needs.
Iran’s official news agency IRNA quoted Khamenei on Tuesday as saying Iran would need some 190,000 “separative work units” or SWU, the overall enrichment capacity expressed in a specialist term. Based on that figure, the Iranian negotiators now have to negotiate for more than 200,000 centrifuges. The country currently has only about 10,000 centrifuges in operation.