Plumber Approach vs. Industrial-Scale Enrichment Capacity
The U.S. proposal would allow Iran to save face and claim that it wasn’t dismantling the centrifuges.
But the plumber solution to Iran’s uranium enrichment capacity is apparently running into trouble in Tehran. The Los Angeles Times reported on Sunday that the proposal was meeting skepticism from conservatives and moderates alike. The paper reported that an influential conservative analyst, Alireza Karimi, has described the proposal as a “stunt” aimed at “deception of public opinion.”
Iran would be left with only “window-display enrichment,” Karimi told Fars News Agency.
Iran currently has some 19,000 centrifuges installed in its enrichment facilities, with 10,000 in operation. Even if the “disconnecting” approach was accepted by Iran’s nuclear negotiators, it would not satisfy the supreme leader’s demand that Iran must maintain some 190,000 centrifuges to independently fuel its Bushehr nuclear power reactor. Karimi also brought up that issue, saying the proposal wouldn’t bring Iran closer to satisfy its needs for electric power generation.
A reformis analyst, Nader Karimi Juni, was also quoted by the Los Angeles Times that the he saw the new proposal as a “window dressing aimed at easing a public-relations problem.” He added any proposals need to meet the requirements of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei that Iran be allowed to develop an industrial-sclae enrichment capacity.
Meanwhile, Iran and P5+1 nuclear negotiators are expected to resume their talks in New York later this week.
File photo: Iranian IR-1 centrifuges in operation at Natanz enrichment facility. Note the maze of pipes connecting the machines. A new proposal would disconnect the pipes, instead of dismantling the machines. (Photo: IRNA)