Nuclear Iran, Reloaded

In the Reloaded version of my blog, I'll write about Iran, its nuclear program, its culture, and most importantly, myself.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Iran Seeks Incentives From Europe in Impasse

New York Times' Iran Seeks Incentives From Europe in Impasse:

    Top Iranian negotiator said that the European Union and Iran will not break the impasse over restraining Iran's nuclear development program unless the Europeans offer significant incentives.
    Asked for a specific example of the kind of incentive Iran now seeks, Mr. Mousavian said, "Europe can agree in principle to a contract for 10 nuclear power plants for Iran."
    But no incentives will persuade Iran to abandon its plans to enrich fuel, He added.
Do the Iranian negotiators know what to expect to abandon their nuclear program? The only thing they should expect to get out of the negotiations is restoration of the condifidence they have destroyed.
    A senior European diplomat familiar with the proposal said if Iran had only 500 centrifuges, it would take 10 years or so to make enough material for one bomb. However, American officials have said that even a small number of centrifuges would allow Iran to master the technology.
So it is not the bomb, but the technology. You can take the scientist out of the laboratory, but can you take the science out of his brain?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Paris agreement on November 15, 2004

The Iran-EU3 talks, and therefore the Paris agreement, seems to be on the verge of a collapse, because both side seem to be strict on their stance. If this is the case, who is responsible for its collapse?

The following link reviews the Paris agreement and why the talks cannot be contained in one framework.

  • There are few other sides to the EU-Iran talks that may or may not be affected by the collapse of the nuclear talks. Economic and trade talks are tasty to both parties. Contrary to the implied meaning of "trade incentives for Iran" (which implies that Europe is doing a favour), Europe would benefit more than Iran from the trade.

    The question is whether or not the other aspects of the talks would continue if the nuclear talks collapse. I think both sides should be stupid not to do it.

    No one would benefit if the talks collapse, not even the US. If Iran's case is taken to the security council (let's forget Chinese and Russian veto for now) and sanctions are enforced, everyone would lose:

    • Stability in the region will be threatened
    • Oil prices grows higher
    • Iran's parliment will not ratify the additional protocol (which has been operational for a while as a confidence-building measure)
    • The NPT may lose some of its members such as South Africa and Egypt (as they have expressed that the unjust standards in treating different members makes the NPT weak and unacceptable)

    Hope it doesn't happen. My ideal solution that can make everyone happy is Iran be allowed to have partial enrichment program with intensive IAEA inspections. In my opinion Iran has played the game so well that this solution seems to be the unique solution.

    Monday, May 09, 2005

    Additional protocol to be ratified

    Iran says it'll resume enrichment and is pushing to get an answer from the EU3 before Iran's next presidential elections. Some analysts believe that the warnings are coming from the Iranian negotiators who want to get better jobs in the next government.

    Iranian negotiators may also think that this is the right time to pressure the west in another way: all the NPT members are gathered in one place (UN in NewYork) and Iranians can convey and spread their message pretty easily without going through the western broadcasting channels. Western media may or may not say that Iran has the right to enrich Uranium, most of them do say that Iran had a covert nuclear program for over two decades, but few of them say that Iran's mistakes during the 18 years of activities were categorized as failures (in reporting the activities) and not breaches by IAEA officials.

    On the other hand, United States may change the focus of the same gathering to Iran's resumption of the enrichment activities and its intimate thread to the internatioanl community. But it'd be really hard for Americans to cover up their noncompliance with NPT (by refusing to scrap their stockpile of nuclear bombs) and to accuse Iran of seeking nuclear bombs at the same time.

    Meanwhile, Iran's parliment is supposed to ratify the already-signed bill of additional protocol (that allows IAEA to inspect the nuclear sites on a short time notice). The conservative members of the parliment (that form the majority) have already warned that they will not ratify the bill IF the Uranium enrichment is not part of the deal with Europe. The additional protocol is signed and operational now, but not if the parliment doesn't authorize.

    Iran maintains that it can resist sactions (and that the sanctions have made them self-sustaining in the past three decades). Direct millitary action is also not effective. Iran may think that the only remaining options are: (1) A nuclear Iran under inspection of IAEA (2) A potentially nuclear Iran with no intensive inspections. They think they are playing smart.

    Monday, May 02, 2005

    BBC WORLD coverage of the summit

    I was watching BBC WORLD News tonight around 10PM and a guy was talking about the gathering. He said two main concerns are with regards to article VI and article IV of NPT. He added article VI requires the nuclear states to scrap their arsenal, and article IV states that the countries who seek the enrichment technology for peacefull purposes, should not divert their intents towards military use of the technology.

    Article IV of the NPT (from IAEA website) reads as:

      "Article IV

      Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production anduse of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and inconformity with Articles I and II of this Treaty.

      All the Parties to the Treaty undertake to facilitate, and have the right to participate in, the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information for the peacefuluses of nuclear energy. Parties to the Treaty in a position to do so shall also co-operate in contributing alone or together with other States or international organizations to the further development of the applicationsof nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, especially in the territories of non-nuclear-weapon States Party to the Treaty, with due consideration for the needs of the developing areas of the world. "

    Therefore I don't see the broadcasted report a sound interpretation of the NPT.

    What happened today?

    I can't find any thing on the net about Kharrazi or Zarif speaking today at the summit. CNN, FoxNews, and BBC TVs did not have a good coverage of the event. Read the followings for a general report:

    Annan pushes nuclear concessions

    Today at the international conference:

    Washingtonpost's Iran Plans Defense of Nuclear Program

    Sunday, May 01, 2005

    Revealed: Iran's nuclear factory

    A view from within one of the Iran's nuclear sites:
    Sunday Times'
    Revealed: Iran's nuclear factory

    Other than the facility itself, the author talks about the employees and scientists being laid off during the temporary freeze. I didn't expect that at all, because the government jobs in Iran are very very very secure.

    Why doesn't the government launch scientific workshops and use the scientists as instructors? Why don't the authorities grant them sabbaticals?

    Expectations too high

    It wasn't surprising when I heard that the Friday talks didn't go as Iranians planned. EU trio didn't give a yes/no answer to a partial resumption of enrichment program, and I am glad that Iranians didn't take an outrageous stance. They warned that they MAY resume enrichment to ease the shame of their original warning of resumption.

    I don't expect to see any dramatic change in tactics from the Iranian side before the nuclear arms control summit in New York on 2 May. Any abrupt decision can justify the American stance about Iran's nuclear program (and therefore strenghen the possiblity of achieving a consensus on limiting the nuclear technology).

    Iran needs to be calm and work to cleanse its dusty semblance.