Iran To Ship Most Of Its Uranium To Russia?
GENEVA – Iran agreed in principle Thursday to ship most of its enriched uranium to Russia, where it would be refined for exclusively peaceful uses, in what Western diplomats called a significant, but interim, measure to ease concerns over its nuclear program.
The agreement was announced after more than seven hours of high-level talks in Geneva among Iran and representatives of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, which also featured the highest-level official U.S.-Iranian encounter in three decades.
Iran also pledged that within weeks it would allow the inspection of a previously covert uranium enrichment facility near the holy city of Qom, and the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, announced that he’d head to Tehran to work out the details.
In Washington, President Barack Obama said the talks marked “a constructive beginning” and showed the promise of renewed engagement with Iran, but added that “going forward, we expect to see swift action. We’re not interested in talking for the sake of talking.”
Great news! If they end up doing that, it would buy the United States and her allies time. The timetable for Iran moving towards acquiring nuclear capabilities would be extended, allowing for further attempts to dissuade Tehran from pursuing it at all.
Unless of course, Tehran is, I don’t know… lying? Are we supposed to believe that Iran wants to enrich all that uranium simply to export it to Russia? Something about a recently uncovered nuclear facility leaves me skeptical.
I think it’s entirely plausible that Iran could send some, not most, of it’s uranium. Why wouldn’t they stash the rest? Much of their foreign policy is rooted in deep suspicion of the West and Israel. One day of meetings at a hotel and suddenly they’re ready to abandon what they undeniably view as not only their ticket to superpower status, but a basic safeguard from attack? I think even prostitutes leave hotels with less trust than that.
I personally am convinced that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons. That’s not to say it’s not their right. Still, that doesn’t mean United States and others in the international community shouldn’t be worried.
So I hope this latest development, however thin, develops further. I guess that’s why all optimism is being categorized as ‘cautious’.