Negotiations between Iran and the 5 members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany(P5 plus 1) ended with new concessions in regards to Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The 6 nations, the US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany, had previously made 3 demands of Iran before any sanctions could have been relaxed. The 3 main stipulations were that Iran must stop enriching uranium to 20% purity which is considered weapons grade, remove it’s stockpile of material which was 20% or better by exporting it from the country, and completely shut down Fordow, a nuclear plant containing 2,710 centrifuges, which was built in secret and just discovered to exist in 2009.
During negotiations yesterday the U.S. and other word powers made concessions on 2 of those 3 demands, still insisting that Iran end it’s 20% or better enrichment of uranium but now conceding the demands that Iran close the facility and ship all of their 20% uranium out of the country.
An unnamed “Western diplomat” insisted that Iran was asked to “reduce the readiness” of the Fordow plant and standing down more of the centrifuges located there. The concessions would also allow Iran to keep enough 20% uranium to power civilian research reactors in Tehran.
If Iran agrees to abide by the watered down restrictions on it’s nuclear ambitions that country will be rewarded with the easing of sanctions in regards to the trade of gold and other precious metals and allow the importing of equipment for the Islamic Republic’s petrochemical industry. All other sanctions would remain in place but the U.S. and her allies would refrain from imposing any further sanctions on Iran due to the current issue of nuclear proliferation.
European Union‘s high representative for foreign affairs, Baroness Ashton, who chairs the P5+1 said this was an opportunity for Iran to “take some initial steps that would improve the confidence of the international community in the wholly peaceful nature of their nuclear program. The real optimism will come when we start to see progress really being made. And that means our aspiration to see Iran move forward to pick up this proposal, to agree to it and to undertake to implement their part of it.”
Israel fears that the U.S. and her allies are giving too much away with this deal and yesterday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that only a threat of “military sanctions” would cause Iran to back away from it’s nuclear goals:
“I don’t think there are any other means that will make Iran heed the international community’s demands.”
Saeed Jalili, the lead Iranian negotiator, was all smiles about the new concessions and said that “In this round of talks we have witnessed that, despite all the attitudes during the last eight months, they tried to get closer to our viewpoints. We believe this is a turning point.”
Iran has yet to give a formal response.