Iran Succeeds in Buying Time on Nuclear Clock

May 22, 2012  

Iran will sign an agreement to cooperate with the United Nations’ IAEA nuclear watchdog agency “quite soon,” officials say, leaving Israel isolated in its skepticism over Iran’s intentions.

Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, returned to Vienna Tuesday after a one-day visit to Tehran and announced the assumed agreement one day before talks between Iran and international community.

He told wire services that “a decision was made to conclude and sign the agreement. I can say it will be signed quite soon.”

The heart of the dispute with Iran is its unsupervised enrichment of 20 percent pure uranium, a technological development not far from enabling Iran to produce uranium that can be used for a nuclear weapon.  

Western officials have been encouraging Iran to produce only very low-grade enriched uranium, which could not be processed for nuclear weapons.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told CNN earlier this year that no compromise should be offered and that Iran’s enrichment of uranium should be “zero percent,” meaning none at all.

“The objectives of Iran are clear: It wants to destroy Israel and is developing nuclear weapons to realize that goal,” Netanyahu has said. “Iran must end all enrichment of nuclear material, Iran must remove from its territory all material that has been enriched up until now, and Iran must dismantle the underground nuclear facility in Qum.”

Iran continues to show distrust of Western intentions as it bargains. The chairman of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, insisted that the five permanent United Nations Security Council  members, plus Germany, “have not met their commitments in various stages, [while] Iran has always been [loyal] to its obligations.”

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