A Logical Answer to the Iran Nuclear Conundrum – Yuval Steinitz
According to the public statements of Iranian leaders, what Tehran really wants is “civilian nuclear energy.” What the rest of the world wants is the confidence that Iran will not possess the capacity to produce nuclear weapons. These two demands can be reconciled by the following formula: nuclear electricity, yes; uranium enrichment, no. Iran could be permitted to operate a civilian nuclear reactor for the production of electricity and medical purposes, but it should agree to buy its nuclear fuel rods elsewhere.
Tehran argues that uranium enrichment has become part of its “national identity” and it would wound Iranian pride if it were forced to buy fuel rods abroad. In fact, there are 25 countries that operate purely civilian nuclear programs, and about 80% of them import nuclear fuel rods.
There is no automatic “right to enrich”; rather, permission to enrich is conditional on International Atomic Energy Agency approval which depends on meeting stringent requirements. The UN Security Council has already passed a series of binding resolutions contravening any Iranian right to enrich uranium. The writer is Israeli minister of intelligence. (Financial Times-UK)