Role for Russia Gives Iran Talks a Possible Boost – David E. Sanger
(dailyalert.org, Nov. 5, 2014)
Iran has tentatively agreed to ship much of its huge stockpile of uranium to Russia if it reaches a broader nuclear deal with the West, according to officials and diplomats involved in the negotiations. The Russians would convert the uranium into specialized fuel rods for the Bushehr nuclear power plant, Iran’s only commercial reactor. Once the uranium is converted into fuel rods, it is extremely difficult to use them to make a nuclear weapon. However, such an agreement would not cut off every pathway that Tehran could take to obtain a nuclear weapon.
With a Nov. 24 deadline looming on the nuclear talks, negotiators are still far from agreement on a range of other issues that could derail a final agreement. A senior National Security Council official noted, “what is less certain is whether Iran will accept the reasonable proposals” on the table, or “will continue to make excessive demands that are not aligned with its practical nuclear needs.”
History suggests that an agreement with Iran to part with much of its nuclear stockpile, which it has spent billions of dollars to amass, is never a sure thing. A deal struck between the Obama administration and Iran in 2009 to ship some of its nuclear fuel out of the country fell apart when it was brought to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader. (New York Times)
See also Iran Rejects New York Times’ Claims about Shipment of Enriched Uranium to Russia
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham on Tuesdaystrongly rejected a report by the New York Times that Iran has agreed to transfer a portion of its enriched uranium to Russia after signing a comprehensive nuclear deal. (Fars-Iran)