Iran, Turkey and Brazil agree on fuel swap deal.

Discussion in 'Economy & Infrastructure' started by bhramos, May 17, 2010.

  1. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    TEHRAN (Reuters) - Turkey's Foreign Minister said on Sunday that an agreement had been reached between Iran, Turkey and Brazil over procedures to revive a stalled U.N.-backed nuclear fuel swap deal.

    When Ahmet Davutoglu was asked by reporters in Tehran whether there would be agreement on the nuclear fuel swap deal, he replied: "Yes, it has been reached after almost 18 hours of negotiations."

    Turkey's foreign ministry said a formal announcement might be made on Monday morning after any final revisions by the Brazilian and Iranian presidents and the Turkish Prime Minister who reached the agreement at talks in Tehran on Sunday.

    http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCATRE64F29P20100516

    Interesting move by Brazil.
     
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  3. AirforcePilot

    AirforcePilot Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    "Iran to resume uranium enrichment despite Turkey deal


    http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/05/17/iran.nuclear/index.html?hpt=Sbin

    (CNN) -- Iran will continue to enrich uranium to 20 percent, it said Monday, despite agreeing to ship its low-enriched uranium to Turkey.

    Foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told the Islamic Republic News Agency that Iran will not stop making the highly enriched uranium, which is a source of consternation among many Western nations.

    Iran said it needs to enrich uranium from its current 3.5 percent to 20 percent because a research reactor that produces isotopes for cancer patients is running out of fuel.

    But 20-percent enriched uranium is the threshold for uranium capable of setting off a nuclear reaction. And Western leaders have alleged that Iran is trying to create nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian energy program.

    Iran said it would continue to enrich uranium itself shortly after it announced it would ship its low-enriched uranium to Turkey, potentially avoiding fresh U.N. sanctions.

    Western nations had been asking Iran to send the low-level uranium out of the country to be enriched elsewhere, but the country had resisted until now.

    Iran reached its decision after a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who were in the country Monday to reach a breakthrough in the showdown over the Persian state's nuclear program.

    Tehran will ship 1,200 kg (2,645 lbs) of its 3.5 percent low-enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for a total of 120 kg (264 lbs) of 20 percent uranium.

    The exchange will take place a month after Iran receives the official approval from the International Atomic Energy Agency, said foreign ministry spokesman Mehmanparast.

    The five permanent U.N. Security Council members plus Germany offered Iran a deal: send the low-level uranium out of the country to be enriched elsewhere in exchange for fuel for its reactor.

    Tehran did not accept but instead made a counteroffer: make the swap a simultaneous one and carry it out on Iranian soil.

    The U.S. State Department called the Iranian proposal a stalling tactic and said world powers would not "front" the fuel to Iran.

    A stalemate ensued.

    The United States then sought support for expanded sanctions against Iran, saying Iran is unlikely to negotiate unless sanctions are in place.

    Brazil and Turkey -- both temporary members of the security council -- had been working toward a diplomatic solution that does not involve sanctions.

    The leaders of the two countries were in Tehran for a meeting of the Group of 15 when they reached the deal.

    The group actually has 17 members -- Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
     
  4. AirforcePilot

    AirforcePilot Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    White House Keeps Sanctions on Table After Iran Announces Nuclear Fuel Deal

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/05/17/iran-check-nuclear-swap-deal/

    The White House said Monday that it would continue to pursue sanctions against Iran after the country went around the United States to strike a nuclear fuel swap deal similar to the Western-backed plan that fell apart last fall.

    Iran is trying to avoid sanctions after it rejected a deal with the U.S., Russia, France and the International Atomic Energy Agency in October. The latest move puts the Obama administration in check in the ongoing nuclear chess match by giving nations reluctant to support sanctions a potential excuse to support Iran.

    But White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs took a skeptical view of the announcement Monday and said that while the fuel swap could be a "positive sign," the administration is pressing ahead with sanctions.

    "It does not change the steps that we are taking to hold Iran responsible for its obligation ... including sanctions," Gibbs said. "We are making steady progress on a sanctions resolution."

    The latest deal was brokered by Turkey and Brazil. Under the terms of the proposal, Iran would ship about 2,600 pounds of enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for fuel rods. Those rods would be enriched to a level strong enough for a research reactor but not a warhead.

    In a sense, Iran left the Obama administration an out by declaring it would continue producing 20 percent enrichment uranium even as it proposes shipping nuclear material to Turkey. To become official, the deal still has to be agreed to by the same group of nations that pursued the deal last fall -- and Gibbs said any move to continue enrichment internally would indeed be a "direct violation" of Security Council resolutions.

    "The words and the deeds of the leadership in Iran have rarely coincided," Gibbs said, adding that the proposal must first be reviewed by the IAEA.

    But regardless of how far the deal progresses, the announcement could make sanctions much more difficult to secure.

    "If this continues, it cuts the kneecaps off the administration's sanctions effort," said John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under the Bush administration. "I think it's a jujitsu move by the Iranians that undercuts the Obama policy."

    The administration for months has been in a diplomatic campaign at the United Nations to build support for tough sanctions against Iran. U.S. officials upped their condemnation of the country earlier this month after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad used a U.N. speech in New York City to accuse the United States of "acts of terror."

    But Bolton said the apparent gesture merely gives powerful countries like Russia and China -- two of the five permanent Security Council members -- a ready excuse to back away from sanctions. Plus Brazil and Turkey are non-permanent members of the Security Council and unlikely to punish Iran after winning the country's cooperation in a deal they brokered.

    "At a minimum this slows everything in the Security Council down," Bolton told FoxNews.com. "They're just playing out the string here."

    The Obama administration, fully aware of the talks with Turkey and Brazil, signaled last week that it would continue to press for sanctions for defying past U.N. Security Council demands that Tehran cease its uranium enrichment.

    "Iran's senior officials continue to say they will not talk about their nuclear program with us," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday. "So we are working closely with our U.K. and other partners on a new Security Council resolution affirming that there are serious consequences should Iran continue to flout its international obligations."

    The key difference between the October deal and this one is that Iran has enriched a lot more uranium since then. The 2,600-pound amount was thought to represent two-thirds of Iran's enriched uranium stockpile last fall. Now it's roughly half, so the deal may not be as enticing to the United States and other countries.

    "What this proposal signifies is less than what they agreed to last October," Gibbs said Monday.
    Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki also said that Iran reserves the right to call on Turkey to return the uranium "swiftly and unconditionally" to Iran if provisions of the agreement are not followed.

    FoxNews.com's Judson Berger and Fox News' James Rosen contributed to this report.
     
  5. nandu

    nandu Senior Member Senior Member

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    Match words with deeds: U.S. to Iran

    Terming Iran’s nuclear deal with Brazil and Turkey as a positive step, the White House has said “the words and deeds of Iran has never coincided” but insisted that this is less than what the Iranian regime had agreed to last year.

    “If they were to make good on this and ship out 1,200 kg of low-enriched uranium, yes, that would represent progress. But, it is important to understand that this agreement / proposal is less than what they agreed to last October,” White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs said.

    “And understand that even though they agreed to this last October, it never came to pass because they changed their mind. So that’s why I say the words and the deeds of the leadership in Iran have rarely coincided,” he said.

    The Press Secretary said while shipping out low—enriched uranium would represent some progress, US and the international community still has concerns about the overall thrust of the nuclear program.

    “Certainly the 20—per cent enrichment is something that (the Russian) President (Dmitry) Medvedev and others, including us, share great concern about,” he said. The proposal does not appear to address Tehran’s recent announcement of increasing its enrichment to 20 per cent, a justification that the research reactor was used as the direct justification for doing so, he argued.

    “That, in and of itself, would make them non—compliant with their obligations and responsibilities,” Gibbs said adding that Iran should submit the proposal directly to the IAEA to evaluate, fine print and all, so that the international community can take a look.

    “But it does not change the steps that we are taking to hold Iran responsible for its obligations, and those including sanctions,” he said.

    Responding to a question if this deal would unravel U.S.’ effort to impose sanctions against Iran through the UN Security Council, Mr. Gibbs said, “It is important to understand what this proposal signifies is less than what they agreed to last October —— an understanding that the words and the deeds of the Iranian leadership rarely coincide.”

    The international community has to see the proposal in its detail through the IAEA before it can make a final determination, Mr. Gibbs said.

    http://beta.thehindu.com/news/international/article432646.ece
     
  6. nandu

    nandu Senior Member Senior Member

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    Iran's Nuclear Coup
    Ahmadinejad and Lula expose Obama's hapless diplomacy.

    What a fiasco. That's the first word that comes to mind watching Mahmoud Ahmadinejad raise his arms yesterday with the leaders of Turkey and Brazil to celebrate a new atomic pact that instantly made irrelevant 16 months of President Obama's "diplomacy." The deal is a political coup for Tehran and possibly delivers the coup de grace to the West's half-hearted efforts to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb.

    Full credit for this debacle goes to the Obama Administration and its hapless diplomatic strategy. Last October, nine months into its engagement with Tehran, the White House concocted a plan to transfer some of Iran's uranium stock abroad for enrichment. If the West couldn't stop Iran's program, the thinking was that maybe this scheme would delay it. The Iranians played coy, then refused to accept the offer.

    But Mr. Obama doesn't take no for an answer from rogue regimes, and so he kept the offer on the table. As the U.S. finally seemed ready to go to the U.N. Security Council for more sanctions, the Iranians chose yesterday to accept the deal on their own limited terms while enlisting the Brazilians and Turks as enablers and political shields. "Diplomacy emerged victorious today," declared Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, turning Mr. Obama's own most important foreign-policy principle against him

    [​IMG]
    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

    The double embarrassment is that the U.S. had encouraged Lula's diplomacy as a step toward winning his support for U.N. sanctions. Brazil is currently one of the nonpermanent, rotating members of the Security Council, and the U.S. has wanted a unanimous U.N. vote. Instead, Lula used the opening to triangulate his own diplomatic solution. In her first game of high-stakes diplomatic poker, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is leaving the table dressed only in a barrel.

    So instead of the U.S. and Europe backing Iran into a corner this spring, Mr. Ahmadinejad has backed Mr. Obama into one. America's discomfort is obvious. In its statement yesterday, the White House strained to "acknowledge the efforts" by Turkey and Brazil while noting "Iran's repeated failure to live up to its own commitments." The White House also sought to point out differences between yesterday's pact and the original October agreements on uranium transfers.

    Good luck drawing those distinctions with the Chinese or Russians, who will now be less likely to agree even to weak sanctions. Having played so prominent a role in last October's talks with Iran, the U.S. can't easily disassociate itself from something broadly in line with that framework.

    Under the terms unveiled yesterday, Iran said it would send 1,200 kilograms (2,646 lbs.) of low-enriched uranium to Turkey within a month, and no more than a year later get back 120 kilograms enriched from somewhere else abroad. This makes even less sense than the flawed October deal. In the intervening seven months, Iran has kicked its enrichment activities into higher gear. Its estimated total stock has gone to 2,300 kilograms from 1,500 kilograms last autumn, and its stated enrichment goal has gone to 20% from 3.5%.

    If the West accepts this deal, Iran would be allowed to keep enriching uranium in contravention of previous U.N. resolutions. Removing 1,200 kilograms will leave Iran with still enough low-enriched stock to make a bomb, and once uranium is enriched up to 20% it is technically easier to get to bomb-capable enrichment levels.

    Only last week, diplomats at the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran has increased the number of centrifuges it is using to enrich uranium. According to Western intelligence estimates, Iran continues to acquire key nuclear components, such as trigger mechanisms for bombs. Tehran says it wants to build additional uranium enrichment plants. The CIA recently reported that Iran tripled its stockpile of uranium last year and moved "toward self-sufficiency in the production of nuclear missiles." Yesterday's deal will have no impact on these illicit activities.

    The deal will, however, make it nearly impossible to disrupt Iran's nuclear program short of military action. The U.N. is certainly a dead end. After 16 months of his extended hand and after downplaying support for Iran's democratic opposition, Mr. Obama now faces an Iran much closer to a bomb and less diplomatically isolated than when President Bush left office.

    Israel will have to seriously consider its military options. Such a confrontation is far more likely thanks to the diplomatic double-cross of Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Brazil's Lula, and especially to a U.S. President whose diplomacy has succeeded mainly in persuading the world's rogues that he lacks the determination to stop their destructive ambitions.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100...040654.html?mod=WSJINDIA_hpp_sections_opinion
     
  7. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    The revenge of the middle powers

    Posted By Colum Lynch Monday, May 17, 2010 - 3:25 PM Share

    Brazil and Turkey's announcement of a nuclear fuel deal with Iran has done more than complicate U.S. plans for a U.N. sanctions resolution. It also threatens, or promises, to upend the political order that has held sway in the Security Council for decades -- one in which the five permanent members of the U.N.'s most powerful body make all the critical decisions on key security matters.

    Not since the run-up to the Iraq war have the council's middle and small powers sought to foil the ambitions of the big five. Despite intense pressure from the United States, Mexican ambassador Adolfo Aguilar Zinser and Chile's envoy Juan Gabriel Valdés refused to back the U.S. drive to war. They were both driven from their jobs (Zinser after ripping the U.S. for cultivating "a relationship of convenience and subordination"), and the United States invaded anyways.

    In announcing today's deal, Brazil's Foreign Minister Celso Amorim and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu made it clear that they were rejecting the Obama administration's case for sanctions and asserted Iran is entitled to its rights, under the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), to enrich uranium and develop its own capacity to produce nuclear fuel for peaceful nuclear power. Today's pact makes no mention of the three U.N. Security council resolutions demanding that Tehran cease its enrichment of uranium until it can persuade the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that it is being used solely for peaceful purposes. "This plan is a route for dialogue and takes away any grounds for sanctions," Amorim told reporters in Tehran.

    The move reflects deeper reservations among many key middle powers -- including countries like Egypt, Indonesia, and South Africa -- that the big five powers are preparing to use this month's ongoing NPT review conference in New York to impose greater restraints on the rights of developing countries to develop nuclear fuel programs in the name of preventing proliferation. They fear that any effort to restrict Iran's right to develop its own fuel might be used against them in the future.

    Addressing the General Assembly last month, Egypt's U.N. ambassador, Maged Abdelaziz, who chairs the 118 nation Non-Aligned Movement, said it is crucial to "preserve the right of non-nuclear powers to the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and not to allow a fuel bank or any kind of supply arrangement that is going to decide on behalf of the countries concerned what are their developmental needs and how [they should] deal with this fuel."

    The accord may be sufficient to drive a wedge between the United States and its European allies, on the one hand, and Russia and China, on the other. Moscow and Beijing have both professed their preference for a negotiated settlement over Iran's nuclear program. And they have both pressed Iran to accept the fuel swap as a way of showing it is serious about resolving the nuclear standoff.

    The Britain, France, Germany, and the United States favor a fuel swap as a confidence-building measure aimed at enhancing international trust in Tehran's nuclear intentions. But they harbor suspicions that Iran has cut the deal to evade U.N. sanctions and that it has no intention to adequately addressing international concerns about its nuclear activities.

    White House spokesman Robert Gibbs delivered a carefully measured response to the nuclear pact, saying the U.S. welcomed the deal to ship nuclear fuel off Iranian soil, but that Tehran's assertion that it will continue enriching uranium "is a direct violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions." He urged Iran to report the agreement immediately to the IAEA, where its commitment can be tested.

    Gibbs said the U.S. would continue to press Iran to "demonstrate through deeds-and not simply words-its willingness to live up to international obligations or face consequences, including sanctions." He said that the U.S. expected Iran to comply with all U.N. resolutions, including those calling for full cooperation with IAEA inspectors and the suspension of Iran's enrichment of uranium. "Given Iran's repeated failure to live up to its own commitments, and the need to address fundamental issues related to Iran's nuclear program, the United States and the international community continue to have serious concerns," he said.

    Despite their frustrations, U.S. officials were cautious not to criticize the Brazilian and Turkish role in pushing a deal that is all but certain to weaken their case for sanctions. The approach contrasted with that of the Bush administration, which initial sought to punish former allies that opposed its quest for a war resolution in Iraq, according to U.N. diplomats.

    In the aftermath of the invasion, "allies loyal to the United States were rejected, mocked, and even punished" for their refusal to back a U.N. resolution authorizing military action against Saddam Hussein's government, Chilean U.N. ambassador Heraldo Muñoz wrote in a book on the matter.

    But the latest deal came under fire from analysts who said it would do nothing to stop Iran's uranium enrichment and would leave Iran with enough low-enriched uranium to be reprocessed into weapons-grade fuel if Tehran acquires the technological knowhow to do it. "This is a poorly negotiated deal that doesn't serve U.S. interests and may only worsen the situation," said David Albright, a former U.N. nuclear weapon inspector who tracks Iran's nuclear program. "Here you have a subgroup of nations weighing in and saying the enrichment program is not subject to further negotiations."

    The arrangement requires Iran to ship 1,200 kilograms of low-enriched uranium to Turkey within the next month. In exchange, Iran will receive fuel rods containing 120 kilograms of a more purified form of reprocessed uranium for Iran's Tehran medical reactor within one year. If any provision of the pact is breached, Turkey would be required to return the uranium to Iran. Turkey and the IAEA (which has not yet signed on) will monitor the stored uranium in Turkey.

    The deal hinges on Tehran's ability to negotiate a deal with the France, Russia, the United States, and the IAEA (the so-called Vienna group) to assure the delivery of fuel rods for the research reactor to Iran. "The nuclear fuel exchange is a starting point to begin cooperation and a positive constructive move forward among nations," according to the pact. It should replace and avoid "all kinds of confrontation through refraining from measures, actions, and rhetorical statements that would jeopardize rights and obligations under the NPT."

    Iran first expressed interest in the fuel swap after the IAEA presented the proposal to Tehran in October. But Iran quickly reversed course. In the weeks leading up to the deal, the United States has expressed skepticism over Iran's intention to implement a fuel swap. "I have told my counterparts in many capitals around the world that I believe that we will not get any serious response out of the Iranians until after the Security Council acts," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.
     
  8. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    The Turkey-Brazil-Iran deal: Can Washington take ‘yes' for an answer?

    Posted By Trita Parsi Monday, May 17, 2010 - 8:57 PM Share

    The Brazilian-Turkish diplomatic breakthrough with Iran has taken Washington by surprise. Clearly, the geopolitical center of gravity has shifted-five years of EU-led negotiations led nowhere while the new emerging powers Brazil and Turkey only needed a few months to produce a breakthrough. Now, the West needs to pull off some political acrobatics to avoid being on the diplomatic defensive.

    Before Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's trip to Iran this past weekend, few among the permanent members of the UN Security Council were optimistic about his chances of success. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was charitable when he put Lula's odds at 30 percent. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reportedly called her Brazilian counterpart to discourage Brazil from undertaking the diplomatic mission. And few in Washington seemed to have been prepared for a diplomatic breakthrough.

    But against all odds, Turkey and Brazil seem to have succeeded in resolving the most critical obstacle in the Iranian nuclear stand-off: the issue of trust. Both through the modalities of the new deal as well as by virtue of who they are, Turkey and Brazil have succeeded in filling the trust gap.

    For the Iranians - beyond their political paralysis of last year - the issue of trust was the primary flaw of the October 2009 proposal. As the Iranians saw it, the deal would have required that Iran place disproportionate trust in the Western powers by agreeing to give up its low-enriched uranium stockpile in one shipment, only to receive fuel rods for Iran's research reactor nine to twelve months later. This would have required a significant leap of faith on their behalf.

    Iran's relations with most permanent Security Council states (P5) are fraught with tension and mistrust. This includes its relations with Russia. European power's past support for Saddam Hussein - including providing him with high-tech weaponry and components for chemical weapons - has not been forgotten in Tehran, particularly not by those in Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's circles.

    Iran's relations with Turkey and Brazil are different, however. Though tensions and rivalry with Turkey have historic roots, relations have improved significantly under the Erdogan government. Though some skepticism remains, Iran has nevertheless noted Turkey's increased independence from - and at times, defiance of - the United States. In particular, Turkey's position on the Iraq war as well as its campaign to prevent a new round of UN Security Council sanctions on Iran must have impressed Tehran.

    Moreover, unlike with the P5 states, Iran does not only have some trust in Turkey, it also senses that it has some leverage over its Western neighbor. In 2009, Iranian-Turkish trade stood at around $11 billion, with Iran providing a significant portion of Turkey's gas needs. The combination of trust and leverage seems to have been critical in getting the Iranians to agree to put their stockpiles in Turkish territory.

    In Brazil, Iran has found an unlikely but much needed ally. Brazil is a rising global power, with a legitimate claim for a permanent seat in the Security Council. It's a state with a long history of sympathizing and identifying with the Iranian position on nuclear matters. If the reprocessing takes place in Brazil, as opposed to Russia, it would be a political victory for Iran to have it occur in an emerging power who for long has endorsed Iran's right to enrichment and who itself achieved recognition of its enrichment right in spite of international pressure.

    While Iran has been suspicious of European and American maneuvers and proposals, out of a fear that the ultimate objective of the West is to eliminate Iran's enrichment program, that suspicion is unlikely to arise in a Brazilian-sponsored deal due to Brazil's own nuclear program and self-interest in ensuring that Iran's nuclear rights aren't inhibited and turned into a legally binding precedent.

    In fact, the Turkish-Brazilian-Iranian agreement explicitly endorses Iran's right to enrichment, a position the US has refused to officially accept.

    Beyond economic interests, international prestige and the opportunity for Brazil and Turkey to become indispensible global actors, it should not be forgotten than both states have viewed war and confrontation as the likely alternative to their diplomacy. In particular, there has been a fear that the current Security Council draft resolution, while not providing an explicit justification for military action, would nevertheless provide regional states outside of the Security Council with a legal basis to take military action against Iran's nuclear facilities.

    Washington's reaction has thus far been muted. Though details of the agreement remain unknown, two potential points of objection have emerged.

    First, the amount of low-enriched uranium (LEU) that will be shipped to Turkey, 1200 kilograms, constituted approximately 75 percent of Iran's entire stockpile back in October. Though that percentage has shrunk, it will still leave Iran with less LEU than it would need for a bomb. Still, even though Washington insisted that the deal from October remains on the table and that it is non-negotiable, it may be the US itself that ends up seeking to renegotiate the terms. Second, Iran has expanded its enrichment activities and is currently enriching uranium to 19.75 percent. The US insists that this activity must be suspended.

    In spite of these potential sticking points, it is important to note that both Brazilian and Turkish decision-makers have intimate knowledge of the American position. America's red lines are crystal clear to both. And even though both have shown significant independence from the US, it is unlikely that they would announce a deal with Iran that wouldn't meet America's requirements.

    Rather, the Obama administration's problem with domestic actors may be a greater challenge. Both the House and the Senate have prepared broad sanctions bills, which they intend to send to the President in the next few days. Even if the deal meets American security requirements, Congress may still push forward its extraterritorial sanctions bill, citing other concerns with Iranian behavior.

    With the November elections only months away, President Obama may face some stiff opposition from Congress, even over a deal that meets America's red lines on the nuclear issue.
     
  9. AirforcePilot

    AirforcePilot Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    U.N. Security Council to Receive Draft Iran Sanctions Plan, Clinton Says

    WASHINGTON -- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday the United States has agreed with China, Russia and other major powers on a proposal for "strong" new sanctions against Iran's nuclear program.

    Clinton told a Senate committee that the five permanent members of the Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the U.S. -- along with Germany would send a new draft sanctions resolution to the entire council later Tuesday, capping months of painstaking negotiations.

    Clinton said she spent Tuesday morning on the phone with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov "finalizing the resolution," which will be introduced in the United Nations later in the day. Details were not immediately released, but the sanctions are expected to broaden economic penalties on Iranian officials and institutions.

    Russia in China have previously resisted calls for a new round of sanctions, but in recent months have been persuaded they were needed.

    The announcement came just a day after Iran, Brazil and Turkey said they had agreed on a confidence-building plan for Iran to swap nuclear materials that many believed would blunt the U.S.-led drive for a fourth round of U.N penalties on Iran.

    Clinton said the agreement on a new resolution by the major powers was a rejection of Iran's efforts to forestall penalties.

    "This announcement is as convincing an answer to the efforts undertaken by Tehran over the last few days as any we could provide," Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

    U.S. and European officials had reacted skeptically to the Brazilian-Turkish-brokered proposal, warning it still allows Iran to keep enriching uranium toward the pursuit of a nuclear weapon. The deal was concluded during a visit to Tehran by Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva who has fought against a new round of sanctions.

    Clinton repeated the U.S. skepticism about the agreement, saying "there are a number of unanswered questions regarding the announcement coming from Tehran."

    "While we acknowledge the sincere efforts of both Turkey and Brazil to find a solution regarding Iran's standoff with the international community over its nuclear program, we are proceeding to rally the international community on behalf of a strong sanctions resolution that will in our view send an unmistakable message about what is expected from Iran," Clinton said.

    She did not disclose details of the draft, which will be presented to the entire 15-member U.N. Security Council at 4 p.m. (2000 GMT) Tuesday, U.N. diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of an official announcement.
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/05/18/security-council-receive-draft-iran-sanctions-plan-clinton-says/?test=latestnews
     
  10. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    ^^ USA sponsored sanction with time always lose its teeth.Usa can just throw its hands in exasperation coz in present day world usa is not the hegemon of 1990s.Golden days of USA empire has gone and sun has started setting on DC.Earlier usa understand its decline of power more better it will be for itself and the world.coz the declining powers in its declining days are more prone to doing mischievous things result of which world has to bear for long for Britisher in their declining days created Pakistan and left the world to suffer terrorism from it even after 60 yrs. and other mischief of British was the creation Israel-Palestine problem due to which whole middle-east is in peril for last 60 yrs.
     
    AkhandBharat likes this.
  11. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Big deal?

    Posted By Stephen M. Walt Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - 10:05 AM Share

    Well, speaking of Turkey, what do I make of the surprise nuclear deal between Turkey, Brazil and Iran, which was announced as I was packing up to leave Istanbul? The deal was proclaimed with great fanfare in Tehran, and it basically resurrects an earlier arrangement by which Iran agreed to give up a large part of its low-enriched uranium (LEU) stockpile in exchange for a much smaller quantity of more highly enriched (~20 percent) uranium (for use in a research reactor that produces medical isotopes).

    The first thing to note is that we've seen this movie before (or at least, we've seen something rather like it), and it remains to be seen whether any uranium will actually change hands. It's possible that the whole thing is just a subterfuge designed to ward off stricter economic sanctions, and that eventually one of the signatories (most likely Iran) will find a way to wiggle out of the deal.

    But it is also possible that this is a first step towards a diplomatic resolution of the whole Iranian nuclear problem (albeit a rather small step). The crux of that issue isn't Iran's stockpile of LEU or its desire for fuel for its research reactor; the dispute is over whether Iran is ever going to be permitted to have its own indigenous enrichment capability at all. And this deal says nothing about that question; the best that can be said for it is that it might -- repeat might -- open the door to a more fruitful diplomatic process.

    Here's why I think the United States should welcome the deal. The only feasible way out of the current box is via diplomacy, because military force won't solve the problem for very long, could provoke a major Middle East war, and is more likely to strengthen the clerical regime and make the United States look like a bully with an inexhaustible appetite for attacking Muslim countries. (And having Israel try to do the job wouldn't help, because we'd be blamed for it anyway). I think George Bush figured that out before he left office, and I think President Obama knows it too. So do sensible Israelis, though not the perennial hawks at the Wall Street Journal's editorial page, who appear to have learned nothing from their shameful role cheerleading the debacle in Iraq back in 2002.

    Furthermore, the only way to get a diplomatic deal is for the United States and its allies to find some way to climb down from the non-negotiable demand that Iran give up control of the full nuclear fuel cycle (i.e., its indigenous enrichment capacity). This is a prestige goal for the Iranian government and it enjoys wide support among the Iranian population, including most leaders of the opposition. Instead, the goal ought to be to encourage Iran not to develop nuclear weapons, and the best way to do that is to take the threat of military force off the table and negotiate a deal whereby Iran signs and fully implements the Additional Protocol of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

    Given the parlous state of Iran's relations with the West, however, that's not likely to happen any time soon. And the more that the WSJ and other sound the tocsin for war, the more likely Iran is to conclude that the only way to be safe is to have a genuine deterrent of their own. So the Turkish-Brazilian initiative could be a welcome opportunity to get a diplomatic process started, although as noted above, it is only a small first step.

    The key point to bear in mind is that the latest deal is essentially meaningless unless outside powers (e.g., Russia, France, or the United States) buy into it. Why? Because Turkey or Brazil can't fulfill the terms of the deal (i.e., they can't provide the reactor fuel that Iran needs). And that means that one of the parties to the earlier deal that fell apart last fall will have to go along.

    Hardliner worry that the deal is a disaster because it will undermine support for stronger economic sanctions. It might, but who cares? Sanctions weren't going to change Iran's mind either. And states that are now worried about a double-dip recession are not going to be eager to impose sanctions that might involve real costs. (And no, that's not an argument for launching a preventive war either, because the last thing a fragile world economy needs right now is a war in the Persian Gulf and the soaring oil prices that this would entail).

    So what should the United States do? It should welcome the deal in principle, while making it clear that it will monitor implementation carefully and emphasizing that this particular agreement does not resolve the larger question of Iran's nuclear ambitions. Rejecting the deal would do nothing to advance broader U.S. objectives and would be an unnecessary slap in the face of Turkey and Brazil. Trying to scotch the deal would also allows Iran to blame Washington should the deal fall through, and it will only reinforce Iranian assertions that U.S. leaders are lying when they say they would like to improve relations.

    But if the United States welcomes the deal and it then falls apart, Iran won't be able to blame us for the failure and third parties will see the United States as reasonable and Iran as intransigent. Indeed, if we greet it favorably and Iran eventually backs out (as it did last fall), our position with Istanbul and Brasilia will be enhanced and Iran's is likely to suffer, because both President Lula da Silva and Prime Minister Erdogan won't appreciate having been taken for a ride. So to the extent that we are worried about an emerging Istanbul-Teheran-Brasilia axis (and we shouldn't be), the smart play is not to criticize the deal at this stage and to thank them for their efforts. (From what I've been able to tell, that's more-or-less the line the Obama administration appears to be taking).

    I might add that this announcement reinforces some of the observations I made in my earlier post about Turkey's new foreign policy. Moreover, Stephen Kinzer reports that Turkey played a pretty hard-nosed role in the negotiations, and apparently convinced Iran to make important concessions. Instead of being miffed, we ought to see this as a sign that Turkey can be a useful intermediary in some difficult situations, and we ought to be looking for ways to work with Istanbul instead of feeling threatened or slighted.

    One last point: It would also be desirable if the various parties didn't try to use the deal to make domestic brownie points or settle other scores (I know, that's asking a lot of most politicians). U.S. officials should avoid giving the impression that they are upset because progress was made without their being in the room. Similarly, if the deal goes south in the months ahead, we should resist the temptation to say "told you so" in public (though we might want to do so in private). Similarly, Turkish and Brazilian leaders would be wise not to crow too much about the achievement, or to boast about how they have succeeded where others have failed. It's hard for democratic leaders to resist such temptations, but Harry S. Truman was right when he said it was amazing what one could accomplish if you didn't mind who gets the credit.
     
  12. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Some interesting developments on Iran sanctions

    Posted By Daniel W. Drezner Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - 4:44 PM
    So, in the past 36 hours there has been news about two deals involving Iran. The first one involved an arrangement brokered by Turkey and Brazil:

    In what could be a stunning breakthrough in the years-long diplomatic deadlock over Iran's nuclear program, Tehran has agreed to send the bulk of its nuclear material to Turkey as part of an exchange meant to ease international concerns about the Islamic Republic's aims and provide fuel for an ailing medical reactor, the spokesman for Iran's foreign ministry told state television Monday morning.

    Whether this was really a breakthrough or just a last-minute dodge by Iran to fend off sanctions, commentators mostly agreed on two things: A) This showed how Turkey and Brazil were new heavyweights in international relations; and B) This would complicate and delay a new round of United Nations sanctions.

    All well and good, except that now there's another breakthrough.... on a new round of Security Council sanctions:

    The United States has reached agreement with Russia and China on a strong draft resolution to impose new United Nations sanctions on Iran over its uranium-enrichment program, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced Tuesday.

    Appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in a scheduled hearing on a new strategic arms reduction treaty with Russia, Clinton shrugged off a surprise deal announced Monday in which Iran would swap a portion of its low-enriched uranium for higher-grade uranium to power a research reactor that produces medical isotopes. The deal, brokered by Turkey and Brazil during a high-level visit to Tehran, was meant in part to assuage concerns over Iran's nuclear program and discourage new U.N. sanctions.

    "Today I am pleased to announce to this committee we have reached agreement on a strong draft with the cooperation of both Russia and China," Clinton said in an opening statement. She said the United States has been working closely for several weeks with five other world powers on new sanctions and plans to "circulate that draft resolution to the entire Security Council today."

    Well, this is an interesting development. What's going on?

    I think the key is that Russia was not persuaded by the Turkey-Brazil-Iran deal:

    Sergei B. Ivanov, the deputy prime minister of Russia, was similarly skeptical at a lunchtime speech in Washington. He said he expected the sanctions resolution to “be voted in the near future,” and said that the new Iranian accord should not be “closely linked” to the sanctions effort. “Iran should absolutely open up” to inspectors, he said. That statement was significant because Russia had been reluctant to join sanctions several months ago. China, which has also been hesitant, issued no statement.

    With Russia firmly on board, and China apparently unwilling to ge the lone P-5 holdout, Monday's Iran deal had no effect on the calculus of the Security Council.

    Why was Russia unpersuaded? To date, Russia and China have taken advantage of any Iranian feint towards conciliation as an excuse to delay sanctions. What's different now?

    I'd suggest three possibilities, which are not mutually exclusive:

    1) Russia is genuinely unpersuaded that Monday's deal is anything more than marginally useful;

    2) Russia is just as annoyed as the United States at the young whipperrsnapper countries rising powers of the world going rogue in their diplomacy. Russia is, in many ways, more sensitive to questions about prestige than the United States;

    3) Cynically, there's little cost to going along with the United States on sanctions that will have very little impact on the Russian-Iranian economic relationship.
     

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