IAEA announces new Iran talks, former Iran nuclear negotiator proposes “zero 20% stockpile” plan

Share

The top UN nuclear inspector Yukiya Amano will hold new talks with Iranian officials in Vienna later this week, he announced Monday. The purpose of the meeting will be to try to finalize a work plan partially agreed to at a meeting in Tehran last month, he said.

“I invite Iran to sign and implement the Structured Approach document as soon as possible and to provide early access to the Parchin site,” Amano told the International Atomic Energy Agency’s board of governors Monday, after announcing plans for a meeting with Iranian officials June 8.

The IAEA-Iran meeting comes ten days ahead of new P5+1/Iran talks scheduled to be held in Moscow June 18-19th.

Western diplomats are hoping to secure a deal at the Moscow meeting under which Iran would stop its 20% uranium enrichment and send out its stockpile of 20% enriched uranium. The actions would be part of a proposed first-step confidence building gesture that international negotiators hope could put time on the clock for negotiations to resolve broader concerns about Iran’s nuclear program.

But former Iranian nuclear negotiator Seyed Hossein Mousavian, speaking in Washington Monday, cast doubt that Iran would be willing to curb its 20% enrichment activities without getting upfront recognition of its right to enrich to 3.5% for energy purposes.

“For Iran, it’s very important to see the end state,” Mousavian  told the Arms Control Association in Washington Monday. “The Western powers have a piecemeal approach. Iran wants to see the endgame.”

For the upcoming P5+1/Iran talks in “Moscow, an agreement on zero stockpile of 20 % enriched uranium would be the best achievement,” Mousavian proposed.

Under such a plan, he explained, the P5+1 and Iran would set up a joint committee to determine how much 20% enriched uranium Iran needs for medical purposes, and the rest of its 20% stockpile would be exported or converted to 3.5%.

He also proposed that the IAEA define the maximum amount of transparency it would like from Iran. “If Iran accepts, to sign the additional protocol and give the IAEA access beyond that demanded in the additional protocol, then the [western powers] should be ready” to defer new European and American sanctions set to go into effect next month targeting transactions with Iran’s Central Bank and oil exports.

(Photo: Hossein Mousavian, then head of the Iranian delegation to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), listens to a journalist’s question prior to a closed-door meeting of the IAEA 35-nation Board of Governors in Vienna June 16, 2004. REUTERS/Herwig Prammer.)