Here follows the P5+1′s Almaty confidence building proposal that was further discussed with Iran nuclear experts at technical talks in Istanbul on March 18th, and which remains on the table today.
The Christian Science Monitor’s Scott Peterson first reported on the details of the proposal, which he obtained from one of the negotiating parties, in April.
A western official, speaking not for attribution Sunday, confirmed to Al-Monitor the proposal is authentic.
The P5+1 confidence building proposal calls on Iran to suspend 20% enrichment; ship out the 20% stockpile it doesn’t require for medical use; agree to enhanced International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) monitoring; and suspend operations at, but not dismantle the cascades, at the fortified Fordow enrichment facility; for a period of six months. In return, it offers relief from United States and European Union sanctions on trade in gold and precious metals and petrochemical sales; the licensing of US repairs to Iran civilian aircraft; as well as to impose no new United Nations or EU proliferation sanctions.
If Iran agreed to the CBM proposal, “during the six months, negotiations would proceed on further steps, including a comprehensive long-term agreement that would restore the international community’s confidence that Iran’s nuclear program is entirely peaceful, respect’s Iran’s rights to peaceful nuclear energy, and terminate sanctions,” the proposal states. “In return for further significant action by Iran to address concerns about its nuclear program, the U.S. and the EU would be prepared to take comparable action, including proportionate relief of oil sanctions.”
Al-Monitor previously reported (March 26) that Iran expressed willingness at the Istanbul technical talks to suspend 20% enrichment and continue converting its 20% stockpile to oxide. But it raised objections to other requested measures, including suspending lower level enrichment at Fordow, shipping out its stockpile of 20% enriched uranium, and increased IAEA monitoring.
Iran issued a counter-proposal at the second day of Almaty2 talks April 6th, in which it said it would agree to suspend 20% enrichment and continue converting its stockpile of uranium hexafluoride (UF6) gas to oxide, in exchange for recognition of its right to enrich and a lifting of some banking sanctions, nonproliferation expert sources told Al-Monitor last month. Western officials characterized the Iranian counter-offer as asking for a lot, and offering very little.
Iran’s presidential candidates sharply challenged Iran’s nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili at a televised campaign debate last week on why there had been no progress in nuclear talks. Notably, Ali Akbar Velayati, the foreign policy advisor to Supreme Leader Khamenei and former Iranian foreign minister, derided Jalili as ineffective and pedantic, saying negotiating involves more than lecturing the other side about one’s positions, but getting results.
“You want to take three steps and you expect the other side to take 100 steps, this means that you don’t want to make progress,” Velayati chided Jalili in the June 7 debate, the Christian Science Monitor reported. “This is not diplomacy…. We can’t expect everything and give nothing.”
“What people are seeing, Mr. Jalili, is that you have not gone forward even one step, and the pressure of sanctions still exists,” Velayati added.
Jalili, who has served as Iran’s nuclear negotiator since 2007, refuted the criticism, saying that the Supreme Leader, briefed on the Almaty discussions, had approved of his negotiating stance.
The Almaty Confidence Building Proposal below the jump:
Almaty Confidence Building Proposal
Technical explanation of the E3/EU+3 Almaty proposal
Istanbul, 18 March 2013
Iran would undertake the following voluntary measures:
- Suspend enrichment over 5% everywhere in Iran
- Place Fordow in a Reduced Readiness status without dismantlement and with strengthened IAEA monitoring
- . Retain all 16 existing cascades. Four cascades in Unit 2, which are at the moment enriching uranium to the level of 20%, should operate in vacuum mode.
- Discontinuing the feeding of UF6 gas to these cascades.
- Drain UF6 gas from in-process cold traps.
- Seal appropriate valves or install piping blanks to prevent the feeding of additional UF6 to these cascades. The IAEA would be allowed to monitor these seals and conduct environmental sampling.
- No replacement of centrifuges.
. All other cascades installed should be put or remain in a non-operating state, with vacuum system not operating, but with conservation measures permissible.
- Spin down operating centrifuges under a controlled process to avoid rotor crashes.
- Upon cessation, turn off inverters.
- Disconnect the power supply to each machine.
- Disconnect the power supply at the cascade level.
- Stop operating vacuum systems while taking related conservation measures as needed. Turn off all vacuum pumps to the cascades and header pipes.
- No replacement of centrifuges. Remove interconnections between cascades.
- Remove tandem cascades cross-over piping. This would require disconnecting of UF6 piping and vacuum connections.
- Place blank flanges with seals or weld caps on pipe-stubs as necessary.
. Remove Uranium
- Drain UF6 gas from in-process cold traps, remove all UF6 cylinders from feed/withdrawal stations, and remove all feed, product, tails and other cylinders from the site. All empty cylinders to remain accessible to the IAEA at a facility currently under IAEA safeguards.
- Move all collected UF6 material (depleted, natural, and up to 5% enriched uranium) to Esfahan or Natanz under IAEA safeguards.
- Remove above 5% enriched uranium out of Fordow. Remove feed and withdrawal systems.
- Remove all components of the feed system including autoclaves, UF6 feed metering or pressure control valves, and UF6 flow meters.
- Remove the cold traps used for products, tails, dump and feed purification, along with associated cooling systems. If cooling was supplied by liquid nitrogen, then remove the means to store and transport liquid nitrogen. Iran may install piping in place of the cold traps to maintain vacuum to the four cascades in necessary.
- Permit continued usage of existing chemical traps and vacuum pumps for the four spinning cascades. Continuous surveillance with live stream transmission to Vienna, including remote verification that cascades are not interconnected.
- IAEA inspectors would install cameras with continuous encrypted real time connectivity back to IAEA headquarters in Vienna at the locations of their choosing within the Fordow facility.
- This live stream transmission would help verify that Iran is continuing to implement the measures outlined above and is not taking actions to restore readiness in preparation for a restart of enrichment.
- Continuous surveillance would not substitute for periodic physical inspection visits by the IAEA.
Addressing the stockpile of all above 5% unirradiated enriched uranium in Iran
. From the existing 20% enriched uranium, Iran would retain a working stock of 20% oxide for fabrication of fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor (quantity to be determined).
. The remainder would be transferred to a third country under IAEA custody, or diluted to no more than 5% and kept in Iran.
. No assembly of a production line to reconvert 20% enriched U3O8 to UF6.
. Enhanced IAEA monitoring
. IAEA monitoring of centrifuge production and assembly facilities.
. IAEA monitoring of production of yellowcake at uranium mines and mills.
After IAEA confirmation that Iran has implemented all these measures, the E3+3 would undertake the following voluntary measures:
. Civil nuclear cooperation
. Offer to provide fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor.
. Engage in civil nuclear cooperation as described in the Baghdad proposal, including support for IAEA Technical Cooperation on the early stages of acquiring a modern light water isotope producing research reactor, and on modernizing and maintaining the safety of the Tehran Research Reactor.
. Cooperation on the supply of medical isotopes and on nuclear medicine.
. Sanctions relief
.The E3+3 would not pursue new proliferation-related UN Security Council sanctions.
. The EU would not pursue new EU proliferation-related sanctions beyond the 15 October 2012 decision.
. The EU would suspend sanctions on gold and precious metals
. Suspension of the prohibition on the direct or indirect sale, purchase, transportation or brokering of gold and precious metals to, from of for the Government of Iran, its public bodies, corporations and agencies.
. Suspension of the prohibition on the direct or indirect provision of technical assistance, financing or financial assistance related to these goods.
. Items concerned are listed in the relevant legislation.
. The U.S. would suspend sanctions on gold and precious metals.
. The U.S. would refrain from imposing sanctions against entities worldwide for the purchase and sale of gold and precious metals to and from Iran.
. The EU would suspend sanctions on export of petrochemicals
. Suspension of the prohibition on the import, purchase or transport of Iranian petrochemical products.
. Suspension of the prohibition on the direct or indirect provision of financing or financial assistance, as well as insurance and reinsurance, related to the import, purchase or transport of Iranian petrochemical products.
. Items concerned are listed in the relevant legislation.
EU Sanction relief-procedural steps
. Where needed, adjustment of other relevant provisions necessary for implementing these suspensions.
. Council will adopt the amending legislation; published in the Official Journal of the EU and directly applicable in all Member States.
. The U.S. would suspend sanctions on export of petrochemicals
. The U.S. would refrain from sanctioning entities worldwide for the purchase of petrochemicals from Iran.
. The U.S. would license safety-related inspection and repair in Iran for Iranian commercial aircraft.
Duration and renewal
. The duration of the agreement would be six months, with renewal by mutual consent.
. During the six months, negotiations would proceed on further steps, including a comprehensive long-term agreement that would restore the international community’s confidence that Iran’s nuclear program is entirely peaceful, respect’s Iran’s rights to peaceful nuclear energy, and terminate sanctions.
. As Iran takes additional significant steps toward this goal, the E3+3 will take corresponding steps.
. In return for further significant action by Iran to address concerns about its nuclear program, the U.S. and the EU would be prepared to take comparable action, including proportionate relief of oil sanctions.