Experts: Iran's intends to continue uranium enrichment nullifies chances of 'Six' to negotiate with it

Experts: Iran's intends to continue uranium enrichment nullifies chances of 'Six' to negotiate with it

Azerbaijan, Baku, Aug. 18 / Trend T.Konyayeva /

Tehran's recent statements indicate that the Islamic Republic intends to continue a nuclear development independently, which nullifies the chances of achieving positive results in negotiations with the 'Six', experts say.

"The Iranian leadership, on the one hand, goes to the full nuclear cycle and obtaining of nuclear weapons, for which it has ready-made carriers, on the other hand - successfully maneuvers and temporizes in the negotiations with the 'Six' to minimize the negative consequences of this," president of the Russian Institute for Middle Eastern Studies Yevgeny Satanovsky told Trend via -email.

Earlier this week, Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Head Ali Akbar Salehi said that the places of 10 uranium enrichment plants are specified. The plants will be built in Iran and construction of one of them will be launched by late 2010.

Later, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ordered the government to take measures aimed at continuing the work on uranium enrichment to the level of 20-percent to provide fuel for the Tehran scientific research reactor in accordance with the law "On support to Iran's nuclear program" approved by the Iranian parliament July 18.

Satanovsky believes Iran's policy has as much bluffing and hypocrisy, as the members of the "nuclear club" had when they walked to their present-day nuclear status.

"It is not so important whether the concrete Iranian politicians' specific statements are coordinated or just lie in the path of a single policy. It is essential that 'Six' has no chance to negotiate with Iran," he said.

Satanovsky said that Iran simultaneously demonstrates both the willingness and ability to scale autonomous actions towards nuclear status, and the openness to the IAEA and the commitment to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

The law adopted by the Iranian parliament reaffirms Iran's commitment to international NPT. Under the law, the government is obliged to cooperate with IAEA only within the contract. Iran signed the NPT in 1968 and ratified it in 1970.

Iran will not refuse the developments in the field of uranium enrichment, despite the absence of the necessary conditions and opportunities for expansion of activities in the country at this time,
British analyst of Iranian origin, professor at the University of Glasgow Reza Taghizadeh said over phone.

"Iran, because of problems associated with the doubts of the international community over Iran's nuclear program, tries not only to maintain the status quo, but continue [to develop]," Taghizadeh told Trend.

Nevertheless, he believes Salehi's statement is propaganda and does not correspond to reality.

"If Iran really wanted to build 10 new centers for uranium enrichment, it would declare start date and timing of construction as it was in regard to other projects," Taghizadeh said. "But, Salehi's statement is wishful thinking."

Taghizadeh pointed out serious problems impeding the improvement of already functioning uranium enrichment plant Natanz - the lack of raw uranium and a sufficient number of centrifuges - as an argument.

Moreover, Taghizadeh believes, after Russia will commission the Bushehr nuclear power plant and supply fuel to it, Iran will not have reasons for the uranium enrichment.

Last week, the Russian officials reported that the physical launch of the Bushehr nuclear reactor in Iran is scheduled for Aug.21.

Bushehr plant, which is under construction in Iran near the Bushehr city, is the first nuclear power plant in Iran and throughout the Middle East. Construction of the plant started in 1975 by Germany's Kraftwerk Union, but in 1980 it was suspended due to accession to the FRG government to the U.S. sanctions imposed against Iran.

Aug.25, 1992 Russia and Iran signed an agreement to continue constructing nuclear power plant. In January 1995, a contract to complete the works on the first power unit was signed, and in 1998 construction management was transferred to AtomStroyExport.

"Russia will voice its readiness to provide any necessary amount of fuel to reactors, and if Iran insists on the continuation of self-enrichment of uranium, it will accuse Iran of pursuing military objectives," Taghizadeh said.

In this case, Iran's situation will be complicated, and Tehran will announce on its intention to expand its nuclear activities to get out of a difficult situation, he added.

"Under the same pretext, Ahmadinejad signed a decree on the execution of the law 'On maintenance of peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear activities'," Taghizadeh said. "Giving effect to this law, the Iranian government makes it clear to countries of the Six and the Vienna group, before the start of the negotiations, that Iran will continue its uranium enrichment program."

Aug.17, Tehran called on the Vienna Group (Russia, France, the U.S. and IAEA) to agree upon the date and venue of the technical negotiations on the exchange of low-enriched uranium of Iran to 20-percent enriched uranium as soon as possible.

Earlier on Monday, Salehi stated that Tehran expects a formal response from the six international mediators to resolve Iran's nuclear program and believes the forthcoming technical negotiations on the uranium exchange may create an atmosphere of trust between the parties to the negotiation process.

Iranian expert on International Issues Hasan Behishtipur said that with such a move Iran wants strongly indicate that the sanctions against it should not be used as a punishment.

"Iran intends to participate in the negotiations as an equal party and does not want to join the negotiations under pressure and threats," Behishtipur told Trend over the telephone.

Regarding the new uranium enrichment plants, he noted that the issue is a principled for Iran and it is not ready to suspend the process.

Iran will make every effort as speedy as it could on the way to a nuclear bomb, Satanovsky said.

"Only large-scale military operation can stop Iran, in which members of the "six" will refuse to participate, gradually pushing Israel to it," he said. "Alternative is to recognize Iran as nuclear power and prepare for the destruction of non-proliferation regime with all its consequences."

T.Jafarov contributed to the article.

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