Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 6 By Claude Salhani - Trend: Iran has the right to operate a civil nuclear program, but not a military one, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said, as he met with his French counterpart ahead of a crucial round of talks over Tehran's nuclear activities, the WSJ reported.
"They have a right to a peaceful program, but not a track to a bomb," Kerry said. Commenting on Kerry's statement former US ambassador at Morocco Ed Gabriel told Trend that the reported deal to have Russia enrich uranium for Iranian commercial grade electrical generation could represent a break through in the negotiations. Ambassador Gabriel said a key factor in the US-Iranian talks is how to allow Iran safely and legally use nuclear fuel for commercial purposes, while denying them the opportunity to develop enrichment capabilities that can lead to the production of highly enriched uranium for the purpose of making bombs. "The option with Russia is safe and reasonable.
This also brings up a larger question which could lead to multilateral talks on a longer term international agreement among countries possessing enrichment capabilities to agree to a new regime limiting all such production to a few countries that will guarantee proper inspection and access for peaceful purposes." Meanwhile Raymond Tanter, of the Iran Policy Committee Publishing (IPCP) and Professor Emeritus, The University of Michigan disagrees. "Announcing to the world that Iran has a right to a nuclear program that is peaceful and that it is easy to prove that the program is peaceful is like announcing to proven arsonists who engage in cheating that they have the right to carry matches and fuel that easily ignites so long as they do not intend to light any fires," Tanter, who served on the senior staff of the National Security Council and as personal representative of the Secretary of Defense to arms control talks in Europe in the Reagan-Bush administration, told Trend. "It makes no sense to tell Iranian negotiators they can enrich in Iran, with the inspections currently in place and when research on detonators is illicitly occurring at military sites, which are off limits to inspections.
Iran and the P5+1 will hold the next round of nuclear negotiations in Omani capital city of Muscat on Nov.11. A trilateral meeting of Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, US Secretary of State John Kerry and outgoing EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is also scheduled for Nov. 9-10 in the same city.
Zarif, Kerry and Ashton had trilateral meetings on Oct. 14-16 and discussed disputed issues such as uranium enrichment extent, ways of lifting imposed sanctions and duration of the agreement. Last November, Iran and the P5+1 clinched an interim nuclear accord, which took effect on Jan. 20 and expired six months later. However, the parties agreed to extend their talks until Nov. 24 as they remained divided on a number of key issues.