Iran Makes Uranium Deal

Via the LATIran agrees to exchange of nuclear material

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.

The BBC further explains:

"Turkey will be the place to keep Iran’s 3.5% [low-enriched] uranium," Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told a news briefing after foreign ministers signed the deal.

He said that 1,200kg would be shipped to Turkey, and that Iran would notify the IAEA, "within a week".

[…]

In return, Iran says it expects within a year 120kg of more highly enriched uranium (20%), a purity well below that used in the manufacture of nuclear weapons.

[…]

The BBC’s Tehran correspondent Jon Leyne, in London, says the agreement does not make clear whether Iran’s low-grade uranium will be used to make the new fuel or just held as a kind of security deposit.

As Paul Reynolds of the BBC writes:  “Whether this is a breakthrough or a device to try to stop further sanctions – currently being discussed – remains to be determined.”

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Dantheman says:

    ““Whether this is a breakthrough or a device to try to stop further sanctions — currently being discussed — remains to be determined.””

    Unless the word “device” is being used to convey some second meaning, the answer appears to me “both”. If this actually succeeds, it might also be remembered as a triumph for Obama’s policies of gathering support for sanctions in order to push Iran to make a deal, rather than the bomb Iran first policy advocated by so many of his critics.

  2. anjin-san says:

    It’s worth noting that Obama’s “reset” policy with Russia appears to be gaining traction…

  3. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Anjin, in what area do you see that happening. Russia cancel its new offensive ICBMs? Have they backed out of Georgia? I’ll bet you are fun to play poker with.

  4. Neil Hudelson says:

    Wasn’t this same thing promised about half a year ago, only Iran said they would ship to France? Then they backed out a week later. I really do hope this time it’s real–and if so it would be a triumph for Obama’s policies, both on the Iran front and with Russia (as two previous commentators pointed out). That said, I’m not holding my breath.

    Zelsdorf,

    Are you being facetious, or do you just have a beef with Anjin? It tentatively proves that the “reset button” with Russia is working in that the major obstacles to a working Iranian sanctions threat has been Russia’s unwillingness to go along. If Russia doesn’t go along, sanctions don’t work economically. Russia has now signaled they are on board, and lo-and-behold, Iran is starting to negotiate. I thought this was a point that was so obvious that Anjin really didn’t need to spell it out. Since you can’t seem to comprehend it immediately, hopefully my explanation has helped.

  5. steve says:

    I assume, if this is true, that it means Russia and China are on board. The Obama administration should then get some credit, but I suspect China did not want to see its oil supplies disrupted. Russia has its own insurgency problems and really did not need a war in its backyard.

    Steve

  6. Davod says:

    The Russians are going to build nuclear reactors in Turkey. Does this mean Turkey is on the way to getting the bomb?

  7. Davod says:

    How does Turkey holding Iranian material in any way vindicate the Administration’s entreaties to Iran.