As Iran Readies Offer to Limit Its Nuclear Program, Steinitz Says All Proposals Are a “Joke”


steinitzIran is preparing a package of proposals to halt production of near-weapons-grade nuclear fuel, a key demand of the U.S., according to officials briefed on diplomacy ahead of talks in Geneva next week. Tehran is expected to offer to stop enriching uranium to levels of 20% purity.

Iran is also considering offering the closure of an underground uranium-enrichment facility near Qom. In return, Tehran will request that the U.S. and EU begin scaling back sanctions.

“The Iranians are preparing to go to Geneva with a serious package,” said a former Western diplomat who has discussed the incentives with senior Iranian diplomats in recent weeks. “These include limits on the numbers of centrifuges operating, enrichment amounts and the need for verification.”

But by falling short of a complete shutdown of enrichment, the anticipated Iranian offer could divide the U.S. from its closest Middle East allies, particularly Israel and Saudi Arabia.

The reported proposals that Iran intends to present at upcoming nuclear talks are a “joke,” Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said today. “Closing the Qom facility means Iran will be able to produce five instead of six nuclear bombs in the first year, and giving up enrichment at 20% is less meaningful now that Iran has 20,000 centrifuges.”

{ Israel News Bureau}