Iran Rejects West’s Demand to Ship Out Uranium Stockpiles


iranian-deputy-foreign-minister-abbas-araqchiIranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi yesterday rejected the West’s demand to send sensitive nuclear material out of the country, ahead of renewed negotiations in Geneva on Tuesday. Western officials want Iran to ship out uranium enriched to a fissile concentration of 20%, a short technical step away from weapons-grade material. Israel demands the total removal of Tehran’s enriched uranium stockpiles along with a dismantling of its enrichment facilities.
Cliff Kupchan, a Middle East analyst at risk consultancy Eurasia Group, said, “It is sobering that a lead Iranian negotiator is setting red lines so early. These are going to be tough talks.” R. Scott Kemp, an assistant professor of nuclear science at MIT, said that merely capping Iran’s nuclear program was unlikely to provide enough confidence in the West. “Some rollback of the program…is really the only path to confidence and stability.”

David Albright, of the Institute for Science and International Security, said earlier this month: “Any future nuclear agreement must include a limit on the number and type of centrifuges Iran can install.”

{Andy Newscenter}