After rejecting US demands, Iran proposes nuclear compromise (ISRAEL HAYOM) Shlomo Cesana, Eli Leon and The Associated Press 04/09/12)
Israel Hayom Articles-Index-Top
Iranian nuclear chief suggests Tehran could stop production of 20%
enriched uranium and continue lower-level uranium enrichment ē
Announcement comes after Iran first rejects U.S. demands prior to
talks set to begin on Friday in Istanbul ē Netanyahu: Iran uses talks
in order to try and delay and deceive the West.
Iran´s nuclear chief on Sunday signaled that Tehran´s envoys may
bring a compromise offer to talks this week with world powers:
Promising to eventually stop producing its most highly enriched
uranium, while not totally abandoning its ability to make nuclear
The proposal outlined late Sunday seeks to directly address one of
the main issues in the talks scheduled to begin Friday between Iran
and the five permanent Security Council members plus Germany. The
U.S. and others have raised serious concerns about Iran´s production
and stockpile of uranium enriched to 20 percent, which could be
turned into weapons-grade strength in a matter of months. Uranium has
to be enriched to more than 90% to be used for a nuclear weapon.
Israel and other Western countries fear Tehran is seeking to develop
an atomic weapon, a charge Iran denies.
Fereidoun Abbasi, Iran´s nuclear chief, said Tehran could stop its
production of 20% enriched uranium needed for a research reactor, but
continue enriching uranium to lower levels for power generation.
Abassi told Iranian state television late Sunday that this could take
place once Iran has stockpiled enough of the 20% enriched uranium.
His comments came a day after Iran rejected calls by the U.S. to
curtail its nuclear program, declaring that it will dictate terms to
the West and not the other way around.
Meanwhile, in Israel, officials believe Iran´s newfound willingness
to reengage in negotiations is merely a stalling tactic.
ďIsraelís policy on Iran has not changed nor has Israelís policy on
what needs to happen in the talks between Iran and the P-5+1," Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday. "We have seen in the past
how Iran uses the talks in order to try and delay and deceive the
"Therefore, the demands need to be clear," Netanyahu stressed. "One,
stop all enrichment of uranium, both 20% and 3%. Two, move all
enriched material out of Iranís territory; it is possible to give
them alternative material for peaceful purposes. Three, dismantle the
illegal facility in Qom.
"Naturally, we will monitor the talks to see that Iran does not use
them in order to deceive the world and continue with its nuclear
program," the prime minister said.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, who is in Israel on an official
visit and met with Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz on Sunday, also expressed concern
that Iran was biding for time to develop its nuclear program.
Steinitz told Monti, who also serves as Italy´s finance minister,
that Iran´s economy is on the verge of collapse. "Now is the time to
continue and tighten sanctions further, and not let up," Steinitz
However, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday continued to
stress the importance of the country´s nuclear industry, saying
it "is like a locomotive that can push ahead other industries such as
the space industry, which brings up tens of other industries as well."
"This is the same clear path we must continue," Ahmadinejad said
according to the official IRNA news agency.
The latest round of expected talks comes after Iran´s Supreme Leader
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gave a rare nod of approval last month to U.S.
President Barack Obama´s assertion that there was still room for
diplomacy. Washington has said it wants to hear further details
regarding Khamenei´s pledge that Iran would never seek nuclear
According to a report by The New York Times on Sunday, the U.S. has
demanded that Iran shut down its underground uranium enrichment
facility in Fordo, near the Shiite Muslim holy city of Qom, agree to
enrich uranium only up to the level of 3.5%, and transfer all the
uranium it had already enriched to the level of 20% to a third party.
However, Iran rejected the West´s demands, saying it will not close
its Fordo underground facility nor forego higher-level uranium
The demands, which were identical to those first outlined by
Netanyahu last month during his visit to Canada, were said to be part
of a plan that would enable the U.S. to accept an Iranian civilian
Abbasi, head of Iran´s Atomic Energy Agency, rejected the demands
outright. Speaking on Sunday, he said, "The demands are irrational.
The Fordo facility was built underground due to sanctions and threats
of attack. If they didn´t threaten us and promised not to resort to
military action, there would be no need to build underground
facilities. They need to change their behavior and language."
Iran announced in a statement that its nuclear reactor in Bushehr,
one of the main nuclear installations in the country, will achieve
100% electricity production this summer, Army Radio reported.
Israeli officials, meanwhile, do not believe the planned talks in
Istanbul will yield positive results. They believe the U.S. aims to
pressure the Iranians to end the military dimensions of their nuclear
program, while the Iranians view the talks as a way to get the West
to accept their nuclear program.
Israeli officials have avoided issuing any negative responses to the
scheduled talks because they know the U.S. and Europe consider them
a "last-ditch effort" to solve the crisis.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak reiterated the terms that would
constitute a successful end to the crisis. In an interview with CNN
to be aired on Monday, parts of which were previously released, Barak
said: "We do not oppose negotiations, but the negotiations must have
clear aims that will prove Iran has stopped its enrichment activity.
It is clear that the latest sanctions have upped the stakes a notch.
Expelling Iran from the SWIFT international transaction system and
sanctions related to the importing of Iranian crude oil were
significant measures, but I don´t believe sanctions and pressure will
cause the Iranian leadership to conclude that they need to abandon
their military nuclear program."
Israel has said that it does not oppose Iran having a nuclear reactor
for research purposes as long as it is under international
supervision, like its own reactor at the Soreq facility.
Meanwhile, Iran continued to warn Israel against attacking its
nuclear facilities. State-controlled Fars news agency reported on
Monday that Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Maj. Gen.
Hassan Firouzabadi said Tehran would "demolish the illegal Zionist
nest" if attacked.
Firouzabadi reportedly threatened to "flatten" strategic sites
throughout Israel if his country were attacked and said he was
confident that Iran´s deterrence has reduced the threat of military
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY