Clinton: ´Significant Differences´ With Iran Remain (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gabe Kahn 05/25/12)
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US secretary of state Hillary Clinton said Friday that "significant
differences" remain over Iran´s nuclear program following two days of
talks in Baghdad.
Clinton says the P5+1 – the five permanent members of the Security
Council plus Germany – presented Tehran with a detailed proposal on
all aspects of Iran´s uranium enrichment during this week´s talks in
The P5+1 plan reportedly calls on Iran to halt enrichment past 3.5%,
ship its stores of 20% enriched uranium out of the country, and shut
down its heavily fortified Fordow enrichment facility.
They had also called on Iran to live up to its obligations under the
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and allow IAEA inspectors
unrestricted access to its nuclear sites.
Iran, she says, put forth its own ideas, and significant differences
However, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said
the two sides found "some common ground" and agreed to more talks in
Moscow June 18 and 19.
"As we lay the groundwork for these talks," Clinton said of what will
be a third round of talks. "We will keep up the pressure as part of
our dual-track approach. All of our sanctions will remain in place
and will continue to move forward during this period."
"Iran now has the choice to make: will it meet its international
obligations and give the world confidence in its intentions or not?"
Of key international concern is Iran´s secretive uranium enrichment
program, especially its enrichment of uranium to 20 percent purity –
a key jumping off point for enrichment to 90% weapons grade material.
Iran says its enrichment work is meant for medical research and
However, proliferation experts have noted that 3.5% enrichment is all
that is needed for power generation, and that Iran has enriched far
more uranium to 20% than is needed for medical isotope research.
Nor, they say, is Iran´s nuclear medicine research industry advanced
or robust enough to justify the claim.
In November 2011, the IAEA released a report citing credible Western
intelligence indicating Iran had engaged in - and likely continues to
engage in - nuclear research of a military nature.
The report cited the construction of a high-explosives test chamber
at the Parchin military base near Tehran, where IAEA officials
believe Iran has been attempting to develop a charge that can
detonate nuclear material.
IAEA chief Yukiya Amano in March charged Iran was engaged in an
attempt to cover up nuclear activity of a military nature
saying, "Iran is not telling us everything."
Israeli officials - who are widely believed to be mulling a military
strike on Iran´s nuclear facilities - have sharply criticized the
talks, saying Iran is using them to stall for time for its nuclear
Ahead of this week´s round of talks Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
demanded the P5+1 take a tough line with Iran, and not compromise on
demands Tehran completely halt uranium enrichment.
"This is the only way to ensure Iran will not build a nuclear bomb.
This is Israel´s position. It has not changed, and it will not
change," Netanyahu said.
He also dismissed gainsayers who claim Iran´s nuclear program poses
no threat to Israel, "There is no one who doubts the intentions of
Iran." (IsraelNationalNews © 2012 05/25/12)
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