September 11, 2006


Iran may halt uranium program (George Jahn, 9/11/06, Associated Press)

Iran is ready to consider complying -- at least temporarily -- with a U.N. Security Council demand that it freeze uranium enrichment, which can be used in developing atomic weapons, diplomats told the Associated Press on Sunday.

Such a concession would be a major departure by Tehran as it faces possible U.N. sanctions for its nuclear defiance and would be a huge step toward defusing a confrontation over the program it says is aimed only at generating electricity.

The compromise was mentioned by senior Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani during two-day talks that ended Sunday with European Union foreign-policy chief Javier Solana, the diplomats said.

The diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity, were familiar with the substance of the discussions.

One of them said Larijani floated the possibility of Iran stopping its enrichment activities ``voluntarily, for one or two months, if presented . . . in such a way that it does it without pressure.'' The diplomats did not say when such a move might occur.

As you watch this play out in the press, the way to understand it is that it's all just a matter of Ayatollah Khamenei vs. President Ahmedinejad.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 11, 2006 6:40 AM

Over the question of whether to fight the U.S. openly or through taqiyya.

Posted by: pj at September 11, 2006 10:44 AM

Or it is just another stalling tactic to keep the West convinced progress is being made until Iran has its nukes and the West has no options left.

Posted by: AWW at September 11, 2006 10:57 AM

He'll be gone next election and they're nowhere near having nukes.

Posted by: oj at September 11, 2006 12:30 PM

They don't have time for the latter or public support for the former.

Posted by: oj at September 11, 2006 12:32 PM

"voluntarily, for one or two months, if presented . . . in such a way that it does it without pressure."

Oh please, don't hurt our feelings by making Castro and Chavez laugh at us!

Posted by: Alex Zeka at September 11, 2006 1:43 PM

They want to fold without being seen to fold, as do we.

Posted by: oj at September 11, 2006 2:52 PM

I always suspect that a happening like this was initiated when the Bad Guy got an anonymous photo in the mail. A satellite picture of him sitting in his back yard reading a book, clear enough so that you can read the words in the photo.

Posted by: ray at September 11, 2006 5:18 PM

I doubt if there will be a next election in Iran, and I wouldn't bet your children's future on a 10-year window to them having a nuclear bomb.

Of course, we have the means to deal with them, even if they get a bomb - we have lots more than they do, and we can deliver. They can't. But that is a much more difficult solution.

Posted by: jim hamlen at September 11, 2006 9:51 PM

Wanna bet on the election?

Our children's future isn't in the balance.

Posted by: oj at September 11, 2006 10:12 PM

I'll take that bet. At this point, I think most people in Iran would take that bet. Ahmadinejad is only leaving office one way (just like his elder, Khameini).

As long as Iran sponsors terrorist activity in Iraq, Turkey, Europe, Lebanon, and Afghanistan, there is some risk for everyone in the West, particularly if the next move in the US is to attack high-population targets (schools, malls, or hospitals). Statistically, the risk to any individual is microscopic. But across the nation, the certainty of some crazed terror attack is almost assured.

BTW, I just saw that Gulbiddin Heykmatyr was captured by US and Afghan forces, without putting up a fight. Hoo-ah!

Posted by: jim hamlen at September 11, 2006 10:40 PM

Khamenei isn't his elder but his better. Likewise, Queen Elizabeth doesn't leave office, but PMs do all the time.

Posted by: oj at September 11, 2006 11:01 PM