July 17, 2007


Brave new world of Iranian nuclear cooperation (Kaveh L Afrasiabi, 7/18/07, Asia Times)

Iran's objective of getting its nuclear dossier out of the hands of the United Nations Security Council and back to its "proper forum", the International Atomic Energy Agency, was leapfrogged last week by the IAEA's high-level visit to Iran that culminated in a "serious and substantial" agreement heralding a new level of Iran-IAEA cooperation.

Heinonen, said that Iran agreed on four or five steps. "If the cooperation continues like this, we hope that the problems will be solved, not now but in a reasonable future," Heinonen has been quoted as saying.

If all goes as planned, Iran and the IAEA will draw up a plan of action within the next 60 days to resolve all the "outstanding issues", which include "information relevant to the assembly of centrifuges, the manufacture of centrifuge components ... and research and development of centrifuges or enrichment techniques".

In addition, Iran has agreed to the IAEA's inspection of the heavy-water reactor under construction in Arak, as well as to short-notice inspection of the uranium-enrichment facility in Natanz - "beyond the provisions of its agreement with the IAEA", according to Iran's envoy to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh. He was quick to add that IAEA cameras are in place in Natanz, that regular IAEA inspections have been taking place in accordance with Iran's arrangements with the agency, and that Heinonen has stated on record that the IAEA "has no concern about diversion at Natanz".

Economic growth is needed to save the Republic, not nukes.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 17, 2007 6:44 AM

To save the Republic? Oh, so that's what you think they're trying to do....

(Makes things a bit clearer.)

Posted by: Barry Meislin at July 17, 2007 6:53 AM

IAEA has shown itself to be toothless. More posturing/delaying by Iran to keep the US and others at bay.

Posted by: AWW at July 17, 2007 7:09 AM

AWW: It's worked for the North Koreans for years.

Posted by: Bartman at July 17, 2007 8:50 AM

It is far more likely that Iran is doing a nuclear double shuffle than they have suddenly decided to become compliant with the IAEA.

Just like their relationship with Al Qaeda -


They canoodle when it suits them. And right now, it suits them very well.

Posted by: ratbert at July 17, 2007 9:44 AM

Sorry - that shoud be:


Posted by: ratbert at July 17, 2007 9:46 AM

Their relationship with al Qaeda is the same as Saddam's was, a figment of neocon imagination.

Posted by: oj at July 17, 2007 11:58 AM

All Khamenei cares about is preserving the Republic, that's why he's pushed for the moderates and is dumping the mistake, Mahmoud, overboard..

Posted by: oj at July 17, 2007 12:01 PM

He's taking an awful long time to push Mahmoud overboard. So how long before he goes kerplunk?

Posted by: Etal at July 17, 2007 12:57 PM

Any 'moderate' worth his salt isn't going to preserve much about the current Iranian 'government'. Too many gangs and too much hate.

Mahmoud only apes what he has heard from the clerics since probably 1976. If Khameini doesn't like it, well - he hasn't far to look to find the source. But he won't dump Mahmoud - he isn't strong enough. When Ahmadinejad begins to resemble Mugabe, maybe then. But Khameini may not be among the living by then. The night of the long knives is yet to come.

For the sake of the Iranian people, we can hope that a moderate with lots of strength, guts, guns, and wisdom fools everyone and wins the next election. The status quo is not acceptable.

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 17, 2007 5:49 PM

It's a democracy. It takes until the next election, though that could be moved up.

Posted by: oj at July 17, 2007 5:55 PM

When Khameini got allies into office they backburnered the security nonsense. The next President will too.

Posted by: oj at July 17, 2007 7:25 PM

Back-burnered? Khatami didn't talk much about destroying Israel or put on nuclear fan dances, but the programs certainly weren't on hiatus while he was in office. And he has issued his share of anti-Semitic rhetoric over the years.

Will the next President stop the $200 million a year subsidy for Hezbollah? Will the next President reverse course and stop funding terror groups in Gaza? Will the next President shut down the Quds force? Will the next President denounce anti-Semitism and the worst gangs in Iran today? Of course not.

Posted by: ratbert at July 18, 2007 12:34 AM

Why would they stop supporting Hezbollah? We ought to support them. They're right.

Posted by: oj at July 18, 2007 5:11 AM