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Wasting time in Kazakhstan

Op-ed: During nuclear talks, Iran will likely provide 'encouraging' answers to allay Western concerns

Representatives of Iran and the six world powers are due to meet in Almaty, Kazakhstan on Friday for yet another round of foot-dragging. Why in Almaty? Israeli security officials say in jest that guests who honor the Kazakh regime with their presence get the royal treatment, including Mercedes cars and lavish hotels. Results? That's a whole other story.


Once again, officials who are participating in the summit are leaking to the press promises that this time around the Western powers will demand answers from Iran regarding its nuclear program. Should the talks fail, the officials say, Iran will be held responsible. Following the last round of talks in February, technical questions regarding Iran's nuclear program were raised. This time, senior diplomats from the six powers claim, the Iranians will have to provide answers during the summit itself.


Israel speculates that the Iranians will provide seemingly 'encouraging' answers. While Iran's envoy to the UN spoke of a positive development, and Supreme Leader Khamenei hinted that he would be willing to freeze the enrichment of uranium to a purity level of 20%, it is safe to assume that during the current round of talks the Iranians will continue to try to deceive the world powers with the aim of getting through the June elections without a hitch – and without giving the Americans and Europeans an opportunity to create a kind of 'Arab Spring' in Iran.


The West's basic demands from Iran – to dismantle the nuclear facility at Fordo or transfer all its 20%-enriched uranium out of the country – will remain up in the air and blurred in the euphoria and optimistic forecasts.


Meanwhile, the ultimatum set by Netanyahu has put Israel in a bind. The Iranians are not crossing the red line he has set - 245 kg of 20%-enriched uranium, which will allow them to produce one nuclear bomb. The Iranians produce 160 kg of 20%-enriched uranium, and the rest is converted into nuclear fuel rods for their research reactor. However, in every other field they are racing ahead: The advanced centrifuges are enriching enough 3%-5% uranium for the production of six bombs. The improvement in Iran's enrichment capability will reduce the time it takes to convert low-enriched uranium into uranium enriched to high levels of purity – on the way to a nuclear bomb.


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פרסום ראשון: 04.05.13, 13:34
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