Report: Proposed Deal With Iran Would Enable it to Develop Nuclear Weapons
The deal that the United States and the P5+1 powers are working towards would enable Iran to produce nuclear weapons only a few years after the signing of the accords, if Iran demonstrates “good behavior” during the years the agreement is in effect, Israel’s NRG reported on Monday citing The Associated Press. The report cites an official involved in the talks between the Western powers and Iran who leaked details of the agreement emerging between the two sides.
The report states that the one point of contention continuously arising in conversations is the United States’ requirement to impose conditions on Tehran to supervise its program for 20 years, in order to examine Iran’s compliance and good behavior. Iranian representatives, however, have only agreed to a decade, and according to the Western official, the parties might meet somewhere in the middle.
The source noted that one of the variations discussed in the talks is the tight and rigorous inspection of the Islamic Republic’s uranium enrichment for 10 years. If the Iranians comply with the conditions and if they demonstrate “good behavior,” then the restrictions will be removed for the last five years of the agreement – a time-frame that would allow them to develop a nuclear weapon during those years.
An Iranian official involved in the negotiations over Iran’s controversial nuclear program said that the differences of opinion on key questions are being discussed in Geneva, but that many still remain. “Gaps still remain, there are differences, and all parties are negotiating seriously and decisively, but we have yet to find solutions to these key questions,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi. He made these comments after three hours of discussions last night between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Energy Secretary Ernest Muniz, and their Iranian counterparts Mohammad Javad Zarif and Ali Akbar Salehi. Talks between the parties resumed last Friday.
Parallel negotiations took place on Sunday between Tehran’s representatives and officials from the p5+1. “Among other things, the negotiations focused on the details. In some cases, solutions were found, and now comes the time to make political decisions,” said Araghchi. He added that, “Because of this, there is even more of a need for connecting the highest levels of both sides.”
Kerry and Zarif are already well into their second day of discussions, meanwhile the clock is ticking towards the March 31 deadline to reach a framework agreement. The meeting was an attempt to clear the path for a long-term deal that would prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb in exchange for easing the international economic sanctions in place against the Islamic Republic. Iran, for its part, has constantly denied that its nuclear program has a military component.
One of the major obstacles to an agreement has been the amount of uranium Tehran will be allowed to enrich, as well as the number and type of centrifuges it will be allowed to keep.
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon commented that this proposed agreement with Iran, which would allow it the ability to develop nuclear weapons, poses “a great danger to the entire world.” He added that Iran is “currently the main reason for instability in the Middle East, sending arms to ruthless terrorist around the world, with the aim of harming Western and Israeli interests.” Therefore, Ya’alon explained, “any agreement signed between the West and this apocalyptic, messianic regime would allow Iran to become a nuclear threshold state and strengthen its ability to carry out these terrorist acts.”