- One Prisoner Hanged in Karaj (West of Tehran)
- Student activist Arash Mohammadi is on hunger strike
- Weekly report on Human Right Violation in Iran
- Vahid Asghari refused to appear in the court
- Akbar Amini the political activist arrested
- Behnam Ibrahimzadeh summoned to return prison
- Tehran regime will not change its way
- Rohani once approved of hiding Iran atomic work
- Israel won't accept less than total halt of Iran's nuclear enrichment
- Rowhani vows 'moderation,' but won't halt nuclear program
- Israel will do everything to prevent another Holocaust
- Iran takes key step in nuclear reactor construction
- Iran’s women discriminated against by law
- Women, Law and Sexuality in Iran
- Iranian women are second-class citizens
- Women skirt Iranian music ban with fancy dress
- Religious leaders ban 30 women from running for Iran's presidency
- Iranian cleric: Women can't be president in Iran
- Report: Iran sending 4,000 troops to aid Assad
- Syria: North Korean military 'advising Assad regime'
- Iran cuts Hamas’ funding for backing Syrian opposition
- Neighbors in Lebanese city fight Syrian proxy war
- Hezbollah takes Syria risk at Iran's behest: experts
- Iranian troops are fighting in Syria, says US
Monday 07 May 2012
NYTimes.com -- The United States injected a note of warning on Monday into the mood of optimism surrounding the recently revived talks on Iran’s contentious uranium enrichment dispute, calling on the Iranians to take “urgent, practical steps” to prove their sincerity in complying with obligations on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons. The European Union was more specific, calling on Iran to suspend the uranium enrichment, a step that Iran has said it would never take.
The American and European statements, made at an international nonproliferation conference in Vienna, may have reflected diplomatic posturing two weeks before the next planned round of negotiations with Iran on the uranium enrichment dispute, to be convened in Baghdad. But the statements also seemed to suggest that the atmosphere of good will in seeking to resolve the dispute diplomatically may have begun to fade.
Positive statements on all sides after the first round of resumed negotiations in Istanbul last month, the first such negotiations in more than a year, had helped to ease rising tensions and had diminished speculative talk of a possible military attack on Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities by Israel, which regards Iran as its most dangerous adversary.
The Iranians had publicly hinted before the talks resumed that they would be open to halting enrichment of uranium to 20 percent purity, which is a short technical step away from uranium pure enough to use in weapons, and would continue to enrich uranium at much lower purity levels needed for nuclear power generation.
But Iran has balked at requests by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations nuclear monitor, for unfettered access to military sites by its inspectors, who have questions about what they call suspect Iranian activities raised in the agency’s report on Iran last November. Multiple requests by the inspectors to visit Parchin, a military facility near Tehran that may have been the site for testing explosives that can be used in nuclear weapons triggers, have been rejected by the Iranian authorities.
Iran, a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, has repeatedly asserted that its uranium enrichment is for legal peaceful purposes, denied accusations that it is covertly working on the capability to make nuclear weapons and rejected the energy agency report as a fabrication. Iran also has defied Security Council resolutions demanding that it suspend the enrichment, and has denounced increasingly onerous American and European economic sanctions aimed at pressuring the Iranians to comply.
In a statement at the nonproliferation conference in Vienna, the United States representative, Robert A. Wood, said it had welcomed the resumption of the talks April 14 in Istanbul between Iran and the so-called P5-plus-1 powers — the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany.
However, Mr. Wood said, “ we seek a sustained process that produces concrete results, and call on Iran to take urgent, practical steps to build confidence and lead to compliance with all its international obligations.”
“We will be guided in these efforts by the step-by-step approach and the principle of reciprocity.”
Mr. Wood also criticized Iran on the inspection issue, saying the United States was “concerned that Iran has not agreed to the I.A.E.A access to all relevant sites, documents and persons necessary to resolve questions about its nuclear program, including concerns about its possible military dimensions reported by the I.A.E.A. in November 2011.”
The European Union’s representative to the talks, Gyorgyi Martin Zanathy, appeared to take a stricter line on enrichment. “Iran must suspend its enrichment activities and heavy-water related projects, including research and development,” he was quoted by Reuters as saying.
Iran’s representative to the energy agency, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, did not respond directly to the American and European statements. But at the same conference, he accused the United States, France and Britain of responsibility for the spread of nuclear weapons, saying they had repeatedly breached their commitments to the nonproliferation treaty, Iran’s PressTV news service reported.
Mr. Soltaneih also criticized the American and European cooperation with Israel, the PressTV report said, stressing that such cooperation violates treaty regulations.
Israel, which is not a signatory to the treaty, is believed to have between 75 and 200 nuclear weapons, according to the Arms Control Association, a nonpartisan group in Washington.