Nuclear Abolition News | IDN
By Fareed Mahdy
ISTANBUL (IDN) – The five largest nuclear powers (USA, UK. France, Russia, and China) are set to impose tougher sanctions against non-nuclear Iran, while reminding the other two non-atomic states such as Turkey and Brazil, that only they can decide how and when to solve (or not) their purposely escalated conflict with Iran.
In line with that, and in a decision clearly taken beforehand, the five permanent Security Council powers reached on May 19, 2010 a deal on a new set of tougher sanctions against Tehran.
The decision was announced only few hours after Iran agreed to deliver to Turkey its low-enriched uranium and to receive, in exchange, nuclear fuel for its plants within one year.
According to the terms of the agreement, the entire exchange process is to be carried out under the direct, strict supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Moreover, the agreement (strongly sponsored and brokered by Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan), establishes that Iran would use the nuclear fuel rods for its Tehran medical research reactor – therefore for peaceful purposes.
In a clear signal of disdain for the two non-nuclear emerging powers – Brazil and Turkey – as well as for Tehrans signs of engagement, the five largest nuclear powers new sanctions package was immediately forwarded to the Security Councils 10 non-permanent member-states.
DONT BOTHER, WE DECIDE
But without waiting for the decision of the Councils non-permanent members, the U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton announced that the five veto-holders have already agreed on that package.
With their quick, intransigent position, the five major nuclear powers appear to be sending a strong message to the international community that they, and only they, are entitled to decide on what is to be done and what not.
For instance, these very same powers have not uttered a single word about nuclear North Korea.
Nor have they ever shown wagged with a stick when it came to Israeli nuclear warheads, not even in the face of Tel Aviv systematically refusing to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Meanwhile, during the United Nations NPT Review conference (May 3-28), the five major nuclear powers do not seem to be ready to fulfil their 1995 agreement to declare the Middle East a nuclear-free zone. That would imply eliminating the nuclear weapons of the only state in the region that possess them – Israel.
Instead, they decided over a year ago to allow India to trade with nuclear materials, in an open violation of the NPT provisions.
THE EXCHANGE DEAL
The nuclear exchange agreement signed by Iran, Turkey and Brazil on May 17, 2010 is set to enter into force as from coming June.
The deal is aimed at dissipating Western concerns over Irans nuclear programme, and launch a new round of negotiations while smoothing Western anxiety for escalating the standoff with new sanctions.
In fact, after the deals announcement, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called on the permanent members of the UN Security Council, as well as Germany, to relaunch dialogue over Irans nuclear programme.
It is time for the 5+1 countries to enter talks with Iran based on honesty, justice and mutual respect, said Ahmadinejad.
The 5+1 group is formed by the five permanent members of UN Security Council, plus Germany.
For his part, Turkeys foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu said there was no longer any justification for more UN sanctions against Iran.
The swap deal, signed by Iran today (May 18), shows that Tehran wants to open a constructive path ... There is no more ground for new sanctions and pressures, said the Turkish foreign minister.
Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organisation and Irans vice-president, criticised the U.S. decision to submit the new sanctions package to the Security Council. They (Western powers) invalidate themselves in the view of public opinion by issuing sanctions, Salehi said.
They feel that for the first time in the world, developing countries are able to defend their rights in the world arena without resorting to the major powers and that is very hard for them.
BUT THEY HAD WELCOMED IT
The current Tehran exchange deal concludes a long process of intensive consultations launched last November by the then IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei.
In fact, given Tehrans reluctance to accept the Western proposal that it deliver its low-uranium to them, El Baradei suggested on Nov 8, 2009 that Turkey should act as a third-country destination.
Ankara announced its readiness to accept the deal. In fact, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Burak Özügergin said on Nov 12 that ElBaradei had talked on this issue with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
He added that Davutoglu reported on these talks during a meeting between President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, which took place in Istanbul on the occasion of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference summit on Nov 8.
ElBaradei and Davutoglu had a comprehensive exchange of views, according to Ozugergin, who stressed that the IAEA chief explained some technical details in his phone conversation with Turkish Foreign minister Davutoglu.
Davutoglu confirmed that ElBaradei’s proposal to send Iranian low-enriched uranium to Turkey was discussed with Ahmadinejad and Mottaki. “We are in a very constructive position with both the IAEA and Iran,” he commented.
Ankara’s readiness to contribute to solving the nuclear standoff between Western powers and Iran was further confirmed on Nov 13 by Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz. There is no problem from the side of Turkey with Iran storing its low-grade uranium in Turkey,” Yildiz told reporters.
ElBaradei proposal was very much in line with the exchange deal now sealed by Iran, Turkey and Brazil, which was duly welcomed by the same powers now rejecting it.
In fact, the U.S. reacted positively to IAEA proposal to send its uranium to Turkey.
“We support the proposal as the IAEA has presented it,” State Department spokesperson Ian Kelly told reporters.
We are still waiting for a formal reply to it. And of course, we hope that Iran will make the right choice and accept the proposal,” he said.
However, the State Department spokesperson added: “We will consult on next steps if Iran ultimately decides to not take this opportunity.
For its part, Russian Foreign Ministry announced Moscow’s support for El Baradeis proposal.
European powers did not reject this settlement but rather welcomed it. Everybody seemed to accept ElBaradeis proposal, which was in line with the deal now sealed by Iran, Turkey and Brazil. Why new sanctions then? (IDN-InDepthNews/20.05.2010)
Copyright © 2010 IDN-InDepthNews | Analysis That Matters
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