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Le Figaro, France

Tehran Blows a Golden Opportunity - Again


"The international community offered to overlook Iranís past concealment of its nuclear program and well-publicized enrichment activities. Ö it has proven its inability to grab hold of the hand that was extended to it."


By Pierre Rousselin



Translated By Juliet Fox


October 23, 2009


France - Le Figaro - Original Article (French)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Secretary of State Clinton in Moscow, October 13. It seems that the Russians aren't yet on board for increased sanctions on Tehran.


BBC NEWS VIDEO: After talks with Hillary Clinton, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says pressuring Iran and threatening more sanctions over its nuclear program would be counter-productive, Oct. 16, 00:02:09 RealVideo

"Iran never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity."


The above formulation, by former Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban, was first applied to the Palestinians [Arabs, actually], but it perfectly suits the mullah regime's obstinate refusal to find an honorable solution to the Iranian nuclear question.


It was a golden opportunity that was offered Tehran, an offer that had been negotiated in secret since June among the United States, Russia and the IAEA - the U.N. agency charged with regulating access to nuclear power.


The offer involved recovering 75 percent of Iran's stockpile of low-enriched uranium - processed illegally - for further enrichment in Russia and additional refining in France so that it may be used as fuel - legally - in Tehranís research reactor. The fuel would be provided for medical use, and could not be used for military purposes.


Thus, the international community offered to overlook Iranís past concealment of its nuclear program and well-publicized enrichment activities - a program that the world had unsuccessfully attempted to suspend if not halt for over seven years. The great advantage of deal was that it would have effectively delayed Iranís capacity to obtain nuclear weapons by several years.


The Islamic Republic responded with a veritable snub. Iran's uranium enrichment would continue. In defiance of several U.N. Security Council resolutions, the mullahs assert that they prefer to keep the uranium they've already enriched and buy whatever other materials they need to fuel their experimental reactor.


The Iranian counter-offer seeks, once again, to buy time. This is obviously unacceptable. But it wonít be the end of the story. The discussions have gone too far to give up now; Barack Obama is in dire need of a diplomatic success.††



Israeli-American aerial drills, called Juniper Cobra, show that the military option is still on the table, just as are tougher sanctions. Everyone knows that talks will move forward only if the pressure on Tehran is maintained. Only one thing has changed: Iran has proven its inability to grab hold of the hand that was extended to it.




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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US November 1, 12:46am]



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