Iran’s Foreign Minister Rejects Nuclear Deal

James Phillips /

Today Iranian Foreign Minister Manochehr Mottaki publicly rejected the U.N.-backed proposal to send about 70 percent of Iran’s known supplies of enriched uranium out of the country. Mottaki suggested that instead Iran would exchange its low-enriched uranium for an equivalent amount of slightly higher enriched uranium, but only on its own territory. This clearly would be unacceptable since it would put Iran closer, rather than slightly farther away from, acquiring sufficient quantities of enriched uranium to build a nuclear weapon, if the uranium were to be further enriched.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner recognized this reality and said that he was disappointed that “There is a clear and negative response from the Iranians.” But there has been no public reaction from the Obama Administration yet. Although the talks have focused on a side issue of what to do about Iran’s stocks of enriched uranium, even if a temporary solution was found to address this issue, Tehran adamantly rejects any halt in its uranium enrichment efforts and continues to stonewall IAEA efforts to find out more about its suspect nuclear activities. (more…)