IRAN - The Nuclear Challenge - Tehran To Avert Showdown; Washington To Stabilise Iraq.Atomic reactors in Iran have been proposed to produce depleted uranium Depleted Uranium (DU) is uranium remaining after removal of the isotope uranium-235. It is primarily composed of the isotope uranium-238. In the past it was called by the names Q-metal, depletalloy, and D-38, but these have fallen into disuse. which, in turn, can be used to create weapons-grade plutonium. Recent revelations have increased doubts at the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency International Atomic Energy Agency: see Atomic Energy Agency, International.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
International organization officially founded in 1957 to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy. (IAEA IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency. ) about Tehran's pledge in October 2003 to make a full disclosure of its nuclear programme. There are doubts over Iran's transparency.
An announcement on April 6 by the head of Iran's Atomic Energy atomic energy: see nuclear energy. Agency, Gholamreza Aghazadeh, that the country would cease all centrifuge centrifuge (sĕn`trəfyj), device using centrifugal force to separate two or more substances of different density, e.g., two liquids or a liquid and a solid. construction activities seemed to contradict an earlier assertion that the programme had been suspended already.
Accusations have been made that Iran had moved equipment and material to new sites in order to hide continued violations of its commitments. But Iran has denied the allegations and IAEA's head, Dr. Mohammed ElBaradei, said after a visit to Tehran in April: "We haven't seen any indication, nor have we got any information, that they (Iran) have been moving enrichment activities".
His talks in Tehran had focused on two subjects: traces of undeclared enriched uranium Enriched uranium is a sample of uranium in which the percent composition of uranium-235 has been increased through the process of isotope separation. Natural uranium is 99.284% 238U isotope, with 235U only constituting about 0.711 % of its weight. discovered in Iran earlier this year, and the status of research on P-2 centrifuges (that can enrich uranium to a degree far higher than the one needed to power nuclear electricity), which had also been left out of the October declaration. Iran said the uranium had been acquired on the black market from Pakistan, an assertion that the IAEA has been investigating.
IAEA's 35-nation board of governors is due to meet in Vienna from June 14 and, among other things, is to hear a report on the level of Iran's co-operation. Already the indications are that the IAEA report will not be as favourable to Iran as Tehran wishes. The US wants to see Iran reported to the UN Security Council for what it says is a failure to uphold Tehran's commitments to transparency under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT)
officially Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
International agreement intended to prevent the spread of nuclear technology. It was signed by the U.S. (NPT NPT National Pipe Taper (pipe thread specification)
NPT Non-Proliferation Treaty
NPT Nonprofit Times
NPT Newport (Rhode Island)
NPT Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty
NPT Neath Port Talbot ) - to which Iran is a signatory and has signed a protocol allowing un-scheduled and un-fettered inspections of its sites by the IAEA.
For its part, Tehran is hoping that, while the Bush administration will be pre-occupied with an increasingly violent situation in Iraq (see Recorder) and with the Nov. 2 US presidential elections, its government will try to avert a showdown by concentrating on a new diplomacy to shore up support from France, Germany and the UK for an IAEA governing board Noun 1. governing board - a board that manages the affairs of an institution
board - a committee having supervisory powers; "the board has seven members" resolution that should give Iran more time to co-operate "fully" with the UN agency.
While this will only buy Iran more time, the Iraq angle offers Tehran a potentially strong bargaining chip bar·gain·ing chip
Something, especially an inducement or concession, used as leverage in negotiations: "A bargaining chip is ultimately worthless if you're not willing to bargain it away" relating to relating to relate prep → concernant
relating to relate prep → bezüglich +gen, mit Bezug auf +acc American efforts to develop a Shiite commonwealth in the Middle East favourable to the US. The Shiite world, now totalling about 140 million and thus accounting for a little more than 10% of the whole Muslim world, never had a better opportunity to develop its socio-economic potentials through an alliance with the US.
Iran is already playing a positive role in efforts by Iraq's mainstream Shiites to stabilise the situation in the neighbouring country, while in Saudi Arabia Americans are being targeted for attack by Sunni militants belonging to the most radical faction of the Wahhabi religious establishment.
Leaders of the mainstream Shiites in both Iran and Iraq are trying to convince the young rebel theologian of Kuwa, Muqtada Al-Sadr, to turn his armed forces into a political party and thus join a new democratic regime in Baghdad which the US is helping to establish in the coming months (see the forthcoming RIM survey of Iran).
In this particular respect, Tehran gains from a Washington realisation that most people in Iran favour the US, while most Saudis are against the Americans and support the view of Osama Bin Laden Osama bin Laden: see bin Laden, Osama. .
Formally, however, the keeps accusing Tehran - one of the three members in the Bush administration's "Axis of Evil" - of bullying European diplomats in order to relieve international pressure on Iran to co-operate more with UN nuclear weapons inspectors.
While Iran has long maintained that its nuclear facilities are purely to create energy and insists in denying that it is developing atomic weapons, the US says Tehran is trying to change the direction of IAEA's governing board through public and private intimidation which, according to Washington, suggests that Iran has something to hide.