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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

Aug 04th
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Extremism In Lebanon arrow The coming days: The week ahead
The coming days: The week ahead PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Economist print edition   
Sunday, 27 July 2008


IRAN is due to respond by Saturday August 2nd to international calls for the country to limit its nuclear activities or face further sanctions. Officials from the European Union, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the United States set a two-week deadline when they met Tehran's chief nuclear-negotiator on July 19th. They offered a package of trade, economic and security incentives if Iran were to halt uranium enrichment, which could be used to develop a nuclear bomb. Iran maintains that its nuclear programmes are for civilian use and is expected to reject the offer.

Iran and America

A surprising move

Jul 17th 2008
From The Economist print edition

Why America is sending a top man to talk directly to the Iranians

WHEN William Burns, a top American diplomat, sits down with five colleagues from Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia in Geneva and the EU’s Javier Solana on July 19th to hear Iran’s response to their latest offer of talks to end its nuclear defiance, it will be a double first. The first time America has fielded so senior an official for direct talks with Iran on nuclear matters (though lower-ranking ones have talked about Iraq, and America is musing about sending a couple of diplomats back to Tehran after an absence of 30 years). And the first time Iran has not simply backed away at such a revolutionary prospect.

Whether it will lead on to what America and the other five hope—a six-week freeze on further expansion of Iran’s uranium-enrichment effort and on further UN sanctions, followed by enrichment suspension and negotiations on a clutch of incentives to end the work altogether—is anyone’s guess. Iran’s fiery president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, says that the uranium work will go on. So long as America understands that, he says, talks can go ahead on an “equal footing”.

So why is Mr Burns showing up at all? His boss, Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, has offered direct talks with Iran any time, anywhere. Her boss, George Bush, still says Iran must first suspend its uranium and plutonium activity as the UN has demanded. Iran claims to have no other nuclear purpose than to fuel reactors to make electricity. Others suspect the real aim is to acquire enough fissile material to build a bomb.

Mr Bush has six months left to end the world’s most dangerous nuclear conundrum. Iran is under pressure too. Its multiple rocket tests this month were no doubt in part a response to reports that Israel’s fighter-bombers had rehearsed mid-air refuelling for long-distance action. Meanwhile the latest offer from the six for expanded political, trade and security ties, as well as help with advanced but less dangerous nuclear technologies, may have stirred debate in Iran: some officials have signalled a readiness to explore possibilities; others still balk.

Iran had been hoping that international inspectors would by now have closed the book on its nuclear activities, but new intelligence about past weapons-related work has sharpened their questions. It may still be tempted to drag its feet and see what the next American president will do. Having Mr Burns in Geneva, it is hoped, will underline the seriousness of the offer to negotiate, but also Iran’s need to choose.




Iranian Nuclear Facilities


Iran Nuclear Threat to Israel - Update Feb 15, 2008



Iranian Threat 1


Iranian Threat 2

Last Updated ( Sunday, 27 July 2008 )
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