Confidence building is needed in upcomingP5+1 - Iran talks
By Terri Lodge, American Security Project
5/21/12The most promising summit in years is scheduled to take place this week between the P5+1 andIran to discuss the enduring stalemate over the Iranian nuclear program. A number of factors
the threat of additional sanctions, a growing divide in Israel, and an Iranian willingness todiscuss ideas
are coming together in a way that indicates a successful dialogue may beachievable. This meeting has the potential to actually accomplish something tangible and finallycross the threshold from talk to action.Even agreements to discuss additional IAEA inspections or small confidence building measureswould mark a successful conference. The Iranian nuclear issue is at a point where even a smallbut concrete agreement will tip the slide and start rolling the ball forward.
Going into the summit, the list of demands from the P5+1 include the removal of Iran’s stockpile
of 20% enriched Uranium, dismantling the Fordow enrichment site, and allowing IAEAinspectors into the Parchin military facility. But to achieve these goals the United States mustallow for flexible and creative solutions that incorporate Iranian political restraints.Though Iran will probably not completely give up their civilian nuclear program, an agreementthat is acceptable to both sides and secures stability is possible.The Iranian government correctly argues that nuclear power is within their rights under theNuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and it is vital to understand that any agreement that infringesupon this right would be political suicide for the regime.Noting this, Iran must not be allowed to retain secret facilities or programs that enable it to have
a nuclear “breakthrough” capability. This means that all non
-IAEA monitored nuclear sites,especially the facilities at Parchin, must be open to inspectors. A strict monitoring andverification regime must be implemented to assure the international community that their nuclearprogram remains peaceful.This would vastly improve the transparency of the Iranian nuclear program and work to allayWestern fears of illicit weapons research. Eventually, the P5+1 can press Iran to finally ratify theAdditional Protocol, but an ins
pections agreement and unfettered access to all of Iran’s sites
must be set as a baseline for future assurances.