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Briefing Usa Iran

Briefing Usa Iran

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Published by Ronaldo Marques

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Published by: Ronaldo Marques on May 31, 2010
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06/05/2010

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Sent: Fri May 28 20:37:05 2010Subject: Background Briefing: Nuclear Nonproliferation Efforts with Regard to Iran and theBrazil/Turkey AgreementFor Immediate Release and PostingU.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATEOffice of the SpokesmanFor Immediate Release May 28, 20102010/698 Background Briefing Senior Administration Officials on Nuclear Nonproliferation Efforts with Regard to Iran and theBrazil/Turkey Agreement May 28, 2010Via Conference Call MR. CROWLEY: Good afternoon. Welcome to a Friday afternoon of a three-day weekend. Weappreciate you taking the time to be on the call. What we thought we’d try to accomplish here with three Senior Administration Officials is – well,number one, bring you up to date on what is happening with respect to the draft Security Councilresolution regarding Iran, where that stands and give you kind of the foundation as to why we, theUnited States, together with the P-5+1 and others, have been pushing this to put pressure on Iran toanswer the questions that the international community has about its nuclear program. Obviously, there have been a lot of questions in recent days about how the resolution fits with the proposal that was made by the Vienna Group on October 1st of last year, regarding the Tehran researchreactor. We have a Senior Administration Official who will kind of put that in context. There weresome questions raised in terms of how these things fit in with what Brazil and Turkey tried toaccomplish in their respective trips to Tehran a few days ago. We have engaged both Turkey and Brazil consistently over weeks and months on this. As we’ve said publicly, we appreciate their work on the diplomatic front to try to push Iran to be more forthcoming.Typical of this engagement, on Tuesday coming up, in addition to other bilateral meetings that theSecretary will have, she’ll once again sit down with Foreign Minister Davutoglu here in Washington onTuesday just to compare notes about where we are in this overall process. So we thought it was a goodidea here to kind of put this whole issue in context for you.  Now this will be a background call involving three Senior Administration Officials. (referencesdeleted) Let me reemphasize again, these individuals should only be identified as Senior Administration Official Number One, Two, and Three. But now you at least understand who theindividuals are who will be speaking to you this afternoon. So, we’ll let – each one of them are going to give one or two minutes of opening comments, and thenwe’ll open it up for questions. But we’ll, first of all, introduce Senior Administration Official Number 
 
One. SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Thank you. Let me briefly touch on where we are onthe resolution effort here in New York. We’ve been working with the full Council for nearly two weekson the draft resolution elements and making good progress on that. This is a priority effort for theCouncil at this point. And as you know, the reason we are doing a resolution is it’s been two yearssince the previous resolution, a year and half since the Obama Administration has come into office.And during that period, we’ve seen the following things happen: We’ve had an effort under theAdministration, from the very beginning, to engage with Iran and with our partners on the underlyingcore issue of concern, which is very important for people to keep in mind, and that has been the doubtsthat exist and the confidence needed to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program is intended exclusively for  peaceful purposes. And it’s been Iran’s inability to resolve this issue to the satisfaction of the IAEAand its Board of Governors that has led to the situation where we have five resolutions, including threesanctions resolutions, in place trying to get Iran to satisfy the needs the IAEA has to ensure that the program indeed is simply for peaceful purposes. You’ll recall that there was great interest in the U.S.engaging directly with Iran as one way to help resolve this issue. And when the Administration camein, it obviously devoted much of its first year, year and a half to pursuing engagement. We have nothad a resolution on Iran in terms of the pressure track, as I said, since 2008.The other side of the coin is throughout this period, as the Administration and our P-5+1 partners haveexplored every avenue to engage and resolve this issue diplomatically, the Iranian side has actuallycontinued with its proscribed activities. Under existing Council resolutions, they should be suspendingall enrichment activity until these questions are answered. Moreover, during this period there was therevelation of yet another clandestine enrichment facility at Qom, concealed from the IAEA and theinternational community and for which the IAEA still has not had full, unfettered access to individualsdocumentation to satisfy itself that indeed that is for purely, peaceful purposes. And we can go into, inquestions, the reasons to believe that it is not. Moreover, earlier this year, Iran announced and began enriching to 20 percent, turning the LEU intoHEU – highly enriched uranium – a challenge, again, to the nonproliferation regime that the IAEA is part of and is trying to ensure is adhered to. The Security Council’s role in this, as you know, is to try to give weight to the decisions of the IAEAand deal with this potential threat to peace and security, as represented by Iran’s continued enrichment program against a backdrop of doubt whether it is exclusively peaceful. And so two years later, it istime now, in view not only of continuing breaches of its obligations, but increased challenges to theinternational community as reflected by the revelation of a clandestine facility and by enrichment to 20 percent, for the international community to react.And this is what this resolution will do. It will reinforce the framework of the existing resolutions,which are based on a dual-track policy, that is, offer of engagement, commitment to resolve this issuediplomatically through dialogue and negotiation, but at the same time, increasing pressure on Iran toensure that it understands the costs of continued violation of its international obligations. Let me stop there, if you want to take over. MR. CROWLEY: Yes. And now, just to kind of put then the TRR proposal from last October incontext with the resolution, we’ll go to Senior Administration Official Number Two. 
 
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL TWO: Thank you. Last June, the Iranians went to theInternational Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna and said that their research reactor in Tehran – TehranResearch Reactor, TRR – was running out of fuel; could the IAEA help? The IAEA approached theUnited States and Russia, and we thought we had a win-win proposition to propose. We – it involvedtaking 1,200 kilograms of low-enriched uranium at 3.5 percent and sending it to Russia, where it would be boosted to 20 percent level needed for the fuel, sent on to France to be fabricated into fuelassemblies, and then sent to Tehran, where it would fuel this research reactor that’s used to producemedical isotopes for cancer patients in Iran. The U.S. and Russia proposed this to the IAEA. TheIAEA took it as its own proposal and proposed it to the Iranians.On October 1st, in a – in Geneva at a meeting of the five permanent members of the Security Counciland Germany, together with Iran, in a private bilateral meeting between the United States and Iran, Iranactually accepted this proposal in principle, all of the elements of it. But in the succeeding weeks, they began to pull away from their agreement in principle and came up with a range of counterproposals thatwere not acceptable to the three countries that had agreed to participate in the program, which is – which are United States, Russia, and France. And the situation remained deadlocked for quite sometime. Then Brazil and Turkey, wanting to find a way out of this impasse, have been quite activediplomatically, and finally reached agreement with the Iranians in Tehran on May 17th in their tripartite joint declaration. Now, we very much recognize the sincere efforts that were made by Brazil andTurkey – in Brazil by President Lula and Foreign Minister Amorim. But unfortunately, I think themotives of the parties were quite different. I think Brazil and Turkey were genuinely looking for a wayto make progress on the nuclear issue and to deal with this problem. I think Iran’s main interest was tohave a proposal in play that would reduce momentum toward a sanctions resolution. I think that wasthe main motivation of the Iranians. Anyway, the Iranians turned to be – turned out to be difficult negotiating partners with Brazil andTurkey. And the agreement they arrived at – this May 17th joint declaration – falls quite a bit short of the original objectives of the IAEA October TRR proposal. And I’ll just mention quickly a few of those difficulties. One of the main difficulties is that it doesnothing to address Iran’s recent decision to enrich uranium up to 20 percent. The only rationale theyhad for going to 20 percent – because they said it was necessary to provide fuel for the TRR becausethe United States, France, and Russia were not prepared to provide that fuel. But under the jointdeclaration, TRR fuel would be provided, so what’s the rationale for the 20 percent? Yet after theagreement, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said that even if the deal is – materializes, Iran will continue to enrich at the 20 percent level; which, by the way, is a big step towarda weapons-grade level of enrichment. That’s one problem. Another problem is that between September and October, when this idea was first put to Iran, and now,Iran has roughly doubled the amount of its low-enriched uranium. One of the original purposes was to build confidence for Iran to send about 80 percent of its low-enriched uranium out of the country, and itwould have taken them about a year to replenish that stock and build up to the amount of low-enricheduranium necessary for a single nuclear weapon. That would have bought a lot of time for diplomacy. Now, they’ve doubled their stock of low-enriched uranium. And even if you send 1,200 kilos out,there’s more than enough remaining to produce a nuclear bomb. So, time has overtaken the original proposal, and this has not been corrected in the joint declaration. 

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