Thursday, October 22, 2009

I.R. Iran Nuclear Deal Shows Int'l Pressure Works

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The Jerusalem Post & The Associated Press

Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilna'i on Wednesday expressed satisfaction over a draft deal struck between Iran and the US, Russia and France, which would delay Teheran's ability to make nuclear weapons by sending most of its existing enriched uranium to Russia for processing. "It shows that the international pressure is working, but it must continue so that Teheran will not have an [atomic] bomb," Vilna'i told Army Radio." Meanwhile, Channel 10 quoted security officials as saying that while the Iranian threat was by no means over, the deal would delay Iran's nuclear weapons program by a year. David Albright of the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security, which has tracked Iran for signs of covert proliferation, said any deal would buy only a limited amount of time. He said Teheran could replace 2,600 pounds (1,200 kilograms) of low-enriched uranium "in little over a year." In Washington, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Iran must act fast to implement the agreement. She said a "constructive beginning" had been made in the talks, but that it needed " be followed by constructive actions."

"In particular, prompt action is needed on implementing the plan to use Iran's own low enriched uranium to refuel the Teheran research reactor which is used to produce medical isotopes," she said in a speech to the United States Institute of Peace think tank. "If Iran is serious about taking practical steps to address the international community's deep concerns about its nuclear program, we will continue to engage, both multilaterally and bilaterally, to discuss the full range of issues that have divided Iran and the United States for too long," added the secretary of state. "The door is open to a better future for Iran, but the process of engagement cannot be open-ended. We are not prepared to talk just for the sake of talking."