Iran and the Geneva Talks
Middle East Online / Reza Esfandiari and Yousef Bozorgmehr

The Geneva talks between Iran and world powers offer the possibility of the beginning of a resolution on the subject of Iran’s nuclear program. They might succeed, but they might also run into serious difficulties. However, there are some underlying realities that cannot be negotiated away.

Iran has effectively mastered the nuclear fuel cycle from mining uranium ore through to enriching uranium hexafluoride. If Western regimes fear that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons by enriching uranium, then it’s a bit too late. The revelation of Iran’s second enrichment site near the city of Qom makes this abundantly clear: Even If Iran agrees to halt enrichment at its Natanz plant, it could simply move such work to undisclosed facilities elsewhere. The knowledge and the capability about producing and operating gas centrifuges cannot be taken away or mothballed. Moreover, Iran has in the recent past experimented with less efficient methods, such as laser enrichment, and secret sites for this are believed to still exist underground.

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