Can Iran’s Counter-ultimatum Be Successful?

18 January 2010 | 19:11 Code : 6649 General category
By Seyyed Jalal Sadatian, foreign affairs analyst
Can Iran’s Counter-ultimatum Be Successful?
Tuesday, fifth of July 2010, Tehran Times quoted Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki as saying that: “West should decide whether it wants to sell nuclear fuel to Iran or swap 20 percent nuclear fuel for Iran’s low-enriched uranium”. According to the daily newspaper, Mottaki has added that: “The international community has only one more month to make a decision. Otherwise, Tehran will enrich uranium to the higher purity needed for the fuel”.

Commentary by Seyyed Jalal Sadatian, foreign affairs analyst:

The deadline by Western powers and IAEA for Iran to accept their uranium swap proposal followed a rationale, that is, it was imposed after a series of negotiations, the most important of which took place in Geneva and Vienna. On the other hand, Iran has unexpectedly decided to offer a ‘counter-ultimatum’, setting a one-month deadline for West and International Atomic Energy Agency to provide it with the fuel needed for Tehran’s medical reactor. It is not clear yet how parties to the negotiations will react to Iran’s demand, since no official remarks have been made so far.

Nevertheless, it seems fairly unlikely that Western powers meet the demand. Their silence may have brought the idea to the mind of Iranian statesmen that the counter-ultimatum has been accepted, but let’s not forget that it is time for New Year holidays and state affairs in Christian countries are in hibernation. If Iran wants to know the real response of Western powers, it should wait until the holidays end.

West agrees to Iran’s proposals only if they set forth some feasible, efficient solution to the nuclear impasse and lay the ground for interaction further action. With this in mind, Iran’s ultimatum is definitely not of that type. The latest proposal brought forward by Iran and rejected by West was low-enriched uranium swap in Kish Island. No other proposals have been put forward since then. What came out was only a one-month ultimatum for West to supply the 20% enriched fuel needed for Tehran’s research reactor.

For now, West seems to pursue its habitual mechanism, relying on IAEA resolutions to issue another sanction resolution against Iran in the UN Security Council. West will follow the policy of increased pressure and sanction and Iran’s ultimatum does not seem to be able to redirect this procedure.

Your Comment :