US: Iran’s Current Uranium Enrichment Should Be “Acceptable”

US: Iran’s Current Uranium Enrichment Should Be “Acceptable”
Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:21:42

The United States said on Tuesday that although Iran and the world powers found answers for key answers during nuclear talks, Tehran still has to convince the world that its current ability to enrich uranium is “acceptable.”

After months of intense negotiations the two sides have "identified potential answers to some key questions," Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said in a speech at an award-giving ceremony at Georgetown University.

But "we remain far apart on other core issues, including the size and scope of Iran's uranium enrichment capacity," she noted.Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman

As Iran and world powers prepare for new talks starting on Thursday in New York, Sherman said she expected the Islamic Republic "will try to convince the world that on this pivotal matter, the status quo ... should be acceptable."

"It is not," Sherman stressed, as she was given a top award for distinction in the conduct of diplomacy.
"If it were, we wouldn't be involved in this difficult and very painstaking negotiation."

Last November, Tehran and the six countries signed an interim deal in Geneva, which took effect on January 20 and expired six months later. In July, Iran and the six countries agreed to extend negotiations until November 24 this year after they failed to reach common ground on a number of key issues.

Under the interim deal, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear work in return for some relief from Western sanctions.

"The world will agree to suspend and lift sanctions only if Iran takes convincing and verifiable steps to show that its nuclear program is and will remain entirely peaceful,” Sherman added.

Iran repeatedly confirms its program is for peaceful ends only insisting that is its right under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) while Israel, which is believed to be the sole nuclear power in the Middle East with more than 200 nuclear heads, is not a signatory for this treaty. 

"We must be confident that any effort by Tehran to break out of its obligations will be so visible and time-consuming that the attempt would have no chance of success," US Under Secretary of State stated.

Sherman insisted the ideas that the US and its allies have put forward in the hopes of reaching a deal by a November 24 deadline were "fair, flexible and consistent with Iran's civilian nuclear needs and scientific knowhow."

The talks in New York will be at the level of political directors. But foreign ministers from Iran and the six powers -- present in New York for the UN General Assembly -- will likely also meet sometime next week.