Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Return of pro-Europe Solutions?

Hamid Ahadi, Rooz Online:
This Friday, will mark the day the UN Security Council set for Iran to end its uranium enrichment program, as announced the Vienna based International Atomic Energy Agency. As it approaches, a growing number of international journalists have obtained visas to go to Iran, and Iranian officials seem to be preparing to announce their 2nd happy nuclear news (the first was the enrichment success of Iranian scientists), which according to some sources is the discovery of vast resources of uranium some where in the south of Iran. READ MORE

While the efforts of the Iranian regime during the last month to convince the powerful states of the world about its nuclear programs did not lead to a positive result from them, there is also no response to its two major announcements. Iran has informed Russian and Chinese officials that if Iran’s nuclear case is returned back to the IAEA, it would be willing to provide any assurances that it does not intend to produce nuclear weapons.

The second event is Russia’s new proposal that joint Iranian and Russian nuclear research take place on Russian soil so that Iranian scientists do not remain idle. Iran responded by saying that it is studying the proposal. With intense domestic and international diplomacy under way, the head of Iran’s State Expediency Council that is mandated to resolve differences between the executive and the legislative branches of government Hashemi Rafsanjani continues to make headlines with his efforts, and those of the former head of Iran’s national security council Hassan Rohani. Last week, he said AlBaradei is accountable to history. His agency has become active through a seminar that was organized on the nuclear issue last week. At the same time, another former member of Iran’s negotiations team, Abbas Mousavian repeated what Hassan Rohani had said earlier that the Iranian nation must be made to believe that the Europeans desire to deny Iran access to advanced technology in relation to other NPT members. He said that the lack of confidence between Iran and Europe is not confined to the nuclear issue and includes other problems too.

Such open public comments from these senior officials are indicative of the failure of the Russian card and policy, and the return of the pro-European solutions. This also signals the cooperation of government officials with technocrats tied to Hashemi Rafsanjani.

Observers attribute this joining of hands to the concerns of Iranian officials about the possible outcome of UN Security Council meeting later this week.