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Entries in Uranium Enrichment (51)


Iran Live: Today's Nuclear Scare Story

0955 GMT: Political Prisoners Write Khatami

A group of political prisoners has written former President Mohammad Khatami, urging him to make release of all political detainees a condition of his participation in June's Presidential election.

Before the 2012 Pariamentary elections, Khatami said that freedom for political prisoners was a condition for involvement; however, he relented on polling day to the extent of casting a ballot.

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Iran Special: The Stalled Nuclear Talks --- Why Tehran Cannot Give Up Its Right to Enrichment

Funeral of assassinated nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, 13 January 2012

Iran's stance that its people have the right to enrich uranium has become more than a negotiating position. It is an important element of the Islamic Republic's identity and an issue of national pride. A central symbol of the struggle against the US and the West, the dedication to that right is beyond the black-and-white narrative of "the West says Iran is building a bomb, Tehran says it isn't".

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Iran Live: Decoding the Signals from the Nuclear Talks

Iran Snap Analysis: No Advance in the Nuclear Talks on Friday
Friday's Iran Live: Nuclear Talks Resume in Kazakhstan

1942 GMT: Nuclear Watch. The American attempt to put the spin on the outcome of the nuclear talks has now emerged.

A "senior U.S. official" told reporters that, despite the failure to make any advance, there was no breakdown in nuclear negotiations and that diplomacy would continue.

The official said Iran could be subjected to more economic sanctions in the future, as Western governments seek to step up pressure, but he also claimed that there were some positive signs in the two sets of Almaty discussions in February and April: "Our exchanges were more natural and free-flowing than they had been in the past talks."

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Iran Feature: Talking Tough --- How the US and Tehran Mirror Each Other's Rhetoric

General Michael HaydenBoth sides believe that getting the other to make those concessions over the nuclear issue would be a major psychological blow --- perhaps even a defeat --- in the struggle for regional power. Both believe that such concessions --- Washington admitting Tehran's "right to enrich" or the polar opposite, Tehran giving up that --- would signal fundamental weakness in its rival.

At the level of this week's talks, those hopes and fears are being put diplomatically. Beyond the talks, in the chattering cauldron of Washington, some are blunter.

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Iran Feature: The Olympic Medals for Worst Nuclear Commentary

Gold medallist Ray Takeyh, of the Council on Foreign Relations, describes his winning column

It's here! With talks between Iran and world powers set to resume in Kazakhstan on Friday, we have been deafened by a cacophony of furious typing --- the sound of reporters and analysts let loose a tsunami of Scary Headlines, such as Talks Will Not Work, or Iran Has New Evil Centrifuge Cascades In Hidden Underground Plants, and Iran Is Already A Nuclear Power, Anyway.

With so much sloppy reporting to choose from, it is hard to know where to start. So we have narrowed the playing field down to the very best (well, actually, the very worst), presenting the Olympic medals of bad Iran nuclear reporting. Rubin puffs: "The Wall Street Journal reports that Iran has already gamed its program so as to avoid Israel’s 'red line' [of militarised nuclear capability] but for all intents and purposes, [it has] become a nuclear weapons-ready power."

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Iran Analysis: Reading the Lack of Progress at This Week's Nuclear Talks

Why is Iran choosing to give a message this way --- through an unnamed source --- rather than criticising the West's proposals more directly via named officials speaking to State media?

The answer is likely because Iran at this stage is seeking only to test the waters before the more serious resumption of negotiations in Almaty next month.

If the West does not budge on its proposals, we are likely to see a stronger, official response from Iran at that stage.

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Iran Analysis: Tehran's Signals on Nuclear Talks --- We Will Negotiate, But We Can Be Tough Just Like the US

On Thursday, going beyond simple headlines in the Western press that the Supreme Leader had "condemned" or "slammed" the US over the nuclear issue --- we assessed the signals in Ayatollah Khamenei's statement.

We argued that the Supreme Leader was talking tough, calling on the West to prove its "honesty" in the next high-level talks in April. In particular, Ayatollah Khamenei was signalling that the US and European countries must acknowledge the Islamic Republic's sovereignty to enrich uranium --- before Iran made any commitment to suspend enrichment of 20% uranium and limit activities to 5% fuel.

We also noted,"Western media coverage...does not consider the possibility that Ayatollah Khamenei might be responding to American declarations in the last 72 hours condemning and 'slamming' Iran."

Ayatollah Khamenei's line --- we are taking a firm negotiating position, but we are pursuing technical talks next week and then the high-level discussions next month --- is reflected by Iranian officials and media this morning.

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Iran Analysis: What Tehran's Nuclear Negotiator Actually Said About the Talks (Paraszczuk)

On Wednesday, a press conference by Iran's chief negotiator Saeed Jalili set much of the tone of Western coverage of the two-day nuclear talks between the Islamic Republic and the 5+1 Powers (US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China). In particular, the accounts, emphasising Jalili's presentation of "positive" discussions, pointed to a breakthrough on issues that had stalemated negotiations for months.

While this was part of Jaili's statement, he offered much more than this. Indeed, "positive" has to be put in the context of clear cautions from Jalili, the Secretary of the National Security Council, that the US and Europe will have to put more on the table regarding Iran's right to enrichment, guarantee of a supply fo 20% uranium, and sanctions relief.

Joanna Paraszczuk translates key extracts from the press conference and offers an annotated analysis:...

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Iran Analysis: 7 Things We Know --- And Do Not Know --- About the Nuclear Talks

Catherine Ashton, lead negotiator for the 5+1 Powers, and Iranian counterpart Saeed Jalili


Whatever the questions that follow in the rest of this analysis, whatever the cautions, this is the "positive" development that Iran's chief negotiator Saeed Jalili highlighted and that Western media are emphasising.

I did not expect the 5+1 Powers and Iran to schedule another round of discussions before Tehran's Presidential elections in June. I did not expect enough of a shift by the US and European countries in their demands --- or, alternatively, unilateral concessions by Iran --- to make these more than "holding" talks to stave off consideration of a military option against the Islamic Republic.

To my surprise, there was enough movement to justify not only investment in technical talks in Istanbul on 17-18 March but also the declaration of a high-level gathering on 5 April.


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Iran Live Coverage: The Latest Report on Tehran's Nuclear Programme

See also Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- Threatened Journalists, Tehran Claims the South Pole, and the End of Olympic Wrestling
EA Video Analysis: Iran --- 7-Point Beginner's Guide to the Nuclear Talks
Thursday's Iran Live Coverage: A New --- and Genuine --- Offer in the Nuclear Talks?

1255 GMT:Nuclear Watch. Mehr News reports that the "largest nuclear medicine center" has opened in southeast Iran, as well as a Center for Digital Radiology in Yazd.

The new Digital Radiology Centre, in the Shahid Sadoughi Hospital, is named for Shahid Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, the nuclear scientist killed in a Tehran bomb blast in January 2012, Mehr said.

The story of progress in technology and health care is a good-news tale amid the difficulties of Iran's health-care system in providing necessary treatment, medicines, and medical supplies.

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