Kaveh L. Afrasiabi, writing in the Washington Times, makes a compelling case that the Obama administration should not be so quick to abandon the idea of a uranium enrichment swap.
Afrasiabi points out that indications from Iran are that the Islamic Republic is ready to deal.
From his piece:
Recently, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told international media that Iran is willing to accept the proposal but with the following modification: Instead of sending out 1,200 kilograms of low-enriched uranium in one go, Iran would be willing to send out 400 kilograms, initially placed under the control of the International Atomic Energy Agency on the Persian Gulf island of Kish. Upon delivery of new fuel rods from Russia and France, Iran would place a second such shipment in the IAEA’s hands.
Iran’s counterproposal has many advantages, including the fact that it meets the U.S. demands two-thirds of the way and could well set into motion a new dynamic favoring resolution of other issues on the U.S.-Iran plate. Another advantage is that by virtue of including both the U.S. and France in the deal, it breaks Russia’s monopoly on Iran’s nuclear market. Equally important is the side effect in terms of confidence-building and thus improving the overall climate between Iran and the international community.
You can read the entire article here.
— Ben Katcher