Kamis, 24 Mei 2012

IAEA chief says nears deal with Iran ahead of 6-power talks...>> ... White House press secretary Jay Carney called the move "a step in the right direction" but stressed Washington wanted to see verifiable movement by Tehran. "We will make judgments about Iran's behavior based on actions, not just promises or agreements," he told a news briefing, adding that Washington "will continue to pressure Iran, continue to move forward with the sanctions.">>... IAEA chief says close to deal with Iran..>>... The U.N. nuclear watchdog director said on Tuesday he expected to sign a deal with Iran soon to unblock an investigation into suspected work on atom bombs, potentially brightening prospects for big-power talks with Tehran to stop a drift toward conflict. Yukiya Amano was summarizing the outcome of rare talks he conducted in Tehran on Monday, two days before six powers meet Iran's security council chief in Baghdad to test Iranian willingness to curb its nuclear program in a transparent way.>>>


IAEA chief says close to deal with Iran

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano briefs the media after his trip to Tehran upon his arrival at the international airport in Vienna May 22, 2012. REUTERS-Leonhard Foeger

VIENNA | Tue May 22, 2012 11:06am EDT
(Reuters) - The U.N. nuclear watchdog director said on Tuesday he expected to sign a deal with Iran soon to unblock an investigation into suspected work on atom bombs, potentially brightening prospects for big-power talks with Tehran to stop a drift toward conflict.
Yukiya Amano was summarizing the outcome of rare talks he conducted in Tehran on Monday, two days before six powers meet Iran's security council chief in Baghdad to test Iranian willingness to curb its nuclear program in a transparent way.
Amano, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said his wish for access to Iran's Parchin military complex where nuclear weapons-relevant tests may have occurred would be addressed as part of the accord.
But the powers will be wary of past failures to carry out extra inspection deals between the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran, and Western patience is wearing thin.
European sanctions to block Iran's economically vital oil exports are to take force in July and Israel has mooted military action. A defiant Iran, which denies any ambition to acquire atom bombs, has threatened reprisals and oil prices have risen on fear of a new Middle East war hitting a wobbly world economy.
Amano acknowledged that "some differences" remained before the deal he hashed out on his first visit to Tehran could be sealed, although chief Iranian negotiator Saeed Jalili had assured him these would not thwart agreement.
"The decision was made to conclude and sign the agreement ... At this stage, I can say it will be signed quite soon," Amano told reporters at Vienna airport on his return from the Iranian capital.
The veteran Japanese diplomat, who flew impromptu to Tehran capitalize on progress in talks with Iran in Vienna held by senior aides, described the outcome of his meetings in Iran as an "important development".
"We understood each other's position better."
Asked what differences persisted, Amano said only that they were "details of discussions on this document," adding it was "almost a clean text."
WARINESS
Driving home Western skepticism rooted in the checkered history of IAEA transparency deals with Iran, the acting U.S. ambassador to the agency urged the Islamic Republic to open up immediately and meaningfully to inspectors.
"While we appreciate the efforts (by the IAEA) to conclude a substantive agreement, we remain concerned by the urgent obligation for Iran to ... cooperate fully with the verification efforts of the IAEA ... to resolve all outstanding concerns about the nature of its nuclear program," Robert Wood said.
Israel greeted word of a incipient IAEA-Iran pact with suspicion, citing an Iranian track record of evading and restricting inspections aimed at ensuring no military diversions of nuclear activity.
"Iran has proven over the years its lack of credibility, its dishonesty -- telling the truth is not its strong side -- and therefore we have to be suspicious of them all the time, and examine the agreement that is being formulated," Civil Defense Minister Matan Vilnai said on Israel Radio.
Asked whether last-resort air strikes on Iran were still conceivable with apparent headway being made on the diplomatic track, Vilnai replied: "One shouldn't get confused for even a moment -- everything is on the table."
Iran has for four years stonewalled IAEA requests to examine sites, especially the Parchin site southeast of Tehran, interview senior nuclear scientists and peruse documents to verify Western intelligence reports about Iranian research and experiments pertinent to manufacturing nuclear explosives.
Western diplomats accredited to the IAEA said that whether concerns about Iran's nuclear intentions would be allayed by the deal would depend on how it was applied on the ground.
"There is skepticism until this is signed and then, once it is signed, there will be skepticism until it is implemented," a official from one Western power in Vienna told Reuters.
HIGH-STAKES BAGHDAD NEGOTIATIONS
In Baghdad, Jalili - the personal representative of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei - will meet Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief heading a coalition of the five U.N. Security Council permanent members - the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China - plus Germany.
Their main goal is expected to be an Iranian agreement to shut down the higher-grade uranium enrichment that it launched in 2010 and has since expanded in an underground plant at Fordow largely impervious to attack from the air, shortening the time needed to weaponries nuclear technology.
"Cooperation with the IAEA like access to Parchin is important but not sufficient. The 20 percent enrichment has to be addressed as a priority," a European diplomat said.
Iran maintains that it needs uranium refined to a fissile concentration of 20 percent for its medical isotope reactor. Enrichment to 5 percent of fissile purity is suitable for power plant fuel, while 90 percent constitutes fuel for bombs.
Iranian state television quoted Amano as saying that his talks would have a "positive impact" on the Baghdad meeting.
But diverging agendas stand in the way of a breakthrough.
Iran has suggested it will try to leverage its reported rapprochement with the IAEA into a deal in Baghdad to relax sanctions inflicting increasing damage to its economy. But Western officials ruled out such a weighty concession so soon.
"We are not going to do anything concrete in exchange for nice words," a senior Western diplomat cautioned.
Ali Larijani, Iran's influential parliament speaker, warned the West on Tuesday not to play "political games" in Baghdad based on "misconceptions" that Iran is after nuclear power to menace neighbors and dominate the Middle East.
"This cannot go on like this. We will definitely find a solution (to the dispute) if they want to see that happen," he was quoted by Iranian state Press TV as telling reporters.
Iran insists it wants nuclear energy only for electricity generation and medical treatments, but has long defied U.N. resolutions calling for a confidence-building suspension of uranium enrichment and unfettered IAEA access.
Another senior Western diplomat said Amano's unusual mission to Tehran had put the onus on the Iranians to clinch the deal.
"The fact that he said he is confident that the agreement may be signed soon may also mean that if everything goes wrong, and the remaining differences are not overcome, the blame will be squarely on the Iranian side," the diplomat said.
Cranking up pressure on Iran, the U.S. Senate on Monday extended sanctions on its oil sector to cover dealings with the National Iranian Oil Co and National Iranian Tanker Co to close a potential loophole that could have allowed Tehran to continue selling some of its petroleum using its own fleet.
U.S. analyst Graham Allison said Iran had been "cautiously, but steadily, putting in place all the elements it needs to construct a nuclear weapon in short order", but so far astutely stopped short of a decision to do so.
"Any scenario that requires months between tripping the IAEA's alarm and testing a bomb would mean taking a huge risk of being attacked, something Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has so far assiduously avoided," Allison, director of Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, said in an article for the Scientific American.As if the diplomatic challenges in Baghdad were not daunting enough, the weather threatened to play havoc with the talks.As delegations prepared to head for Iraq, Baghdad airport was closed on Tuesday after a sandstorm blanketed the Iraqi capital in choking dust, reducing visibility and grounding flights from neighboring Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.Iraq's transport ministry said the sandstorm could last through Friday, risking further disruptions to air traffic.Jalili arrived on Monday night in Baghdad while Western delegations were scheduled to arrive on Wednesday morning.
(Additional reporting by Marcus George in Dubai, Roberta Rampton in Washington, Maayan Lubellin Jerusalem, Justyna Pawlak in Baghdad; Writing by Mark Heinrich; Editing by Ralph Boulton)

WRAPUP 6-IAEA chief says nears deal with Iran ahead of 6-power talks


Tue May 22, 2012 5:10pm EDT
* Progress by Amano may boost big power talks
* Powers aim to stop Iran's higher-grade uranium enrichment
Iran reports nuclear advance to boost bargaining power (Adds White House reaction)
By Fredrik Dahl
VIENNA, May 22 (Reuters) - The U.N. nuclear watchdog director said on Tuesday he expected to sign a deal with Iran soon to unblock an investigation into suspected work on atom bombs, potentially brightening prospects for big-power talks with Tehran to stop a drift toward conflict.
Yukiya Amano was summarizing the outcome of rare talks he conducted in Tehran on Monday, two days before six powers meet Iran's security council chief in Baghdad to test Iranian willingness to curb its nuclear program in a transparent way.
Amano, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said his wish for access to Iran's Parchin military complex where nuclear weapons-relevant tests may have occurred would be addressed as part of the accord.
But the powers will be wary of past failures to carry out extra inspection deals between the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran, and Western patience is wearing thin.
White House press secretary Jay Carney called the move "a step in the right direction" but stressed Washington wanted to see verifiable movement by Tehran.
"We will make judgments about Iran's behavior based on actions, not just promises or agreements," he told a news briefing, adding that Washington "will continue to pressure Iran, continue to move forward with the sanctions."
European sanctions to block Iran's economically vital oil exports are to take force in July and Israel has mooted military action. A defiant Iran, which denies any ambition to acquire atom bombs, has threatened reprisals and oil prices have risen on fear of a new Middle East war hitting a wobbly world economy.
Amano acknowledged that "some differences" remained before the deal he discussed on his first visit to Tehran could be sealed, although chief Iranian negotiator Saeed Jalili had assured him these would not thwart agreement.
"The decision was made to conclude and sign the agreement ... At this stage, I can say it will be signed quite soon," the veteran Japanese diplomat told reporters at Vienna airport on his return from the Iranian capital.
Amano, who flew impromptu to Tehran to capitalize on progress in talks with Iran in Vienna held by senior aides, described the outcome of his meeting in Iran as an "important development ... We understood each other's position better".
Asked what differences persisted, Amano said only that they were "details of discussions on this document."
Western diplomats suggested there were still unresolved issues concerning the way the IAEA's probe would be conducted, with Iran wanting to control and restrict it in ways the U.N. agency could not accept.
"It is not a small issue," one envoy said. Another said a final deal might not be struck quickly: "Even if we got an agreement ... it is a milestone, but it is a small milestone."
WARINESS
Driving home Western scepticism rooted in the checkered history of IAEA transparency deals with Iran, the acting U.S. ambassador to the agency urged the Islamic Republic to open up immediately and meaningfully to inspectors.
"While we appreciate the efforts (by the IAEA) to conclude a substantive agreement, we remain concerned by the urgent obligation for Iran to ... cooperate fully with the verification efforts of the IAEA ... to resolve all outstanding concerns about the nature of its nuclear program," Robert Wood said.
Israel greeted word of a incipient IAEA-Iran pact with suspicion, citing an Iranian track record of evading and restricting inspections aimed at ensuring no military diversions of nuclear activity.
"Iran has proven over the years its lack of credibility, its dishonesty - telling the truth is not its strong side - and therefore we have to be suspicious of them all the time, and examine the agreement that is being formulated," Civil Defense Minister Matan Vilnai said on Israel Radio.
Asked whether last-resort air strikes on Iran were still conceivable with apparent headway being made on the diplomatic track, Vilnai replied: "One shouldn't get confused for even a moment - everything is on the table."
Iran has for four years stonewalled IAEA requests to examine sites, especially the Parchin site southeast of Tehran, interview senior nuclear scientists and peruse documents to verify Western intelligence reports about Iranian research and experiments pertinent to manufacturing nuclear explosives.
Western diplomats accredited to the IAEA said that whether concerns about Iran's nuclear intentions would be allayed by the deal would depend on how it was applied on the ground.
"There is scepticism until this is signed and then, once it is signed, there will be scepticism until it is implemented," a official from one Western power in Vienna told Reuters.
HIGH-STAKES BAGHDAD NEGOTIATIONS
In Baghdad, Jalili - the personal representative of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei - will meet Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief heading a coalition of the five U.N. Security Council permanent members - the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China - plus Germany.
Their main goal is expected to be an Iranian agreement to shut down the higher-grade uranium enrichment that it launched in 2010 and has since expanded in an underground plant at Fordow largely impervious to attack from the air, effectively shortening the time needed to weaponize nuclear technology.
"Cooperation with the IAEA like access to Parchin is important but not sufficient. The 20 percent enrichment has to be addressed as a priority," a European diplomat said.
Iran maintains it needs uranium refined to a fissile concentration of 20 percent for its medical isotope reactor. Enrichment to 5 percent of fissile purity is suitable for power plant fuel, while 90 percent constitutes fuel for bombs.
Iranian state television quoted Amano as saying that his talks would have a "positive impact" on the Baghdad meeting.
But diverging agendas stand in the way of a breakthrough.
Iran has suggested it will try to leverage its reported rapprochement with the IAEA into a deal in Baghdad to relax sanctions inflicting increasing damage to its economy. But Western officials ruled out such a weighty concession so soon.
"We are not going to do anything concrete in exchange for nice words," a senior Western diplomat cautioned.
BARGAINING POWER
In an apparent move to beef up its bargaining position, Iran announced on Tuesday that it had delivered its first two batches of domestically made nuclear fuel to a Tehran research reactor.
If confirmed, Iran's ability to run the reactor with its own fuel could remove any basis for a mooted deal under which Iran would ship most of its enriched uranium abroad in a swap for such fuel, reducing its stocks of potential atom bomb material.
Tehran tentatively agreed to the swap in 2009 talks with the powers but the deal collapsed over details of implementation. Iran's foreign minister had said last month it was willing to consider an updated version of the idea.
Iran insists it wants nuclear energy only for electricity generation and medical treatments, but has long defied U.N. resolutions calling for a confidence-building suspension of uranium enrichment and unfettered IAEA access.
U.S. analyst Graham Allison said Iran had been "cautiously, but steadily, putting in place all the elements it needs to construct a nuclear weapon in short order", but so far astutely stopped short of a decision to do so.
"Any scenario that requires months between tripping the IAEA's alarm and testing a bomb would mean taking a huge risk of being attacked, something Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has so far assiduously avoided," Allison, director of Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, said in an article for the Scientific American.
U.S. WIDENS ENERGY SANCTIONS
Cranking up pressure on Iran, the U.S. Senate on Monday extended sanctions on its oil sector to cover dealings with the National Iranian Oil Co and National Iranian Tanker Co to close a potential loophole that could have allowed Tehran to continue selling some of its petroleum using its own fleet.
As if the diplomatic challenges in Baghdad were not daunting enough, the weather threatened to play havoc with the talks.
As delegations prepared to head for Iraq, Baghdad airport was closed on Tuesday after a sandstorm blanketed the Iraqi capital in choking dust, reducing visibility and grounding flights from neighboring Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.
Iraq's transport ministry said the sandstorm could last through Friday, risking further disruptions to air traffic.
Jalili arrived on Monday night in Baghdad while Western delegations were scheduled to arrive on Wednesday morning. (Additional reporting by Marcus George in Dubai, Roberta Rampton in Washington, Maayan Lubell in Jerusalem, Justyna Pawlak and Patrick Markey in Baghdad and Zahra Hosseinian in Zurich; Writing by Mark Heinrich; Editing by Ralph Boulton and Cynthia Osterman

Iran, World Powers Exchange Proposals At Baghdad Nuclear Talks

International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano with Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Said Jalili (file photo)
By RFE/RL
I
ran and a group of six world powers have exchanged detailed proposals during talks in Baghdad over Tehran's disputed nuclear activities. 
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the major powers put forward a proposal that includes reciprocal, step-by-step confidence-building measures at the talks.
"This is a proposal that reflects some initial confidence-building steps that we think match where we are now," she said.
Nuland added that the that the proposal "can pave the way for Iran to demonstrate that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes."
She would not go into details of the plan.
Media reports say the proposal reportedly focuses on Western concerns about Iran's high-grade uranium-enrichment activities that would bring Tehran closer to being able to make a nuclear weapon.
Nuland said Iran had to comply with its international obligations if it wanted to build trust with its international partners.
"What we're looking for at the end of this road is full compliance by Iran with its international obligations, and full ability of the IAEA to inspect and verify any obligations that [Iran] has undertaken," she said.
"What we're talking about in terms of this Baghdad round is a first set of confidence-building steps."
Iranian media, however, slammed the world powers' proposal, calling it "unbalanced" and said it failed to address other outstanding issues.
State media also said Tehran had presented its own new, five-point, "comprehensive" package of proposals to the world powers at the Baghdad meeting.
It said the package included "nuclear and nonnuclear" issues and "concrete steps."
Iran says all its nuclear activities are peaceful, but Western countries accuse Iran of secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons.
Iran has previously declined to halt work on 20 percent enrichment -- a level that would bring the Islamic republic closer to being able to make a nuclear weapon.
The Baghdad talks are the first between Iran and the six powers -- Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States -- since April.

'No Instant Solution"
Speaking earlier in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters that Iran appeared ready to agree to specific steps to end the standoff. "We have to understand that there will be no instant solution, it will be a process," he said.
"But at every stage of this process, conducted in accordance with the principles of gradual, reciprocal steps, we want to see concrete results: Iran takes a step to meet the demands of the international community; the international community takes steps that weaken sanctions pressure on Iran and so forth until we reach the point when it is clear to all that Iran's nuclear program has no military aspect."
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak urged the world powers on May 23 not to make concessions in the talks. He told Israeli public radio that "without strengthening the current painful sanctions, Iran will continue towards a nuclear capability."
Israel, which views a potential Iranian nuclear bomb as a threat to the Jewish-led state's existence, says military strikes on Iran remain an option.
Ahead of the talks, Iran agreed in principle to give the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) access to sites, documents and experts that inspectors suspect may be connected to weapons projects.

Banking, Oil Sanctions
IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said he expected that the agreement, not yet signed, would include access to the Parchin military site near Tehran.
Inspectors believe Iran built a containment building at Parchin in 2000 for testing explosions related to nuclear weapons development. IAEA inspectors last visited Parchin in 2005, but were not granted access to the containment facility.
After the announcement of the agreement in principle on May 22, Tehran said it would be seeking concessions from the powers at the Baghdad talks.
Tehran wants Western powers to lift sanctions on its banking and oil sectors -- measures that target the government's main sources of foreign revenue.
The West says the sanctions are necessary to force Iran to prove its nuclear program is not aimed at developing atomic weapons. Iran says it has never sought to develop a nuclear bomb.
Iran is already under four rounds of UN Security Council sanctions aimed at forcing it to suspend uranium enrichment and other aspects of its nuclear and missile programs until all outstanding questions about its intentions are answered.
With reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP

Russia tests new missile, in warning over U.S. shield


MOSCOW | Wed May 23, 2012 4:39pm EDT
(Reuters) - Russia tested a new long-range missile on Wednesday that should improve its ability to penetrate missile defense systems, the military said, in Moscow's latest warning to Washington over deployment of a missile shield in Europe.
The Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) was successfully launched from the Plesetsk facility in northwestern Russia and its dummy warhead landed on target on the Kamchatka peninsula on the Pacific coast, the Defense Ministry said.
The new missile is expected to improve Russia's offensive arsenal, "including by increasing the capability to overcome missile defense systems that are being created", the ministry said in a statement.
Russia opposes a missile shield the United States and NATO are deploying in Europe, saying it will be able to intercept Russian warheads by about 2018, weakening Moscow's nuclear arsenal and upsetting the post-Cold War balance of power.
The United States says the system is intended to counter a potential threat from Iran and poses no risk to Russia, but the Kremlin has rejected those assurances and stepped up criticism of the system, to be deployed in four phases by about 2020.
Last autumn, then-President Dmitry Medvedev outlined steps Russia was taking to neutralize the perceived threat, including upgrades to Russia's offensive nuclear arsenal.
Russia and the United States are still in talks to agree cooperation on missile defense, but Moscow has warned of further measures if no such deal is reached and Washington refuses to provide binding guarantees its system will not threaten Russia.
At a conference in Moscow this month, senior General Nikolai Makarov said Russia could carry out pre-emptive strikes on future NATO missile defense installations to protect its security.
The European system is to include interceptor missile installations in Poland and Romania and a radar in Turkey as well as interceptors and radars on ships based in the Mediterranean Sea.
Russia usually names its weapons, but the Defense Ministry made no mention of a name for the new missile. It said it could be fired from a mobile launcher.
Missile defense has troubled ties between Russia and the United States since the Cold War.
The dispute over the current project has developed despite President Barack Obama's decision in 2009 to scrap the previous administration's plans for longer-range interceptors, which helped improve relations after a period of growing tension.
Western officials say improvements to Russia's ICBM arsenal undermine Moscow's argument that the system will present a threat and suggest the Kremlin wants to use the issue as a bargaining chip in broader talks on nuclear arms cuts.
During his 2000-2008 Kremlin term, President Vladimir Putin repeatedly said Russia would improve its offensive nuclear capability in response to U.S. missile defense plans.
In 2007, First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, now Putin's chief of staff, was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying Russia already had weapons that could overcome any current or future missile defense system.
(Writing by Steve Gutterman; editing by Andrew Roche)

Tidak ada komentar:

Poskan Komentar