Iran Nuclear Crisis Newsletter

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					                Simons Centre for Disarmament and Non-proliferation Research
                  Liu Institute for Global Issues, University of British Columbia                              

                              Iran Nuclear Crisis Newsletter
                                    June 4th-11th, 2007

                  Iran’s Relations with the Non-Proliferation Regime:

“Iran envoy could provide nuclear answers”
Forbes, June 10, 2007.
         Iran is sending a senior envoy to talk with the UN atomic monitoring agency to answer
questions on past nuclear activities. This offer comes following a meeting between Iranian
diplomats, IAEA and EU officials. The main purpose of the talk was to find a way to bridge the
impasse between Iran’s rejection of UN demands and the international pressure to halt
enrichment. While this did not occur, many are looking at Iran’s offer as a major concession. It
is thought that the timing of this offer is an attempt to retard or prevent further sanctions on
Iran, as the UN Security Council as well as the IAEA will meet shortly to discuss Iran’s nuclear

“Iran promises to come clean on nuclear activities”
Boston Globe/AP, June 2, 2007
          In a move seen as attempting to delay further UN sanctions Iran has pledged to provide
answers on past suspicious activity. While this move signals a major concession from Iran it still
falls short of international demands to halt enrichment. This offer is seen as a response to a
recent IAEA report addressing the expansion of Iranian nuclear activities and unanswered
questions about the nature of the nuclear program. While it is unclear whether this tactic will
delay or avert more sanctions the US, a Security Council permanent member, insists that Iran
halt all enrichment.

“Iran counters Western nuclear demands”
Yahoo News/AP, June 3, 2007.
         Iran has said that it will work to settle disputes over its nuclear program if its case is
referred back to the IAEA and the UN Security Council halts plans to debate further sanctions
for Iran. This statement comes just days after Iran pledged to answer questions about its
previous suspicious activities, something it has refused to do to this point. These actions fall far
short of Security Council demands that Iran halt its enrichment of uranium and the council is
now preparing to debate further sanctions, to which Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Ali
Hosseini has rebutted “All should know that the possible third resolution on sanctions, and
more restrictions on Iran will not dissuade us from our way.”

“IAEA fear Iran may gain nuclear bomb ability”
June 12, 2007. Gulf Times
        A meeting between ElBaradei and senior Iranian negotiator Javad Vaidi was cancelled;
Iran is being accused of backing off from Iranian negotiator Ali Larijani’s promises to discuss
“information access and cooperation.” Meanwhile the IAEA began a week-long meeting that
                Simons Centre for Disarmament and Non-proliferation Research
                  Liu Institute for Global Issues, University of British Columbia                             

could lead to a third round of U.N. sanctions against Iran. Vaidi met with a top aide of EU
foreign policy chief Javier Solana to prepare another meeting between Larijani and Solana.

“Iran condemns G8 sanctions threat”
Reuters/Washington Post, June 9, 2007
        Iran brushed off warnings from the G8 leaders vowing that it would face further UN
sanctions if it did not halt uranium enrichment. Mohammad Ali Hosseini, a foreign Ministry
spokesman, responded to the threat by saying it “will not have an impact on the firm will of the
nation and government of the Islamic republic of Iran to reach its obvious right.”

                                      Iran-US Relations:

“Nuking Iran: The Republican Agenda?”
Washington Post, June 6, 2007
nuking iran?
        At the Republican debate on June 5, only one of the candidates, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas
declared that he opposed nuclear strike on Iran, while all other candidates refused to rule out
nuclear attack as a means to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons. Aside from Paul, no
other candidates declared that nuclear weapons have no place in modern confrontations. The
author argued that although Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons are unjustified, the US
should not threaten Iran with nuclear weapons for both moral and practical reasons. By
brandishing its nuclear arsenal, the US unintentionally supports the position of Iranian hardliners
who wish to develop nuclear weapons.

“Military Option on Table Concerning Iran”
The Washington Post, June 9, 2007.
         Israeli Cabinet minister Shaul Mofaz says that the U.S. and Israel agree on their strategy
against Iran’s nuclear program. While sanctions are the best course of action at this time, Mofaz
makes it explicitly clear that a military option is “on the table.” Israel and the U.S. will review
the effectiveness of sanctions at the end of 2007.

“Lieberman favors Iran military strike”
USA Today, June 10, 2007.
         U.S. senator Joseph Lieberman is suggesting air strikes against Iran to stop the Iranian
training of Iraqi insurgents. Meanwhile Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson insists
that economic sanctions and tough negotiations are needed to deal with Iran’s nuclear
ambitions. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is not ruling out talks with Iran regarding both
the nuclear issue and Iraq despite Iran’s detention of at least four Iranian-Americans.

“It’s the Regime, Stupid”
Washington Post, January 29, 2006.
         While air and missile strikes against Iran’s nuclear program would be too risky an
option, diplomacy by itself “has no better chance of success.” Liberal and democratic change in
Iran has to be actively promoted to change the nature of the regime in power. The only
alternative is a military campaign to end not only Iran’s nuclear program but also the current
regime’s reign.
                Simons Centre for Disarmament and Non-proliferation Research
                  Liu Institute for Global Issues, University of British Columbia                             

“The Impact of Political Pressures on Iran’s Production Capacity”
Dar Al-Hayat, June 03, 2007
         The US President announced new economic sanctions on Iran, following a May 23rd
report issued by the IAEA. US sanctions against Iran date back to the early 1980s, but thus far
have not undermined the Iranian oil industry. However, natural growth has been limited by
international reluctance to invest, domestic political conflict, and the rising cost of oil project
investment. International fear of US sanctions and Iranian negotiation tactics have also prevented
the export of Iran’s immense reserves. Despite these restraints, Iran has a successful internal gas
distribution network and petrochemical industry, yet increased US pressure could obstruct the
petrochemical sector.

                                      Iran-EU Relations:

“Larijani: Iran-EU nuclear talks “more rational”
June, 06 2007, Malaysian Sun
        After speaking with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana last week, Iran’s top nuclear
negotiator, Ali Larijani, has termed nuclear talks with the EU “more rational”. He also said that
both sides needed to move towards preventing the adoption of a third UN Security Council
resolution and that if the UN returned Iran’s nuclear case to the IAEA, the sate would accept
more IAEA supervision. The G8 has threatened tougher sanctions if Iran fails to meet UN

“Iran holds nuclear talks with EU, cancels meeting with Elbaradei”
June 12, 2007 03:43:49
Iran holds nuclear talks with EU, cancels meeting with ElBaradei
        Iran held high-level nuclear talks with the EU at an IAEA meeting in Vienna, but canceled
a meeting with the UN’s nuclear watchdog chief. According to Western diplomats, the meeting
was canceled because of Iran’s refusal to discuss significant issues. Both sides agreed talks were
constructive, but that substantial breakthroughs will not come easily. Although the UN Security
Council adopted a second resolution against Iran on March 24, a recent IAEA report stated that
Iran has subsequently expanded its uranium enrichment.

                                    Iran-Russia Relations:

“Russia wants timely payment for Iran's nuclear plant”
Ians. June 4th, 2007
          The head of the Russian Nuclear Power Agency, Sergei Kirienko, denied Iran’s
allegations that Russia was stalling the construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, citing
inadequate funding as the reason for the delays. Apparently only 60 percent of the required
funding was covered by the fourth quarter of the 2006. According to Kirienko, Iran allocated
only $20 million to the construction since the beginning of this year, whereas the contract called
for $25 million monthly payments. In addition, delays with equipment supplies from other
countries were claimed to stall the progress in Bushehr.

                                 Iran’s Regional Relations:
                Simons Centre for Disarmament and Non-proliferation Research
                  Liu Institute for Global Issues, University of British Columbia                              

“Iran and Egypt point to a new order”
Asia Times Online, June 5, 2007.
         President Ahmadinejad is pursuing normalization of relations with Egypt, and Cairo is
responding favorably. There is much domestic opposition on both sides against such a move;
controversial issues include an Iranian street named after the man who assassinated the Egyptian
president Sadat in 1981. A strong relationship with Iran can be used by Egypt to tip the Arab-
Israeli military balance in its own favor, while Iran would benefit from depriving the U.S. of its
“strategic counterweight” to Iran.

“Iran threatens Gulf blitz if US hits nuclear plants”
Times Online, June 10, 2007
         Admiral Ali Shamkhani, the head of a think tank that advises the supreme leader
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, claimed that an attack on Iran and its nuclear facilities would result in a
missile blitz on Israel, Gulf states that aid the US’s efforts in the region and other targets of US
interest such as oil lines. The retaliation would also include increased support for terrorist

“Iran denies threat to hit Gulf states if US attacks”
Reuters/Daily Star, June 12, 2007
         Former Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani refuted a recent report, quoting him as
saying Iran would attack other Gulf States in the event of a US attack, as baseless. Shamkhani
claims that no interview occurred between him and the US Journal of Defense News, further
stating that Iran is victim to US propaganda targeting Muslim unity in the region. In an attempt to
diffuse tension, Shamkhani cited the Iranian policy of “generating regional peace, security and
sustainable stability.” Furthermore, in response to Shamkhani’s disputed statements many Gulf
States, such as Kuwait, assured Iran that they would not allow the US to stage an attack from
their territory.

                                 Iran’s Nuclear Motivations:

“Playing the Iran confrontation”
Khaleej Times Online, June 12, 2007.
        New scholarship suggests that the Soviet invasion of Manchuria, and not the nuclear
bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, was the key factor leading to Japan’s surrender in WWII.
The deterring effect of nuclear weapons is a false assumption. This suggests that Iran should not
be intimidated by threats of a nuclear attack, and that militarily, a successful ground attack is
“the only thing that really works.”