Multilateral talks with Iran have yielded an interesting solution to its just-revealed secret nuclear program. Iran has agreed
to send its uranium to Russia, where it will be enriched enough for use as fuel in a medical research reactor, but not enough to be weaponized. This effectively freezes
Iran's enrichment and sets the stage for later rounds of discussion.
Thursday's talks, which took place in Geneva, may have brought a
resolution for the moment, but discussion over their long-term meaning
is far from over.
- Buys Time, But No Permanent Solution Allahpundit remains skeptical.
"Iran could simply feed Russia some low enriched uranium in order to
soothe western fears about its nuke program while continuing to
weaponize uranium in its secret facilities. Even if Iran’s on the level
and is willing to send its entire current uranium stockpile to an
outside party for processing, the machinery to weaponize uranium would
still remain in place, ready and willing to go whenever Tehran decides
to restart the program." Even if Iran breaks its end of the deal, "then
at best this is simply buying time. Which isn't a terrible outcome — it
gives Mousavi's green movement a little space to try to unseat the regime, after all — but it's kicking the can down the road, not resolving the issue."
- End of American Unilateralism National Journal's Bill Schneider lauds
Obama's multilateral approach. "The real test is Iran -- not whether it
becomes more co-operative with
the United States but whether the U.S. can persuade other countries to
cooperate in keeping pressure on Tehran to end its nuclear program," he
wrote. "With Iran caught cheating, the United States had what it
leverage to organize an international coalition to confront Tehran."
"That's multilateralism. If tough sanctions are imposed on Iran, they
will not be 'made in America.'"
- Only Engagement Is Viable The Guardian calls
public talks the only real option. "If this meeting marks the start of
a substantive dialogue which has
been so woefully lacking for three decades then that is, by a long
measure, the most desirable outcome," it wrote. The paper says
sanctions alone would be ineffective. "When the oil price dropped to
less than a quarter of its peak value last year, the revolutionary
guards carried on regardless." It dismisses air strikes as "appalling"
and certain to worsen the situation. "It would be the start of a
conflagration that would spread rapidly from
the Strait of Hormuz to Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, Gaza and Lebanon."
- Talks Could Legitimize Ahmadinejad The Wall Street Journal warns
that direct talks could help Iran's leader, who has struggled since
winning Iran's apparently rigged election in June. "This engagement
conferred a respectability on his regime that Mr.
Ahmadinejad could only have imagined amid his vicious post-election
crackdown," it wrote. "This supposed fresh start in Geneva only gives
them new legitimacy, and
new hope that they can have their bomb and enhanced global standing
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