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November 14, 2004
Iran Agrees To Halt Uranium Enrichment

The EU-3 appears to have won a major diplomatic concession from Iran as the Islamic Republic has agreed to halt its uranium enrichment program, which the UN confirmed separately:

Iran has given the United Nations a written promise to fully suspend uranium enrichment, diplomats said on Sunday, in an apparent bid to dispel suspicions that Tehran wants to build a nuclear bomb.

The move also would appear to blunt an American drive to take Iran before the United Nations for the imposition of sanctions.

By issuing the written commitment to the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency the International Atomic Energy Agency Iran dropped demands for modification of a tentative deal worked out on Nov. 7 with European negotiators, agreeing instead to continue a freeze on enrichment and to suspend related activities, diplomats told The Associated Press.

"Basically it's a full suspension," said one of the diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity. "It's what the Europeans were looking for."

The Iranians certainly seem worried about American efforts to escalate the standoff to the United Nations. They tried to redefine the agreement they reached with the Europeans earlier in the week to give themselves room to continue their progress on nuclear development. When the Europeans objected and the Americans made clear that we were ready to take the dispute to the UNSC, the Iranians caved.

However, before we break out the bubbly, let's remember that agreements mean little without a solid verification program. Saddam Hussein proved that international inspections mean very little for a regime that wants to hide its illegal handiwork. In fact, inspections only work when governments want to disarm and need a legitimate witness to its completion -- for instance, Libya. If the Iranians are determined to continue their nuclear program, this agreement means nothing. They will simply go farther underground, literally and figuratively.

The EU-3 and the US should insist on a program that guarantees access to all Iranian facilities to ensure they adhere to this agreement. Otherwise, we need to escalate this issue to the UNSC as the next logical and diplomatic step in facing down the Islamist mullahcracy.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 14, 2004 1:37 PM

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» Iran Halts Nuclear Actions, For Now from The Desert Tusk
Iran could very well agree to this just long enough to get what aid they want out of Europe. And then, once they're satisfied with what they have or the U.N. eases up on inspections, up starts the nuke program again. [Read More]

Tracked on November 14, 2004 5:25 PM

» Daily Dish from The Cool Blue Blog
The UN is set to issue a report on Iran's nuclear program. For it's part, Iran has announced it will accept the European deal that would result in Iran suspending production of nuclear material. Of course we've heard this before. [Read More]

Tracked on November 15, 2004 6:32 AM

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