Iranian foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki announced today that Iran may only ship “part” of its uranium stockpile abroad for further enrichment. This contradicts earlier reports, which suggested that, in the face of Western pressure, Iran agreed to send about 75 percent of its uranium abroad. The plan was designed to diffuse the conflict over Iran’s apparent drive to attain a nuclear weapon.
While the Iranian government will officially respond to the deal this week, a growing number of Iranian officials are speaking out against the proposal. Indeed, parliament speaker Ali Larijani said the UN proposal cheats the country because it is tantamount to the West imposing its will on Iran.
The UN, for its part, is working with urgency. It released a report earlier this month revealing that Iran has “sufficient information” to build a “workable” atomic bomb. According to Daniel Kutner, Israel’s counsel general in Philadelphia, “Iran has more than 5,500 centrifuges working” – all presumably with the aim of creating a nuclear weapon.