6-Nation Nuclear Talks On Iran May Restart Soon
STEVE INSKEEP, Host:
NPR's Peter Kenyon has more.
PETER KENYON: Mark Fitzpatrick, senior fellow for nonproliferation at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, said in an interview before the IAEA report became public that there could be a number of reasons for the problems with the centrifuges. But the evidence is strong that the pace and efficiency of enrichment has suffered.
M: Well, certainly, Iran's enrichment program has been encountering difficulties. Why, exactly, this is, is not clear. But the machines are continuing to break down.
KENYON: Fitzpatrick says the reason last year's fuel swap proposal is no longer appealing is that despite the setbacks, Iran's stockpile of low-enriched uranium keeps growing all the time.
M: You know, the long and short of it is when Iran boasts of tremendous progress in their program, that's just not the case. When some of us would like to hope that the program is becoming hopelessly mired in problems, that's not the case, either. It's bumbling along, continuing to increase the stockpile of low-enriched uranium at over 100 kilograms a month.
KENYON: Istanbul-based analyst Alptekin Dursunoglu says the debate inside Iran reveals unhappiness with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's behavior. But that, he says, is outweighed by Iranian resentment at the heavy-handed negotiating style of the West over a nuclear program that has support across the political spectrum.
M: (Through translator) Iran is willing to sit down with Western powers within the framework of the nonproliferation treaty. But Iran is saying: Do not come to us with the sole option that we stop all enrichment just because you have some sort of worries. Because frankly, those worries are of no concern to us, and we don't believe they're grounded in reality.
KENYON: Peter Kenyon, NPR News, Istanbul.
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