Putin: Iran could conduct enrichment in Russia


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rick_reno
January 16, 2006, 03:57 PM
How nice of the Russians, offering to let Iran enrich uranium in Russia.

MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that Iran has not excluded the possibility of conducting its uranium enrichment in Russia -- a proposal that could be a way out of escalating tensions over Iran's nuclear program.

Putin, speaking after a meeting with German chancellor Angela Merkel, said "one of the main problems is the enrichment of uranium.

"We proposed to our Iranian partners to set up a joint enrichment venture on Russian territory. We have heard various opinions from our Iranian partners on that issue. One of them has come from the Foreign Ministry -- our partners told us they did not exclude the implementation of our proposal."

"In any case, it's necessary to work carefully and avoid any erroneous moves," Putin said.

Diplomatic steps
Iran’s resumption of nuclear research that could be used for either civilian atomic energy or bombs has sparked a flurry of Western diplomacy in pursuit of a vote by the U.N. nuclear watchdog to refer Iran to the Security Council for possible sanctions.

Moscow, with a $1 billion stake building Iran’s first atomic reactor, and Beijing, reliant on Iranian oil for its burgeoning economy, have so far blocked a consensus for referral within the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board of governors.

The United States and European Union hoped to enlist Russian and Chinese support for robust diplomatic steps against Iran when U.N. Security Council powers meet on Monday.

But Russia has warned Iran it could lose Moscow’s support unless it suspended the fuel research it resumed last week.

China, however, said resorting to the Security Council might “complicate the issue,” citing Iran’s threat to hit back by halting snap U.N. inspections of its nuclear plants.

The views of Russia and China on an IAEA vote against Iran are crucial as both are veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council, along with the United States, Britain and France.

Diplomats said the London meeting of permanent Security Council members and Germany, expected to begin in mid-morning, was aimed at reaching a consensus before an emergency IAEA board meeting the West wants next month.

“There’s some confidence that Russia is increasingly leaning toward the EU3-U.S. position and will not block referral,” said a diplomat with the EU trio of Germany, France and Britain that last week called off a moribund dialogue with Iran.

But he said China still looked more difficult to persuade.

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neoncowboy
January 16, 2006, 05:00 PM
Hard to believe, given that THE RUSSIANS are a primary target for radical islamic terrorists, that they would support an Iran dedicated to developing/posessing nuclear weapons!!

Are they nuts? Do they think they will be able to be 'allies' with the Islamofascists?:uhoh:

Sindawe
January 16, 2006, 05:42 PM
To what degree of enrichment of the Uranium is Russia will to carry out for Iran? A lower percentage is suitable for use in reactors for power generation and legitimate research, but NOT in fission weapons.

taliv
January 16, 2006, 06:12 PM
i had to laugh when i read this article earlier today. seems like not too long ago that the russians couldn't even figure out where their own nukes were.

Marnoot
January 16, 2006, 06:19 PM
To what degree of enrichment of the Uranium is Russia will to carry out for Iran? A lower percentage is suitable for use in reactors for power generation and legitimate research, but NOT in fission weapons.I understood the Russians are offering to do the enrichment specifically for this reason. So Iran would only be supplied with the lower-percentage enriched stuff. No good for fission weapons.

Sindawe
January 16, 2006, 06:33 PM
I understood the Russians are offering to do the enrichment specifically for this reason. So Iran would only be supplied with the lower-percentage enriched stuff. No good for fission weapons. That strikes me as a reasonable compromise for the short term. Iran gets its power plants and fuel, but not nukes. The crux there is how much this offends the dignity of Iran since they ARE signatories of the Nuclear Nonproliferaiton Treaty, and how gonzo our current administration is go attack Iran.

VirgilCaine
January 16, 2006, 06:46 PM
Hard to believe, given that THE RUSSIANS are a primary target for radical islamic terrorists, that they would support an Iran dedicated to developing/posessing nuclear weapons!!

Are they nuts? Do they think they will be able to be 'allies' with the Islamofascists?:uhoh:

You mean the Chechnyan seperatists?

WT
January 16, 2006, 08:36 PM
The low grade uranium could be used to make a 'dirty bomb.'

captain obvious
January 16, 2006, 08:48 PM
What the Russians are doing IMHO, are offering to give the Iranians reactor grade Uranium in order to try to avert a crisis (iranians with the capability for/producing weapons grade) and stop the iranians from enriching fuel or anything else.

Nice move on their part, but I have a feeling it isn't going to work.

Lobotomy Boy
January 16, 2006, 09:05 PM
The crux there is how much this offends the dignity of Iran since they ARE signatories of the Nuclear Nonproliferaiton Treaty, and how gonzo our current administration is go attack Iran.

For an asnwer to how gonzo our current administration is to go attack Iran, read the following:

http://www.energybulletin.net/7707.html

MD_Willington
January 16, 2006, 09:30 PM
Wonder why they couldn't build a CANDU reactor... they run on junk fuel, as designed...:confused:

oh wait... that's not their true purpose... they want to make bombs huh...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v155/MDWillington1976/wally_beaver.jpg


:evil:

AFhack
January 16, 2006, 09:47 PM
What the Russians are doing IMHO, are offering to give the Iranians reactor grade Uranium in order to try to avert a crisis (iranians with the capability for/producing weapons grade) and stop the iranians from enriching fuel or anything else.

Nice move on their part, but I have a feeling it isn't going to work.


+1

Nice consise analysis. I'm keeping my fingers crossed though - I hope a diplomatic solution can be attained.

atomchaser
January 16, 2006, 09:58 PM
The low grade uranium could be used to make a 'dirty bomb.'

Low grade uranium wouldn't make a very good dirty bomb. You might as well blow up a pile of dirt. Dirty bombs aren't of much use to a nation-state as they are not of any real military utility. They are for the most part terror/area denial weapons.

The Iranians goal is clearly to make nuclear weapons to increase their ability to threaten and establish themselves as a regional power. They either need low enriched uranium to fuel a reactor and make Plutonium (for nukes) or highly enriched uranium to make nukes. I'm sure they are probably pursuing both tracks just as we did in the 1940s. Not exactly rocket science anymore -- they can easy buy the talent and equipment they need.

tulsamal
January 16, 2006, 10:11 PM
Yeah, the Iranian government wants to build an atomic bomb. It's the only logical conclusion for why they would spend all that money on atomic research when they are sitting on all that oil and natural gas. If they really just wanted atomic energy plants, they might go along with the Russians. Since that's not their goal, they probably won't. But.... they could go along with the Russians for some period of time while they built the plants and started them working. By then the current US Administration would be gone and replaced with someone less likely to bomb them.

And, "enriching uranium" is a gradual process. Couldn't they accept a bunch of "semi-refined" uranium and then have less work to do themselves to make it weapons grade in the future?

And I've got a military question. Put aside the whole "is it a good idea" and all of that. Just consider the military mission side of it. I'm thinking of Iraq and their efforts to build a nuke and how Israel launched air strikes on them and knocked them out. The items in dispute in Iran are the centrifuges, right? They bought them illegally and they own them illegally. They can't easily replace them. The treaty that they signed doesn't allow them to use them. Are they all gathered together in one place? Would it even be possible for the US to do a repeat of the Israeli attack and simply and quickly end the threat of enrichment for weapons?

I don't think many in the US have any desire to see Iran actually invaded and conquered like we did to Iraq but a surprise airstrike _could_ at least be an implied threat from the US. If Iran really thinks we will do it, she might just get a clue.

Gregg

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