Monday, November 15, 2004

Preventing Nuclear Proliferation Should Be An American Value

One of Kerry's strongest moments in the debate was when he explained what a danger nuclear proliferation is and will be in the future. Apparently, the Europeans took him seriously. Too bad this administration would rather let nuclear proliferation grow in countries such as N. Korea and Iran while it pursues war games in Iraq.


U.N. agency welcomes Iran pledge on nukes
Suspension of uranium enrichment would meet main demand

The Associated Press
Updated: 12:17 p.m. ET Nov. 15, 2004TEHRAN - The U.N. atomic watchdog agency gave its support Monday to Iran’s agreement to suspend all uranium enrichment activities

The United States, which has been pressing for tough U.N. action against Iran, has not yet taken a position on the tentative deal, saying it is waiting for word from Britain, Germany and France, the three nations negotiating with Tehran.

If a agreement announced Sunday with the Europeans is sealed, it would prevent Iran from being referred to the U.N. Security Council, where it could face sanctions for its nuclear program. In return for the suspension, Europe has been suggesting it would help Iran in developing peaceful nuclear energy.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said in a confidential report made available Monday to the Associated Press that Iran’s promise to suspend the enrichment activities by Nov. 22 would satisfy some of the agency’s demands.

Suspicions remain about clandestine programs
The agency said other suspicions remain about the nature of nearly two decades of clandestine nuclear programs.

ElBaradei was “not yet in the position to conclude that there are no undeclared nuclear materials” that could have been used for a weapons program, the report said.

But, it said, all nuclear material that Iran has declared to the agency in the past year has been accounted for, “and therefore we can say that such material is not diverted to prohibited (weapons) activities,” said the report, authored by ElBaradei.

In an important departure from previous reports, the document did not specifically say that ElBaradei would report to the next IAEA board on Iran. Instead it said it would give an accounting on the country and its nuclear activities “as appropriate.”

That wording was expected to be welcomed by Iran, who for months has urged the agency to close its file. The United States, which insists that Iran’s nuclear activities are geared toward making weapons, was likely to be unhappy with any suggestion that future pressure would ease.

Iran’s key concession is the suspension of activities related to enriching uranium — a process that can produce nuclear fuel either for power generation or for creating weapons.

More here.