Middle East


Iran’s Nuclear Program

Iranian technicians remove a container of radioactive uranium

Iran believes it has the right to pursue civilian nuclear technology, just like any country in the West. (Photo: Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images)

Amman, Jordan

The Jordan Times (independent), Aug. 8: Iran is obviously not satisfied with the E.U.'s latest offer of aid and support, not because the extent of this support falls short of its expectations, but rather because it is viewed as denying Iran the “right” to enrich its own uranium and not depend on foreign supplies. As long as Iran continues to submit that it is not seeking to produce nuclear weapons, any proposal or settlement that would factor in this Iranian commitment should prove sufficient to end the deadlock, especially if sufficient safeguards are provided for.

Beirut, Lebanon

The Daily Star (independent, English-language), Aug. 10: The inherent hypocrisy of forbidding Iran to pursue peaceful nuclear activities that Western countries freely pursue themselves was a huge sticking point in the talks … The international community's reluctance to acknowledge Iran's rights to nuclear power is understandable, considering the fact that Iran hid its nuclear program from the world's eyes for nearly two decades. But if safeguards can now be established, it is unrealistic to deny Iran the rights that are extended to every other country in the global community.

Tehran, Iran

Tehran Times (conservative), Aug. 10: During the past two years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has spared no effort to gain the confidence of the international community about the peaceful nature of its nuclear activities. Two years of negotiations should have been sufficient for Iran and the EU to reach an agreement, but it seems that the EU3 always intended to keep the Iranians as their eternal hostages. Iran’s decision to put an end to this “Tom and Jerry” game initiated by the Europeans is a national revolution against the exorbitant blackmail of France, Britain, and Germany. –Hassan Hanizadeh

London, England

The Economist (conservative newsmagazine), Aug. 11: There will be genuine disappointment that the recent talks appear to have led nowhere. The Europeans had hoped that Iran might be persuaded to bring a permanent halt to all uranium and plutonium work if it received the right inducements, including trade and other, less proliferation-prone nuclear technologies   … But Iran said it was unacceptable because it denied the country the right to produce its own nuclear fuel … Iran seems determined to dust down its nuclear programme. And it is not clear that its government, having failed to take the carrots, would respond any more encouragingly to sticks.

The Guardian (liberal), Aug. 12: At first glance, a resolution passed yesterday by the International Atomic Energy Authority, the Vienna-based United Nations watchdog on nuclear proliferation, looks like a poor outcome for Tehran … [However, ] the Europeans, in what now looks like a tactical error, called the emergency meeting of the 35-member International Atomic Energy Agency board, only to find little enthusiasm among at least half of the members for taking on Iran or for a referral to the security council, in part because Iran has not breached any treaty obligations.