Intense Engagement with Iran in Moscow
June 18, 2012 | Edited by Benjamin Loehrke and Leah Fae Cochran
A Baghdad proposal in Moscow - Diplomats from the P5+1 and Iran met in Moscow for what some consider as a pivotal round of negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. Laura Rozen at Al Monitor reports that the West re-offered its package from Baghdad last month that would cap Iran’s enrichment activities in exchange for civilian reactor fuel and spare parts for civilian airliners. http://bit.ly/MnlOeg
Tweets from Moscow - @lrozen: 'Tough and intense' engagement today, EU's Mann said, Iranians 'addressed' our proposal, but brought up past grievances.
--Parties 'reflecting overnight,' will reconvene in plenary noon tomorrow, EU's Mann said. Implied most reflecting should be done by #Iran.
Crisis in slow motion - “Fifty years ago, the Cuban missile crisis brought the world to the brink of nuclear disaster,” writes Graham Allison for The New York Times. Lessons from that crisis, argues Allison, can help decision-makers handle today’s foreign policy dilemmas - especially the “cuban missile crisis in slow motion” with Iran. http://bit.ly/M0Y98V
Obama and Putin - President Obama and Vladimir Putin are set to meet on the side of G20 talks in Los Cabos, Mexico. There is a lot at stake, writes Dmitri Trenin in The New York Times. Key topics in need of closer U.S.-Russia coordination include the tumult in Syria, talks with Iran, the transition in Afghanistan, Russia’s WTO bid, and the Magnitsky bill.
--Missile defense will be high on Putin’s list, writes Trenin, but progress on the issue will have to wait until 2013 and the outcome of the U.S. presidential election. http://nyti.ms/L8I4yO
Manhattan Project National Park - Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, and Hanford could soon be designated as the Manhattan Project National Historical Park under a new proposal before Congress. The infamous nuclear sites would be commemorated alongside other historical national parks at Independence Hall, Valley Forge, Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace, and the Appomattox Court House. The LA Times has the story. http://lat.ms/MlDoS0
Ross’ diplomatic gambit - Dennis Ross, with eyes on the Moscow talks, argues that the P5+1 should drop incremental confidence building negotiations and instead offer an end-state proposal where the P5+1 recognizes an Iranian civilian program and Iran gives up the means for nuclear breakout.
--Ross argues that such a proposal would call Iran’s bluff. “It will signal that we are ready for either outcome: a diplomatic deal, or a diplomatic failure—with all that implies about our readiness to use force.” From The New Republic. http://bit.ly/LeTi32
Betting on breakdown - “44 Senators urge Obama to cut off Iran negotiations unless progress made” by Josh Rogin in Foreign Policy. http://bit.ly/M4kgKU
Sanctions’ effects - Iran’s currency lost half its value in 10 months, causing trade to falter, domestic prices to surge, and Iran’s economy to dive further into disrepair. Things could get worse when new international sanctions kick in two weeks. “Iran’s economic pain deepens as new nuclear talks begin” by Joby Warrick of the Washington Post. http://wapo.st/NGvh7Q
16.32 petaflops - The fastest supercomputer on the planet is, once more, American. It also belongs to NNSA, which will use it to analyze nuclear weapons performance. Engadget has the story. http://engt.co/N9HSOg
Kelley on Parchin - Recent satellite pictures of earth moving at Iran’s Parchin site has been interpreted by the IAEA as an effort to sanitize the site of suspicious activity. According Robert Kelley, a former IAEA official, the earth-moving is largely outside of the fence-line of the alleged test site.
-- “Earth moving here cannot be conceivably for covert sanitization purposes, located far from the test building and outside the fence, especially if similar area inside the fence is untouched,” argues Kelley. Arms Control Wonk has the story. http://bit.ly/LSjKQZ
Unpopular perspective - Kenneth Waltz steadfastly believes that “by reducing imbalances in military power, new nuclear states generally produce more regional and international stability, not less.” In USA Today, Waltz stands atop that assumption and argues that a nuclear armed Iran might not be that bad afterall. http://usat.ly/N9Tml4
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