Diplomacy Is the Best Option on Iran's Nuclear Effort

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Aug. 24 editorial "Iran Stalls" distorts the facts about Iran's cooperation with the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency and obfuscates Iran's intentions.

Contrary to your assertion of Iran's "conflicting signals" about its nuclear intentions, Iran has been consistent and transparent about its peaceful intentions and moral and political antipathy toward nuclear weapons, which Iran's leaders have time and again renounced.

As for Iran's relations with the IAEA, you failed to mention that during the past three years, the IAEA has conducted more than 2,000 person-days' worth of inspections of nuclear facilities and has concluded that there is no evidence of diversion of nuclear material to illegal military purposes.

You have misinterpreted Iran's offer of dialogue without preconditions as "stalling," thus overlooking the proposed talks' potential to reach a mutually satisfactory final agreement.

M.A. MOHAMMADI

Press Officer

Iranian Mission to the United Nations

New York

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The United States should welcome Iran's declared willingness to engage in serious dialogue with it and other members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany. Resolution 1696, by virtue of endorsing the incentive package offered by the Security Council and Germany, has indirectly obligated the United States to negotiate.

Iran has put on the table the possibility of a suspension of activities related to uranium enrichment. Instead of setting unrealistic expectations and attempting to use coercive measures, the United States should explore the path of diplomacy; Iran's factional politics make it amenable to the option of resurrecting the 2004 Paris agreement, under which it suspended its enrichment activities for 20 months after the agreement's call for a "long-term arrangement."

KAVEH L. AFRASIABI

Cambridge, Mass.

The writer is an Iranian policy analyst and the author of books on the country's nuclear program.


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