Can Iran be trusted?

Can Iran be trusted when it claims its right to implement a Japanese nuclear model?

The proposal has been presented by Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki at a May 2 joint press conference with his Japanese counterpart, Hirofumi Nakasone.

Mr. Mottaki called for implementing the Japanese nuclear model in Iran as well, saying that “The view that exists about Japan’s nuclear activities should be applied to other countries including Iran” and that Teheran’s nuclear activities were “legal and peaceful.”

“Japan – he said – spent many years building confidence about its nuclear work. Iran is moving on a similar path.”

True, during these confidence-building years Japan was never obliged by the international community to suspend its nuclear activities. It should also be noted that following World War II, Japan undertook an obligation to not develop nuclear weapons, even though in theory it was capable of building a nuclear bomb within three months. Here, again, no yelling came up from the international community.

The proposal, as a matter of fact, is not a new one. Four years ago, a report published by the Middle East Research Institute (MEMRI) questioned the issue.

“As predicted, – ran the introduction of the report – the gaps between Iran and the EU3 – namely, Germany, France and Britain – have not been narrowed in the three months of negotiations since last November’s ‘Paris Agreement.’

The claim that Iran has committed itself to permanently cease its uranium-enrichment activities was inaccurate. Iran insists that its unilateral commitment to the EU3 is a temporary, voluntary and non-binding one, with an expiration date of March 15.

With the approach of March 15, Iran is insistent upon enriching uranium, stating that it is its right and that its uranium-enrichment program is meant only to power its nuclear reactors for civilian purposes.”

The proposal did not come unnoticed and unreplied, of course. Frontliner of those who denied Iran’s right to nuclear power, Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht, harshly commented: “We should not believe that the Iranians only want to use their nuclear technology for civilian purposes. The country wants an atomic bomb.”

As a matter of fact, Iran has declared on many an occasion its intention to attain independent nuclear fuel cycle capabilities, thereby making the production of nuclear weapons possible as well.

Four years later, we are still at the same point, with Iran longing for nuclear independence and the international community nont trusting the country’s sincerity.


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