Report: Iran to suspend Uranium Enrichment?
This has so many holes in it, Swis cheese would seem whole by comparison.
But the ramifications are so profound that it deserves to be reported - if only to smoke out whether or not it is true. A respected journalist, Laura Rozen, is reporting at a not very respected journalistic site, Mother Jones, that an Iranian American academic is quoting from an Iranian news site that the government of Iran will suspend uranium enrichment activities for a perioid of six weeks in exchange for:
no further sanctions, and resumption of negotiations with the 5+1 group during this period based on the latest proposed package."
(Here's the source of the report, he says).
If anyone can read Farsi, that link in the quote above goes to a website where the purported peace offer orginated. But here's the problem.:
AFP is now picking up a report based on an interview with former Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati, a foreign policy advisor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that can be interpreted as trying to soften Iranian elite and public opinion on this issue of Iran agreeing to talks, Iranian analysts said."What Velayati is presenting is a softening up of Iranian opinion as to why Iran might accept some sort of suspension without him going into that," Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council, interprets Velayati's remarks. "And then Velayati goes on to say that under the current circumstances, Iran can do this because of the fact that the international community has recognized Iran's right to enrich. So in effect, Velayati is saying, Iran can declare victory and compromise, and that if it doesn't do this, there will be a stronger case for war against Iran and a continuation of economic sanctions, which it's very clear are hurting Iran's economy."
Trita Parsi is an Iranian government toady who works for the NIAC - an Iranian apologist organization. However, it may be the Iranians figure that these guys are the perfect conduit for such a message. They are well known in Washington among media and diplomatic circles so they would make sure the message got to the right people.
So the offer to stop enriching for 6 weeks appears on an obscure news site while that same offer is all but confirmed by a group with known ties to the government of Iran. It may be coincidence or it may be significant. The point is, it appears to me that the Iranians are at least willing to talk about suspending their program.
One big caveat is that this Iranian news monitoring site is totally silent about the story. At the very least, we can say that the story did not appear on a government mouthpiece site or a site that generally speaks for one of the individual leaders. This also is significant and sets off alarm bells in my head.
Considering that just a couple of weeks ago, Ahmadinejad said Iran would never stop enriching for negotiations, it may be that the Israeli (and to some extent) American noises about bombing them may have had its intended effect (Rozen asks the same question).
Could an alternative to war be found through negotiations that would satisfy the Israelis and Americans that Iran could not build the bomb? We will never know unless we try. And given the alternative, we owe it to ourselves, to the Israelis, and yes, to the Iranian people who would suffer greatly if we or the Israelis were to bomb their country, to at least try and find a peaceful solution.