Iran Considers Details of Potential Enrichment Curb

meeting last week between Iran and six major governments included extensive discussions on a multilateral offer intended to cool global fears over Tehran’s suspected pursuit of a nuclear arms capacity, al-Monitor quoted international relations insiders as saying on Tuesday.

The gathering of technical specialists focused on a draft compromise presented to Iran in February during a higher-level dialogue with the five permanent U.N. Security Council member nations and Germany. Representatives from Tehran, which insists its nuclear program is nonmilitary in nature, considered possibilities including a half-year pause on production of higher-purity uranium, as well as changing its existing sensitive material to a form less easily converted to bomb fuel, insiders said.

Last week’s session included the “most substantive” exchange to date between U.S. and Iranian government personnel, according to one informed source. The insider said Iranian delegates had reviewed the multilateral offer “slide by slide, and didn’t focus on (their) counterproposal.”

A second insider said the Iranian team was more critical of international calls for the nation to submit to more intrusive U.N. scrutiny; relinquish its stocks of 20 percent-enriched uranium; and halt certain activities at an underground uranium enrichment site near Qum.

Washington might be considering adding new sweetener to the proposal, two insiders said without elaborating. A new senior-level meeting between the sides is scheduled for April 5 and 6 in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Meanwhile, a new independent assessment says international economic pressure has failed to inhibit Tehran’s atomic advancement, the Christian Science Monitor reported on Tuesday.