Dr Gary Samore in an Interview with Radio Farda said in his view, it would be counter productive to refer Iran to the UN's Security Council at this stage. However, he believes Iran will ignore Europe's demands to comply with its legal obligations and continue the production of enriched uranium either under the eyes of the IAEA or in secret.
Since Iran recently announced it is planning to enrich uranium there has been back and forth diplomatic efforts to find the best way to stop the advancement of Iran's nuclear programme. The EU3 policy of Constructive Engagement was ineffective and a step backward according to Chris Patten, the EU commissioner for Foreign Affairs.
Despite this the British Government announced on Wednesday that the EU has set a November deadline for Iran to comply with its legal obligations.
On the other hand, the US Administration insists on referring Iran to the UN's Security Council. It believes Iran is playing delay tactics and any soft approach towards Iran will have irreversible consequences.
Next week IAEA's board of governors will study the latest report on Iran and is expected to reach an agreement on the best possible policy towards Iran's nuclear development. In an interview with Dr. Gary Samore, the Director of Studies at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Sharan Tabari, Farda's London correspondent, asks for his view on the complexities of this issue.
Dr. Samore believes that whilst the EU's Engagement policy towards Iran has not been successful, the EU is right to continue this policy. He believes referring Iran to the Security Council would weaken Europe's influence on Iran.
"I believe the Europeans think that for now the best approach available is to... persuade Iran to agree to restore the original suspension that was agreed last year."
"For the time being Europeans appear to believe that it would be counter-productive to send the matter to the Security Council and to seek economic and political sanctions against Iran. In part because there doesn't appear to be strong consensus in New York to impose sanctions against Iran and if the Security Council is unable to take any effective measure,that would actually weaken the European leverage over Iran and would make it less likely... that a solution would be possible."
With regard to Iran's strategy in this respect Dr. Gary Samore says: "I think Iran's strategy for the time being would be to comply with their obligations under the NPT treaty... and to apply international inspections and safeguards to their nuclear program. At the same time they want to proceed to complete the ability under International inspection to produce enriched uranium... and once Iran is capable to produce large amount of uranium Iran would have the option of either leaving the NPT as North Korea has done... or secretly divert material from enrichment plant and use it to produce nuclear weapon.
"In other word Iran's strategy appears to be to remain within the legal constrains of the NPT for now... but at the same time build up a nuclear weapons capability for future."
On US strategy towards Iran's nuclear programme Dr. Samore believes, the next US administration, be it George Bush or John Kerry would have to make a decision weather the US is prepared to seek a negotiation agreement with Iran. He adds:
"Although the prospect of this negotiation may not be very good, but it would be difficult for the US to persuade other counties to support sanctions or other measures unless the US can first demonstrate that Iran has rejected a diplomatic solution."
... Payvand News - 9/10/04 ... --