Additional articles and reports from the past week
“Iran attempting to revive nuclear fuel swap deal”
Iran is lobbying UNSC member states in a bid to avoid sanctions and reopen talks on the nuclear fuel swap deal (Washington Post, PressTV). The US has cautiously stated its interest in sincere talks brokered by the IAEA (Reuters). Turkey continues to declare its strong interest in reviving the fuel swap deal (AFP). Some US analysts argue that the US should allow the fuel swap to take place on Iranian territory (FAS (1)(2)).
The renewed efforts come amid other Iranian overtures, including an agreement “in principle” to allow IAEA inspectors more access to its Natanz site (Reuters), as well as a letter sent by President Ahmadinejad to President Obama in March (PressTV). However, Iran also announced that the location for a new nuclear site has been decided (Reuters).
“Gates memo raises concerns over drift toward containment policy”
The New York Times reports on a secret January memo by US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates warning that the US does not have an effective long-term policy for stopping Iran’s nuclear program (New York Times). The White House has criticized the Times’ characterization of the unseen memo, but many US analysts agree that with targeted sanctions and diplomacy unlikely to change Iran’s nuclear policies, Washington may ultimately be forced to pursue a policy of containment (Washington Post).
Laura Rozen suggests the memo may have been leaked in an attempt to steer the US away from containment and toward a harder line (Politico).
“Israel debates unilateral Iran attack” (Wall Street Journal)
The Wall Street Journal reports that Israeli leaders, concerned that the US is willing to accept a nuclear-armed Iran, are debating options for a preemptive military strike against Iran without US approval.
“Kissinger, Shultz favor US-Russia cooperation on anti-Iran missile defense”
In separate interviews, former US diplomats Henry Kissinger and George Shultz suggest that US-Russian collaboration on missile defenses against Iran could help resolve disputes over missile defense and the Iranian nuclear issue (Christian Science Monitor (1)(2)).
Both Kissinger and Shultz are part of the so-called “Gang of Four”, a group of influential former US diplomats calling for global nuclear disarmament.