Media reports on Wednesday suggested that Iran was preparing to make a significant offer aimed at ending, or at least significantly downgrading, the Iran nuclear crisis.
According to the original report in the Wall Street Journal, unnamed diplomats revealed that at next week’s summit in Geneva, Iran will offer to stop enriching uranium to levels suitable for nuclear weapons production in return for an end to Western sanctions.
The offer, if it does indeed materialize, is nothing more than a “joke,” charged Israelis Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz, who noted that even if the Iranians kept their end of the bargain, they already possess enough fissile material and have enough centrifuges installed to still produce at least a handful of bombs.
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor also advised caution, telling Army Radio that it is all but impossible to believe that the Iranians, “who lied and have been lying since 2003 [about their nuclear program], have suddenly decided to change their ways.”
In fact, in a May interview now making the rounds on the Internet, new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who at the time had not yet won the presidential election, boasted over how he and other Iranian officials had duped Western officials into accepting a similar offer in 2003.
The Tehran Declaration issued jointly by Iranian and European diplomats in the Iranian capital in October 2003 supposedly outlined the immediate and lasting suspension of those parts of Iran’s nuclear program that could lead to the acquisition of nuclear arms.
But, Rouhani exclaimed in the interview, “We didn’t let that happen!”
Iran did not in fact implement a full suspension, but “just reduced the yield,” Rouhani explained, going on to detail how the following year Iran’s nuclear program made its greatest strides with the launching of a heavy water plant, the first production of yellowcake and a significant increase in active centrifuges.