Will Iran’s nuclear file soon become a distant memory?

The Islamic Republic has implemented just three of the five nuclear steps that it was supposed by August 25

Camelia Entekhabi-Fard
Camelia Entekhabi-Fard
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While Iran’s nuclear negotiating team tirelessly cross continents to solve remaining issues before the interim agreement expires on November 24, the IAEA has said that Iran failed in part to answer their inquiries.

Actually, Iran didn’t fail totally, but “failed to address concerns about alleged suspected research on atomic bomb by an agreed deadline,” The U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Friday.

The unanswered question is relevant to the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program.

The Islamic Republic has implemented just three of the five nuclear steps that it was supposed by August 25 under a confidence-building deal that was reached with the IAEA in November.

Solving the nuclear file will make it easier for Iran’s government to cooperate with the West over some important issues such as ISIS

Camelia Entekhabi-Fard

Apparently, according to my information, the two remaining issues are alleged experiments on explosives that could be used for an atomic device and studies related to calculating nuclear explosive yields.

Major steps

Failing to meet a deadline could jeopardize progress made over the past year.

Since last November, Iran took major steps to fulfill most of its pledges made to the IAEA and give the inspectors access to nuclear related sites plus converted its stock of 20% enriched uranium. The agency said “Iran no longer has a stock of 20% UF6.” This means that Iran’s most sensitive nuclear materials have been demolished.

Also, reports say that Iran has started to reduce its stock of low-enriched 5% uranium over the past three months. If all those steps are not good enough, what else needs to be considered as trust building platform?

Iran has had two bilateral talks with the U.S., in August and September, and high level ministerial talks between Iran and the six major powers will resume in New York on September 18. Also, Iran’s chief negotiator Mohammad Javad Zarif will hold another set of talks in Vienna on Sept 11 with three European countries before heading to New York.

All evidence shows that Iran is serious about building trust and showing transparency to achieve the comprehensive deal.

IAEA worries

The IAEA asked why Iran was developing “bridge wire” detonators, which can be used to set off atomic explosive devices, and Iran says they are for civilian uses such as in the oil and gas industries. Obviously, Tehran wants the investigation closed but the IAEA is pressing on over fears that it is related to Iran’s nuclear work.

Iran always denied having such a plan and even if they has one, they would never admit it at this stage. These lagging Q&A sessions between Iran and the IAEA could remain forever if the parties don’t compromise.

If the world powers decide to reach the comprehensive deal with Tehran, even with these two remaining questions, the nuclear file can be consigned to history.

With the rise of the most dangerous trend of terrorism in Iraq and Syria- ISIS- and as an immediate threat to the U.S. and the Western powers’ national security, a peaceful Iran can be considered a major help in the rejoin.

Iran has all the ability to act on behalf of the U.S. (the military and intelligence ability) unilaterally. U.S. air support and advice is helpful but not necessary.

Solving the nuclear file could make it easier for Iran’s government to cooperate with the West over some important issues such as ISIS. Contact with the U.S. would be justifiable to hardliners in Iran.

In my perspective, both sides would have to compromise in order to reach the comprehensive deal by leaving the past behind and concentrating on regional matters.


Camelia Entekhabi-Fard is a journalist, news commentator and writer who grew up during the Iranian Revolution and wrote for leading reformist newspapers. She is also the author of Camelia: Save Yourself by Telling the Truth - A Memoir of Iran. She lives in New York City and Dubai. She can be found on Twitter: @CameliaFard

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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