However, Iran probably won’t follow the West’s example in following up on its deadline with another deadline. And watch for another deadline to be issued in kind. “Iran FM: West has 1 month, or we’ll make our own nuclear fuel,” from the Associated Press, January 2:
Iran warned on Saturday the West has until the end of the month to accept Teheran’s counterproposal to a UN-drafted plan on a nuclear exchange, or the country will start producing nuclear fuel on its own.
The warning was a show of defiance and a hardening in Iran’s stance over its controversial nuclear program, which the West fears masks an effort to make nuclear weapons. Teheran insists the program is only for peaceful, electricity production purposes and says it has no intention of making a bomb.
“We have given them an ultimatum. There is one month left and that is by the end of January,” Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said, speaking on state television.
However, even if Teheran started working on the fuel production immediately, it would likely take years before it can master the technology to turn uranium, enriched to the level of 20 percent, into rods that make the fuel.
… at which point we may still be playing the deadline game with Tehran.