Back in December, one report stated: “The [Obama] administration had given a rough deadline of the end of 2009 for Iran to respond to an offer of engagement and show that it would allay world concerns about its nuclear program.”
It’s 2010 now, and Operation “Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There!” continues. “Iran rejects heart of nuclear proposal,” by George Jahn for the Associated Press, January 19:
VIENNA – Iran has told the head of the U.N. nuclear agency that it does not accept an international proposal committing it to quickly export most of the material it would need to make a nuclear warhead, diplomats said Tuesday.
For months, Iranian officials have used the media to criticize the plan backed by most of the world’s major powers and to offer alternatives to one of its main conditions — that the Islamic republic ship out most of its stock of enriched uranium and then wait for up to a year for its return in the form of fuel rods for its Tehran research reactor.
While critical of such statements, the United States and its allies noted that Iran had yet to respond to the International Atomic Agency regarding the plan, first drawn up in early October in a landmark meeting in Geneva between Iran and the six world powers, and then refined later that month in Vienna talks among Iran, the U.S., Russia and France.
But Iran now also has told the IAEA — which chaired the Vienna talks — that it wants an alternative to the plan. Its version effectively rejects the key demand that it agree to a tight timetable in shipping out most of its enriched uranium supply, said the diplomats.
The talks in Vienna came up with a draft proposal that would take 70 percent of Iran’s low-enriched uranium to reduce its stockpile of material that could be enriched to a higher level, and possibly be used to make nuclear weapons.
That uranium would be returned about a year later as refined fuel rods, which can power reactors but cannot be readily turned into weapons-grade material. Iran maintains its nuclear program is only for the peaceful purpose of generating energy.
The Geneva talks grouped the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany around the negotiating table with Iran. Diplomats from three of those big powers said Tuesday that Iran’s counterproposal to the IAEA was essentially a rehash of an already publicly floated offer that fell far short of the six nations’ expectations….
But hey, it bought them more time.