Iranian officials offered a “nine-step plan” to defuse the nuclear
crisis with the West which was rejected by American officials, The New York Times reported Thursday.
to the report, the Iranian initiative would gradually suspend the
production of uranium that would be easiest for them to convert into a
nuclear weapon. The Iranian plan is based on a proposal made to European
officials in July.
The Times reported
that the plan required so many concessions by the West, starting with
the dismantling of all the sanctions, that American officials dismissed
it as unworkable.
The report says the plan calls for a step-by-step dismantling of the
sanctions while the Iranians end work at one of two sites where they are
enriching what is known as “20 percent uranium.” Once the Iranians
reach the last step, and the sanctions have been lifted in their
entirety, there will be a suspension of the medium-enriched uranium
production at the Fordow underground site, according to the initiative.
administration officials say the deal is intended to generate
headlines, but would not guarantee that Iran cannot produce a weapon,
the Times stated.
“The way they have structured it, you can move the fuel around, and it stays inside the country,” the Times quoted
a a senior Obama administration official as saying. The official also
warned the program could be restarted in a "nanosecond...they don't have
to answer any questions from the inspectors."
On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held out the possibility that sanctions on Iran could be eased quickly if Tehran worked with major powers to address questions about its nuclear program.
to reporters about protests in Iran triggered by the collapse of the
Iranian currency, which has lost 40 percent of its value against the
dollar in a week, Clinton blamed the Iranian government - rather than
Western sanctions - for the financial troubles.
"They have made
their own government decisions - having nothing to do with the sanctions
- that have had an impact on the economic conditions inside of the
country," Clinton told reporters when asked about the protests.