US Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, in China for strategic and economic negotiations, says a plan offered by Iran to swap some of its enriched uranium for reactor fuel is a “transparent ploy” to avoid U.N. Security Council sanctions.
On May 17 the Iranian regime announced that it has agreed to a plan negotiated by Turkey and Brazil to ship 1,200 kilograms of low-enriched uranium to Turkey, where it would be stored.
After one year, Iran would have the right to receive about 120.2 kilograms of uranium enriched to 20% from Russia and France in fuel rods for a medical reactor in Tehran.
“There are a number of deficiencies with it that do not answer the concerns of the international community,” Clinton said at a press conference in Beijing. Clinton was in Beijing on the second stop of a three-nation diplomatic mission to Northeast Asia.
“There is a recognition on the part of the international community that the agreement that was reached in Tehran a week ago between Iran and Brazil and Turkey only occurred because the Security Council was on the brink of publicly releasing the text of the resolution that we have been negotiating for many weeks,” she added.
“It was a transparent ploy to avoid Security Council action,” she said.
Clinton announced at a US Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing May 18 that the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany had reached agreement on a draft sanctions resolution that has been presented to the other members of the U.N. Security Council.
The six countries are known as the P5+1 and include the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany.
Details of the sanctions resolution were not announced, but it is expected to carry broad economic penalties against Iranian officials and institutions responsible for the nuclear development program. Work toward the sanctions resolution began after Iran failed to comply with an October 2009 agreement on its nuclear materials.
“There is a clear choice which Iran faces. It’s been the same choice that it has faced since the Obama administration undertook its dual-track approach of engaging with Iran and holding in abeyance international pressure,” Clinton said.
The six countries had offered Iran a means of swapping its enriched uranium that would have eliminated the risk the material would be used for nuclear weapons, but still give Iran the nuclear fuel needed for its Tehran reactor.
Clinton said the difference now is that the diplomatic track has moved to the Security Council. The Security Council previously imposed three sets of political and economic sanctions on Iran.
Clinton said there is a standing invitation from the six nations that have tried to negotiate with Iran: begin a discussion about its nuclear program, forgo uranium enrichment and accept the offers made by the P5+1.
“We discussed all of this in great detail with our Chinese friends and we are moving forward to hold Iran accountable,” Clinton told reporters.