Iran Nuclear Standoff: The Pickering Plan

A few weeks ago I linked to a NYRB article by William Pickering, Jim Walsh and William Luers proposing a multi-national enrichment consortium, operated in Iran, as a solution to the nuclear standoff. Today, the Council on Foreign Relations has an interview with William Luers that’s worth a read. According to Luers, the Iranians have plenty of mistrust of their own, especially as regards suspension of their uranium enrichment program, which they tried before for 18 months while negotiating with the EU, with disappointing (for Iran) results.

Luers claims the Iranians are waiting for the U.S. to make the first move on this. There’s no way to independently verify that, but even if it’s true, even Luers acknowledges that that essentially means waiting for January, with no guarantee that a new administration will be any more receptive to the idea than the current one. He also categorically rejects the idea that UN sanctions will change the Iranian government’s approach to the issue. He’s probably right, although in the week or so following the IAEA report, once it became clear that international opinion had tilted against Tehran, there seemed to be a significant toning down of rhetoric in the Iranian press.

Anyway, I’m not very optimistic about any of the available options right about now, so the same goes for the one offered by Luers et al. But I thought I’d link to it in the interests of informing the debate.

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