Romney Takes Hard Line on Iranian Enrichment
At the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention, Mitt Romney took a hardline on Iran’s nuclear program. “There must be a full suspension of any enrichment, whatsoever, period,” Romney said (Fox News 7/24). In a separate interview, Romney advisor Rich Williamson asserted that, “after the election… [President Obama] is going to cut a deal allowing [Iran] to have enrichment,” (PBS 7/24).
Iranian Supreme Leader Urges Unity On Sanctions
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has urged his nation’s politicians to show more unity under pressure from Western sanctions. In a meeting with officials, he is quoted as saying, “You should avoid useless disputes and airing these disputes to help preserve the nation’s unity … and officials should know these actions will not bring them any honor or prestige among the people,” (Reuters 7/25).
Irano Hind Shipping Co. Folds Under Sanctions Pressure
The Irano Hind Shipping Co., which is jointly owned by Shipping Corp. of India and the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, will “cease operation,” said the chairman and managing director of Shipping Corp. of India (AP 7/25).
Reza Banki Released from Jail
U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer said Mahmoud Reza Banki deserved no additional prison time for charges of making false statements, as he had already served over two years under a conviction for sanctions violations that was subsequently overturned (AP 7/24).
State Department: UN Agency Did Not Violate Sanctions
The US State Department announced that the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a UN agency, did not violate sanctions by giving US technology to Iran and North Korea, rebutting House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Ros-Lehtinen canceled a scheduled committee briefing today on the matter and accused WIPO Director Francis Gurry of refusing to allow senior WIPO staffers to testify (Foreign Policy 7/24).
Notable Opinion: “Nuclear submarine program surfaces in Iran”
Olli Heinonen discusses the implications of Iran’s announced nuclear submarine plans:
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The Majlis debate brought to the arena additional aspects of the Iranian plans: the use of nuclear propulsion for oil tankers and possible use of uranium with higher enrichment. There is speculation that nuclear propulsion will be used as a bargaining chip to trade away or as (eventual) justification for continuing uranium enrichment and get to higher enrichment. Some have raised questions about Iran’s proclamations and its actual capacity to develop nuclear submarines…
The issue gets more complicated, since non-nuclear-weapon states are allowed to remove from IAEA safeguards nuclear material intended for non-proscribed military use, such as fuel for nuclear submarines, under arrangements to be agreed with the IAEA.