Monday, September 26, 2005

Kenneth Pollack: It's time to get serious with Iran

Recently, Kenneth Pollack, director of research at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Washington's Brookings Institution, discussed the latest developments in the diplomatic crisis with Iran. In his interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE, conducted during his visit to the American Academy in Berlin, Pollack discussed the role he believes Europe should play and the implications troublesome Tehran could have for trans-Atlantic relations.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: How compelling is the evidence that Iranians are developing a nuclear weapons program?

KENNETH POLLACK: Obviously, the evidence is circumstantial, but it is quite strong. The Iranians have admitted to trying to acquire the entire fuel cycle (control over manufacturing reactor fuel). The only debate remaining is whether there is some non-military justification for Iran having the entire fuel cycle. You don't need to be able to enrich uranium for energy production. You can use low grade uranium and light water reactors. So there's particular need to have highly enriched uranium in reactors -- most countries don't even build them. In fact, the European Union trio (Germany, France, Britain) has offered them light water reactors and the Iranians have made clear they don't want them...

To read the interview in full go here