By: Pace International Law Review Editorial Staff
On September 29, 2009, Iranian officials indicated that they will not discuss a previously secret uranium enrichment plant near the Shiite holy city of Qom in upcoming multilateral discussions in Geneva. Washington, however, has declared that they will initiate discussions about the plant and determine whether or not Iran is using the plant to develop nuclear weapons. Tensions were already heightened due to Iran’s testing of missiles earlier in the week. Iran indicated that they will discuss disarmament and nonproliferation, but any discussion of its nuclear rights is off the table. Establishing the enrichment plant, Iran claims, was within its nuclear rights.
On October 1, however, Iran acquiesced to allowing International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to visit the uranium enrichment plant. Follow-up talks are planned for later in October. Hashem Kalentari of Reuters warns that Iran may not, in coming talks, go beyond the limited nuclear transparency pledges agreed in Geneva and instead tries to string out dialogue to buy time to develop possible atomic bomb capability. The United States President Barack Obama has indicated that if Iran does not cooperate, it will face “sanctions that bite.”