Ghraham Allison: Obama should test Iran’s nuclear offer

Harvard Kennedy School of Government director Ghraham Allison says President Obama should test the offer made by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad this September in New York since his continuation of Bush’s approach to Iran has failed:

While in New York for the opening of the U.N. General Assembly in September, Ahmadinejad on three occasions made an unambiguous offer: He said Iran would stop all enrichment of uranium beyond the levels used in civilian power plants — if his country is able to buy specialized fuel enriched at 20 percent, for use in its research reactor that produces medical isotopes to treat cancer patients.

Obama should seize this proposal and send negotiators straightaway to hammer out specifics. Iran has been enriching uranium since 2006, and it has accumulated a stockpile of uranium enriched at up to 5 percent, sufficient after further enrichment for several nuclear bombs. Iran is also producing 20 percent material every day, and it announced in June that it planned to triple its output. Halting Iran’s current production of 20 percent material and its projected growth would be significant.

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Jasmin Ramsey

Jasmin Ramsey is a journalist based in Washington, DC.