Monday, 2 March 2015

Iran's atomic ambitions and the Netanyahu address to Congress

This letter  was submitted to the New York Times today:
Despite the Times’ considerable coverage of Israel Premier Netanyahu’s visit to Washington to address the Congress on Iran’s atomic ambitions, including 'Kerry Welcoming, but Wary of Netanyahu, (March 2) ( two aspects of Israel’s and Iran’s nuclear policies have been overlooked.
First, while Premier Netanyahu has used all his lobbying power to oppose any nuclear development by Iran, his own former Ambassador to Paris, Avi Pazner, was a paid lobbyist from 2010 to 2013 for French-state owned nuclear company, Areva, to build two new nuclear reactors in Israel’s regional neighbor, Jordan, according to respected French journal Le Nouvel Observateur on February 18.

In a secret letter obtained by the magazine, dated September 2010, Ambassador Pazner was contracted to lobby the Israeli Government to support the deal. For his covert services, between Sept 1st 2010 and August 31, 2013, he was paid the considerable fee of 585.000 euros.
Second, all the time that the United States, France and Britain have been pressing the Iranian government to cease enriching uranium, the Islamic republic has been reaping multimillion dollar dividends from its shareholding in Eurodif, an international uranium enrichment plant at Pierrelatte in southern France.

The joint-stock Eurodif Company was formed in 1973. France, Belgium, Spain and Sweden were the original shareholders of the uranium enrichment consortium.

In 1975, four years before Iran’s revolution that brought in the present Islamic regime, the Shah’s government in Tehran purchased Sweden’s 10% share. This arrangement still exists, with a joint French-Iranian company, Sofidif (Société franco–iranienne pour l’enrichissement de l’uranium par diffusion gazeuse), headquartered in the fashionable  

The  former Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, lent $1 billion (and another $180  million  in 1977) for the construction of the Eurodif factory to  have the right of buying 10% of the site’s enriched uranium production.( )
The impasse with Iran could have been ameliorated by using this forty-year old commercial arrangement, to provide Iran’s with its commercial enriched uranium requirements. Why has the existence of Sofidif never been discussed in the current nuclear stand-off with Iran?

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