On April 14th the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (USA, UK, France, Russia, China) plus Germany are due to meet representatives from Iran, led by Sayed Jalili, to resolve the West’s dispute with Iran over her nuclear programme. These talks could prove to be crucial for peace in the Middle East and deserve intense intercession from Christians around the world.
For Iran and the West’s positions seem to be irreconcilable. The West is adamant it will not tolerate a nuclear armed Iran, while the US has repeatedly refused to rule out military action. Tehran insists the programme is peaceful, and President Ahmadinejad, supported by many others, has made refusal to compromise over Iran’s right to nuclear power an issue of passionate patriotism. Requests from the West for Iran to close down its underground plant at Fordo, send its enriched uranium abroad, and freeze its programme to enrich uranium to 20% have all been vigorously rejected by Tehran.
The only glimmer of compromise has been a statement from Fereydoun Abbasi, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation, that Iran will only need a limited amount of 20% enriched uranium for her needs. There is no guarantee that Abbasi’s statement will be supported by the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamanei; nor is there any guarantee that this would satisfy the West’s concerns, especially as it apparently only takes a few months to turn 20% enriched uranium into uranium suitable for a bomb.
But here might be the key. It has long been suspected that Iran does not so much want a bomb, but wants access to a bomb if threatened. The aim to have 20% enriched uranium might suggest that essentially Iran’s position is defensive, not aggressive, and they want would be aggressors to know they can develop a bomb. In all of this there is no doubt that miracles are needed to maintain peace in the region.
• All the diplomats in Istanbul, especially Sayed Jalili, Iran’s chief negotiator.
• Peaceful outcome.
• Security for all countries in the region, including Israel.