With the next round of international talks on Iran’s nuclear program scheduled for February 26, the United States needs to understand Iran’s negotiating strategy. Recent Iranian tactics suggest a seemingly contradictory approach: simultaneously slowing down and speeding up their nuclear program. But by buying time now, Iran is shrewdly seeking to evade international pressure while hastening its advance to nuclear weapons capability. The United States should be clear that it sees through this ploy and remains determined to prevent a nuclear Iran.
On February 12, Iran announced, and Western diplomats later reportedly corroborated, that it has once again drawn from its stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium to produce reactor fuel. Official confirmation came from the latest report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), released yesterday. This move, the third such in the last year, suggests that Iran is trying to decelerate its nuclear program.