I walked into the IAEA, surprised at the rather un-explosive atmosphere. Working papers being read out and moderated caucuses to discuss them seemed to be the general flow of committee. Occasional comments were made at regular intervals, by the chair, in order to ensure everybody got a chance to speak.
Working paper 2 was introduced. A 20 minute moderated caucus to discuss it clause by clause, or as it appeared, flaws by flaws, followed. Emphatic speeches were made by France, Botswana and Sweden. Everyone in committee seemed to be discussing two primary premises- the sanction specifics and uranium enrichment levels. Honduras felt that 8000 centrifuges for uranium enrichment were ridiculous and more than sufficient for nuclear weapon development. France felt that a 20% enrichment allowance, as mentioned in Working Paper 2, was too high and uranium enriched to 4% was sufficient for energy generation. Botswana felt that the sanctions proposed by Working paper 2 were highly generalized into three categories- short, middle and long termed- and needed detailed time constraints to be comprehensive.
Finally, the Portuguese delegation seemed to have captured the essence of the committee in their plan: DMD. “DMD stands for Defense Maintenance and Deterrence. It essentially follows the principles centered around sanction relief, confidence building measures and uranium enrichment levels.” explained Portugal.
I left in a rush, a little apprehensive about how committee would advance in the days to come. I hope that the IAEA comes up with a comprehensive solution to Iran’s Nuclear Negotiations.