US Senator Opens Iran Nuclear Debate
Daniel Dombey, Financial Times
Editor's Note: There has been much speculation that the possible June 12 election of a new, "reformist" president in Iran – therefore unseating incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – could lead the way to resolving the Iranian nuclear dispute. While a new president may set a relatively softer tone toward the U.S., Iran's nuclear work will likely go unabated absent a proposal that sharply deviates from Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who is believed to have final say on the country's nuclear policy. Interestingly, according to the Institute for Science and International Security, even presidential hopeful Mir Hossein Mousavi, who is widely viewed as Ahmadinejad's biggest contender, played a role in the development of Iran's uranium enrichment program in the 1980s. Indeed, IAEA reports indicate that in 1987 it was then-Prime Minister Mousavi who effectively approved Iran's use of the A.Q. Khan network to secretly acquire centrifuge technology.
One of the most senior Democrats in Washington has dismissed a key element in the west’s long standing strategy on Iran’s nuclear programme as “ridiculous”. His comments throw open the debate about how far the US and its partners should go in seeking a compromise with Tehran after on Friday’s presidential election.