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IAEA-Iran Talks: Three Things to Know

Speaker: Michael A. Levi, David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment and Director of the Program on Energy Security and Climate Change, Council on Foreign Relations
June 7, 2012

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on June 8 will hold a new round of talks with Iranian negotiators over the country's controversial nuclear program. CFR's Michael A. Levi highlights three things to know about the negotiations:

  • Iran's Parchin Military Complex – The key focus of discussions between Iran and the IAEA will be on whether Iran provides nuclear inspectors with access to the military site, suspected of being used to develop parts of a nuclear weapon, Levi says. "Iran has stalled for several months on access to the site," he says. "The IAEA would still like to go there, and there will still be controversy over it."
  • Iran's continuing uranium enrichment – There is evidence that Iran has been enriching uranium to relatively higher levels of about 20 percent, and in more fortified locations, Levi says. "The focus of broader diplomacy in particular is on this higher level enrichment and this enrichment that might be beyond the reach of Western military strikes," he says.
  • P5+1 negotiations – The results of the negotiations between Iran and the IAEA will play into talks on June 18-19 between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, and France) and Germany, known collectively as the P5+1, Levi says. It's important to watch how these "world powers position themselves to take advantage of whatever outcome there is to the Iran-IAEA talks," he says.

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