Armas nucleares (Continuación)

El sábado se abrió en Estambul una nueva ronda de negociaciones sobre el programa nuclear iraní entre los cinco países miembros permanentes del Consejo de Seguridad y la Unión Europea (5+1) e Irán.

La reunión, presidida por la jefa de la diplomacia europea, Catherine Ashton, y por el jefe negociador iraní, Said Jalilí, se produce tras más de un año de bloqueo. Recordemos que la anterior ronda de negociaciones tuvo lugar en enero de 2011, también en Estambul, y no condujo a ningún resultado fructífero.

Para muchos, este diálogo es visto como la última posibilidad para lograr una solución a un conflicto que se extiende en el tiempo desde hace ya casi una década y en el que yo he participado muy de cerca como negociador principal desde 2006 hasta 2009.…  Seguir leyendo »

The two of us have joined a number of our colleagues on both sides of the Atlantic in discussing a threatening development: the accelerating spread of nuclear weapons, nuclear know-how and nuclear material. We now face a very real possibility that the deadliest weapons and materials ever invented could fall in to dangerous hands.

We believe the United States and Germany, NATO and all of Europe, including Russia, have a special leadership role to play in support of global efforts to reduce reliance on nuclear weapons, to prevent their spread into dangerous hands, and ultimately to end them as a threat to the world.…  Seguir leyendo »

After a hiatus of more than a year, negotiations about Iran’s nuclear program are set to resume in Turkey on Friday between Iran and France, Germany, Britain, Russia, China and the United States. Though the participants foresee several rounds of discussions, all will be acutely aware that time to reach agreement peacefully may be running out.

So it is important to ask, at the start, how we will be able to tell whether the talks are moving forward.

Though talks that have taken place since 2004 have produced no real progress, recent developments suggest some grounds for cautious optimism. Sanctions are hurting Iran, and even tougher ones are expected to go into effect July 1.…  Seguir leyendo »

Forty-five years ago, the United States sold my country a research reactor as well as weapons-grade uranium as its fuel. Not long afterward, America agreed to help Iran set up the full nuclear fuel cycle along with atomic power plants. The U.S. argument was that nuclear power would provide for the growing needs of our economy and free our remaining oil reserves for export or conversion to petrochemicals.

That rationale has not changed.

Still, after the Islamic Revolution in our country in 1979, all understandings with the United States in the nuclear field unraveled. Washington even cut off fuel deliveries to the very facility it supplied.…  Seguir leyendo »

In January 2007, Israeli intelligence officials were horrified by information acquired when Mossad agents broke into the hotel room of a senior Syrian official in London and downloaded the contents of his laptop. The pilfered files revealed that Syria, aided by North Korea, was building a nuclear reactor that could produce an atomic bomb.

Until then, according to military intelligence officials, Israeli intelligence thought Syria had no nuclear program. But that was because Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, had set up a parallel and separate system of command and control for building the reactor. The discovery caused a panic in Israel, and grave concern in Washington, which had relied heavily on Israel’s assurances that it knew everything about Syria.…  Seguir leyendo »

It is not certain that the talks scheduled to begin in Istanbul on Friday between the “P5-plus-1” group (the five permanent U.N. Security Council members — the United States, China, Britain, France and Russia — plus Germany) and Iran are really the last chance to avoid war over Iran’s nuclear program. But there is no question that the risk of military conflict increases should this round prove as fruitless as the last one in early 2011.

The conditions appear a little better this time. The European Union and the United States continue to see a — dwindling — chance to prevent Iran from achieving a military nuclear capability through negotiations and also decrease the risk of a military confrontation between Israel and Iran.…  Seguir leyendo »

Bad news: the Obama administration and the West hold a lousy hand as they go into talks with Iran.

In a world of dreams and miracles, the conversations, starting Saturday, would end with the mullahs renouncing their drive toward nuclear weapons, and the disappearance of a thunderhead of foreboding and grief.

Reality says otherwise, three ways.

It demonstrates that the Iranians are emboldened by the West’s backing off in Syria. It acknowledges that some of the allies have serious concerns about Barack Obama’s willingness to make concessions and stretch out the talks, playing for time, Iranian-style, until after the U.S. presidential election.…  Seguir leyendo »

The United States holds a strong bargaining position going into Friday’s scheduled nuclear talks with Iran. An Israeli military attack seems imminent. U.S.- and European Union-led sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank and oil exports are wreaking havoc on the Iranian economy. And yet, despite these massive pressures on the Iranian regime, it is not Tehran but the United States that is signaling that it is prepared to make concessions — setting the stage for Washington’s unprecedented leverage to be squandered.

The United States and its Western allies reportedly plan to demand that Iran suspend its higher-level enrichment activities, a position Secretary of State Hillary Clinton previewed in comments to the press April 1.…  Seguir leyendo »

Sanctions and the threat of military attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities aren’t swaying the leaders of the Islamic regime in anticipation of negotiations this weekend. In fact, Iranian pundits proclaim, Iran does not have to make concessions to the United States because it is a powerhouse.

In an analysis that appeared Saturday, Mohammad Mohammadi, an Iranian international affairs and nuclear program expert, wrote, “Iran is in a position now that it does not necessarily need to compromise with the U.S.”

“It is quite clear that when we watch the current arguments between America and Israel over Iran, the Obama administration is quite confused,” Mr.…  Seguir leyendo »

En 2008, le président américain Barack Obama a fait campagne en s’engageant, notamment, à redresser la situation économique et à surmonter la crise internationale provoquée par l’Iran. Il souhaitait discuter avec Téhéran afin de régler le contentieux nucléaire. M. Obama arrive à la fin de son mandat et la crise avec l’Iran est plus critique que jamais. D’un côté, les dirigeants iraniens menacent de fermer le détroit d’Ormuz ; de l’autre côté, les tambours de guerre se font entendre.

Il y a de multiples raisons pour lesquelles il faut empêcher l’Iran de se doter de l’arme atomique. Si ce régime se dote d’un tel arsenal, il devient intouchable.…  Seguir leyendo »

Le sommet sur le nucléaire de Séoul est parvenu à un accord sur la prévention du terrorisme nucléaire et l’on s’en réjouira, même si le risque d’un terrorisme fondé sur l’utilisation d’armes biologiques, beaucoup plus faciles à produire et à manier, paraît bien plus grand.

On a noté par ailleurs avec satisfaction les remarques de notre ministre des Affaires étrangères sur les efforts à faire dans le domaine du désarmement nucléaire. Mais n’est-il pas temps d’aller plus loin en reconnaissant enfin que le seul objectif raisonnable est aujour­d’hui celui d’une interdiction totale de l’emploi, de la possession et du commerce des armes nucléaires, à l’exemple de ce qui existe pour les armes biologiques et chimiques?…  Seguir leyendo »

Por qué guardo silencio, demasiado tiempo,

sobre lo que es manifiesto y se utilizaba

en juegos de guerra a cuyo final, supervivientes,

solo acabamos como notas a pie de página.

Es el supuesto derecho a un ataque preventivo

el que podría exterminar al pueblo iraní,

subyugado y conducido al júbilo organizado

por un fanfarrón,

porque en su jurisdicción se sospecha

la fabricación de una bomba atómica.

Pero ¿por qué me prohíbo nombrar

a ese otro país en el que

desde hace años —aunque mantenido en secreto—

se dispone de un creciente potencial nuclear,

fuera de control, ya que

es inaccesible a toda inspección?…  Seguir leyendo »

The negotiations between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, plus Germany, over Iran’s nuclear program are entering a new, and probably decisive, stage. The negotiations have been going on for almost a decade, with long interruptions, and whether a breakthrough will come this time is anyone’s guess. But the situation has never been as serious as it is today, and peace hangs in the balance.

After the recent visits by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to Washington, DC, and by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Tehran, a foggy situation is nonetheless becoming clearer.…  Seguir leyendo »

Brazil, the saying used to go, is the land of the future — and always will be. But when Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, visits the White House next week, she will come as the leader of a country whose future has arrived.

With huge new offshore oil discoveries and foreign investment flooding in, Brazil’s economy, growing twice as fast as America’s, has surpassed Britain’s to become the world’s seventh largest. As a member of the Group of 20 and host of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, Brazil is an emerging global leader.

But there is one area where it has an opportunity to lead and has failed to: preventing the spread of nuclear weapons.…  Seguir leyendo »

El primer ministro de Turquía, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, ha emprendido un desafío abrumador. Después de participar en la cumbre de seguridad nuclear celebrada en Corea del Sur a finales de marzo, viajó a Teherán para instar a los dirigentes iraníes a llegar a un acuerdo en la siguiente ronda de conversaciones sobre asuntos nucleares entre Irán y los cinco miembros permanentes del Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas (Gran Bretaña, China, Francia, Rusia y los Estados Unidos) y también Alemania. Erdogan será el anfitrión de dichas conversaciones que se llevarán a cabo a mediados de abril en Estambul.

La última vez que Erdogan había viajado a Teherán fue en mayo de 2010 para concluir un acuerdo previamente negociado que formalizaba el envío de parte de Irán de grandes cantidades de uranio poco enriquecido a Turquía a cambio de combustible nuclear para el reactor de investigación iraní.…  Seguir leyendo »

As calls mount, especially in Israel, for military action against Iran’s nuclear program, the main counterargument has been seductively simple: Iran is rational. Indeed, our country’s top military official, Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, recently rejected the need for airstrikes because, as he put it, “We are of the opinion that the Iranian regime is a rational actor.”

By this logic, we should not risk war to prevent Iran from going nuclear because even if Iran acquired nukes, it would never use them offensively, never share them with terrorists and never utilize them as a shield for regional adventurism. To do so would risk nuclear retaliation, which would be irrational.…  Seguir leyendo »

The International Atomic Energy Agency is aware of more than 2,000 confirmed cases of illicit trafficking and other unauthorized activities involving nuclear and other radioactive material in the past 18 years. In a sting operation in Moldova last year, police seized a quantity of highly enriched uranium — material that can be used in a nuclear weapon — from an individual who was trying to sell it.

Most cases of attempted trafficking do not involve nuclear materials but, rather, radioactive materials of the sort held in hospitals, factories and many other locations worldwide that are generally not as well protected as nuclear facilities.…  Seguir leyendo »

The threat from nuclear terrorism is one of the greatest our world faces. If terrorist groups manage to get their hands on material to make nuclear or radioactive weapons, they will not hesitate to use them. The resulting death toll and damage would be unimaginable.

The security of nuclear materials was high on the agenda of the first Nuclear Security Summit in Washington in 2010. This week, along with President Obama and the leaders of 50 other countries, I will be traveling to Seoul for the second summit to report on progress. We will see how we can further improve measures to keep safe nuclear material and to stop its illegal trade.…  Seguir leyendo »

To contain Iran, or to preempt? That is, at present, the question. President Obama’s recent dismissal of containment as an option would seem to stack the deck. Unless Iran pauses its uranium enrichment activities, an Israeli or U.S. strike against its nuclear facilities looks likely by next year.

Containment always looks better in theory, or in retrospect, than it works in practice. Our four-decade containment of the Soviet Union included several near misses, including the Berlin crisis and the Cuban missile crisis. And given the Iranian regime’s willingness to resort to terror tactics — even on U.S. soil — and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s purported remarks about wiping Israel off the map, there are clear downsides to relying on Iranian rationality that the regime can be deterred.…  Seguir leyendo »

Hay una brecha irreconciliable entre Irán y las potencias occidentales. Los dirigentes iraníes han afirmado que todos los documentos que apuntan a su intento de fabricar un arma nuclear montada en un misil son fabulaciones concebidas para justificar un ataque. The New York Times observó que el país ha sido objetivo de ataques encubiertos, incluidos los asesinatos de varios científicos nucleares y los ataques informáticos que inutilizaron las centrifugadoras nucleares iraníes. El Gobierno iraní ha publicado sus propias pruebas de tramas terroristas occidentales contra Irán, mientras sus dirigentes repiten constantemente que no tienen intención de fabricar armamento nuclear. En una entrevista en The New York Times, el antiguo director del Organismo Internacional de la Energía Atómica (OIEA), Mohamed el Baradei, declaró que nunca había visto “ni una sola prueba de que Irán se esté armando en términos de construir instalaciones destinadas a la fabricación de armamento nuclear con empleo de uranio enriquecido”.…  Seguir leyendo »