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A new approach to Iran's nukes

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The solution? A loyalty test can reassure both sides. Nuclear negotiators need to understand that Iranian leaders want to maintain loyalty to the promise they made to the Iranian public to uphold Iran's right to uranium enrichment. Equally important, Iranian leaders must understand that they need to prove their loyalty to the international legal system in order to preserve the peaceful nature of nuclear programs.

A potential trust-building deal would bind the US and other nuclear energy states to Iran as clients under the condition that Iran accepts more rigorous safeguards on its nuclear program.

The clients would agree to buy Iranian enriched uranium and spent fuel containing plutonium for a competitive price. This would ensure that Iran would not amass a large stockpile of enriched uranium and plutonium but would continually ship this nuclear fuel material to clients.

Iranian leaders would show that their intentions are truly peaceful if they accepted this deal. And by accepting it Iran would gain international recognition for its enrichment program and could crow that they have the world's superpower as a client. It would be a win-win situation.

Currently, missing elements cast doubt on Tehran's assertion that its enrichment program is peaceful in nature. To make nuclear fuel, an enrichment facility is not enough.

A country needs adequate supplies of natural uranium to begin the process. Also, it needs a fuel fabrication facility to turn the enriched uranium into fuel that can be placed inside the core of a nuclear reactor. Iran has neither of these major components. But the limited supplies of indigenous natural uranium and the pilot scale enrichment plant now in operation are enough to allow Iran to eventually make dozens of nuclear bombs.

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