Jeffrey LewisIAEA Action Plan

Apparently, we have an IAEA-Iran action plan.

Iran, IAEA see progress on nuclear talks Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency both said on Tuesday they had made progress in talks about Tehran’s offer of more transparency aimed at defusing a row over the Iranian nuclear program. Reuters / AP / AFP.

Details to follow.


  1. James (History)
  2. m

    A glossary of terms would be nice for this field. Action plan?

  3. arnold evans

    Looks to me like the issue of the unresolved questions has been separated from the issue of suspension of enrichment.

    I guess that means Iran wins. It will continue with the current level of sanctions, answer the questions but become nuclear capable right on schedule and adopt a stance of nuclear ambiguity like Japan, South Korea and Brazil.

  4. Anon

    Arnold, given your record with predictions in the Middle East (cf. your own admissions on your blog), you may want to be a little tentative with respect to making strong predictions about the outcome of the IAEA-Iran timeline. Let’s just say that, at this point, you’re assuming a lot…

    With good reason did the Wise and Bitter Lexicographer define prophecy as, “The art and practice of selling one’s credibility for future delivery.”

  5. hass (History)

    Far from adobting nuclear ambiguity, the Iranians have offered to enforce restrictions on their nuclear program beyond Additional Protocol that would prevent diversion to weapons – for example, by operating their program as joint ventures, by renouncing plutonium reprocessing, by immediately converting all uranium into fuel rods, by using self-destructing centrifuges. Short of simply giving up enrichment, what else could they dispell this vague accusation of seeking nuclear weapons “capability”?

  6. Anon

    Well, for starters, they could take the unilateral step of actually ratifying the Additional Protocol…

  7. arnold evans


    We are largely in agreement.

    The “without discrimination” clause of the NPT means Iran has the right to access to technology that would make it “nuclear capable” in the way that Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Brazil and Romania are “nuclear capable”.

    With the ability to enrich, Iran will be able, as Romania is able – despite Romania’s former advanced nuclear weapons research and severe NPT violations – to pull out of the NPT, abandon its voluntary agreements and build a weapon if Iran’s leadership deems it necessary. That is an ability the US is attempting to deny Iran and it looks as if the attempt is failing at least if it has not failed.

    The US should fail. If the NPT was respected, there would never have been a question, but the idea that there is a new distinction, of weapons “capability” that should be denied especially to Muslim countries has been in dispute and Iran’s side is looking pretty comfortable right now.

    I would love to see the US express a willingness to renegotiate the NPT – non-weapons states commit to a timeline to give up “nuclear capability” and weapons states commit to a timeline for full disarmament as well as giving up “nuclear capability”.

    But the unilateral change in the terms the US proposes is not looking good today.


    I’ve written my reasoning. “You’ve admitted you were wrong before” is not a refutation of my reasoning. “Let’s just say you’re assuming a lot” (without even mentioning what you think I’m assuming) is not a refutation of my reasoning.

    If you can’t refute my reasoning, why write anything at all? I don’t know why I bother. You’re very lightweight.

  8. Anon

    Arnold, my overly sensitive friend, it wasn’t a refutation. It was a friendly caution.

    For starters, oh Ajor-may Ouchebag-day, you’re assuming that Iran will answer all outstanding questions regarding its two decades of noncompliance — within the Action Plan’s timeline and to the IAEA Secretariat’s full satisfation. But if Iran should fail to do so, say, by stonewalling again…

    The point is that, given Iran’s history, your prediction may be standing on a thin reed. I’m not saying that it can’t happen, but, hey, I’m not a prognosticating heavyweight like you. (I’m lightweight, yo!) I just wouldn’t bet the farm on it.

  9. arnold evans

    Thanks for reading my blog lightweight anon. I see no reason to argue with you.

    A person who would use the phrase “ajormay ouchebagday” more than once is a person I see no reason to argue with.

    If you had used that phrase once, without the pig-latin, I’d be embarrassed to leave comments in the same blog as you. Now that its your trademark, its just a good thing nobody I respect sees me posting here.

    Anyway, if you’d like you can reread the post where I pointed to three things that have happened regarding the Middle East that went contrary to my expectations.

    You seem to think that post is a lot more damaging to my credibility than I do. You can probably figure out that I didn’t have to post it. But I also don’t have to pretend I’ve never been surprised by an occurrence.

    You’re welcome to leave a comment there explaining why you think I should hesitate before writing my expectations in public. I’m sure I’ll be surprised again. If I’m actively posting when I’m surprised, I’ll admit it. Its a much bigger deal to you than it is to me.

  10. Jeffrey Lewis (History)

    Ok, ok. No more pig latin insults.

    Keep it clean.

  11. Anon

    I’m sorry, Jeffrey. I will refrain from insulting the esteemed author of ‘the Arnold Evans Middle East Plan’ or anyone else, in pig-Latin or (for that matter) classical Latin. I promise to treat him with even greater respect and courtesy than he’s treated others online.

    That said, I think that making strong predictions about the imbroglio over Iran’s alarming history of noncompliance, with so little consideration for the gamut of attitudes and choices available to key players (not only the IAEA, US, EU and Iran, but also key elites within these entities), is a silly, even masturbatory, enterprise. Sort of like the bastard child of Jackie Harvey’s Outside Scoop and But, hey, whatever trips one’s trigger. Free country and all of that.

    I can see scenarios where the action plan, even as poorly written as it was, ends up making the life of Iranian elites even more difficult. For their sake, I hope they fully and clearly answer the IAEA’s questions.