On January 7, seven former Iranian parliamentarians called for direct talks between Washington and Tehran on the nuclear issue. They urged Iran to stop enriching uranium to twenty percent in return for a lift on international sanctions. The former parliamentarians also suggested that the United Nations provide Iran with sufficient fuel for research reactors that are only for medical and peaceful purposes. The following is the text of the letter to President Barack Obama, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and European Union High Representative Lady Catherine Ashton.
- At this juncture, we believe transparent and bilateral dialogue between the U.S. and Iranian governments regarding Iran's nuclear program would be beneficial and effective. We therefore support such a discussion. Furthermore, we believe continued direct talks without intermediaries could be elevated to the highest levels of both governments. By providing more guarantees in pursuit of a peaceful resolution to the conflict, the talks could create fertile ground for serious discussions on many outstanding and complicated problems between the two nations.
- The Iranian nuclear program is a vastly complex and controversial issue affected by international and regional problems including over three decades of hostile relations between the United States and Iran. In view of the abundance of goodwill between the peoples of both nations, we believe if the political leadership on both sides is resolute, finding a realistic and peaceful resolution of the problem is not beyond reach and will ensure success in the coming round of negotiations.
- A basic principle of any effective negotiation is to explicitly acknowledge the goal of the negotiations is a win-win outcome. To resolve the conflict, therefore, we believe the following points must be taken into account:
- According to international regulations and treaty obligations, Iran has a right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes. This right must actually be explicitly recognized, which means Iran would be able to enrich uranium up to 5 percent.
- If the 20 percent enrichment of uranium is to be stopped, and 20 percent stock pile should be controlled by IAEA, a long-term guarantee should be given to Iran. This guarantee would provide the sufficient fuel to research reactors, which has only scientific and medical functions.
- Iran should take the confidence-building step of accepting the implementation of the Additional Protocol. Moreover, its nuclear program must be subject to technical and legal, and certainly impartial, inspections by the IAEA. Such a step would provide sufficient oversight by the IAEA.
- Concurrent with the halting of twenty percent enrichment process, the P5+1 should create a specific timetable to lift international sanctions imposed by UNSC, EU, and the U.S. related to the nuclear program.
Click here for the letter released by Dr. Haghighatjoo on The Huffington Post.