Diplomatic sources are reportedly weighing a new offer from Iran. According to the reports, the offer would see Iran freeze its enrichment of uranium at a level of 20 percent for six months.
In exchange, Iran would demand an easing of the sanctions imposed by Western countries over its refusal to allow full outside oversight of its nuclear program.
It is not clear, however, whether the leadership of the Islamic Republic will actually stand by the agreement. Nor is it clear how much highly enriched uranium or nuclear fuel Tehran has already accumulated.
Israeli leaders have accused Iran of playing for time in order to extend the development of its nuclear technology. Iran plans to keep enriching uranium, they say.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei recently urged Iranians to face up to Western pressure, assuring that if they do, the next year will be a “political and economic epoch” for the country.
Sanctions against Iran started years ago. In the past year United States President Barack Obama added new measures to enforce the sanctions, including extensions of the restrictions to foreign banks assisting Iran.
Obama also extended the sanctions targeting Iran’s petrochemical industry.
Last October the European Union also increased existing sanctions on Iran, as well with a ban on transferring money to the country for any purpose other than the purchase of humanitarian aid.
Any European country seeking to do business with an Iranian company or to transfer money to Iran must first obtain direct authorization from the prime minister of the country it is based in.