We often hear that Iran’s ill-will, its refusal to negotiate seriously, left our countries no other choice but to drag it to the Security Council in 2006. Here also, things are not quite that clear.
Let us remember that in 2005 Iran was ready to discuss a ceiling limit for the number of its centrifuges and to maintain its rate of enrichment far below the high levels necessary for weapons. Tehran also expressed its readiness to put into force the additional protocol that it had signed with the IAEA allowing intrusive inspections throughout Iran, even in non-declared sites. But at that time, the Europeans and the Americans wanted to compel Iran to forsake its enrichment program entirely.
Today, Iranians assume that this is still the goal of Europe and America, and that it is for this reason that the Security Council insists on suspension of all Iranian enrichment activities. But the goal of “zero centrifuges operating in Iran, permanently or temporarily,” is unrealistic, and it has heavily contributed to the present standoff.