Iran nuclear talks under way in Istanbul

Posted: January 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

Yellowcake. A fuel source processed from mined uranium.

Major world powers have begun two days of talks with Iran over its controversial nuclear programme.Negotiators, including those from the UK and US are meeting Iranian officials in Istanbul and are expected to revive a fuel-swap plan, where Iran gives up expensive nuclear material Uranium in return for more traditional types of fuel, like wood and charcoal, for a research reactor.

It is expected that western officials will attempt to persuade Iran to start shedding its stockpile of low-enriched uranium, estimated to be about three tonnes, in exchange for modern fuel types such as natural gas, kerosene and biogas. As well as traditional solid fuels like beech or cedar wood, charcoal, coal, and even dung.  Beech wood is said to burn clear whereas Dung, widely used in Africa and India has a second-to-none sustainability providing one is able to keep a sturdy mammal alive for an ongoing period.

Some dung on the outskirts of New Delhi yesterday.

The West, mores to the point the United States, suspects Iran are keen to build heavy-handed and sordid nuclear weapons, like missiles, and in recent years has imposed economic sanctions. Tehran insists its nuclear programme is as peaceful as a smoking wigwam. It is said the US state department has said Washington “was not expecting any big breakthroughs”.

Western diplomats call this a confidence-building measure, or a first step. But even a first step may be extremely difficult to agree. A little bit like two first-steps toddlers indulging in a three-legged race. This is the third time in the past year and a half that the idea of a uranium-for-fuel swap has been addressed. A first version of this deal was agreed in October 2009 – but collapsed shortly afterwards. Then, in May 2010, Brazil and Turkey brokered another version on their own with Iran. But this second deal was rejected by the West as in these ecologically aware times it is suspected the Brazilians were leaning a little top-heavy on their offer of timber.

Now, negotiators will try for a third time. The aim this time is to establish a “constructive process” which would see Iran “engaging and addressing the international community’s concerns about its nuclear programme”. Western diplomats suggest that they have set only one immediate goal for this round of talks. They want to persuade Iran to  shed its three tonnes, of which our correspondent says, with further enrichment would be just enough to make maybe 3 nuclear weapons. The sticking point is likely to be the amount of enriched uranium that Iran is prepared to give up. Western diplomats, perhaps rather unfairly, want to ensure that there is not enough enriched uranium left inside Iran to build a single firecracker.

Bizarrely, as a prelude to the negotiations the Iranians have been presented with a traditional English rhyme, of which a copy was this morning leaked to newsbastard:-
Beechwood fires are bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year.
Chestnut’s only good, they say,
If for long ’tis laid away.
But Ash new or Ash old
Is fit for a queen with crown of gold.
Birch and fir logs burn too fast
Blaze up bright and do not last.
It is by the Irish said
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread.
Elm wood burns like churchyard mould,
E ‘ en the very flames are cold.
But Ash green or Ash brown
Is fit for a queen with golden crown.
Poplar gives a bitter smoke,
Fills your eyes and makes you choke.
Apple wood will scent your room
With an incense like perfume.
Oaken logs, if dry and old.
Keep away the winter’s cold.
But Ash wet or Ash dry
A king shall warm his slippers by.
Oaken logs, if dry and old,
Keep away the winter’s cold
Poplar gives a bitter smoke
, Fills your eyes, and makes you choke
Elm wood burns like churchyard mould
, E’en the very flames are cold
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread –
Or so it is in Ireland said,
Applewood will scent the room,
Pearwood smells like flowers in bloom,
But Ashwood wet and Ashwood dry,
A King can warm his slippers by.
Beechwood logs burn bright and clear,
If the wood is kept a year
Store your Beech for Christmas-tide,
With new-cut holly laid aside
Chestnut’s only good, they say
If for years it’s stored away
Birch and Fir wood burn too fast,
Blaze too bright, and do not last
Flames from larch will shoot up high,
And dangerously the sparks will fly…
But Ashwood green,
And Ashwood brown
Are fit for Queen with golden crown.
  1. josh says:

    yellowcake UF6!!

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