Report: Iran will offer to reduce, but not end, uranium enrichment

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Iran reportedly will offer to reduce but not eliminate its uranium enrichment in exchange for an easing of sanctions.

The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday quoted diplomatic officials as saying Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif at talks in Geneva next week will present the major powers with a package that includes reducing uranium enrichment from 20 percent to 3.5-5 percent, cutting back on the number of operating centrifuges, and also may shut the reinforced underground reactor at Qom.

The Obama administration has said it will insist that Iran abide by U.N. Security Council resolutions mandating an end to enrichment before easing sanctions. However, Zarif’s reported offer comports with reports of what Western powers want to see in a final-status deal.

Israel opposes any enrichment capacity for Iran, saying that even the low levels allow Iran to remain close to breakout levels for a nuclear weapon.