Multilateral enrichment facilities are legally and politically infeasible
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Working out the complex legal, financial and technical issues involved in setting up a new multinational enrichment arrangement in Iran would also present huge challenges. Not least of these is the practical problem of persuading foreign companies to enter into a venture with such obvious economic, security and political risks. In an industry in which personnel resources are already stretched to meet the growing demands of a nuclearenergy renaissance, it would not be easy to find experienced engineers prepared to work in an environment in which they would be expected to perform intelligence duties and work under the multiple personal security risks of self-destructive centrifuges, air strikes and hostage-taking. The market solution of providing sufficient remuneration to aract qualified personnel raises the additional question of who would cover the costs of what is likely to be an uneconomical venture. No Western company has any interest in the idea. Finally, there is the question of the political viability of engaging in such cooperation with a state that supplies explosives to militants to kill US and British forces in Iraq and has reportedly aided the Taliban to this purpose in Afghanistan, not to mention its support for violence against Israel and denial of that country’s right to exist. The nuclear threat is the most important issue regarding Iran, but it cannot be viewed in isolation.