Iran’s centrifuges – as the cliché goes – are still spinning, even as most global affairs junkies are riveted by the explosions in southern Israel.
Since this latest report was barely a blip on the radar screen, we feel it our duty to make sure you know its most troubling findings – as summarized by the Institute for Science and International Security :
*Number of Installed Centrifuges both at Fordow and Natanz Increased
*All Centrifuges Installed at Fordow
*Advanced Centrifuge Program Making Progress
*Little Hope for Structured Agreement to Resolve Issues on Iran’s Past and Possibly On-Going Military Nuclear Activities
*Iran Continues Sanitizing Parchin Site
*IAEA Reiterates its Current Inability to Verify Completeness of Iran’s Declaration, Underlines its Mandate to do so
Hard to fathom why, in the age of internet news and the unlimited space that comes with it, so little room was found for what amounts to a startling update on the continuing Iranian march toward weapons-grade uranium.
So what else slipped under the radar recently when it comes to Tehran’s nuclear activities? We found this item quite enlightening. For those who are already so fatigued with the Iranian crisis they can’t be bothered to click on the link, the highlights:
Discriminatory implementation of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) has left many countries feeling that being a party to the anti-atom bomb pact hinders cooperation in the field atomic energy, Iran’s U.N. ambassador said on Monday.
He must be kidding – that’s Iran’s problem with the NPT? More like the world expects Tehran to comply with the treaty, after exploiting it for two decades…
The Reuters report adds some right-on background in this context:
Western diplomats and analysts have long expressed concern that Iran might one day follow North Korea’s example and pull out of the NPT and produce a bomb. North Korea withdrew from the treaty in 2003 and tested nuclear devices in 2006 and 2009.
Elder statesman Henry Kissinger also weighed in on the crisis in his recent Washington Post op-ed Kissinger believes “the most urgent decision facing the president is how to stop Iran from pursuing a military nuclear program,” clarifying the cost of failure:
To draw the line at proscribing an Iranian nuclear weapon — as some argue — would prove unmanageable. Once the requisite amount of fissile material has been produced, constructing and equipping a warhead is a relatively short and technologically straightforward process, almost certainly impossible to detect in a timely fashion.
If so ineffectual a red line were to emerge from a decade of diplomacy by the permanent members of the Security Council, the result would be an essentially uncontrollable military nuclear proliferation throughout a region roiled by revolution and sectarian blood-feuds. Iran would thereby achieve the status of North Korea, with a military nuclear program at the very edge of going operational.
Again North Korea… Pretty grim picture.
Like many others, Kissinger recommends talks and compromise with Iran based on enrichment limits as the preferred course of action, but also cautions:
The time available for a diplomatic outcome shrinks in direct proportion as the Iranian enrichment capacity grows and a military nuclear capacity approaches. The diplomatic process must therefore be brought to a point of decision. The P5+1 or the United States unilaterally must put forward a precise program to curtail Iranian enrichment with specific time limits.
Kissinger makes much more sense that Gary Sick, in his recent piece in which he also recommends the president engage Iran – but for a very different reason: Sick’s argument, as far as we can understand, is basically this: since Tehran has its finger in all the relevant Middle East pies – from its illicit nuclear activity to support for Syrian massacres to fortifying terrorism – it should be rewarded with increased attention and respect.
After reviewing the latest IAEA report, we really don’t get that line of argument.
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