As is our custom, we’ll start off with the analysis of David Albright’s ISIS. Main points emphasize:
* Number of installed IR-1 centrifuges at Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP) continues to increase but at a slower rate than previously
* The IR-40 heavy water reactor at Arak appears to be nearing completion with operation expected in the second half of 2014; continued construction of the IR-40 reactor is in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions
* New IR-2m advanced centrifuges continue to be installed at the Natanz FEP
* Stock of near 20 percent LEU hexafluoride grows
* Most cascades at Fordow are vacuum tested and likely ready for enrichment
* The Parchin site is being asphalted
This piece by Reuter’s Fredrik Dahl focuses the headline on progress in the plutonium weapons route. Worth a look-see.
According to the Agency report, Iran’s lack of cooperation in this context violates its obligations under the “modified Code 3.1.” to its bilateral Safeguards Agreement. Turns out Iran decided back in 2007 to unilaterally pull out of this agreement (blamed the Majlis…). The IAEA never recognized the legality of this move, but what can you do: just with the uranium route, it’s tough for the UN body to enforce norms accepted just by the good guys.
So what’ll it be? Another report or seminar about sanctions impact, coercive diplomacy, or containment – followed by an excited round of Tweets? Or maybe the media should focus instead on implementation–including on the plutonium weapons route?