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September 3, 2015 / 19 Elul, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘IAEA’

US Experts: That Activity in Parchin Site is No Road Renovation

Saturday, August 8th, 2015

(JNi.media) Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif on Saturday rejected US media claims about suspicious new developments at the Parchin facility, complaining that the Western media “have no other goal but to create an atmosphere of misunderstanding,” IRNA reported.

“The comments show that all the claims raised against the Islamic Republic of Iran on the issue are baseless,” Zarif insisted, adding that “it has been announced that a road building project has been implemented in the area.”

But the US-based think tank Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS, that’s actually their name, since 1993) is insisting that’s no road work over there, pointing to satellite images that show vehicles and containers being moved at Parchin.

Parchin is a military complex, some 19 miles southeast of Tehran. In July, the Iranian UN mission declared that there was no nuclear weapon production on the site and that the suspicions about Iran reactivating the site are born by a misconception caused by road reconstruction opposite the Mamloo Dam, which is located near the complex.

The UN International Atomic Energy Agency is very suspicious about Iran’s Parchin facility, and Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) has voiced concern about the kind of access the IAEA expected to have there.

“We cannot get [IAEA head Yukiya Amano] to even confirm that we will have physical access inside of Parchin,” Corker told reporters last week.

We probably will not.

ISIS said the satellite images were taken after Iran signed its deal with the 5+1 world powers on July 14.

“This renewed activity occurring after the [signing of the deal] raises obvious concerns that Iran is conducting further [cleanup] efforts to defeat IAEA verification,” the think tank’s report states.

US State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters on Thursday that a cleanup effort, if one is taking place, would be “cause for concern.” But he insisted the US is confident it knows what’s taking place at Parchin and is able to detect nuclear activity at any Iranian site.

“You can’t cover up past nuclear activity very easily. It lasts for decades, even longer,” Toner said.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest played down the possibility of Iranian efforts to restart nuclear works, but also said he wasn’t at liberty to discuss specific intelligence matters.

Royce Submits Congressional Bill to ‘Disapprove’ IranDeal

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Republican U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (CA) has submitted a bill to disapprove the nuclear deal between the U.S., world powers and Iran.

Congress has until September 17 to approve or disapprove of the agreement that was signed on July 14 under the Iran Nuclear Review Act signed in May by President Barack Obama.

The announcement means the Republican-led Congress will make an effort to pass the resolution of disapproval, H.J. Res. 64, rather than a resolution of non-binding approval.

A resolution of disapproval would prohibit the White House from lifting U.S. sanctions on Iran, probably killing the deal entirely. If the resolution passes, Obama may be expected to veto it.

Royce wrote in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry that it was “imperative” for lawmakers to see the so-called “side deals” being negotiated between the Islamic Republic and the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency while the agreement is being debated in Congress.

“While this may not be typical IAEA practice, there is nothing typical about the Iranian threat or this nuclear agreement,” he wrote. “Reviewing these side agreements is critical to Congress understanding whether Iran intends to pass that test… It is clear to me that this issue deserves more scrutiny by the Committee. Indeed, all Members of Congress should have access to the separate arrangements negotiated between Iran and the IAEA,” he continued.

“The ‘separate arrangement’ agreed to between the IAEA and Iran regarding inspection of the facilities at Parchin will almost certainly be regarded by Tehran as a precedent for IAEA access to future suspicious sites in Iran.

“I have little doubt that ‘side deals’ of today will become central to the agreement’s verification provisions tomorrow.

“These ‘separate arrangements’ have the potential to seriously weaken our ability to verify the agreement as a whole.”

The White House called the ‘arrangements’ between the IAEA and states standard and confidential. However, IAEA director-general Yukiya Amano is slated to present a closed-door briefing to members of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday (Aug. 5.)

Longtime former IAEA deputy director Dr. Olli Heinonen, who headed the agency’s arms inspections , currently of Harvard’s Belfer Center, expressed his opposition to the nuclear agreement Tuesday in a news briefing at the National Press Club in Washington DC.

ObamaDeal Exposed: It’s not ‘Secret’ from Congress but not in Writing

Friday, July 31st, 2015

The State Dept. was caught in yesterday’s press briefing claiming there were no “secret deals” with Iran but admitted that it has no written copy of the arrangements it is defending.

Associated Press journalist Matt Lee questioned spokesman Mark Toner at Thursday’s press briefing about many Congressmen’s concerns over IAEA access to Iran’s nuclear sites under the nuclear agreement.

Republican Sen. Bob Corker has said that IAEA director Dr. Yukiya Amano did not accept an invitation to testify at Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on the deal.

Toner declined to say whether Dr. Amano should testify but added:

There’s [sic] no secret deals, and we heard that expression thrown out constantly over the last couple of days. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. The IAEA, which is the one that verifies – will verify this deal, does create arrangements with countries under what’s called the Additional Protocol.

And Under Secretary Sherman has already had a secure briefing with the House leadership talking about this arrangement, and we’ve continued to provide or we will continue to provide those briefings in a classified setting, as needed….

So the perception that this has somehow been – that Congress hasn’t been looped in on this, and what we know about these arrangements is, frankly, incorrect. But they’ve had to take place in a classified setting.

Fine and dandy, but the reasonable assumption is that someone knows about the arrangements.

Lee told the spokesman:

But the notion – you said the notion that Congress hasn’t been looped in, but you haven’t been looped in because you guys haven’t read it.

Toner admitted:

We haven’t received a written copy of it, but we have been briefed on the contents.

And Lee retorted:

So someone with a photographic memory has looked at it and copied everything down in their brain and then repeated it up on the Hill?

Toner fidgeted and explained that “nuclear experts with much bigger degrees than I can ever attain have looked at this and their comfort level with it is good.”

But that does not answer the question, “If there is no secret deal, why isn’t a written version available?

Zarif: Iran Will Allow Inspections but Only When it Wants

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said Monday that Iran never will allow unrestrained access to the countries’ infrastructures.

The April 2 tentative agreement reached between Iran and P5+1 on Iran’s nuclear development is to be followed by an “Additional Protocol” once a final agreement is signed by the June 30 deadline imposed by President Barack Obama.

Zarif stated:

The Additional Protocol never allows excessive and unreasonable access to the countries’ infrastructures; rather it provides a regulated framework which is today being implemented in about 124 countries.

He added that implementation of the Additional Protocol is “voluntary” and that “the existent regulations prevents a misuse of accesses” by the IAEA to Iran’s nuclear facilities.

His statements turn the whole objective of the agreement on its head. Instead of the United States and the other P5+1 countries inspecting Iran’s nuclear plants to make sure it is not guilty of “misuse” of nuclear technology and enriched uranium, it is the Islamic Republic that is to make sure the IAEA does not “misuse” its access.

Zarif also said there will no such things as “inspections.” Instead, they are “access based on a clear and managed framework.”

But what about insistence by President Barack Obama and other Western leaders that there will be no restrictions on access?

All of that is just rhetoric to “pacify” pressure groups, according to Zarif.

He was quoted by The Tehran Times as saying, “Excessive demands [by the P5+1] would only prolong talks and would bring no result for the side that seeks excessive demands.”

Iran’s Zarif Paints Iran as a Lamb, Israel as the Lion

Friday, March 6th, 2015

NBC News reporter Ann Curry had an exclusive interview with the Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Javad Zarif, on Wednesday, March 4. Although Curry doggedly asked the foreign minister several tough questions, the answers he gave with a straight face would be award winning, if the interview were meant to be fiction.

Throughout the interview, Zarif hammered away on his talking points which boil down to: Iran has no interest in building nuclear weapons, Iran’s nuclear program is purely peaceful, and Iran has been completely transparent and complied with every inspection and restriction placed upon it; while Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is a liar, is interfering in internal American politics, and Israel is the main aggressor, brutal occupier  and destabilizing force in the region.

Curry asked Zarif whether his country and the global world powers – the P5+1 – were making progress in the negotiations. Zarif responded that they have been able to move forward with many issues dealing with the technicalities because, he said, Iran “said all along that our nuclear program is exclusively peaceful.”

When asked what the major stumbling block is to an agreement between Iran and the P5+1 countries, Zarif claimed it has been the pressure against making the political agreement. He was referring to Israel’s Netanyahu.

Zarif ridiculed Netanyahu who, he said, has been predicting for years that Iran is only one year away from producing a nuclear bomb. Zarif then very calmly explained that there really is nothing to Netanyahu’s hysteria.

Iran is not about building nuclear weapon. We don’t wanna build nuclear weapons. We don’t believe that nuclear weapons bring security to anybody, certainly not to us. So – it’s important for everybody to come to the realization that – this is about nuclear technology, this is about scientific advancement, this is about pride of the Iranian people. It’s – it has nothing to do with nuclear weapons. And once we reach that understanding, once this hysteria is out, once this fear mongering is out, then we can have a deal, and a deal that is not gonna hurt anybody.

Curry, to her credit, contradicted Zarif’s claim that Iran has been transparent. She mentioned the recent statement made by the International Atomic Energy Agency’s inspectors that Iran has been stalling and has not been transparent about its nuclear program, even as the negotiations have been ongoing. But Zarif smoothly pivoted, and went off on another tirade about Israel.

there have been allegations that have been made against Iran. Most of them, unfortunately, produced by Israel. And by the way, it’s important to know that Israel is the only possessor of nuclear weapons in our region, is the only aggressor in our region, is the only occupier of other people’s territory in our region. And it still has the audacity to go out and make claims– about others. The prime minister, who is actually responsible for the carnage that took place in Gaza, is accusing a country that has not invaded any of its neighbors, or anybody else for that matter, for over 250 years, more than the life of many nations.

Incredibly, Zarif presented Iran as the ultimate pacifist nation, claiming it has not invaded or “aggressed upon” any of its neighbors, whereas Israel’s record is “disastrous.”

Perhaps Zarif’s greatest punch line was when he claimed that the Middle East has been “facing a very serious threat of extremism, of violence, and that Iran has “been a force for stability in this region.”

Really? Maybe Curry should have asked about Iran’s funding and supplying of weapons to the terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah, it’s destabilizing influence in Lebanon, its support for the brutal Assad regime, its murderous activities even in America’s own backyard, Argentina, and the hand-holding and cooperation with North Korea.

Curry did give a little pushback to this pipe dream of a peaceful Iran. She invoked Netanyahu’s statement in his speech to Congress on March 3, when he said Iran “has genocidal ambitions against the Jewish people.”

In a runner-up for best punch line, Zarif then invoked the Purim story, and claimed it was Netanyahu who does not know his own “scripture,” because he said (wrongly) that the Book of Esther is in the Old Testament, and in that scripture it is the Persian King who saves the Jewish people. From there, Zarif leaps over to the fact that there are Jews who live in Iran today who are not being “annihilated,” so Netanyahu is just plain wrong, according to Zarif.

In another effort at pushback NBC’s Curry produced a tweet from the Ayatollah Khameini from seven months ago.  The Ayatollah tweeted, referring to Israel: “This barbaric wolf-like and infanticidal regime of Israel which spares no crime, has no cure but to be annihilated.”

What about that, Mr. Foreign Minister?

Zarif would have none of it, claiming that wanting to annihilate Netanyahu who has “butchered innocent children in Gaza” is not the same thing as wanting to annihilate Jews.

Then Zarif really got wound up and began blaming the Israeli regime for having caused the “oldest crisis in our region,” of having “aggressed upon all its neighbors,” of “occupying people’s territory,” and of “violating human rights on a daily basis.”  Zarif doubled down, saying that this Israel regime “should be annihilated,” because it is a threat to the region, one that engages in the killing of innocent children.

But, Zarif said, “Iran has not invaded any other country. We have not threatened to use force. Just exactly the opposite of Israel. Israel threatens to use force against Iran almost on a daily basis.”    

So, there you have the world according to Zarif. The Middle East is in danger because of the aggressor, the occupier, the evil nation – Israel is the one that has been threatening all its neighbors, while Iran is the stabilizing force for good in the region.

Why would anyone hesitate to sign a nuclear weapons agreement with these people?

Reducing Iran’s Number of Centrifuges Makes a Bomb More Likely

Friday, February 27th, 2015

An agreement that limits the number of centrifuges Iran can possess makes them useless for nuclear energy but very useful for producing a nuclear weapon, according to a former CIA director who now is an analyst for CBS. Michael Morell said on Charlie Rose:

If you are going to have a nuclear weapons program, 5,000 is pretty much the number you need. If you have a power program, you need a lot more. By limiting them to a small number of centrifuges, we are limiting them to the number you need for a weapon.”

Iran has about 19,000 centrifuges, 10,000 of which are operating. The Obama administration’s proposal for a deal with Iran reportedly offered to let Iran enrich uranium with around 6,500 centrifuges. The Obama administration has countered the numbers, some of which are supplied by the Netanyahu administration, by arguing that the type and size of centrifuges are no less important than the number when it comes to enriching uranium.

President Barack Obama thinks that he can negotiate a deal that will keep Iran from making a nuclear weapon for two decades. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says Iran simply is buying time, cannot be trusted to honor any agreement, and that any deal to which it agrees will be a “bad deal.”

Obama supposedly wants to cut the number of centrifuges to approximately 5,000, which Morrell said is enough to produce a nuclear weapon.

PunditFact verified Morell’s claim with several experts, including Georgetown Associate Prof. Matthew Kroenig, who has little faith that Iran will honor any agreement; Arms Control Association official Daryl Kimball; David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security; and Harvard Prof. Matthew Bunn. Bunn told PunditFact:

People think surely you must need a bigger enrichment system to make 90 percent enriched material for bombs than to make 4-5 percent enriched material for power reactors. But exactly the opposite is true. A nuclear reactor, which Iran claims it is building for peaceful purposes, requires tons of uranium. A nuclear bomb can be produced with only 50 pounds of highly enriched uranium.

Bunn explained that producing low-grade uranium makes it possible to produce the enriched stuff, even though it is harder.

That is why Netanyahu told the United Nations three years ago Iran must be allowed zero percent uranium. Once Iran has 5 percent grade uranium, “you’ve already done more than 2/3 of the work of going all the way to 90 percent U-235 for weapons,”

Bunn said. “So the amount of work needed to make bomb material is only a modest amount more per kilogram, and the number of kilograms you need for bombs is 1,000 times less.”

Kimball is more dovish than Kroenig and thinks that since it would take Iran a year to produce enough enriched uranium for one bomb, “That would give you enough time to detect that activity.”

That means the deal, if one is made, comes down to inspections, something which Iran has circumvented for years. Either it allows inspections after removing evidence that its nuclear development is aimed at building a nuclear weapon, or it simply allows them after it has moved its operations to another unknown facility.

The National Coalition of Resistance of Iran insists that the Iranian regime has systematically lied to United Nations nuclear inspectors and has built and is running a secret “Lavizan-3″ underground enrichment operation near Tehran.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in a report last week that was obtained by Reuters and the Associated Press, stated that Iran is living up to its commitment to reduce enrichment activities but did not erase suspicions that it is carrying out research for making a nuclear bomb. The IAEA report said:

Iran has not provided any explanations that enable the agency to clarify the outstanding practical measures.

Obama apparently thinks Iran can be trusted, and that is why he is so incensed that Netanyahu is trying to convince Americans that the president is letting himself be conned – again.

BREAKING: West About to Cave on Key Iranian Demand

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

The deadline for the talks between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the P5+1 is now less than two days away.

As the time nears for either the ability to announce an “historic agreement” about nuclear weapons with Iran or failure on yet another front, there are reports of an alarming shift in the wind blowing out of the west: a growing inclination to allow Iran to avoid admitting “possible military dimensions” (PMD) of its nuclear program in order to have a historic agreement.

Many news outlets are referring to the condition as merely a “mea culpa” demand, useful only as a tool to humiliate Iran. The suggestion is that the PMD requirement should be relaxed in order to allow Iran to “save face.”

Others, including former members of the International Atomic Energy Agency, have warned that allowing Iran to evade the requirement now, and easing sanctions without securing an agreement from the ayatollahs to acknowledge the PMD of its nuclear program will sabotage any chance of future verification programs.

From the beginning of his administration, U.S. President Barack Obama has soothed potential detractors with his assurance that he would force full Iranian disclosure. “Iran is on notice,” the president said in September of 2009, “they are going to have to come clean.”

Less than two years ago Secretary of State John Kerry reinforced the president’s longstanding demand, stating that “the president has made it definitive” that the Islamic Republic needs to answer all “questions surrounding Iran’s nuclear program.”

But it isn’t just that the U.S. president  – indeed, the entire Western diplomatic effort – has rested on the need for Iran to come clean about its past that makes the PMD absolutely essential. Rather, allowing Iran to evade full cooperation with the IAEA inquiries would neuter any ability of the west to measure what kinds of progress Iran is making with respect to its nuclear program.

This point was made forcefully in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal this past spring, “Making Iran Come Clean About Its Nukes.” David Albright, a former Iraq U.N. inspector, and Bruno Tertrais, senior research fellow at the Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris, were unequivocal about the need for Iran to address the questions it has been evading by inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency about its nuclear weapons development.

To be credible, a final agreement must ensure that any effort by Tehran to construct a bomb would be sufficiently time-consuming and detectable that the international community could act decisively to prevent Iran from succeeding. It is critical to know whether the Islamic Republic had a nuclear-weapons program in the past, how far the work on warheads advanced and whether it continues. Without clear answers to these questions, outsiders will be unable to determine how fast the Iranian regime could construct either a crude nuclear-test device or a deliverable weapon if it chose to renege on an agreement.

Without the essential benchmark information provided by PMD disclosure, any information going forward would be virtually meaningless.

The experts asked the world to consider why anyone should believe that if Iran is given a free pass now to evade questions about its weapons program when “biting” sanctions on its oil exports and financial transactions are in place, how could there be any hope of forcing the Islamic Republic to answer those questions later, after sanctions are lifted?

“Washington and the Europeans have arrived at a critical juncture. If the West fails to demand that Iran verifiably fess up to the military dimensions of its nuclear program, the odds are good that Ayatollah Khamenei would be able to build the bomb without fear of discovery,” Albright and Tertrais wrote.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/breaking-west-about-to-cave-on-key-iranian-demand/2014/11/23/

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