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November 27, 2015 / 15 Kislev, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘IAEA’

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.

Biden’s New NSA Chief Mocked Israeli Nuke Fears

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Colin Kahl, a former deputy secretary of defense for the Middle East in President Obama’s first administration, was recently named Vice President Joe Biden’s national security adviser and deputy assistant to the president. But, as Lee Smith reports in the Weekly Standard, Kahl is perhaps best known – or would be, if more people realized who was responsible – for deleting the reference to Jerusalem as the eternal, undivided capital of Israel in the Democratic platform during the last presidential campaign.

What should be of even greater concern is Kahl’s hostility to action against Iran’s drive towards nuclear weapons capability, as well as his eagerness to understate Arab leaders’ thirst for such power and to underestimate the existential dangers to Israel posed by such ambitions.

As Smith points out, Kahl was a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security when he co-authored a May, 2013 report which sought to assure legislators that it would be possible to contain a nuclear Iran should measures to stop it fail to achieve their goal. That report described how the U.S. could “manage and mitigate the consequences of a nuclear-armed Iran.”

Although the CNAS is generally considered a centrist think tank, it issued reports recommending non-intervention in Syria, including not arming the early opposition, as well as taking a soft, pro-diplomacy stance towards Iran.

In advance of the CNAS report’s publication, Kahl wrote an astonishing op-ed in the Washington Post which sought to convince readers that Israel made things much worse than they would have been when it bombed Iraq’s Osirik reactor, and that there would be similar or still more disastrous results should Israel dare to attack Iran’s nuclear weapons plants. Think that’s a mischaracterization? The title of the op-ed is “An Israeli attack against Iran would backfire — just like Israel’s 1981 strike on Iran.”

Kahl warned in his op-ed that if Israel were to strike it would doom the likelihood of Iran’s cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency. “An Israeli strike would also end any prospect of Iran cooperating with the IAEA, seriously undermining the international community’s ability to detect rebuilding efforts.”

It seems Kahl may be the only one still holding out hope that Iran will ever cooperate with the IAEA regardless of any action by Israel. He also claimed Saddam was nowhere near ready to create nukes, so Israel’s Osirik mission was premature and ill-advised.

Why Joe Biden – someone most Israel supporters used to consider reliably pro-Israel, would pick someone like Kahl is a mystery.

As the Weekly Standard‘s Smith was told by at least one senior official at a pro-Israel organization in Washington, D.C. about Kahl: “He tried to insert an anti-Israel plank into the Democratic party’s platform and failed to the point where the president had to personally intervene to repair the damage. Since he left government, he has galloped to the fringe of the Iran debate, floating all kinds of suggestions – including letting Iran go nuclear – that the party had to publicly shoot down. You really have to ask yourself why Joe Biden thought he was an appropriate choice.”

That it’s Joe Biden who has summoned Kahl to his side, rather than someone who stands any chance of being the Democratic’s choice to lead the party in 2016, may be the only good news in this story.


Iran: False Assumptions

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

The Iranian Supreme Leader announced last week that further negotiations on Tehran’s nuclear program are ended, asserting that “jihad” will continue until America is destroyed.

Whatever the future of a nuclear “deal” with Iran, still missing are both an analysis of what specific deal is technically required to end the Iranian nuclear weapons program compared to what is now on the table, and whether the assumptions many in the West bring for an agreement to succeed hold up under scrutiny.

To answer the first problem, an analysis by Gregory Jones of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (NPEC) explores the faults with the current proposals.

First, according to Jones, Iran can still quickly produce Highly Enriched Uranium [HEU], the stuff from which nuclear weapons are built. As Jones emphasizes, “this means Iran is already a de facto nuclear weapon state.” Any agreements, therefore, must “deny Iran access to HEU either in the short or long term,” as well as prevent Iran’s Arak nuclear reactor from being “reconverted to be able to produce” plutonium from which nuclear bomb fuel can be made.

Second, under the terms of the interim deal, Iran “will have an unrestricted centrifuge enrichment program,” thus legitimizing Iran’s desire for such a program, as well as any other country that desires nuclear weapons. Jones explains that IAEA inspections also must provide for the “timely detection” of any diversion of produced nuclear fuel.

Third, Iran should therefore have no “centrifuge enrichment capability” precisely because “commercial scale centrifuge enrichment facilities can produce HEU so quickly that these facilities are unsafeguardable as timely detection of diversion is impossible.” Jones also emphasizes that just because there has not been any diversion of nuclear fuel to date, does not mean that no such diversion will ever take place in Iran in the future.

The second critical issue is whether the assumptions of those convinced an agreement with Iran is possible at all are correct. These assumptions vary but they usually fall into six categories.

1) Iran will never use a nuclear weapon, even if it has one.

2) Iran is simply trying to defend itself from a bullying United States that has a history of pushing for regime change.

3) Any use of a nuclear device would easily be detected as to the country of origin, including Iran.

4) Similarly, Iran’s ballistic missiles — designed to deliver a nuclear warhead — are simply a deterrent needed in a bad neighborhood and their use could be readily attributed to Tehran.

5) Should Iran decide to build a nuclear warhead, US intelligence will readily detect such a move.

6) There are no real options other than “diplomacy,” and if we could talk to the Soviets during the Cold War, we can certainly talk to the Iranian mullahs now.

But are these assumptions true?

On assumptions #1 and #2: Iran has repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel and a “world without” the United States. Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iran’s former President, for example, has stated that “the use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything. However, it will only harm the Islamic world. It is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality.”

On assumption #3: The U.S. has made progress on nuclear forensics but does not have the ability accurately to detect the origin of a nuclear explosion. Worse, an electromagnetic pulse [EMP] bomb would not leave any nuclear debris to be analyzed.

On assumption #4: Iran’s ballistic missiles can be instruments of coercion, blackmail and terror, even if never launched. Tens of thousands of Iranian-built rockets and missiles have been transferred to Hamas and Hezbollah for just that purpose.

Iran Reaches Accords on its Nuclear Program with UN Agency

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Iran reportedly will allow the United Nations to investigate possible military uses for the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

The agreement reported by news services on Sunday was among seven accords made by Iran during meetings with the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency. The talks began Saturday.

Iran reportedly also agreed to provide information and access to a uranium mine, a nuclear yellowcake plant and a laser center, as well as answer questions about the Arak heavy water reactor.

Press TV, the Iranian state television network, reported Sunday that Iran and the IAEA released a joint statement reviewing progress on an agreement struck three months ago.

The negotiations are separate from Iran’s talks with the United States and other world powers, which are set to restart on Feb. 18.

Under an interim plan first agreed to in November with the world powers, Iran reportedly has frozen most of its nuclear enrichment capability, including not installing or starting up additional centrifuges or using next-generation centrifuges.

In return, the world powers have provided Iran with some economic sanctions relief. Under the deal, Iran will continue to enrich uranium up to 5 percent.

The interim deal is for six months as Iran and the world powers work to negotiate a final deal.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/iran-reaches-accords-on-its-nuclear-program-with-un-agency/2014/02/10/

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