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June 30, 2015 / 13 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘uranium’

State Dept. ‘Perplexed’ by Negative NY Times Report on Iran

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

he U.S. State Dept. is “perplexed” over a report in The New York Times Tuesday that Iran’s stockpile of nuclear fuel has increased 20 percent since the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) that was supposed to limit its nuclear fuel.

There are two news items in one: The report raises questions whether any deal with Iran can be other than “bad,” but no less significant is that it was published in the newspaper that is considered close to being the Obama administration’s unofficial public relations office.

The New York Times reported:

With only one month left before a deadline to complete a nuclear deal with Iran, international inspectors have reported that Tehran’s stockpile of nuclear fuel increased about 20 percent over the last 18 months of negotiations, partially undercutting the Obama administration’s contention that the Iranian program had been ‘frozen’ during that period.

But Western officials and experts cannot quite figure out why.

The authors of the article speculated that technical problems may have prevented the conversion of enriched uranium into fuel roads for reactors, making it worthless for a nuclear weapon. A second possibility is that Iran simply is playing games and increasing its stockpile to use as a bargaining chip in negotiations for a final deal by June 30, the deadline President Barack Obama has imposed for an agreement.

State Dept. spokeswoman Marie Harf told reported Tuesday:

Our team read that story this morning and was quite frankly perplexed because the main contentions of it are totally inaccurate.

First, the notion in the story that western officials or U.S. officials involved were unaware of this issue or not understanding of what this entails is just absurdץ. Under the JPOA, Iran can fluctuate its numbers in terms of their stockpile. They can go up and down as long as at the end of fixed date they are back down below a number.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in March:

We’ve actually succeeded in not just halting Iran’s progress as it relates to their nuclear program but actually rolling it back in several key areas, including reducing and eliminating their stockpile of highly enriched uranium.

Harf expressed the Obama administration’s belief that everything will be fine and dandy because Iran promised to live up to its agreements.

She said:

What matters is that they have committed already.

The Institute for Science and International Security’s David Albright and Serene Kelleher-Vergantini have stated:

Iran has fallen behind in its pledge to convert its newly produced LEU hexafluoride into oxide form. There are legitimate questions about whether Iran can produce all the requisite LEU oxide ….  Iran has clearly fallen —–behind in its pledge under the JPA.

But not to worry. Iran is committed to its word.

Obama Mocks Netanyahu’s ‘Red Line’ Cartoon with Inaccurate Sketch

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

The White House Wednesday tweeted a diagram promoting the nuclear deal with Iran that directly ridiculed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s “red line” cartoon in the United Nations three years ago — but the White House version also was full of inaccuracies.

Netanyahu’s cartoon, which was headlined around the world, show a red near the top of a bomb to get across his point that “there is only one way to peacefully prevent Iran from getting atomic bombs and that is by placing a clear red line on Iran’s nuclear weapons program.”

Wise guys at the White House dreamed up a similar diagram with an opposite message and with the help of a blue line at the bottom of the bomb to illustrate that Iran has a zero chance of developing a nuclear bomb under the administration’s proposed deal.

“Under the framework for an Iran nuclear deal, Iran uranium enrichment pathway to a weapon will be shut down,” the chart reads.

There is one problem with the diagram. It is not true.

President Obama has actually bragged that Iran will be limited to “only” 6,000 centrifuges, all of which can produce uranium, which would be low-grade. The sketch accurately states that under the deal, there will be “no production or stockpile of highly enrich uranium.” Experts have said that 6000 centrifuges is enough to produce a bomb.

But a picture tells a thousand words, in and this case, they all are wrong because that little blue line clearly shows Iran would have “0%” enriched uranium, which is a lie.

The Obama administration’s diagram also claims that Iran would be 90 percent on the way to a bomb if there is no deal, but that statement only makes Netanyahu’s argument stronger as Iran is so close to achieving that, it could easily violate the deal and achieve its goal while the world argues about whether to impose stiff sanctions after the fact.

President Obama also admitted this week, that in just over a decade — with the deal, Iran would be able to get the bomb before anyone would even notice. The State Department tried to walk that one back.

Jacques Hymans, an associate professor of international relations at the University of Southern California and an expert on nuclear proliferation, told Vox.com last year:

As long as they have those centrifuges sitting there, the deal is really walking on thin ice.

Below is the White House’s latest gimmick to sell the nuclear deal with Iran.

The White House's inaccurate sketch.

The White House’s inaccurate sketch.

 

 

Netanyahu Warns US, World Powers Israel Will Block Iran Nuclear Threat

Sunday, February 8th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had some grim words of warning Sunday in his statement at the start of the weekly cabinet session.

Netanyahu noted that major world powers and Iran are “galloping towards an agreement that will enable Iran to arm itself with nuclear weapons” and will endanger the security of the State of Israel.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif held private talks over the weekend, Netanyahu said, after which they announced they intend to complete a framework agreement by the end of March.

Israel’s response, he said, will be to stop what he called a “bad and dangerous agreement.”

The prime minister underscored that Israel will “do everything and will take any action to foil this agreement that will place a heavy cloud over the future of the State of Israel and its security.”

It is precisely for this reason the Democratic party and U.S. President Barack Obama have worked to derail the prime minister’s scheduled address to a joint session of the Congress set for March 3. The speech falls at the end of the same week Netanyahu is slated to appear at the annual AIPAC (American Israeli Political Action Committee) conference in Washington DC, and just two weeks prior to Israel’s national elections on March 17.

The deadline for talks between world powers and Tehran over a rollback on Iran’s nuclear technology activities is March 31. The Obama administration is deeply committed to seeing some signed agreement emerge from those talks, apparently regardless of its cost to the Jewish State.

Iran has repeatedly vowed to wipe Israel off the world map. Any agreement that allows Iran to continue to enrich uranium – thereby enabling it to achieve an atomic weapon – presents an existential risk to Israel.

Netanyahu to Address US Congress on Iran

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will reportedly address a joint session of Congress on February 11 at the invitation of Speaker John A. Boehner, who has asked him to address American legislators on the issue of Iran.

Boehner extended the invitation Wednesday less than 24 hours after President Barack Obama snubbed the Congress on the issue in his State of the Union address on national television.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu is a great friend of our country, and this invitation carries with it our unwavering commitment to the security and well-being of his people. In this time of challenge, I am asking the prime minister to address Congress on the grave threats radical Islam and Iran pose to our security and way of life,” Boehner wrote in a statement. “Americans and Israelis have always stood together in shared cause and common ideals, and now we must rise to the moment again. As many have pointed out, there’s no proof Obama’s actions have in fact halted Iran’s nuclear program. Indeed, the diplomacy has worried those who most fear the consequences of a nuclear breakout in Iran, including Netanyahu.”

The invitation was a strong gesture of support to the Jewish State. But it was also a direct slap at the president who repeated his threat to veto any proposed legislation toughening sanctions against Iran over its nuclear development activities. Obama wants lawmakers to allow him time to complete diplomatic negotiations with Tehran.

Last week it was announced that Iran is building two new nuclear plants “for peaceful purposes” – similar to all the other “peaceful civilian” nuclear facilities now churning out uranium enriched to military weapons grade levels.

Iran’s atomic agency chief said a week ago that Iran is increasing its uranium enrichment capacity to 30 tons per year, according to the Tasnim news agency, as quoted by China’s Xinhua news group. The increased production levels are intended to meet the “fuel needs of the Bushehr nuclear power plant.”

But at the beginning of the current round of negotiations, didn’t the Iranians agree to “freeze” their program during the talks? It is no secret that Iran has used talks to buy time in the past – nor is it a secret to anyone who watches the “talk game” that they are doing it now as well.

Israel’s prime minister has warned world leaders repeatedly about the risk facing their nations, their people and his own because of the gamble taken by the White House. He also said there was a limit as to how far Israel would be willing to allow that gamble to endanger Israeli lives.

Netanyahu has addressed the U.S. Congress twice before, in 2011 and prior to that in 1996. Each time he has addressed the threat of Iran’s steadily growing nuclear prowess and what it could mean for America and the world.

Next month’s address will undoubtedly exacerbate the already strained ties that exist between Jerusalem and the White House. But time is running out for everyone. Netanyahu and the people of Israel face elections in March.

Iran can do a lot of damage before then.

Netanyahu Insists Military Force Needed to Stop Nuclear Iran

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

“A diplomatic solution is better than a military option but a military option is necessary for diplomacy to succeed” to prevent Iran from obtaining access to a nuclear weapon, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told a Washington think tank.

Netanyahu spoke to the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution.

He added that he agreed with President Barack Obama’s preference for a diplomatic solution but that it will not work without a “credible military threat,” according to AFP.

Although a “threat” is not direct military force, it is difficult to infer that the Prime Minister meant anything other than the use of force since the radical Muslim world’s understanding of the word is inability or fear of using force.

The United States signed on with other Western powers in Geneva last November for a six-month deal, extended until this coming November, that provides that Iran would freeze or curtail some, but not all, of its nuclear development and that international sanctions would be eased.

“Steps must be taken to prevent further erosion of the sanctions because ultimately the sanctions remain an essential element of the international effort to compel Iran to dismantle its nuclear military infrastructure, to take apart all its centrifuges,” N Netanyahu said.

Iran now is again pulling out it latest trick from up its sleeve to buy off the West.

The Islamic Republic, whose stated goal is to establish an Islamic Caliphate in the Middle East, including Israel, will be happy to help the United States fight Islamic State insurgents in Iraq if the Obama administration simply would lift “all the sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear activities,” said Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif this week.

Sen. Carl Levin Garners 23 Dems for Softer-Toned Iran Talks Letter

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Sen. Carl Levin Garners 23 Dems for Softer-Toned Iran Talks LetteTwenty-three Democratic senators signed a letter to President Obama on the Iran nuclear talks that was cast in less strident terms than a separate letter sent last week.

“As negotiations progress, we expect your administration will continue to keep Congress regularly apprised of the details,” said the letter, spearheaded by Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Levin’s letter sent March 22 is a word for word replica of a letter sent last week by an overwhelming number of members of the U.S. House of Representatives, initiated by Reps. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the House majority leader, and Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), House minority whip.

Levin had circulated the Cantor-Hoyer letter, saying he preferred it to another letter initiated by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

The Menendez-Graham letter, backed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, garnered signatures from 83 senators of both parties, out of the body’s 100 members, and was sent last week.

Levin did not explain why he preferred the Cantor-Hoyer language in his cover letter seeking signatories, but that letter was considerably softer in tone than the Menendez-Graham letter.

The Menendez-Graham letter more definitively described outcomes of the Iran negotiations that “must” be in place while the Cantor-Hoyer and Levin letters instead were “hopeful” of such outcomes. The Cantor-Hoyer and Levin letters were also closer to the position of the Obama administration, explicitly saying that its signatories “do not seek to deny Iran a peaceful nuclear program.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a number of Republicans in Congress say that any deal must end uranium enrichment altogether; Obama administration officials have said that a limited degree of enrichment is the likely outcome of any deal.

The Menendez-Graham letter does not explicitly count out an enrichment capability for Iran, nor does it mention it.

The Senate letter suggests that the body could soon reconsider new sanctions on Iran, a bid also backed by AIPAC that the Obama administration deflected earlier this year.

Of the Levin letter’s 23 signatories, 19 also signed the Menendez-Graham letter, and four were Jewish: Levin, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.). AIPAC backed the Cantor-Hoyer letter in the House, but did not back Levin’s version in the Senate.

Wall St. Journal: Obama May Compromise on Iran’s Uranium

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

The Obama administration is considering to back down and allow Iran to retains its uranium enrichment facilities, despite strong objections from Saudi Arabia and Israel, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

The world’s major powers are scheduled to meet with Iran this week in a new round of negotiations on its nuclear program, which the Islamic Republic maintains is for peaceful purposes despite vast evidence to the contrary.

If President Barack Obama goes head and compromises with Iran, he will face even stronger criticism in Congress, where a large number of bi-partisan members have demanded that sanctions remain unless Iran makes clear and open moves to stop enriching uranium, a key ingredient for a nuclear weapon.

Ten Democratic and Republican senators sent the president a letter on Friday, calling for Iran to agree to a complete freeze on enriching uranium before the United States eases sanctions.

“Iran’s first confidence-building action should be…immediate suspension of all enrichment activity,” said the letter, which was released  on Monday.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/wall-st-journal-obama-may-compromise-on-irans-uranium/2013/10/15/

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