Surprise: Since Nuclear Deal, Iran's Uranium Stockpile Has Grown

Guy Benson
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Posted: Nov 19, 2015 2:09 PM
Surprise: Since Nuclear Deal, Iran's Uranium Stockpile Has Grown

President Obama's terrible Iran deal -- opposed by a bipartisan majority in Congress and the electorate -- is off to quite a start. Over the last two-plus months, the regime has imposed a sham conviction upon a Washington Post journalist, detained another American citizen, released five top-level Al Qaeda prisoners, and test fired a long-range ballistic missile in violation of international law -- including the new agreement.  Fortunately for Tehran, the Obama administration long ago severed nuclear pact talks from any Western concerns about Iran's human rights abuses and material support for terrorism, with Sec. Kerry even asserting that breaches of the deal's arms embargo- and missile program-related clauses would not constitute an actionable contravention of the overall agreement.  Late yesterday, Reuters reported a new, inauspicious detail:


If this revelation feels familiar, that's because it should.  Having allegedly "frozen" enrichment during negotiations with the West, it was revealed in June that the regime's nuclear stockpile had increased by approximately 20 percent over an 18-month period, a development shrugged off by the White House.  The president told Congress earlier this year that Iran's enrichment had been "halted" and its stockpile "reduced."  Not so.  Here we go again.  New details from Business Insider:

Iran's stockpile of low-enriched uranium has increased in the past three months even though Tehran is supposed to reduce it significantly under a deal with major powers, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) determined in a confidential report Reuters saw on Wednesday afternoon...The Reuters report comes just a month after Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei appeared to unilaterally alter the timeline for Iran meeting its obligations under the JCPOA. On October 21st, Khamenei, who is the country's highest political and spiritual authority under Iran's theocratic system of government, announced that Iran would not begin exporting its enriched uranium in order to reach the 300 kilogram limit until the IAEA had completed its investigation of Iran's past nuclear weaponization work, an inquiry that won't officially end until the agency issues a report in December...An increase in Iran's stockpile even after the signing of the JCPOA might show that Khamenei's conditions for the JCPOA — which allow Iran to determine the timeline and arrangements for the scale-down of its enriched uranium stock — are being implemented. The JCPOA won't officially be implemented until Iran scales its stockpile down 300 kilograms and makes various modifications to its nuclear infrasturcture. The growth of Iran's uranium stock wouldn't be the only recent piece of mixed news for the JCPOA. On October 11th, Iranian state media announced that the country had tested a new model of the Emad missile, a mid-range ballistic missile with the ability to deliver a nuclear warhead. The test violated a UN resolution...

So under the deal, Iran is required to reduce its uranium stock, and the agreement won't formally kick in until after they've met certain initial benchmarks. As the story says, Khamenei appears to have asserted new demands about the accord's enforcement calendar, pushing back the date by which meaningful progress was expected.  That's how this has worked: Iran says what it wants, and America says yes.  The Reuters story referenced above (and linked in the embedded tweet) initially carried a headline about Iran's expanded store of enriched material.  It's since been altered to highlight steps the regime has taken to comply with the agreement, burying this detail at the very bottom of the story, complete with a dismissive anonymous quote:

Iran's stockpile of low-enriched uranium had increased by 460.2 kg in the past three months to 8,305.6 kg, the report said. Under the deal with major powers, that stockpile must be slashed to no more than 300 kg. The senior diplomat, however, said the increase was a normal fluctuation. "There is nothing special in that. It's the normal way," he said.

Oh, just a normal upward fluctuation in uranium enrichment, after nearly two years of that process supposedly being "frozen," and in the aftermath a much-heralded deal requiring them to significantly slash their stockpile.  Note that the url link to this piece reads, "Iran's Uranium Stock Has Grown: UN Agency," as reflected in the original headline. The new headline? "Iran Starts Dismantling Nuclear Equipment, UN Report Says."  Hmm.  Here's how the Associated Press describes Tehran's compliance thus far:

Iran has started cutting back on some nuclear technology, which could be reengineered to make nuclear weapons, in line with a deal with six world powers, a U.N. nuclear agency report said Wednesday...However, diplomats familiar with the report said that the country is keeping thousands of machines that could be used for such a purpose on standby. The U.N's International Atomic Energy Agency report and the diplomats' assessments present a mixed picture of the pace of Iran's moves to comply with the July 14 deal it signed with the six countries and come about a month after the deal was formally adopted on Oct. 18. Since then, the report showed that Iran has significantly reduced the number of centrifuges meant to enrich uranium, which can produce nuclear fuel, isotopes for research, or the core of an atomic bomb, depending on the degree of enrichment. It said 11,308 centrifuges were standing at Iran's main enrichment center as of Nov. 15, about 3,000 fewer than previously. It also noted cuts at a smaller facility, for a total reduction of about 4,500 of the nearly 20,000 machines Iran had previously set up. But the diplomats said all of the machines that have been taken out were previously idle. Thousands of centrifuges that were spinning uranium into enriched levels used for fuel are no longer online but remain on standby and can be restarted at short notice. Under the terms of the July 14 deal, Iran is allowed to keep 5,060 centrifuges operating ...

The machines they've temporarily taken offline were already inactive, and their equipment is being temporarily disabled and mothballed, not permanently dismantled.  Setting aside Iran's games and moved goalposts, the irredeemable flaw in this agreement is that it virtually guarantees that this fanatical anti-American regime will become a threshold nuclear state, enshrined in Western-afforded legitimacy, within the next decade-and-a-half -- even if the Iranians don't cheat, which they always do.  Restrictions will be automatically lifted on a set timetable, independent of Iran's actions.  The deal permits Tehran to more or less "pause" its program while keeping most of its vast nuclear infrastructure intact.  It also allows the regime to maintain its previously-secret underground bunker nuclear facility at Fordow, and to continue testing advanced-level centrifuges.  Its sanctions relief provisions will pour billions into the regime's coffers, which even Obama admits could very well be used to finance international terrorism.  Have a problem with any of this, and you're making "common cause" with 'death-to-America' fanatics, and quite possibly recruiting for ISIS.