Oh Boy: Iran's Enriched Uranium Stockpile Grows 20 Percent During Negotiations

Guy Benson
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Posted: Jun 02, 2015 2:01 PM
Oh Boy: Iran's Enriched Uranium Stockpile Grows 20 Percent During Negotiations

Exhibit Z: Iran's illegitimateterrorism-abettingAmerican-killing and -imprisoning regime is despotic, anti-Semitic and thoroughly untrustworthy. Via the New York Times:

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. One possibility is that Iran has run into technical problems that have kept it from converting some of its enriched uranium into fuel rods for reactors, which would make the material essentially unusable for weapons. Another is that it is increasing its stockpile to give it an edge if the negotiations fail. The extent to which Iran’s stockpile has increased was documented in a report issued Friday by the International Atomic Energy Agency...The overall increase in Iran’s stockpile poses a major diplomatic and political challenge for President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, who flew back to the United States from Geneva on Monday for treatment of a broken leg he suffered in a bicycling accident, as they enter a 30-day push to try to complete an agreement by the end of June. In essence, the administration will have to convince Congress and America’s allies that Iran will shrink its stockpile by 96 percent in a matter of months after a deal is signed, even while it continues to produce new material and has demonstrated little success in reducing its current stockpile.

Excuse me, "partially undercuts"?  Tehran has dramatically increased their nuclear stockpile over a period in which they were supposed to have "frozen" their program.  This past January, Obama boasted that the regime's nuclear program had been "halted" by the interim agreement, with its stockpiles "reduced."   The Washington Post's fact-checker awarded the president 'Three Pinocchios' for that statement at the time, which came before this latest development.  Back to the Times story:

That means Iran, which insists its nuclear program is for civilian purposes, would have to rid itself of more than nine tons of its stockpile in a matter of months. One easy solution would be to ship the fuel out of the country, but that is a politically fraught topic for the Iranians — and one that their deputy negotiator, Abbas Araqchi, ruled out in March. Administration officials said nothing publicly about the atomic energy agency’s report. But several officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that the Iranians understood that under a final agreement they would commit to giving up almost all of their fuel and maintaining a small stockpile for 15 years. “How are they going to do it?” one senior American official said recently when asked about the negotiations, details of which Mr. Kerry and his team are trying to keep confidential. “We’re not certain. It’s their problem, not ours. But it’s a problem.

Balking at shipping the banned fuel out of the country was one of the many eleventh-hour demands sprung on Western negotiators by Iran.  The "15 years" bit confirms what Obama admitted this spring: That even if Iran scrupulously abides by an eventual deal -- a laughable prospect in light of their ongoing bellicosity and cheating -- they'll still be a 'nuclear-threshold' state as soon as the accord's restrictions begin to sunset.  And their intact nuclear program will have been effectively blessed by the international community.  "It's their problem not ours," is naive nonsense.  Iran quite plainly doesn't care about genuine compliance or good behavior.  That is emphatically "our problem."  Incidentally, what about those so-called "snap back" inspections Obama is paradoxically vowing to re-impose if Iran (once again) cheats?  Yeah, about that:

The new understanding on a U.N. sanctions “snapback” among the six powers - the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China - brings them closer to a possible deal with Iran, though other hurdles remain, including ensuring United Nations access to Iranian military sites. The six powers and Iran struck an interim agreement on April 2 ahead of a possible final deal that would aim to block an Iranian path to a nuclear bomb in exchange for lifting sanctions. But the timing of sanctions relief, access and verification of compliance and a mechanism for restoring sanctions if Iran broke its commitments were among the most difficult topics left for further negotiations...As part of the new agreement on sanctions snapback, suspected breaches by Iran would be taken up by a dispute-resolution panel, likely including the six powers and Iran, which would assess the allegations and come up with a non-binding opinion, the officials said. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would also continue regularly reporting on Iran’s nuclear program, which would provide the six powers and the Security Council with information on Tehran’s activities to enable them to assess compliance. If Iran was found to be in non-compliance with the terms of the deal, then U.N. sanctions would be restored.

So the panel that will determine whether Iran is in violation includes Russia, China and…Iran? And this crew will issue "non binding opinions," with the mechanism for restoring sanctions remaining "among the difficult topics left for negotiations"? Am I awake? Also, this "breakthrough" is described as "tentative" because the Iranians haven't agreed to it yet.  This is, to be blunt, a joke.  Let's not forget the myriad additional "difficult topics" about which the regime is digging in its heels: They are demanding immediate sanctions relief, untethered to continued compliance, and they're refusing inspectors access to military sites.  Couple that with the approved nuclear infrastructure (including previously secret underground facilities) and expiration dates on restrictions, and this "deal" looks like an abject giveaway.  A cynical and dangerous punt.  And our president, who once brashly insisted on keeping all options on the table vis-a-vis is now telegraphing his decision to take the ultimate American trump card off that table (via Jim Geragthy):

“I can, I think, demonstrate, not based on any hope but on facts and evidence and analysis, that the best way to prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon is a verifiable, tough agreement,” he said. “A military solution will not fix it. Even if the United States participates, it would temporarily slow down an Iranian nuclear program but it will not eliminate it,” Obama added.

A catastrophe of failed, feckless leadership. And this unsatisfactory plan is probably the best option opponents of this capitulation have at their disposal.