November 24, 2004

From A Freeze To Just A Chilly Experience

Iran has once again thrown its recent capitulation on uranium enrichment in doubt. Now the mullahcracy insists that an exemption must be made for two dozen centrifuges so that Iran can continue its research -- the same research which caused all the concern regarding their nuclear ambitions:

Iran is demanding that it be allowed to make an exception in its commitment to freeze all uranium enrichment activities so it can operate about about two dozen centrifuges, diplomats said Wednesday.

The Iranians have told the International Atomic Energy Agency the U.N. nuclear watchdog that they want to operate the centrifuges "for research purposes," the diplomats told The Associated Press.

They have asked the IAEA to exempt around 24 of the devices from the agency seals meant to ensure the enrichment program is completely at a standstill, one of the diplomats said. The IAEA had no immediate comment. But another diplomat who is familiar with the agency said it was resisting the demand for an exemption.

Quelle surprise! Iran only stopped the centrifuges a few days ago after running them overtime to enrich as much uranium as possible before the IAEA agreement went into effect:

Tehran's announcement of a start to suspension came only after it had already converted a few tons of raw uranium into the gas used as feedstock for enrichment by centrifuges. While not prohibited from doing so until Monday when the freeze took effect conversion continued until shortly before the deadline, raising doubts about Iran's interest in dispelling international concerns.

Now they want an exception already. It sure looks like their interest in "international concerns" was short-lived at best. The EU-3 has done nothing to secure the region against proliferation; this agreement handcuffs the West more than Iran, and the mullahs already seek to undo what binds it places on Teheran.

Why does anyone take Iranian negotiations seriously?

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