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The IAEA report on Iran states that the mullahcracy remains as deceptive as ever about its nuclear program despite the years of negotiations to resolve differences over its intent. They have stonewalled inspectors while ramping up development of its program, a finding that should get the attention of the UNSC next month:
Iran has accelerated its nuclear fuel enrichment activities and rejected demands of international inspectors to explain evidence that had raised suspicions of a nuclear weapons program, according to a report by a United Nations agency. That could make it easier for the United States and its European partners to seek punitive action in the Security Council. ...
The report laid out a long list of fresh examples in which it said Iran had stonewalled the agency, responding with incomplete and ambiguous answers and refusing repeated requests to turn over documents and information.
It called it "regrettable and a matter of concern" that Iran has not been more forthcoming after three years of intensive agency verification. ... The documents make reference to a secretive entity in Iran called the Green Salt Project, and seem to suggest that the project established "administrative interconnections" between Iran's uranium processing, high explosives and missile warhead design. If accurate, the documents would be the first to tie what Iran says is its purely civilian nuclear program to military activities.
Iran has responded to this by claiming that Western intelligence, especially from the US, consists of forged documents. The mullahs had previously pledged to release more information on Green Salt for months, but now claim the entire project never existed.
The IAEA under Mohammed ElBaradei has tried to appease the Iranians as much as possible in this report. It draws no conclusions, irritating the Western nations, but instead sticks to the component findings and leaves all conclusions to the reader. They seem inescapable; the Iranians have not only restarted the centrifuge process, but also have announced plans to expand the number from the 20 at present to 3,000 by the end of the year, and eventually 50,000. The fuel it has produced shows evidence that their purification process is aimed at weapons-grade production by the unusually small amounts of plutonium-240 it contains (a pollutant for weapons).
This appears to remove all doubt that Iran intends on producing a nuclear device for its Shahab-3 missile platform.
Interestingly but unsurprisingly, ElBaradei apparently has accepted defeat on Iranian nuclearization, according to the Times. He has told IAEA member states that Iran will not accept a freeze and that the IAEA doesn't have many options to force them to do so, which the Times says "enraged" the US. It should shock no one. As Saddam proved, international organizations have little influence over the actions of dictators. Iran has seen what effect the UN and its subsidiary agencies had on Saddam for over a dozen years -- they issued proclamations and resolutions and did nothing to enforce them when Saddam committed violation after violation.
The Iranians don't need a dozen years. They may only need a dozen months. They know that time is on their side, and the reluctance of the UN and in the international community to take any real action will give them that window.Sphere It View blog reactions
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Tracked on February 28, 2006 10:19 AM
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