November 13, 2007

Peaceful Nuclear Program, Right?

Iran has claimed for years that it only pursues nuclear technology for peaceful power generation, and that the West has no reason to suspect that they have any nefarious purposes in building centrifuges and reactors. Western critics of the Bush administration's tough policy on Iran insist that the entire issue may be manufactured entirely, and that Iran has the right to pursue nuclear power. They may have a more difficult time offering apologias for Teheran after today's release of plans for uranium warheads from the mullahcracy:

Iran has met a key demand of the U.N. nuclear agency, handing over long-sought blueprints showing how to mold uranium metal into the shape of warheads, diplomats said Tuesday.

Iran's decision to release the documents, which were seen by U.N. inspectors two years ago, was seen as a concession designed to head off the threat of new U.N. sanctions.

But the diplomats said Tehran has failed to meet other requests made by the International Atomic Energy Agency in its attempts to end nearly two decades of nuclear secrecy on the part of Iran. ...

Both the IAEA and other experts have categorized the instructions outlined in the blueprints as having no value outside of a nuclear weapons program.

Iran's explanation? Parents of teenagers will find some familiarity with this -- they have no idea how those blueprints got into their files. That somehow evades the important fact that Iran would not release those blueprints in the two years since IAEA inspectors "stumbled" upon them, as the AP puts it. They claim the plans must have come with the illegal equipment they purchased from the AQ Khan network, from which they used to create their own reverse-engineered equipment.

The IAEA still believes the Iranians have held back even more damning information and evidence. While they plan to report the cooperation in getting these documents, they will likely judge them as less than fully cooperative. That will give the West an opening for tightening the economic and diplomatic sanctions even further, and the Russians and Chinese an excuse to stall them again.

Coincidences seem rather unlikely in this case. If this was a filing mistake, the Iranians would have released these plans long ago. It's almost literally the smoking gun that shows their true intent for nuclear technology.


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