Iran Uranium Low-Enrichment Plant ‘Not Yet Operational’

Posted: 25 September 2009 by Little Alex in International Affairs, Political Science
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

After all of the headlines and soundbites, the watchdog and intelligence agencies can’t make a case for Iran being a threat.

Michael Shear and Karen DeYoung at The Washington Post (WaPo) report: “President Obama and the leaders of France and Britain blasted Iran’s construction of a previously unacknowledged uranium enrichment facility and demanded Friday that Tehran immediately fulfill its obligations under international law or risk the imposition of harsh new sanctions.”

“U.S. officials said they believe the Qom [sic] plant is not yet operational,”—the report continues—“but is intended to produce highly enriched uranium—suitable for nuclear weapons—and will be capable within months of producing enough material for at least one bomb per year.”

“Despite Iran’s assertions that the facility was for peaceful purposes,”—reports the BBC—“the new plant was ‘not consistent’ with that goal, the U.S. president said.”

All Western reports say that Iran disclosed the plant’s existence near Qum because it was tipped off that American and French intelligence were covertly monitoring the construction. Remember that it is U.S. officials who are asserting the intent of the Qum plant. Iran disclosed Qum in a letter to the U.N. nuclear watchdog—the I.A.E.A. All reports—including Press TV—confirm that Agency spokesman Marc Vidricaire said that “the letter underlined that the enrichment level in the plant would only be up to 5%” and said, “Iran has assured the Agency in the letter that further complementary information will be provided in an appropriate and due time.” Press TV includes that “the I.A.E.A. conceded that Iran has not yet begun any action at the nascent plant” and the N.P.T., “to which Iran is a signatory, gives the country the right to the full nuclear fuel cycle if used for peaceful purposes”.

David Sanger and Helene Cooper at The New York Times (NYT) write that Iran’s “current position is that it is only required to provide notification six months before nuclear material is introduced at a new facility. Thus, it will claim that the Qum facility is in compliance, a position few other countries are expected to embrace…. [Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] told reporters in New York on Friday that the new facility would not be operational for 18 months, and so Iran had not violated any I.A.E.A. requirements. Speaking through a translator, he added that Iran ‘doesn’t have any problems’ with I.A.E.A. inspections of the new facility, Reuters reported.” The NYT reporters write that uranium enrichment at 5%—the level to which Iran claims to intend enrichment—is “high enough for nuclear fuel, but not nearly enough to make the fissile material for an atomic bomb” and that the White House confirms that “the plant could not have become operational before next year, and that there was no sign of nuclear materials yet at the site.”

All news agencies and nuclear experts confirm that Iran is nowhere near enriching uranium at a level to make a bomb and that this plant near Qum will be open to I.A.E.A. inspection—just as the other facilities enriching uranium at 3.6% for its I.A.E.A-safeguarded civilian nuclear energy program. There isn’t even an attempt by these wordslingers to assert that this plant’s existence poses a threat to anyone.

Iran is being condemned for its “level of deception”—according to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown—for constructing the plant without notifying the I.A.E.A. The NYT reporters note that “in 2007, Iran renounced that [portion of the] agreement” amended in 1992—reverting to the initial terms of the N.P.T. requiring 180 days notice before “nuclear material is introduced at a new facility”; the Agency and U.S. intelligence have issued confident, clean bills of health since. A U.S. intelligence official told The WaPo reporters,”We have excellent clandestine collection [and] multiple, independent sources… that allow us to corroborate” the existence of a plant Iran admits exists. So the U.S. used a high “level of deception” to discover the plant which Iran employed a “high level of deception” in constructing.

Until highly enriched uranium is anywhere near the radar, Western intelligence will continue a high “level of deception” to fabricate threats that are false—no matter how many grandstanding politicians pose for photo-ops—and even then, you have to believe that Iran is on the suicide mission to supply a bomb or launch one against Europe or Israel, knowing it will face a second strike that would wipe it off of the map.

Meanwhile, Iran has no nuclear weapons—let alone the capability to enrich uranium at or above 90% necessary for a bomb—and Israel has a nuclear arsenal and has threatened to actually use them on Iran.

This week, it seems as if I’ve written ad nauseam on Iran. Here are the others for more info:

  1. […] a comment Go to comments The U.S. secretary of defense and secretary of state talk tough on Iran’s non-operational facility for uranium low-enrichment near Qum (also spelled “Qom”) that will be open to the appropriate international […]

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s