PARIS — One day after it said it test-fired missiles capable of striking targets 1,250 miles from its soil, Iran said Tuesday it would soon offer a timetable for international inspectors to visit a hitherto secret nuclear enrichment facility, but was not prepared to renounce its nuclear program or debate its “rights” to operate the previously undeclared plant.
The existence of the facility near the holy city of Qum was revealed last Friday by President Obama and the leaders of France and Britain, at the same time as the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency’s announced that Tehran had informed it of the plant’s existence earlier in the week.
I’m a bit curious why the word “Rights” is in “Quotes” in this story. According the to the NPT, Iran is within their rights (no quotes, real word) to have a civilians nuclear industry. I understand the suspicion, but why the quotes here?
They don’t fit at all. I was almost expecting this to have a Judith Miller byline.
Whatever one’s reaction, the actions now taken in light of this news by Iran and the international community will be decisive. Obama, Brown, and Sarkozy were right to stress the need for the IAEA to investigate it seriously and for Iran to meet UN demands which it has heretofore disregarded. One can expect that the information revealed today will be used not only to press Iran to treat seriously the talks that are slated to begin on Oct. 1 in Geneva, but also to convince recalcitrant partners Russia and China (whose leaders are present in Pittsburgh but did not join Obama, Brown, and Sarkozy on the stage this morning) to support tough sanctions against Iran in the likely event that those talks prove inconclusive. If in fact Iran does not comply with international demands, then Moscow and Beijing will be put to the test — if they refuse to support sanctions even in light of this new deception by Tehran, they are unlikely ever to do so, and the U.S. and its allies will need to move forward without them or weigh other options.
Oh wait, that’s the same hand.
Ahh, here’s the other hand, and the reason Iran wants nukes.
There is no good evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. It has offered to allow regular International Atomic Energy Agency inspections of the newly announced facility near Qom, which would effectively prevent it from being used for weapons production.
There is a secret nuclear facility in the Middle East, however, producing plutonium and not just enriched uranium, which has the capacity to make 10 nuclear warheads a year.
Here is a 3-D reconstruction of the most dangerous weapons plant in the Middle East, at Dimona in Israel.
And so it goes…let’s see if it goes to war again.
I think the likelihood of having hard core sanctions against Iran are fairly unlikely. China was denied making deals with Hussein, Saddam, for oil in Iraq, so they went to Iran for energy. If the sanctions target the energy industry (and what else is one going to target?), I would seriously doubt that China is going to be on board.