Saturday, August 10, 2013

If Iran the Circus

Persian of the Circus. Jack Butler Yeats, via.
Amos Yadlin and Avner Golov in the New York Times:
But it would be dangerous to think that Iran’s proposal for negotiations alone would pave the way for a deal. What matters is not the talks but the outcome.
Classic Israeli diplomatic strategy: Never enter negotiations unless you can predetermine how they come out.*
the enrichment of uranium from a low level (3.5 percent to 19.75 percent) to weapons-grade level (90 percent) is only one of three dimensions of Iran’s nuclear strategy. A second dimension is [jump]
Iran’s progress toward a quick “breakout capability” through the stockpiling of large quantities of low-enriched uranium that could be further enriched rapidly to provide weapons-grade fuel. Third, Iran also appears to be pursuing a parallel track to a nuclear capability through the production of plutonium.
Dimension 2: Contrary to what you might expect, they don't throw the uranium away after enriching it. Apparently they're not just doing it for occupational therapy.** Dimension 3: Inspectors might want to think about that, huh?***
Of the three countries that have publicly crossed the nuclear threshold since the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty entered into force in 1970, two — India and North Korea — did so via the plutonium track.
Oh, and what about that other country that did it privately and hasn't signed the NPT? Hint: Starts with an I too. No, not Iraq. Maybe we should study how many dimensions they used, by way of getting a clearer working idea.
Moderate messages from Tehran should not be allowed to camouflage Iran’s continuing progress toward a bomb.
Or noncontinuing progress, as the case may be. It's a troll message: Keep on as you are, we don't have anything different to suggest, except you should feel bad about it.

*Have you seen my famous Netanyahu joke?
**Except we're here today specifically because they have proposed not doing it any more.
*** Bloomberg Businessweek, June 6, 2013:
“We always welcome the agency to have more sophisticated equipment, to have more accuracy in their measurements, so that technical matters will not be politicized,” Iranian envoy Ali Asghar Soltanieh said late yesterday in Vienna. The Islamic republic won’t object to IAEA monitors using new technologies to determine whether plutonium is being extracted from spent fuel at its new reactor in Arak.

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