3 April 2015 by Stephen Hughes 

President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, have proclaimed there has been historical Iranian nuclear accord, to wit "key parameters of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” However in reality nothing has been signed, nothing achieved other than particular set of nuclear issues will be discussed in June of 2015. The Islamic Republic once again has kicked the can down the road.

What is of historical presence, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) most pressing concern is the military nuclear dimensions of Tehran’s nuclear program. These are quietly put way, rendered irrelevant. However, is this not the critical reason for nuclear talks to begin with?

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The White House apparently conceded that Islamic Republic will not have to come clean about the history or even current state of its efforts to perfect a workable nuclear warhead. Iran’s progress toward weaponization as opposed to enrichment has thus largely dropped from policy discussions. Parchin Nuclear Military Complex continues to be a key outstanding issue to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in resolving its concerns about Iran’s past and possibly on-going nuclear weapons work and military fuel cycle activities. Iran has yet to grant the IAEA access to the site, or provide information about activities at this site, nor allow interviews of officials linked to activities at the site, or permit visits to other sites linked to the alleged military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear programs.



The Islamic Republic built several nuclear facilities in secret, including the Natanz centrifuge plant, the Fordow centrifuge plant, the Kalaye Electric centrifuge research and development site, the Physics Research Center at Lavisan-Shian linked to undeclared military nuclear work, the Lashkar Ab’ad laser enrichment facility, and the Arak heavy water production plant. In addition, Tehran constructed a secret centrifuge manufacturing complex, parts of which are still secret today.

The IAEA has reported that it believes Tehran’s potential nuclear weapons research is concentrated on developing components for an implosion design (as opposed to a cruder “gun-type” weapon). Tehran has conducted research relevant to the first four of these components and may already have developed firing equipment and detonators suitable for a nuclear weapon. Among the “possible military dimensions” of Iran’s nuclear program mentioned by the IAEA in its November 2011 report is Iran’s procurement of high-speed electronic switches and spark gaps that can be used for triggering and firing detonators. In an implosion nuclear weapon, a switch transfers the stored electrical energy from a capacitor into the firing circuits, which in turn initiate the multiple detonators that create the symmetrical implosion wave.

Professor Danilenko Vyacheslav IAEA 2011 Iran Safeguards Report: Iran’s Work and Foreign Assistance on a Multipoint Initiation System for a Nuclear Weapon. Most of that evidence surrounds one Professor Vyacheslav Danilenko, a high explosives expert from the Cold War era. The IAEA solidly confirmed that he was in Iran from 1996-2002 and returned to Russia. The IAEA verified through three separate sources, including the expert himself that he was in Islamic Republic during that time. Reuters reported that from the 1950s. Until his retirement, Danilenko worked at the All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Technical Physics (VNIITF), which is a top secret Soviet nuclear weapons complex research center in the Ural Mountains. Yet it is strange he persists in claiming “I am not a nuclear physicist".

 “The IAEA also obtained from member states details of the design, development, and possible testing of what is called in IAEA information the R265 shock generator system, which is a round multipoint initiation system that would fit inside the payload chamber of the Shahab 3 missile tri-conic nose cone. If properly prepared, the R265 constitutes the outer part of an explosively driven implosion system for a nuclear device. The outer radius of the R265 system is 275 millimeters, or a diameter of 550 millimeters, less than the estimated diameter of about 600 millimeters available inside the payload chamber of a Shahab 3 (or the Sejjil-2 missile).” Institute for Science and International Security Washington D.C.
 

The Islamic Republic has only verbally acknowledged a bag full promises which sounds so impressive but in reality has yet born any real fruit.

1). We are told the inspection provisions are solid. Yes very impressive sounding but so many forget Iran refuses full inspections and has repeatedly stated places such as Parchin military site will not be subjective to inspections. 

2). They have connected it to regional concerns. “America preventing Iran’s nuclear ambitions and providing intelligence” America has yet to curtail any of Iran’s nuclear endeavors, in addition it has not been US Intel which has uncovered Iran’s secret nuclear facilities , it has been Iranian opposition groups.  

 3). The sanctions regime was eroding, anyway. This is true but only because President Obama handed out Iranian oil purchase waivers to countries who wanted to buy Tehran’s oil. Turkey did more to help Iran skirt sanctions than any other country, Turkey's precious metals exports, almost all of which went directly or indirectly to Iran, quintupled in 2012 to US$14.3 billion. Iran uses the precious metals to skirt restrictions on its access to the banking system



Olli Heinonen, the former chief inspector, now at Harvard, said recently, “remains its unwillingness to address concerns about the past and possibly ongoing military dimensions of its nuclear program.” Full Iranian disclosure is considered a minimum to establishing a robust verification regime: The IAEA can’t verify that Iran has met its obligations to limit uranium work, for instance, unless it knows the full scope of the uranium work that’s being done. The findings of a once-classified 2007 National Intelligence Estimate concluded Iran ended its headlong race for a bomb in late 2003. It also found that smaller-scale activity continued and warned “Iran probably would use covert facilities rather than its declared nuclear sites for the production of highly enriched uranium for a weapon.” There had never been a time in the past 15 years or so when the Islamic Republic did not have a hidden facility in construction.”

So what is Iran’s real nuclear breakout time ? , it depends who you ask.

The following estimates are based on information in quarterly reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is responsible for nuclear inspections in Iran.  These quarterly reports are available here: http://www.iranwatch.org/authoring-agency/iaea-report.

The data below, which are based on reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency, describe Iran’s uranium stockpile, its centrifuges, and the rate at which its nuclear capacity is growing.

·         By using the approximately 9,000 first generation centrifuges operating at its Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant, Iran could theoretically produce enough weapon-grade uranium to fuel a single nuclear warhead in about 1.7 months.

·         Iran's more advanced IR-2m centrifuges, about 1,000 of which are installed at Natanz, would allow Iran to produce weapon-grade uranium more quickly.

·         Iran's stockpile of low-enriched uranium is now sufficient, after further enrichment, to fuel approximately seven nuclear warheads.

·         Because Russia has a ten-year contract to fuel Iran’s only power reactor at Bushehr, Iran has no present need for enriched uranium to generate civilian nuclear energy.

·         Iran could fuel approximately 25 first generation implosion bombs if it had the ability to enrich the uranium needed to supply the Bushehr reactor annually.

"Iran’s consistent and unjustified refusal to address the IAEA’s concerns, which require access to Parchin and other military sites, creates a dangerous precedent that makes adequate verification of a long-term agreement impossible, even if Iran ratifies the Additional Protocol. Prior to the finalization of a long-term deal, the IAEA must make significant progress on resolving its concerns about Parchin and other alleged nuclear weapons related activities. Certainly, without such progress, no key economic or financial sanction on Iran should be lifted.

Iran unilaterally stopped implementing Code 3.1 of its CSA in 2006, an act the IAEA called inconsistent with its safeguards agreement. Code 3.1 of the subsidiary arrangement of the safeguards agreement requires a state to declare a nuclear site when it authorizes or starts to design a nuclear facility and to submit design information as work proceeds.


Iran has not allowed the IAEA to visit a site at the Parchin military complex or other sites associated with past work on nuclear weapons research and development and other military nuclear activities. · Iran has delayed inspectors’ access to sites and extensively modified buildings or the sites themselves in apparent efforts to thwart IAEA verification methods which aim to detect undeclared activities and facilities. Iran attempted to prevent these methods from succeeding in 2003 at the Kalaye Electric centrifuge research and development site but was caught; its efforts at sanitization and concealment succeeded at the Lavisan-Shian site, which it bulldozed and rebuilt into an athletic facility after suspicion was raised that it was allegedly involved in military nuclear work; Iran’s efforts may yet succeed to conceal from environmental sampling and other verification techniques any past work at the Parchin site where high explosive tests related to nuclear weaponization may have been conducted. · Iran has stonewalled the IAEA’s efforts to resolve its concerns about the possible military dimensions of its nuclear programs. "

Modifications at the Parchin Site: A Comprehensive Timeline; New Imagery Suggests Re-Asphalting By David Albright, Serena Kelleher-Vergantini, and Christopher Coughlin February 11, 2015 http://isis-online.org/uploads/isis-reports/documents/Parchin_February_11_2015_Final.pdf

The five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany made unbelievable and dangerous concessions. These concessions include permitting Iran to retain illegally built facilities at Fordow and Arak; Parchin military complex will not be addressed, to preserve its stockpiles of enriched uranium (and to phase out most restrictions after ten years). The White House argues that these points would have been nice to have, nice to have? Secretary Kerry bemoaned Tehran sees addressing these nuclear issues as amounting to Iranian "capitulation" and therefore simply weren't achievable. Even this agreed upon framework for June’s nuclear negotiations has serious shortcomings. In essence, it is a disastrous context.  What will become of Tehran’s excessive enriched uranium and existing stockpile of 20%-enriched uranium? What disclosures and IAEA access requires Iran to "address" questions about its nuclear weapons research? What protocols followed when the International Atomic Energy Agency requests entrance to a suspicious site? Which sanctions will be lifted and under what conditions; and how, practically speaking, can they be "snapped back" if there are violations? How will "significant non-performance" by Iran be defined? How these provisions addressed is critical to assessing the agreement's value.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says under the mutual understanding reached between Tehran and the P5+1 in Switzerland, the Islamic Republic will keep its peaceful nuclear program without shutting down any facilities. Although Iran has reiterated that all sanctions have to be lifted simultaneously as soon as the final deal comes into force, the US version indicates that the architecture of nuclear-related sanctions will be retained for much of the duration of the deal. In posts on his Tweet account, Zarif pointed to the joint statement, which had stipulated the US and EU will remove all economic and financial sanctions on Iran immediately, contrary to the assertions of the US-produced "fact sheet" on the statement.

The IAEA already has the legal right to pursue nuclear questions, including accessing military sites, under the comprehensive safeguards agreement with Iran. Despite this right, Iran has refused to allow the IAEA access to military sites. So in act of good faith why has Tehran not done so ?   

For years, the inspectors have unsuccessfully asked the Islamic Republic to address the substantial body of evidence that it was developing nuclear weapons prior to 2004 and that it may have continued some of that, or related work, afterwards and even up to the present. Before sanctions are removed, concrete progress is needed on the central issue of whether Iran has worked on nuclear weapons and is maintaining a capability to revive such efforts in the future.

It is an act of insanity to conduct any kind of negations with a country which has only exploded with war, and hatred towards America and Israel. 

Just in Nov. 2014 Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei boasted, “This Jihad will continue until America is destroyed”.  Tehran spent several hundred millions dollars on a replica of a US aircraft Carrier so it could sink it in war games. Ali Khamenei called for “Death to America” in March, a day after President Barack Obama appealed to Iran to seize a “historic opportunity” for a nuclear deal and a better future, and as US Secretary of State John Kerry claimed substantial progress toward an accord. Tehran’s covert actions against US Forces in Iraq & Afghanistan  ( 2004 – 2011) caused thousands of America deaths and injuries. 

More recently an Iranian commander Mohammad Reza Naqdi boasted, “Wiping Israel off the map is non-negotiable”. In 2014, Naqdi said Iran was stepping up efforts to arm Judea & Samara (West Bank) Arab Palestinians for battle against Israel, adding the move would lead to Israel’s annihilation, Iran’s Fars news agency reported. “Arming the West Bank has started and weapons will be supplied to the people of this region,” Naqdi said. “The Zionists should know that the next war won’t be confined to the present borders and the Mujahedeen will push them back,” he added. Naqdi claimed that much of Hamas’s arsenal, training and technical know-how in the summer conflict with Israel was supplied by Iran.  The Islamic Republic has spent several billion dollars in its asymmetrical (or hybrid wars) with Israel through Hamas and Hezbollah.  

In reality nothing has changed, when June comes US- Iran talks will keep on dancing has they have since 2003.  A monument historical disaster of Political Hubris, President Obama is not preventing Iran from getting the bomb he is making it all too possible.  

 

 





Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official position or viewpoint of The Jerusalem Post. Blog authors are NOT employees, freelance or salaried, of The Jerusalem Post.

Think others should know about this? Please share