The U.S. and other Western powers seem convinced Iran is making a major concession. Iran’s leaders say they will agree to ship about 1.2 tons of enriched uranium to Russia and France to be reprocessed. It will then be sent back to Iran in a form that could be used as fuel for a reactor but couldn’t be turned into nuclear weapons.
I don’t buy it. Iran would still be enriching more uranium. Within 9 months to a year, experts say, they would again have enough enriched uranium to be able to build 1 to 2 nuclear bombs. What if they have more enriched uranium hidden away that we don’t know about?
A deal in the next few days would be hailed as a great Western victory, perhaps even a reason for President Obama to have actually won the Nobel Peace Prize. Iran would slip out of the sanctions noose. The Israelis would have absolutely no international support for a preemptive military strike, even if it felt one were still needed.
I will wait to read the fine print before rendering a final judgment. I continue to pray for peace, and hope there is a true way out of this crisis. But at this stage, I’m highly skeptical that the Iranian leadership has suddenly “seen the light” and given up its stated goal of annihilating the U.S. and Israel. I believe the regime in Tehran is craftily trying to buy time to complete its nuclear weapons program by forestalling crippling international economic sanctions, and/or an Israeli preemptive strike. Developing….
HEADLINES TO TRACK:
- NEW: Washington Post: Iranian site prompts U.S. to rethink assessment; Tehran set to open Qom nuclear facility to inspectors amid concerns over its role
- New York Times: Iran Deal Would Slow Making of Nuclear Bombs
- Washington Post: Iranian officials accept draft deal on uranium transfer — Pact, which Tehran must approve, would buy U.S. more time
- Ynet: Israeli official: Bomb threat still alive; Senior officials in Jerusalem divided over draft agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, but agree that threat remains; objectors to deal say Tehran continues to secretly enrich uranium for military aims
- Haaretz: Draft nuclear deal is a victory for Iran
- Haaretz: Does Iran draft deal change game or shift players?
- Foreign Policy: The hidden costs of the nuke deal with Iran
- Disturbing new poll: Fifteen years after making peace with Israel, Jordanians hold nearly unanimously negative attitudes toward Israel and by a 2-1 margin support the use of rocket attacks against the Jewish state
- Indyk: Turkey ties could head for breakup
- Interior Ministry given 45 days to provide citizenship to man adopted by Catholics