An exclusive Associated Press report has revealed the U.S. and its P5+1 allies are prepared to reward Iran with the latest cutting edge, advanced tech equipment if the terrorist nations cuts its programs which enable it to produce nuclear arms. What this document reveals is this is no longer a pact intended to stop the Iranian nuclear program. It’s degenerated into a deal to let the Iranians perfect their nuclear program with international assistance and under international protection.
The draft document — one of several technical appendices meant to accompany the main text of any deal — has dozens of bracketed text where disagreements remain. Technical cooperation is the least controversial issue at the talks, and the number of brackets suggest the sides have a ways to go not only on that topic but also more contentious disputes with little more than a week until the June 30 deadline for a deal.
One of the draft appendices entitled “Civil Nuclear Cooperation,” promises to replace Iran’s nearly completed heavy-water facility at Arak (which if completed will be able to produce enough plutonium for several nuclear weapons/year) with less menacing light-water nuclear reactors.
Reducing the Arak reactor’s plutonium output was one of the main aims of the U.S. and its negotiating partners, along with paring down Iran’s ability to produce enriched uranium — like plutonium, a potential pathway to nuclear arms.
Outlining plans to modify that heavy-water reactor, the draft, dated June 19, offers to “establish an international partnership” to rebuild it into a less proliferation-prone facility while leaving Iran in “the leadership role as the project owner and manager.”
It also details how the U.S. and its partners would supply Iran with the nuclear fuel needed to run the reactors, remove the expended fuel, “and offers help in the ‘construction and effective operation’ of the reactors and related hardware. It also offers to cooperate with Iran in the fields of nuclear safety, nuclear medicine, research, and other peaceful applications.”
As well, it firms up earlier tentative agreement on what to do with the underground site of Fordo, saying it will be used for isotope production instead of uranium enrichment.
Washington and its allies had long insisted that the facility be repurposed away from enrichment because Fordo is dug deep into a mountain and thought resistant to air strikes — an option neither the U.S. nor Israel has ruled out should talks fail.
However the process to produce isotopes is the same as enriching uranium. In other words, the P5+1 powers will be helping the Iranians develop next-generation centrifuges in an underground facility impenetrable to a bombing attack. Any country that wants to sabotage that development in another way (remember Stuxnet) will be unable to do so, because the program will be protected and maintained by a major power.
And as the centrifuges are being developed they’ll be spinning non-nuclear elements, but once they’re perfected the Iranians will be able to use them to enrich uranium. Therefore the P5+1 powers will literally be investing in helping Iran achieve a zero breakout.
The Iranians already have 300kg of 3.67% uranium on hand, and they’ll be able to scale up production as they need because the framework agreement lets them keep 5,000 centrifuges enriching uranium at Natanz and allows them keep another 10,000 centrifuges in storage available to be installed. They can bring low enriched material to Fordow and quickly enrich it to weapons-grade levels in the next-generation centrifuges they’ll have developed with P5+1 assistance. It also means that even if Iran follows the agreement (a huge if) Iran will have the technology to go nuclear the moment the deal expires. The technology the Iranians learn to develop at Fordo will be applied on a mass scale.
Even before this revelation, leading scientists were warning that the deal as explained in the April 2nd framework would not push back Iran to the point where it would take one year to perfect a nuclear weapon, rather the rogue nation would only need three months to break out to a nuclear weapon. As reported in The Tower
Iran’s breakout time under the emerging nuclear deal could be less than the Obama administration’s estimate of one year, according to Alan J. Kuperman, associate professor and coordinator of the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Project at the University of Texas in Austin. Writing in The New York Times yesterday, Kuperman argued that under the framework reached in Lausanne, the actual breakout time – the time needed to accrue enough enriched uranium for one nuclear weapon – could be as little as three months.
Olli Heinonen, a former deputy director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has similarly stated that under the emerging deal Iran’s breakout time would be less than a year, arguing in part that the United States may have underestimated the capacity of Iran’s IR-1 centrifuges. Additionally, since Iran is allowed to continue centrifuge R&D during the deal, which will allow it to develop more advanced centrifuges that can enrich uranium more efficiently, breakout times in later years would “shrink drastically.” The Obama administration has consistently argued that the deal will push back the breakout time from a current 2-3 months to one year.
The draft revealed by the Associated Press prove the Obama administration’s rush to a deal will in the end help the Iranian regime rush to a nuclear weapon, either secretly during the period of a deal, or as soon as a deal ends. At the end of a ten year deal thanks to this administrations naiveté’ Americans will be able to say Iran’s new nuclear weapons are an example of their tax dollars at work.