November 27, 2013

Iran's Darth Vader to Obama's Lando Calrissian: "I'm altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further."


I'm just going to cut and paste an email I got from Omri Ceron at the Israel Project. He's never steered me wrong in the past, plus it's the day before Thanksgiving and there's food to be a preparin'. Also, he has an awesome Star Wars analogy thrown in

As you no doubt know, there's already a debate over whether last week's P5+1 interim agreement actually freezes Iran's uranium track the way it's supposed to. The language seems to allow Iranian scientists to continue enriching uranium, as long as they convert anything over their current stock of 3.5% into oxide. But the oxide can easily be reconverted back into material suitable for further enriching to weapons-grade levels: Mark Hibbs over at Arms Control Wonk says it only takes a few weeks, Olli Heinonen and Simon Henderson have similar numbers, etc. So 6 months from now Iran ends up with the same amount of centrifuges (19,000) and more nuclear material than they have now.

As far as Iran's plutonium track goes, the interim deal was supposed to halt progress on Iran's Arak facility, which has a heavy water production facility and a plutonium-breeding reactor. Per statements made overnight by Zarif, not so much.

This is becoming like a scene out of Empire. Iran keeps altering the deal and telling us to pray they don't alter it any further.

Of course it could be that they're not altering the deal at all, and they're telling the truth when they say that the initial WH description of the agreement was flat out false - either way it'd be nice to know how the deal can count as a "freeze" when Iran ends up with more uranium enriched and more progress made on its plutonium-breeding facility.

If Iran is Vader, and Obama is Lando ... then maybe I'm Han Solo because I've got a bad feeling about this.

Oh, I also added some underlining and bold for emphasis.

PS -- Also, it looks like Iran is trying to become a player in Somalia of all places.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:55 PM | Comments |