The PJ Tatler

Iran Speeds Up Uranium Production, Violating Interim Agreement

A confidential report issued to member states of the International Atomic Energy Agency claims that Iran has increased its stockpile of low enriched uranium by 8% in just two months.

Further, it may have violated the interim agreement it signed last year that forbade the use of an advanced centrifuge that processes uranium more quickly than older models.

Times of Israel:

Iran has stepped up efforts to develop a process that could enrich uranium at a much quicker pace, thereby violating the interim nuclear agreement reached with world powers last year, according to the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security, or ISIS.

“Iran may have violated [the interim deal] by starting to feed [natural uranium gas] into one of its advanced centrifuges, namely the IR-5 centrifuge,” ISIS wrote in an analysis of the confidential IAEA report issued Friday to member states, according to Reuters. “Under the interim deal, this centrifuge should not have been fed with [gas] as reported in this safeguards report.”

The IR-5 is a new centrifuge that Iran has been seeking to develop to replace the old IR-1 model. Tehran possesses only one such machine so far.

“Because enrichment in these centrifuges is intermittent and not continuous, questions arise whether any of the advanced centrifuges work well,” ISIS said.

Iran has also reportedly sped up its low-grade uranium enrichment over the past two months, growing its stockpile by 8% to 8.4 tons.

The issue of advanced enrichment is sensitive because Iran could potentially produce a nuclear weapon if it processes the material further, a main concern for the West.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for the US to call out the Iranians for their violation. The Obama administration is too close to a deal with Iran to worry about whether Iran can be trusted to keep its word.

The IAEA is also complaining that the Iranians have still not been forthcoming on the entirety of their nuclear program, especially as it relates to bomb making activity:

A report by the UN nuclear agency says Iran has failed to address suspicions it may have conducted explosives tests and other activity that could be used to develop a nuclear bomb.

The report by the International Atomic Energy Agency was issued to IAEA member states in Vienna on November 7.

On a positive note, the report says Tehran has not boosted uranium enrichment and has not installed any significant components at its plutonium-producing reactor in Arak.

The document was issued ahead of a self-imposed November 24 deadline for Iran and six global powers to end a decade-old standoff over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear activities.

Western powers say no final agreement will be reached until the IAEA issues a ruling saying it is satisfied with its inquiry.

Speeding up enrichment and failing at full disclosure of their nuclear program would ordinarily raise a host of red flags with negotiators. But these talks have never been about preventing Iran from getting the bomb.  The talks have been about coming to an historic agreement to cement President Obama’s legacy. To that end, the negotiators are apparently willing to look the other way and bend over backwards to achieve that goal.