To No One's Surprise, Iran Breaches Limits on Enriched Uranium, Violating Obama's Nuclear Deal
According to the Iranian news agency Fars, the country has breached limits on enriched uranium agreed to in the 2015 nuclear deal with the U.S. and several European nations.
Iran threatened to take this step two weeks ago.
The announcement, also reported by the Associated Press, follows a month of steadily escalating tensions between Iran and the U.S., as well as increasingly hostile personal rhetoric between officials in Tehran and President Donald Trump — whose administration withdrew the U.S. in May 2018 from the nuclear accord negotiated under the Obama administration.
That pact mandated that Iran could stockpile no more than 300 kilograms of low-enriched uranium.
That's a little more than 600 pounds of uranium enriched to a level of about 5 percent.
But when it comes to the nuclear agreement signed by Barack Obama, you have to look closely at what Iran's right hand is doing while showing you what's in their left hand.
Times of Israel (From August 11, 2018):
Iran on Saturday announced it was taking back another portion of the 20 percent enriched uranium stockpile it handed over to Russia as part of the nuclear deal signed in 2015 with world powers in exchange for sanctions relief.
Spokesman and vice-president of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Behrouz Kamalvandi said the re-imposition of US sanctions following President Donald Trump’s exit in May from the accord necessitated returning the uranium for domestic needs.
Oh, really? The fact is, there is no industrial use for highly enriched uranium (HEU) -- uranium enriched to 20 precent -- in nuclear reactors. Those reactors use Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) only.
So let's call BS on Iranian claims it will use the HEU returned by Russia for reactor fuel.
This was all a reaction to Trump pulling out of the nuclear deal? Guess again:
Kamalvandi said Iran stopped producing 20% enriched uranium and transferred its stockpile to Russia in ten batches as per the 2015 deal. He said Russia had already returned one batch of the fuel earlier this year at Tehran’s request, and a second would be returned soon.
Before Trump pulled the U.S. out of the deal, Iran was already receiving a significant amount of HEU it sent to Russia as part of the nuclear deal.
The significance of Iran possessing a stockpile of HEU is that it would take only about 4-6 weeks to further enrich the HEU from 20 percent to 90 percent -- that's potent enough to build a bomb. It would take 6-8 months to enrich the LEU from 5 percent to 90 percent, depending on how reliable their centrifuges are.
Incredibly, Obama allowed the Iranians to improve upon their centrifuge technology -- just one of those little details that he failed to mention when selling this load of crap to Congress.
More BS from the Iranian government:
“Today, Iran has to stand against U.S. economic sanctions through domestic production and relying on national potentials,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Monday, according to the state-run IRNA news agency and the AP.
The argument that Iran needs LEU for it's "national potentials" is ludicrous. The nation floats on an ocean of oil and needs nuclear power like it needs more mosques preaching "Death to America!"
We shouldn't view those who negotiated and signed this agreement as naive. They all knew exactly what they were doing. Obama and the Western Europeans were terrified they would have to take military action to destroy Iranian nuclear potential. Indeed, you can't really fault them. Going to war with Iran risked a regional conflagration.
But at the time, the Iranian economy was in real danger of imploding thanks to the sanctions. Instead of using the sanctions as a club to force favorable terms on the Iranians to shutter their bomb-making program, the good little Western liberals pretended that Iran was a "normal" negotiating partner. The "concessions" Obama thought he had wrung from the Iranians were vague enough and full of enough holes that Tehran could drive a truck through them.
The bottom line on this deal is that it was The Big Con. Obama and other Western leaders wanted to do anything to avoid having to take out the Iranian nuclear program. They pretended that Iran conceded a lot -- including the fake gambit of sending LEU to Russia, which waited until they thought no one was looking to send it back to Iran.
Meanwhile, Iran got tens of billions of dollars from assets frozen since the 1979 revolution. And Europeans lined up eagerly to exploit new trade opportunities with the regime.
Obama went to the American people with the west's interpretation of what the deal actually said. But Iran had their own take on the meaning of several key sections, including the aforementioned ability to make "experimental" and vastly improved centrifuges -- something that the Obama administration denied until the day they left office. Obama also bragged about the inspection regime being the toughest in history. But as the UN inspectors discovered, the Iranians refused to allow them to inspect the enormous Parchin military base where it is believed research into atomic bomb design was carried out.
Hilariously, the UN inspectors were forced to accept soil and other samples given to them by Revolutionary Guard soldiers.
There is nothing new in Iran breaching the limits of stockpiled LEU. The only question is who really believes that their nuclear program was constrained in any significant way by the worst agreement ever signed by an American president.