Tags: Emerging Threats | Iran | Middle East | United Nations | fordow | natanz | plant

Iran Only Interested in Enriched Uranium, Nuclear Dominance

Iran Only Interested in Enriched Uranium, Nuclear Dominance
A photo released by Islamic Republic News Agency, IRNA, shows an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) seal on a piece of equipment at one of Iran's uranium enrichment facilities at the Natanz plant, some 200 miles (322 kilometers) south of the capital Tehran, Iran, in January, 2014. (AP /IRNA Kazem Ghane)

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Wednesday, 06 June 2018 04:45 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Surprise! Well no, not really. Iran has announced that they have begun working on the infrastructure to build advanced centrifuges which will enrich uranium at higher levels.

Levels so high that they are four times above the level agreed to in the famous nuclear agreement (JCPOA). The uranium enrichment program is taking place in Iran's nuclear plant located in Natanz.

Natanz is located about 200 miles south of Iran’s capital Teheran.

The announcement was so important that on June 5 Iran's supreme leader chose to deliver it himself. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also took the opportunity to announce that Iran has already informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that they are creating the centrifuge center in Natanz.

Not that anyone would doubt the Supreme Leader, but it was confirmed by Ali Akbar Salehi, director of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization. Salehi asserted that Iran’s nuclear activities were all within the framework of the 2015 nuke deal.

About that — he was lying. The announcement of the change to the framework of the agreement is, in and of itself, a violation of the agreement. And increasing the enrichment level to 20 percent from five percent is sneaky because although 20 percent is not yet weapons grade it makes the transition to weapons grade uranium very easy.

Salehi explained that the nuclear work Iran is now undertaking is intended to improve their infrastructure. Iran needs to produce electricity the most efficient way to produce electricity is with a nuclear plant. That at the Natanz plant Iran was merely upgrading their nuclear technology and producing centrifuges, for the purpose of making electricity — they argue that this is permitted under the agreement.

The subtext of the announcements, and the real importance behind the decisions to both upgrade and to announce the upgrade, is that this is how Iran chose to react to the decision by the U.S. to pull out of the famous 2015 nuke deal with the P5 Plus 1, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany.

When the U.S. pulled out of the deal there was great suspicion that the move would put the entire deal at risk. And here we have it.

Europeans want to save the deal. Iran, a master of diplomatic manipulation, is using this period of limbo to push Europe for more and to expand their terms of the deal. Ramping up their nuclear development is a fulcrum for increasing the proverbial heat in negotiations with Europe and for forcing Europe to defend them, even protect them, from the ire of the United States and from U.S. sanctions against them.

Iran is worried about the impact of sanctions. Enlisting the aid of the remaining permanent members of the Security Council and Germany is a very effective devise in countering increased pressure from the U.S. to renew and increase sanctions.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani put it very bluntly when he said, "In an hour and a day, Iran could return to a more advanced nuclear level than at the beginning of the negotiations."

The world was warned. We knew — even if we did not want to believe — what Iran was doing. They told us. Earlier last year, on Aug. 22, 2017 Salehi appeared on Iranian state television and said, "If we make the determination, we are able to resume 20 percent enrichment in at most five days." Two months later, on October 30th he said, "We can produce 20 percent-enriched uranium at Fordow in four days, but we don’t want the nuclear deal to collapse." 

Iran is kicking up their nuclear program. Iranian leadership is no longer keeping it a secret. Israel's April unveiling of Iran's nuclear desires is serving as the backdrop of Iran's surge forward in uranium development - but it is not the cause. When you read the agreement itself, you see that the underlying objective behind the agreement is clearly to set Iran up as a country with nuclear technology.

Iran's ultimate goal in signing the nuclear agreement was to allow them to enrich uranium in an above board manner. The U.S. is doing its best to stop that from happening.

Iran is trying even harder to get back on track. This time around, they want to increase their nuclear capability and do it with the blessing of the world.

That is the real reason for this current spate of announcements.

Micah Halpern is a political and foreign affairs commentator. He founded "The Micah Report" and hosts "Thinking Out Loud with Micah Halpern" a weekly TV program and "My Chopp" a daily radio spot. A dynamic speaker, he specializes in analyzing world events and evaluating their relevance and impact. Follow him on Twitter @MicahHalpern. To read more of this reports — Click Here Now.

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Iran's ultimate goal in signing the nuclear agreement was to allow them to enrich uranium in an above board manner. The U.S. is doing its best to stop that from happening. Iran is trying even harder to get back on track. They want to increase their nuclear capability.
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Wednesday, 06 June 2018 04:45 PM
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