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Friday, November 08, 2013

Iran's Sweet Deal

Once again, my husband, the Hoosier Gadfly, has come up with a trenchant and timely bit of analysis -- and doesn't plan to post it any time soon. With his permission, I'm simply going to paste it here.

The subject: the proposal to relieve sanctions on Iran, in return for supposed concessions.

Without further ado, here's what the Gadfly has to say. (The starred items are quotations from this article in the Jerusalem Post, some with minor corrections of faulty English.)

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Let's parse this deal:

* Iran would stop weapons-grade 20 percent uranium enrichment and turn its existing stockpile into oxide, a harmless material.

I've previously stated that converting the 20% medium enriched uranium (MEU) into fuel is just another way of storing it.  You can go from oxide BACK to UF6 and then you have feedstock.  Rationally, you should treat unburned fuel the same as UF6.

* Iran would be allowed to continue 3.5% enrichment needed for power stations, but limit the number of centrifuges being used. The deal would, however, not include any demand to remove or disable any other centrifuges.

Idiocy.  3.5% is over 60% of the way to bomb grade.  Not disabling any centrifuges simply means that Iran is in a position to amass a huge stockpile of LEU that can quickly be converted to bombs.  It's necessary to eliminate the stockpile and the centrifuges.

* While still being allowed to work on its plutonium reactor at Arak, Iran would agree not to activate it for six months. The plutonium reactor could provide for another route to nuclear weapon capability.

Breathtaking idiocy.  This allows Iran to get the Pu reactor ready to go while further negotiations take place

* Iran would not use its IR-2 centrifuges that are more advanced and capable of enriching uranium three-to-five times faster than the older model.

Fine.  All that is required is to set up the cascades for bomb production and wait.

If I wanted to come up with a plan that would protect Iran from attack while it prepared for breakout, the above is what I'd propose.

Of course the elite Neville Chamberlain pin-stripers in the State Department love this deal.

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I would add that unless Israel has some remarkable magic up its sleeve, it's paying the price for excessive patience. Israel wanted to allow the futile negotiation process to run out of steam, and to placate the US as long as possible. Now, far more than before, any attack will look to many like sabotage of an actual peace process.