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Iranian media reported yesterday that Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif and Ali Akbar Salehi attended a closed session in the Parliament to brief the MPs on the framework agreement with the six world powers that is supposed to curb Iran’s nuclear program.
Fars News reported that Iran is planning to use its advanced IR-8 centrifuges as soon as a nuclear accord with the world powers is agreed, although this would appear to entirely contradict the United States’ interpretation of the deal under discussion.
Fars quoted Javad Karimi Qoddousi, a member of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission. He said following the closed-door session at the Iranian parliament: “The AEOI chief and the Foreign Minister presented hopeful remarks about nuclear technology R&D which, they said, have been agreed upon during the talks (with the six world powers), and informed that gas will be injected into IR8 (centrifuge machines) with the start of the (implementation of the) agreement.”
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One of the Iranian MP’s who attended the meeting told Mehr News that Zarif had said that Iran would allow no online cameras to be installed in nuclear facilities. The reason? The country had several tragic experiences in which Iranian nuclear scientists had been assassinated due to having been identified. These online cameras are important for the inspections of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The MP also quoted Zarif as having said: “I have told the Western diplomats that Iran is capable of making an atom bomb anytime it wills, but the one and only fact that has stopped us from doing so is Ayatollah Khamenei’s Fatwa (an Islamic legal pronouncement) and not the sanctions and pressures levied at the country.”
The same claim about Khamenei’s fatwa was also made by President Obama during his Rose Garden statement last week.
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However, as Western Journalism reported earlier, Khamenei never issued such a Fatwa. In fact, in 1987, Khamenei ordered the Iranian Atomic-Energy Organization (IAEO) to develop a nuclear weapon.
He did so during a secret meeting of the IAEO of Iran, where Khamenei said the following:
“Our nation has always been subject to external threats. The little we can do to stand up to this danger is to make our enemies aware that we can defend ourselves. Accordingly, any step that we take here will serve the defense of our nation and your revolution. With this aim in mind, you must work hard and fast.”
As for Zarif’s remark that Iran is capable of making an atom bomb anytime it wills, Obama last week proved that he lied about the actual break-out time. That is the time Iran needs to build the bomb.
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In October 2013, Obama said Iran was a year or more away from having sufficient enriched uranium to produce a nuclear weapon (or a completed weapon – the answer is unclear).
In March 2015, Obama said that under the interim deal from November 2013, Iran has “frozen its program, and rolled back some of its most dangerous highly enriched uranium.”
That would suggest a longer break-out time than a year. But Obama now says that Iran is only two or three months from making an atom bomb.
The administration invented their one year timeline in the fall of 2013 to battle against the Kirk-Menendez opposition group in Congress. They were lying – the Iranians were within three months of breakout – and people like Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu said so. Once the administration had the Joint Plan Of Action of November 2013 in hand, they began slowly shifting from “don’t impose more sanctions because the Iranians are a year out” to “we have no choice but to bribe the Iranians because they’re 3 months out.”
This raises the question of how the Obama administration could have been so negligent as to let the Iranians get within three months of breakout.
On Tuesday, Ynet in Israel reported that Obama now concedes that Iran could cut break-out time to near zero after the deal with the 5+1 world powers expires.
Obama told NPR News that after 13 years under the agreement, Tehran will be able to use advanced centrifuges that enrich uranium faster–but said that a future president’s ability to take action against a nuclear Iran will be undiminished.
This proves that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu was right. In his speech before Congress, Netanyahu raised the possibility that in addition to developing a nuclear weapon by violating the deal, there existed “an even greater danger that Iran could get to the bomb by keeping the deal.” He added that once limits on Iran’s enrichment activity were lifted, Iran could have enough centrifuges to “make the fuel for an entire nuclear arsenal and this in a matter of weeks, once it makes that decision.”
The parties also issued contradictory statements about what was agreed upon in the framework agreement. Zarif even accused the White House of spinning what the agreement says.
Journalist Amir Taheri, who speaks Farsi, decided to compare the American statement to the Iranian one. He discovered that Zarif was right.
“The Persian text carefully avoids words that might give the impression that anything has been agreed by the Iranian side or that the Islamic Republic has offered any concessions,” Taheri wrote.
“The Iranian text is labeled as a press statement only,” he continued. “The American text, however, pretends to enumerate ‘Parameters for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action’ and claims key points have been decided. What remains to be done is worked out in ‘implementation details.’”
Sometimes the two texts are diametrically opposed, according to Taheri.
“The American statement claims that Iran has agreed not to use advanced centrifuges, each of which could do the work of 10 old ones. The Iranian text, however, insists that ‘on the basis of solutions found, work on advanced centrifuges shall continue on the basis of a 10-year plan.’
“The American text claims that Iran has agreed to dismantle the core of the heavy water plutonium plant in Arak. The Iranian text says the opposite. The plant shall remain and be updated and modernized,” Taheri wrote.
Taheri also proved that Obama didn’t tell the truth during his statement after the sides reached a deal.
He made three outrageous claims.
The first was that when he became president Iran had “thousands of centrifuges” which would now be cut down to around 6,000. In fact, in 2008, Iran had only 800 centrifuges. It was on Obama’s watch and because of his perceived weakness that Iran speeded up its nuclear program.”
The second claim was that thanks to the scheme he is peddling “all of Iran’s paths” to developing a nuclear arsenal would be blocked. And, yet, in the same remarks he admitted that even if the claimed deal is fully implemented, Iran would still be able to build a bomb in just a year, presumably jumping over the “blocked paths.”
Obama’s worst claim was that the only alternative to his attempts at surrendering to the obnoxious Khomeinist regime would be US involvement in another ground war in the Middle East.
He ignores the fact that forcing Iran through diplomatic action, sanctions and proximity pressures to abide by six UN resolutions could also be regarded as an alternative. In other words, preemptive surrender is not the only alternative to war.
Obama is playing a bizarre game that could endanger regional peace and threaten the national security of the US and its allies. He insisted that Kerry secure “something, anything” before April 14 to forestall the US Congress’ planned moves on Iran.
There is more:
The administration says that “Iran has agreed to implement the Additional Protocol.” This is a reference to an addendum to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that permits intrusive inspections. However, Tehran merely promised to implement the protocol “on a voluntary and temporary basis,” pending eventual ratification by its parliament.
We’ve seen this before. Iran agreed to implement the Additional Protocol in 2003 but renounced it in early 2006, after stonewalling weapons inspections.
The US has made clear that economic sanctions will be lifted in phases, whereas the Iranian fact sheet provides for the immediate lifting of all sanctions as soon as a final agreement is signed–which is set for June 30.
In fact, the US parameters state that sanctions will be suspended only after Iran has fulfilled all its obligations: “U.S. and EU nuclear-related sanctions will be suspended after the IAEA has verified that Iran has taken all of its key nuclear-related steps.” By contrast, the Iranian fact sheet states: “all of the sanctions will be immediately removed after reaching a comprehensive agreement.”
The US says that Iran has agreed to surprise inspections by the IAEA, while the Iranians say that such consent is only temporary.
Contrary to the US account, Iran is making clear that its stockpile of already enriched uranium – enough for seven bombs – will not be shipped out of the country, although it may be converted.
Israel also analyzed the framework agreement and published a list of questions that were meant to “underline the extent of the dangerous concessions given to Iran.”
One of those questions was: Why does the framework not address Iran’s intercontinental ballistic missile program, the sole purpose of which is to carry nuclear payloads? Netanyahu also emphasized this point in a media blitz in the U.S. this week.
“The ending of their ICBMs, that’s not in the deal, and those missiles are only used for you, they’re not used for us. They have missiles that can reach us, and they’re geared for nuclear weapons,” he said.
In a similar interview with NBC, Netanyahu said: “They’re developing ICBMs to reach the United States. Don’t give them these weapons. Don’t give them nuclear ICBMS with which they can threaten you.”
Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s Strategic Affair’s Minister, demanded a series of changes to close key loopholes as the final terms are negotiated ahead of the deadline.
The changes set out by Steinitz include: Barring further Iranian R&D on advanced centrifuges; significantly reducing the number of centrifuges Iran would have available to press back into service if it violates the deal; shuttering the Fordo underground enrichment facility; requiring Iran’s compliance in detailing previous nuclear activities with possible military dimensions; shipping its stockpile of lower enriched uranium out of the country; and ensuring “anywhere, anytime” inspections of Iran’s facilities.
Such changes, said Steinitz, would render a final deal “more reasonable.”
“The current deal with Iran doesn’t even provide safety for one year,” Steinitz later said in reacting to a media blitz by Obama, who assured the public that the agreement would curb Tehran’s nuclear program for over a decade. “I wouldn’t trust the deal this deal if it were home insurance, and certainly not if it were life insurance,” Steinitz added.
More devastating criticism came from two former Secretaries of State in the United States. The Washington Post published a long op-ed by Henry Kissinger and George Schultz that was dubbed “an anti-nuke deal fatwa” by Bloomberg columnist Eli Lake.
“Mixing shrewd diplomacy with open defiance of U.N. resolutions, Iran has gradually turned the negotiation on its head. Iran’s centrifuges have multiplied from about 100 at the beginning of the negotiation to almost 20,000 today. The threat of war now constrains the West more than Iran,” Kissinger and Schultz wrote.
In Europe, influential Dutch liberal politician Halbe Zijlstra said the agreement “could be a historic mistake that increases the chance of military action.” Zijlstra also said “that the agreement will Iran give the necessary breathing space to build a nuclear weapon and to increase its aid to terroristic movements such as Hamas and Hezbollah.”
But Obama continues to claim that the agreement is a good deal.
The current situation is best illustrated by a commenter on an article by Michael Rubin in Commentary Magazine: “When a President locks himself in the cockpit and heads us for a crash, you have to wonder how much we’re really doing to correct our course.”
Another commentator reacted to this illustration by saying:
The only difference with the German Airbus is that Congress can still barge into the cockpit, remove this incompetent pilot, and get the plane back on track. There is little time left, but definitely more than the few minutes the unfortunate passengers of the German plane had.