Taqiyya and Hudaybiyyah: The non-deal Iran “deal,” Week 5

“Treaty,” they lied.

When we left our story last time, Iran hadn’t agreed to anything except further negotiation (if she felt like it), but Western governments were depicting this as a “deal” or “agreement” with Iran, and well-meaning media pundits were proclaiming that “it” would have to be given time to work.

The question remains what “it” is supposed to be, considering that the Iranians persist in emphasizing their intention to continue uranium enrichment: the irreducible point of contention for an actual deal – a “deal” deal, if you will – to render the Iranian nuclear program less easily weaponizable.

But even if we set that question aside, the problem remains Continue reading “Taqiyya and Hudaybiyyah: The non-deal Iran “deal,” Week 5”

The deal that will launch a thousand attack sorties? (Part 1)

Terrible, horrible, no good, very bad deal.

This is Part 1 of a two-part post.  Part 2 is here.

It’s hard to overstate the concern with which we should view the nuclear “deal” concluded with Iran on Saturday, 23 November.  Although everyone will wait, there is actually nothing to wait for with this deal: nothing to watch develop.  To say “We’ll see what happens,” in terms of Iran’s compliance, is to misunderstand.  As regards what matters to acquiring a nuclear weapon, Iran won’t change anything she’s been doing.*  She may (or may not) put off further some things she had already suspended, or had announced she was going to delay anyway.   But her program will not actually take a step backward.  It’s not even guaranteed Continue reading “The deal that will launch a thousand attack sorties? (Part 1)”

Yet another reminder: Iran still closing in on bomb

Faking injuries in a winning 4th quarter? Iran at the precipice.

So, who’s up for another round of graphs showing that Western diplomacy, sanctions, and technology have yet to out-maneuver Iran in the mullahs’ push for a bomb?

A long-time IAEA expert, Olli Heinonen, predicted this past week that, using her newer, advanced centrifuges, Iran could produce enough high-enriched uranium (HEU) for a first nuclear warhead in as little as two weeks from making the decision to go for the “breakout.”  (See here also.)

For clarity, this does not mean Iran is “two weeks from a bomb.”  It means that once Iran decides to take the final enrichment step, it could take as little as two weeks Continue reading “Yet another reminder: Iran still closing in on bomb”

“Moderate” Rouhani misled West; sneaked in centrifuges?

Iran’s nukes: known unknowns.

There is a particularly interesting aspect to the video that has recently surfaced, in which Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, gloats over Iran’s success in coopting European negotiators to keep the Iranian nuclear program on track in the mid-2000s, in spite of pressure from the United States.

The video clip, from an Iranian news-program interview of Rouhani in Farsi, was published by Reza Khalili.  Ryan Mauro highlights it at the Clarion Project, tying it to a report from 31 July in which Mauro outlined Rouhani’s extensive history of using deception about the Iranian nuclear program back when he was the chief nuclear negotiator for Tehran.

The deception and Rouhani’s gloating are important (see especially his characterization of the top-cover he received from European negotiators); I will let readers visit the reports and soak in the information at your leisure.  What I want to focus on here is Continue reading ““Moderate” Rouhani misled West; sneaked in centrifuges?”

Iran’s nuclear program: Avoiding hockey-stickery

Sanctions far from producing a hat-trick.

A widely referenced Washington Post story from Monday has got folks feeling complacent about the parlous state of Iran’s nuclear program.  The WaPo piece, crediting Stuxnet and sanctions, speaks of a “sharp decline” in the output of low-enriched uranium (LEU) at the Natanz enrichment facility, along with the aging and low-performing condition of Iran’s original Pakistani-design centrifuge cascades.  Meanwhile, sanctions have apparently made it impossible for Iran to import high-strength maraging steel, forcing the Iranians to manufacture their newest centrifuges from less reliable carbon fiber.

Sounds like cause for celebration, right?  Between Stuxnet and the sanctions, Iran’s nuclear butt is being kicked around Southwest Asia.

But there is more to the story, and a serious danger of succumbing to a Hockey Stick effect if we don’t look at all of it. Continue reading “Iran’s nuclear program: Avoiding hockey-stickery”