Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Iran/Russia talks does Iran's uranium enrichment

As the Monday UN deadline approaches, Iran is expanding its nuclear enrichment program - a calculated stance that crosses a "red line" for the US and EU.

Details of Iran's new steps to enrich uranium were revealed in a confidential report by the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohamad ElBaradei. Iran plans to set up 3,000 centrifuges later this year.

The report, as I predicted, was full of lopholes and ambivilant language, but even the IAEA's own Inspector Clouseau could not disavow that the actions that Iran has taken - to get enrichment up and running - "that is clearly a provocation."

The report also lists a string of questions about Iran's nuclear program that it has yet to answer...for instance, where'd all those centrifuges come from?

"Iran is taking a pretty deliberate position not to cooperate with the IAEA," says David Albright, a former IAEA weapons inspector and head of the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington. "It's not a surprise, but it's sad, because it seems it will inevitably lead to a confrontation."

Iran continued talks with Russia Wednesday about a proposal to shift Iranian enrichment to Russian soil. The basic framework of the deal is that Iran would keep a `token, experimental' enrichment capacity in Iran itself - perhaps a cascade of 500 centrifuges - while the Russians do the large,industrial-scale work. Such a deal would be a "very bad compromise," says Albright. "If you allow 500, and they master that, they will want 5,000. You have to have the confrontation now, and see what happens. Not a year from now."

Preident Bush made a surprise trip to Afghanistan today and was quite clear:
"We shall not let Iran have the means, the knowledge to make nuclear weapon. This would destabilize the world."

Well, I agree, Dubyah. And I really want to see what you have planned to stop them.

No comments: