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Iran continues to mislead the world about nuclear program

By Missing Peace

Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif:  Iran has ‘the absolute right to produce uranium on its soil”.

Last week Iran responded to premier Netanyahu’s speech at the General Assembly of the UN. First Secretary Khodadad Seifi issued the following statement:

“All Iranian nuclear activities are, and have always been, exclusively for peaceful purposes.

Iran continues to fully cooperate with the IAEA and all its nuclear activities are carried out under surveillance cameras of the Agency and its resident inspectors who regularly visit all nuclear sites and measure and seal enriched uranium containers.

Some of Iran’s cooperation with the Agency has been beyond its legal obligations. They are carried out to build more trust and confidence.

As a result, non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran has always been confirmed by all reports of the Agency. The latest IAEA report, dated 28 August 2013, states that “the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material at the nuclear facilities declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement.”

 

Khodadad continued by threatening Israel: “The Israeli prime minister better not even think about attacking Iran, let alone planning for that,” the Iranian diplomat said. He added that Iran’s “smile policy” was better than “lying.”

Evidence

However on Tuesday analyst David Gerstman delivered the evidence that Iran again lied about the nature of its nuclear program.

Here is what he wrote:

At best Khodadad’s statement is misleading; at worst it is a bald faced lie.

Here are some selected accusations from the IAEA report (.pdf) that Seifi cited to “prove” that Iran was not “building a nuclear arsenal.”

Contrary to the relevant resolutions of the Board of Governors and the Security Council, Iran has not suspended its enrichment related activities in the declared facilities referred to below. …

Iran has not provided a substantive response to Agency requests for design information in relation to announcements made by Iran concerning the construction of ten new uranium enrichment facilities, the sites for five of which,

According to Iran, have been decided. …

Contrary to the relevant resolutions of the Board of Governors and the Security Council, Iran has not suspended work on all heavy water related projects, including, at Arak, the ongoing construction of the Iran Nuclear Research Reactor (IR-40 Reactor), which is under Agency safeguards, and the production of heavy water at the Heavy Water Production Plant (HWPP), which is not under Agency safeguards. …

In resolution 1929 (2010), the Security Council reaffirmed Iran’s obligations to take the steps required by the Board of Governors in its resolutions GOV/2006/14 and GOV/2009/82, and to cooperate fully with the Agency on all outstanding issues, particularly those which give rise to concerns about the possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program, including by providing access without delay to all sites, equipment, persons and documents requested by the Agency. As indicated in Section B above, it has not been possible for the Agency to begin substantive work with Iran in this regard. …

As the Agency has repeatedly made clear to Iran, the extensive activities that Iran has undertaken at the aforementioned location on the Parchin site have seriously undermined the Agency’s ability to conduct effective verification. It remains essential that Iran provide substantive answers to the Agency’s detailed questions regarding Parchin and the foreign expert, as requested by the Agency since February 2012, and provide access to the location, without further delay.

 Absolute right

Also on Tuesday  Al Arabiya reported that Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif insists that Iran has ‘the absolute right to produce uranium on its soil.

“The events of recent years have shown that the approach of threats and
sanctions have not ensured the interests and objectives of the other party,
and the continuation of this approach is the repetition of past mistakes
which cannot prevent Iran from mastering civilian nuclear technology,” he
added.

At meetings in Almaty this year, the 5+1 countries proposed Iran suspend uranium enrichment at the 20 percent level it says it needs for a medical research reactor, and to halt enrichment at its underground plant at Fordo.

In return, they would ease some sanctions on trade in gold and
petrochemicals.

However, Zarif said on Sunday the offers were now “history” and that the
group “should come to the negotiating table with a new approach.”

New proposals

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday urged Iran to come up with new
proposals.

“The group of six put a proposal on the table at Almaty and I don’t believe
as of yet Iran has fully responded to that particular proposal. So I think
we are waiting for the fullness of the Iranian difference in their approach
now,” Kerry told reporters in Indonesia after meeting Russian Foreign
Minister Sergei Lavrov.

“So what we need are a set of proposals from Iran that will fully disclose
how they will show the world that their program is peaceful,” he added.

Netanyahu

In Jerusalem Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke about Iran yesterday during a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. Netanyahu again expressed his skepticism about the upcoming talks between the P5+1 countries and Iran.

Here is what he said:

“….The greatest threat to peace and security of the region and of our world is Iran’s pursuit of its nuclear weapons program. Iran’s presidents might change, but that country’s nuclear program continues to expand. That is because the real leader of Iran, the real ruler of Iran, the so-called Supreme Leader, is committed to getting nuclear weapons. And unfortunately, the only tangible result from the P5+1 talks, the five countries that have been talking with Iran, talks that have been resumed a year and a half ago, the only tangible result of the P5+1 is that Iran has managed to buy more time and to advance in this time its program to develop nuclear weapons….

What does it require, to dismantle the Iranian nuclear program? It requires ending enrichment and ending the plutonium route. There are many countries that have civilian nuclear energy. I met yesterday with the President of the Czech Republic. They have nuclear energy. They have many reactors. But they don’t have heavy water plutonium reactors, which are only used for weapons, and they don’t have centrifuges for enrichment, because that’s what you need to make weapons.

What does Iran insist on? Centrifuges for enrichment and plutonium reactors. They don’t need it and they shouldn’t have it. A regime that has violated every UN resolution, that participates in mass murder in Syria, that continues terrorism around the world, doesn’t have a right to enrich. Especially since it’s very clear that they are seeking nuclear weapons, according to Netanyahu.

New offer

The Wall Street Journal citing a former Western diplomat on Wednesday reported that Iran will offer to suspend near weapons-grade uranium and limit the number of centrifuges operating. Iran reportedly also will allow more intrusive international inspections of its nuclear facilities. In return Teheran will demand a scale back of the sanctions against Iran.

The Iranian offer falls short of the four conditions set by Israel in order to put an end to Iran’s nuclear program. They are:

A full stop on enriching uranium, remove all uranium that has been enriched already from Iran, dismantle the infrastructure for nuclear breakout capability, including the underground facility in Qom and the advanced centrifuges in Natanz, and stop all work on the heavy water reactor in Arak geared toward plutonium production.

Update

Israel responded to the WSJ report about the  Iranian offer today. Intelligence minister Yuval Steinitz called the Iranian offer ‘a joke’.

“Closing the Qom facility means Iran will be able to produce five instead of six nuclear bomb in the first year, and giving up enrichment at 20% is less meaningful now that Iran has 20,000 centrifuges,” Steinitz said.

“Israel will agree to a real and serious diplomatic solution… [in which] Iran could continue producing electricity at the reactor, but will have to purchase the nuclear fuel to operate the reactor from other countries,” he continued.