Missing Peace | missingpeace.eu | EN

Rouhani : we removed hurdles and consolidated Iran’s nuclear rights

By Missing Peace


Iranian media Tehran Times and Payvand reported that during the latest Cabinet meeting president Rouhani boasted that his so called “Charm offensive” has proven to be a success.

Rouhani said that Iran has won the battle in the court of public opinion.  He furthermore said that the Iranian government is  ‘consolidating its nuclear rights step by step, and removing hurdles from the path of the nation’s progress’. A clear reference to Iran’s nuclear program.

Meanwhile Time Magazine today reported that several nuclear experts worry that Iran might try to sneak the Arak nuclear plant online. This would make an Israeli military strike impossible since it would create a disaster comparable with Chernobyl.

Work toward activating the reactor, which is part of the Arak facility that also includes a heavy water production plant, has been described as part of Iran’s “Plan B” for developing a nuclear weapon. Material produced by the reactor could be used to make a plutonium-based bomb, alongside the uranium-based bomb that the international community fears Iran is seeking to construct with material produced via enrichment facilities. Former IAEA Deputy Director Dr. Olli Heinonen, speaking Monday on a conference call, noted that Iran’s construction at Arak “appears to be an alternative, at least for a rainy day, to have fissionable material, which could be, for example used for nuclear weapons.”

Because it is not yet up and running, the Arak heavy-water reactor has remained in the background of the nuclear controversy. But it looms larger every day. The reason: once Arak goes online, the option of destroying Iran’s nuclear program with air strikes becomes moot. The reactor is essentially invulnerable to military attack, because bombing one risks a catastrophic release of radioactivity. In the words of Israel’s last chief of military intelligence, Amos Yadlin, who piloted one of the F-16A’s that cratered Iraq’s Osirak heavy-water reactor in 1981 before it was due to become operational: “Whoever considers attacking an active reactor is willing to invite another Chernobyl, and no one wants to do that.”
I a related development Israeli Middle East expert Smadar Peri reported today that recently prominent Israeli and Arab experts have held  discussions on the dramatic change regarding Iran.

Here is what she wrote:

The Arab experts are just as concerned as our experts are. I haven’t seen such frustration and helplessness in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf states in a long time. Not only have America’s old allies been betrayed by Obama, now they don’t have anyone to lean on when the “big brother” in Washington is enthusiastic at their expense.

Suddenly, the Arab world is no longer divided into a moderate camp and an extremist camp. The dramatic developments have stretched a separation line between two fields: The Sunni field, which looks like a dried out, wrinkly woman, and the Iranian-Shiite arena, which is becoming popular and challenging. If we take our eyes off it for a second, we will be on the receiving end of a very dangerous response.

Peri advocates cooperation between Israel and the Sunni camp in order to continue to pressure the West so that sanctions are not lifted before the Iranian nuclear program is halted.

The Israel Project and Time contributed to this report