American intelligence agencies have concluded in recent months that Iran has created enough nuclear fuel to make a rapid, if risky, sprint for a nuclear weapon. But new intelligence reports delivered to the White House say that the country has deliberately stopped short of the critical last steps to make a bomb.
In the first public acknowledgment of the intelligence findings, the American ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency declared on Wednesday that Iran now had what he called a “possible breakout capacity” if it decided to enrich its stockpile of uranium, converting it to bomb-grade material.
Make ho mistake: Iran gets the bomb, Venezuela will soon, too.
But…, you may say, but… we can negotiate!
Not very likely:
Iran Dims Hopes for Diplomacy
Iran rejected any compromise with the West over its nuclear program Wednesday, as blunt comments from the Obama administration over Tehran’s bomb-making capability suggested that the two sides were headed toward a renewed diplomatic crisis.
Will the UN follow up with a strongly-worded letter?
President Barack Obama has given Iran a deadline of September to show good faith in negotiations over its nuclear program; otherwise the U.S. hopes to get broad international agreement for new sanctions. Western countries had hoped Iran might agree to freeze its production of nuclear fuel in exchange for the West holding off on new economic sanctions as formal negotiations commenced.
Instead, Tehran’s letter to the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, plus Germany, simply summarized vague Iranian calls for better cooperation with the international community, many of which have been made before.
At the same time, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, publicly ruled out a compromise, saying the nation would never give up its right to its nuclear program or wait around for permission from other countries.
Iran’s moves Wednesday mean the U.S. and its diplomatic partners will focus on intensifying their efforts to prepare new economic sanctions against Tehran, said officials involved in the process. The Iranian proposals didn’t specify any timetable for when Iran might meet the U.S. and other Security Council members in the coming weeks, said a European diplomat who viewed the document.
And something to bear in mind: Appeasement never works.