State Dept: Iranian construction of light water nuclear reactors allowedIranian construction of light water nuclear reactors is allowed under both the UN resolutions and the JPOA (the interim agreement). This is from Adam Kredo.
“We are aware of the announcement and are reviewing the details,” said the official, who was not authorized to speak on record. However, “in general, the construction of light water nuclear reactors is not prohibited by U.N. Security Council resolutions, nor does it violate the JPOA,” the official said.
The United States remains committed to ensuring the “peaceful” nature of Iran’s nuclear program, which continues to progress in part as talks continue through July 1.
“We have been clear in saying that the purpose of the negotiations with Iran is to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program remains exclusively for civilian, peaceful purposes,” the official said. “The talks that we have been engaged in for months involve a specific set of issues relative to closing off all possible pathways to Iran acquiring a nuclear bomb. That remains our focus.”In an email, the Israel Project points out that the JPOA is a total failure:
Diplomatically, new infrastructure gives the Iranians more leverage in negotiations. The more they have, the more they have to bargain with. The JPOA was supposed to freeze the Iranian program to prevent them from improving their position as talks proceeded. It failed. Instead the Iranians spent the last year building up their nuclear program - and their leverage - across all areas:
* Uranium - The JPOA allows unlimited enrichment from 0% to 3.5%, which is about 60% of the effort needed to get to weapons grade levels. Every day they've got 9,000 centrifuges spilling and building up their stockpile. The only caveat is they have to convert the newly enriched gas into oxide, a process that would take them a couple of weeks to reverse.
* Plutonium - The JPOA allows unlimited work on Iran's Arak plutonium factory as long as the Iranians don't touch the reactor at the site, and unlimited work on reactor parts off-site.
* Ballistic missiles - The JPOA allows unlimited work on ballistic missiles.
* Physical infrastructure - The JPOA allows allowed unlimited construction of full-blown nuclear reactors.Kredo points out that Iran has now admitted that it is working on ballistic missiles.
Iran also has admitted to building advanced missile sites in Syria—where it is fighting on behalf of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad—and has been accused in recent days of also building a clandestine nuclear facility there.That story would be here.
Kredo goes on to add that Rohani is just embarrassing the Obama administration.
“Rouhani went out of his way to humiliate the Obama administration,” said one senior foreign policy hand who works on the issue. “He picked the day when negotiations were starting again and his declaration is the literal definition of building new nuclear technology.”
“And instead of fighting back, the White House is again rolling over and letting themselves be slapped around,” the source said. “They’ll do anything—anything—to get a deal with Iran.”What could go wrong?