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Friday, January 23, 2015

WaPo gives Obama three Pinocchios for claiming that Iran's nuclear program has been halted

The Washington Post's fact checker has give President Hussein Obama three Pinocchio's (out of a possible four) for lying in his State of the Union message by claiming that Iran's nuclear program has been halted. Three Pinocchio's mean that there is 'significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions' in the claim made.This is from the first link.
Olli Heinonen, who headed the IAEA’s safeguards section during the 2003-2005 talks between Iran and three European powers (United Kingdom, France and Germany), said “it is true that 20-percent enriched uranium stocks have decreased, but Iran is still producing uranium enriched up to 5-percent uranium. The latter stocks have actually increased when you talk about stocks of UF6 [uranium hexafluoride] and other chemical compounds.”
Moreover, while there has been no installation of new centrifuges, “it appears that the production of centrifuge components continues. Same with the Arak reactor. No new nuclear components have been installed, but it does not mean that the production of those came to halt.”
As Heinonen put it, “the JPOA is just a step to create negotiation space; nothing more. It is not a viable longer term situation.  The nuclear caravan of Iran continues and sets a step after a step another fait accompli.”
David Albright, who heads Institute for Science and International Security, said the president’s language was “a little bit odd.” He said that the halt in Iran’s program from 2003 to 2005 was a more substantial suspension of enrichment activities. (At the Senate hearing, Blinken acknowledged the United States and its negotiating partners had abandoned United Nations Security Council demands that Iran halt enrichment as it was clear “Iran was not going to give up as a practical matter some very limited forms of enrichment in the event of an agreement.”)
Moreover, Albright said it was not correct that the 3.5-percent enriched stock had been reduced; instead it has been converted from one form (“hexafluoride”) to another (“oxide”), a step that he said was taken largely for cosmetic (political) purposes. A significant portion of 20-percent enriched material has also been retained as scrap, rather than converted into fuel for a research reactor. A key aspect of the talks is to extend the “break out” period under which Iran could manufacture a nuclear weapon, but he said as a practical matter the conversion of 3.5 percent to oxide form would only add about two weeks to the break-out period, since Iran could reconvert it back into hexafluoride. (Here’s his report on this issue; this paragraph was updated for clarity.)
In effect, the amount of nuclear material available to Iran has gone up “about a bomb’s worth during the JPOA,” Albright said.
This is where Obama’s speechwriters went awry. Iran’s stock of low enriched uranium — a “nuclear material” by the IAEA’s definition — has gone up during the negotiations, largely as a consequence of the dilution of the near 20-percent material.
 Read the whole thing.

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At 6:19 PM, Blogger :::::à contre-courants::::: said...

Unfair... Obama just said that ==the progress== of the Iranian nuclear program has been stopped, and this is the reality.


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