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Thursday, November 03, 2011

What's in that IAEA report

London's Daily Telegraph has gotten a pretty good idea of what's in that IAEA report to be released later this month. If they have the report, they're not saying, but they cite 'western diplomats' who have apparently seen it. And it doesn't really allow for any conclusion other than the fact that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.
Yukiya Amano, the organisation’s director-general, is unlikely to draw a definitive conclusion that Iran is making nuclear weapons, but according to Western diplomats the facts will make any other conclusion implausible.

They believe the IAEA has substantiated evidence from intelligence reports, interviews with Iranian scientists and on-the-ground inspections that Iran is carrying out a nuclear weapons programme in parallel to its civilian energy goals.

The agency will sound the alarm over Iranian scientists’ work to develop a ballistic missile warhead capable of carrying a nuclear device. It has already uncovered evidence that Iran has been carrying out research into triggers for nuclear weapons.

Inspectors have also questioned Iranian scientists on simulation programmes that they believe are designed to design and test a potential weapon.

“This is the product of a vast amount of work by the IAEA which will show the level of evidence they’ve accumulated and make clear a number of supplementary indications they have uncovered,” said a Western diplomat. “It makes an inescapable case that Iran has ambitions to militarise the uranium it has been enriching at its production facilities.”

Another official said: “The Iranians have been very evasive, and quite clever about it at times. It’s been difficult to discover the smoking gun. But this will be more detailed than before. The director-general will point to black holes in the Iranians’ explanations. It will undoubtedly increase the pressure.”


The IAEA will provide indications that enriched uranium production is moving from the long-established Natanz facility to Fordow, an underground plant that is regarded by Iran as bomb-proof near the holy city of Qom. Iran has produced more than 70kg of 20 per cent enriched uranium and would easily increase its output if production shifts to the mountain plant. Scientists say that 20 per cent enriched uranium can be refined to the 90 per cent weapons grade level without design changes in the production lines.

The report is likely to provide further ammunition to the case of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, for pre-emptive military action.
I just want to point out that when Obama took office, Iran had 1,000 kilos of low enriched uranium - they now have four times that. And as recently as June, I reported that they had 38.3 kilo of medium enriched (20%) uranium. The number cited above is nearly double what I reported in June.

The Telegraph also adds a couple of things that were only hinted at in the Israeli media yesterday (until last night) and that were couched in terms of being 'scheduled long in advance.' The Telegraph says otherwise.
The dramatic disclosures came as the Israeli defence ministry confirmed that it had fired “a rocket propulsion system” from its Palmach airbase after a white streak was spotted in the skies above the centre of the country early yesterday.

The ministry, which insisted that the launch had been long planned, censored further details. But Western experts concluded that Israel had fired a Jericho-3 ballistic missile, which is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and could form a component of any attack on Iran.

It also emerged that Israel’s air force simulated a long-range attack at a Nato base in Sardinia last week.

The exercise, which was not initially disclosed in Israel, included an air-to-air refuelling component. Potential targets in Iran lie between 950 and 1,400 miles from Israel’s borders. Any mission to destroy them would would require aerial refuelling.
I think Israel is telling Obama that if he doesn't take action, Israel will. Obama isn't as big a fool as we sometimes think he is, and he knows that Israel attacks Iran, US interests will not be spared by Iran's response.

What could go wrong?

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