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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Great news: US 'not confident' it has identified all of Iran's uranium mines

A US official at the P 5+1 nuclear talks has told the Jerusalem Post that the United States is 'not confident' that it has identified all of Iran's uranium mines.
Western powers argue that a deal is better than not for one reason above all: Visibility. The US seeks access for the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency to the entire chain of custody on Iran's enrichment program. US officials say this access is the world's best chance to detect the siphoning of raw material to covert facilities— of far greater concern to Washington than Iran's facilities publicly declared.
Asked by The Jerusalem Post whether the US government is confident that it has identified all of Iran's uranium mines, a US official at the talks said they are not.
The two mines known to the US are at Gachin and Saghand, where a nearby mill, at Ardakan, is near completion and is scheduled to begin production shortly. The point of a deal, the official said, is to keep track of the product of those mines and mills.
An entire chain of custody would have to be covert, from the extraction of ore to its conversion to yellowcake, to its conversion to fuel and ultimately its weaponization, for Iran to circumvent this deal and build a weapon, the official continued. Even then, the US seeks access for the IAEA to additional facilities suspected of aiding in covert processes.
What could go wrong?

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