The Iran Nuclear Deal Looks Better and Better

The more I look at the details of the deal negotiated with Iran, the more surprised I am at what an incredible deal it really is. We got more than I ever imagined we could get, especially in terms of monitoring and enforcement. And nuclear proliferation experts agree that all this Republican screeching is totally disconnected from reality.

Anthony Cordesman, the Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a former national security aide to Sen. John McCain, and a former director of intelligence assessment in the Office of the Secretary of Defense: “[T]he proposed parameters and framework in the Proposed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action has the potential to meet every test in creating a valid agreement over time…It can block both an Iranian nuclear threat and a nuclear arms race in the region, and it is a powerful beginning to creating a full agreement, and creating the prospect for broader stability in other areas. Verification will take at least several years, but some form of trust may come with time. This proposal should not be a subject for partisan wrangling or outside political exploitation. It should be the subject of objective analysis of the agreement, our intelligence and future capabilities to detect Iran’s actions, the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) capabilities to verify, and enforcement provisions if Iran should cheat. No perfect agreement was ever possible and it is hard to believe a better option was negotiable. In fact, it may be a real victory for all sides: A better future for Iran, and greater security for the United States, its Arab partners, Israel, and all its other allies.”…

Joseph Cirincione, president of of Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation, and former director for nonproliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: “The agreement does three things. It blocks all of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear bomb. It imposes tough inspections to catch Iran should it try to break out, sneak out, or creep out of the deal. And it keeps our coalition united to enforce the deal. Under this deal, Iran has agreed to rip out two-thirds of its centrifuges and cut its stockpile of uranium gas by 97 percent. It will not be able to make any uranium or plutonium for a bomb. Many of the restrictions in the agreement continue for 25 years and some—like the inspections and the ban on building nuclear weapons—last forever.”

Vox explains the real key to this, which is the permanent monitoring of every facet of Iran’s nuclear program, from mining to research to enriching:

When Aaron Stein was studying nuclear non-proliferation at Middlebury College’s Monterey graduate program, the students would sometimes construct what they thought would be the best possible nuclear inspection and monitoring regimes.

Years later, Stein is now a Middle East and nuclear proliferation expert with the Royal United Services Institute. And he says the Iran nuclear framework agreement, announced on Thursday, look an awful lot like those ideal hypotheticals he’d put together in grad school.

“When I was doing my non-proliferation training at Monterey, this is the type of inspection regime that we would dream up in our heads,” he said. “We would hope that this would be the way to actually verify all enrichment programs, but thought that would never be feasible.

“If these are the parameters by which the [final agreement] will be signed, then this is an excellent deal,” Stein concluded…

There are two reasons inspections are so important. The first is that super-stringent inspections are a deterrent: if the Iranians know that any deviation is going to be quickly caught, they have much less incentive to try to cheat, and much more incentive to uphold their side of the deal.

The second is that if Iran were to try a build a nuclear weapon now, it likely wouldn’t use the material that’s already known to the world and being monitored. Rather, the Iranians would secretly manufacture some off-the-books centrifuges, secretly mine some off-the-books uranium, and squirrel it all away to a new, secret underground facility somewhere. That would be the only way for Iran to build up enough of an arsenal such that by the time the world found out, it would be too late to do anything about it.

Really robust inspections would be the best way stop that from happening. They would prevent Iran from sneaking off centrifuges or siphoning away uranium that could be used to build an off-the-grid nuclear weapons program, without the world finding out.

The inspections issue has not gotten much political attention. When I spoke to Jeffrey Lewis, the director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at Middlebury’s Monterey Institute of International Studies, on Tuesday before the framework was announced, he seemed worried that negotiators would not focus on it much. Rather, overwhelming political focus in Washington and Tehran on issues like Iran’s number of allowed centrifuges seemed likely to push inspections from the top priorities.

Lewis suggested that a top item on his wish list would be inspections so robust that inspectors don’t just get to visit enrichment sites like Natanz and Fordow, but also centrifuge factories. That, he said, “would be a big achievement.”

Sure enough, come Thursday, Lewis got his wish and then some: centrifuge factory inspections is one of the terms in the framework, and it’s pretty robust. For the next 20 years, inspectors would have “continuous surveillance at Iran’s centrifuge rotors and bellows production and storage facilities.”

“I was shocked to read that they got them to agree to let us walk around their centrifuge production facilities. That’s amazing,” Stein said.

It’s not just centrifuge factories. Inspectors will have access to all parts of Iran’s nuclear supply chain, including its uranium mines and the mills where it processes uranium ore. Inspectors will also not just monitor but be required to pre-approve all sales to Iran of nuclear-related equipment. This provision also applies to something called “dual-use” materials, which means any equipment that could be used toward a nuclear program.

“The inspections and transparency on the rotors, and the bellows, and the uranium mines is more than I ever thought would be in this agreement,” Stein added.

It’s really quite an extraordinary diplomatic achievement and Secretary of State John Kerry and the team in Geneva really deserves tremendous credit for it. And let’s not forget that the fact that these negotiations were multicultural and that we were working together not only with our European allies, but even with Russia. That makes them all the more delicate and difficult.

If the Republicans fuck this up, it will be a huge, huge mistake.

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  • StevoR

    It does sound like a good deal. Hope it works as well in practice and peace ensues.

    Iran’s culture among many others still needs to change to one that’s more peaceful and respectful of other nations, (*Cough, Israel, USA, West generally, cough) mind you but yes, this is good news and I’m glad for it.

    Credit and respect to Kerry and Obama here.

  • eric

    If Plowshares likes it then it must be pretty stringent. IIRC those guys are like FAS, pretty rabid on the subject of nonproliferation.

    Re: your last comment about the Republicans…unfortunately a lot of them still go by the opposition strategy of “do anything you can to prevent the other party from governing successfully.” For those folks, the better the treaty is for the US, the more important it is for them to kill it (or at least delay it until it can be signed under a GOP president)

  • colnago80

    This is a bad deal for the West and a sellout to the ayatollahs. Consider the following items.

    1. Why are sanctions that took years to put in place being removed immediately (as the Iranians claim)? This would take away the international community’s primary leverage at the outset of the agreement and make Iranian compliance less likely.

    2. Given Iran’s track record of concealing illicit nuclear activities, why does the framework not explicitly require Iran to accept inspections of all installations where suspected nuclear weapons development has been conducted? Why can’t inspectors conduct inspections anywhere, anytime?

    3. Will Iran ever be forced to come clean about its past nuclear weaponization activity?

    4. What will be the fate of Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium?

    5. Why will Iran be allowed to continue R&D on centrifuges far more advanced than those currently in its possession?

    6. Why does the framework not address Iran’s intercontinental ballistic missile program, whose sole purpose is to carry nuclear payloads?

    7. Following Iranian violations of the framework, how effective will be the mechanism to reinstitute sanctions?

    8. What message does the framework send to states in the region and around the world when it gives such far-reaching concessions to a regime that for years has defied UNSC resolutions? Why would this not encourage nuclear proliferation?

    9. The framework agreement appears to have much in common with the nuclear agreement reached with North Korea. How will this deal differ from the North Korean case?

    10. Why is the lifting of restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in about a decade not linked to a change in Iran’s behavior? According to the framework, Iran could remain the world’s foremost sponsor of terror and still have all the restrictions removed. Instead, the removal of those restrictions should be linked to a cessation of Iran’s aggression in the Middle East, its terrorism around the world and its threats to annihilate Israel.”

    IMHO, good questions, requiring answers from the Neville Obama administration.

    http://goo.gl/C4ofim

  • Artor

    I have complete faith in the Republican’s ability and desire to fuck this up. I’m starting to be convinced that they really do hate America, and want us to fail.

  • StevoR

    @ ^ Artor : You really sure you want to put the words “republicans’ & ‘ability’ into the same sentence? 😉

  • StevoR

    Hilary Clinton it seems will be the very likely next POTUS and very likely for 8 years. I can’t see the republicans getting the US presidency back for a very long time – maybe even never again – and they may well lose the Congress and Senate in the foreseable future i.e. next elections too. Can’t see them being in a position to fuck things up tho’ could be mistaken – sure hope I’m not.

  • dingojack

    SLC – I would urge you to seek medical help immediately!

    Seems you have trouble recalling names of historical persons, particularly from the 1930’s…

    It could be an undiagnosed brain tumour.

    @@

    Dingo

  • dmcclean

    1) Because that’s what a deal is. You get some things, you give some things. Nothing would prevent us from instituting them again quickly if Iran shirked its obligations.

    2) It does.

    3) In your humble opinion this is a good question? Wow, that’s saying something. The point of the deal is to keep them from developing a nuclear weapon, not to score points on Fox News. So if we spend our negotiating power getting things that non-proliferation experts think are important, rather than trying to throw egg on their faces, that is unquestionably a good thing.

    4) They’re agreeing to ship it to Russia.

    5) Potentially a good question. Do you have a source for that being true, other than a political JAQ’ing off powerpoint presentation?

    6) You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, instead of playing this moronic game, you might find, you get what you need. Also there is something to be said for where they NPT draws the line, nuclear weapons are clearly in a category by themselves. Iran does have a right to develop weapons in general.

    7) Effective. Do you have some reason to believe it wouldn’t be, or are we JAQ’ing off again?

    8) The “far reaching concessions” are limited to unwinding sanctions against Iran for not having done this. We aren’t throwing in free cookies. How does this encourage nuclear proliferation? That’s insane. Dr. Evil is thinking to himself right now: “Oh, I think I’ll develop a weapons program, so that I can be sanctioned for years, because then I will agree to stop doing it and I will get the far reaching concessions of not having those sanctions anymore. Wow, I truly am an evil genius!”

    8b) Let’s not forget that there are lots of other “regimes that for years have defied UNSC resolutions”, including some that you like. That’s a throwaway line.

    9) Hopefully it will differ from the North Korean case in that the US won’t elect a goober who randomly tosses it aside when it is working well because he has preconceptions that it can’t work, baiting the other party into proceeding with weapons development.

    10) The issue on the table is not “Iran’s behavior”, it’s Iran’s nuclear weapons program. The lifting of restrictions on Iran’s nuclear non-weapons program in a decade is linked to a change in Iran’s behavior with respect to weaponizing that program.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Iran’s culture among many others still needs to change to one that’s more peaceful and respectful of other nations…

    Have you been reading ANY news out of that region? Their culture HAS been changing, ever since the Revolution. Are you too young to remember when it was much worse than today?

  • Pierce R. Butler

    colnago80 @ # 3: …Iran could remain the world’s foremost sponsor of terror …

    They’ll never take away our Number One status! USA!! USA!!!

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Oh, and Colnago? If you’re going to deliberately confuse Obama with Chamberlain, then there’s no use pretending you’re at all competent to participate in a grownup conversation. Kindly take your violent revenge fantasies back between your own sheets where they belong.

  • Artor

    Of course, Colnago makes a point of comparing Obama to Chamberlain here. No surprise, although I would expect a Frankenberger reference from him. Hey SLC, to borrow a quote from Chris Matthews, do YOU know what it was that Neville Chamberlain did?

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    The Iran Nuclear Deal Looks Better and Better

    Well, of course a fellow Muslin would give them a good deal!

    Look, I’m not saying that peace is a bad ideal. All I’m saying is that we can’t trust Iran an even if we never find anything we know they’re up to something, and that to be safe we should just start the war now, while we have the element of surprise not on our hands. We’ll be welcomed as liberators. Their oil will pay for the war for peace. By the time we’re on their border, it will all be over but the marching.

  • StevoR

    @9. Raging Bee : Dunno. Cultures are always changing. Also which revolution? They’ve had quite a few. Seems t’me they still have a fair way to improve anyhow.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Dunno.

    Yeah, StevoR, that’s kind of my point: you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  • StevoR

    I dunno what *you* are referring to because you are poor at communicating well actually. Also at understanding what other people are saying because you keep completely misunderstanding me and thus keep saying I’m saying things I’m not saying but you are only imagining I’m saying.

    Also lack of certainty doesn’t always imply lack of knowledge or expertise or value.

    BTW. Which revolution were ya meaning again? Which culture too for that matter specifically?

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Kaveh Mousavi is also very upbeat about this deal, which he calls a win for Iran’s moderates and the people in general, and a significant loss for the extremists and for Khameini. Here’s his take:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/marginoferr/2015/04/05/10-important-thoughts-on-irans-recent-deal-with-p51/

    This might have very positive effects on human rights issues too. Listen, it’s as simple as this. A stronger Rouhani + more hopeful and energized people = more chances of actual reform through public activism and lobbying from Rouhani.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    I dunno what *you* are referring to because you are poor at communicating well actually.

    Really? You actually think your uninformed rambling, and your total inability to even figure out what I meant by the word “Revolution,” is MY fault?

    Go to bed.

  • StevoR

    @ Raging Bee : Given the number of revolutions in Iran and the region generally, yeah, you were unclear. Indeed, you still are having not answered the question.

    Also I did kinda realise you wren’t meaning “revolution” in the sense of turning a wheel or a planetary orbit from context. Uninformed rambling eh? Project much?

    Kaveh Mousavi OTOH is someone who deserves respect – cheers for that link.

  • http://onhandcomments.blogspot.com/ left0ver1under

    Iran’s goal is, and always has been, about electricity and energy self-sufficiency. I’m genuinely surprised the US agreed to this.

    More than likely, it’s because of the other countries’ involvement in this deal. The US government couldn’t deny the deal without losing face, so they had to go along with it.

  • D. C. Sessions

    If the Republicans fuck this up, it will be a huge, huge mistake.

    For the country and the world, almost certainly. For the Party? Quite possibly. For the elected Republicans? Doubtful.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Also I did kinda realise you wren’t meaning “revolution” in the sense of turning a wheel or a planetary orbit from context. Uninformed rambling eh? Project much?

    Who the fuck are you even talking to, boy?

  • StevoR

    Also @ Raging Bee – are you really saying you do NOT think the Iranians along with other Islamic nations here don’t still have quite a lot of areas they need to improve in? E.g. human rights, becoming more democratic, respecting the right of Israel to exist and live in peace, women’s rights, LGBTQI rights, separation of mosque and state, mellowing out and being generally less obsessed by hating on and blaming others as cultures, et cetera? Could you really argue they’re that great now that they don’t need to make major cultural changes for the better?

  • StevoR

    @22. You Raging Bee. But thank you for proving my point once again when it comes to your reading comprehension!

  • colnago80

    Re Artor @ #12

    Among other things, his selling Czechoslovakia down the river came back to bite him in the ass when it ended up handing the Skoda Works over to Frankenberger aka Schicklgruber aka Heidler aka Hister aka Hitler without the latter having to fire a shot. A good fraction of the tanks that won the Battle of

    France were either captured from Czechoslovakia, manufactured in the Skoda Works after the takeover, or manufactured in Germany using Czech designs. The Czech tanks were superior to what the Wehrmacht had in 1940.

  • StevoR

    Or lack thereof rather.

  • Michael Heath

    I’m with D.C. Sessions @ 21.

    Let’s not forget the Republican party is predominately devoted to contractionary economic policies, even in a big recession and even in a big recession coupled to a financial crisis. There are exceptions, e.g., the Bush Administration by the Autumn of 2008 when Bush deferred to Treasury Paulson and Fed Chairman Bernake.

    So it’s not at all surprising that GOP would oppose good foreign policy. They’ve lost any demonstrable capability to even distinguish the difference between good and bad policies (with some exceptions (not shutting down the government, paying doctors for Medicare services). They do demonstrate a fierce willingness to oppose what the Democrats oppose, even when those policies are ones that Republicans historically supported.

  • marcus

    Anthony Cordesman

    “This proposal should not be a subject for partisan wrangling or outside political exploitation. It should be the subject of objective analysis…”

    *snicker*

    He don’t know us very well do he?

  • Jordan Genso

    @8 Thank you. I was going to start writing a point-by-point reply to slc, but it wouldn’t have turned out as good as yours.

  • colnago80

    Re Michael Heath @ #27

    They do demonstrate a fierce willingness to oppose what the Democrats oppose

    I think that the second oppose should be propose.

  • Artor

    Colnago, it appears you do know what Chamberlain did, or at least can consult Wikipedia about it. Can you explain how that has any similarity to what Obama has done? No? The STFU.

  • colnago80

    Re Artor @ #31

    No, I did not need to consult Wiki. Note the phrase among other things in my comment. This is only one of the consequences of Chamberlain’s appeasement policy. He was extremely fortunate that Frankenberger aka Schicklgruber aka Heidler aka Hister aka Hitler chose to build the Bismarck and the Tirpitz instead of Uboats or Britain would have been starved out of the war in 1940.

  • eric

    @25 and @31: SLC is apparently concerned that we are handing Iranian enrichment facilities over to the UN, who will then use them to take over France. Or maybe he’s concerned we are handing Iranian enrichment facilities over to Iran, because evidently in his mind Iran didn’t have control of them before. Meanwhile, Tom Tancredo seems to think that Iranian Shahab-3’s can reach the US, when their actual range is 1,200 miles, not even the distance from Tehran to Cairo. Must be a full moon or something.

  • busterggi

    “If the Republicans fuck this up, it will be a huge, huge mistake.”

    But that’s their whole platform!

  • colnago80

    Re eric @ #33

    Gee, even Israel’s Jericho 3 allegedly has a range of 4000 miles, enough to reach Moscow from anywhere in the Middle East.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Yes, thanks for admitting that Israel has both nukes and rockets to deliver them. Which brings us to the next important question: why can’t Israel use its nukes as leverage to encourage Iran to give up their nuclear program? If Bibi wants a better deal than Obama got, it seems a mutual-disarmament treaty would be the way to go. It’s not like those nukes are doing Israel any other kind of good…

  • dingojack

    SLC:

    R-36M2 (SS-18) (10,000+ km) (Soviet Union, Russia) Russia

    UR-100N (SS-19) (10,000+ km) (Soviet Union, Russia) Russia

    RT-2PM “Topol” (SS-25) (10,000+ km) (Soviet Union, Russia) Russia

    RT-2UTTH “Topol M” (SS-27) (10,000+ km) (Russia) Russia

    RS-24 “Yars” (SS-29) (10,000+ km) (Russia) Russia

    RS-26 Rubezh(Russia) Russia

    Sarmat heavy ICBM (SS-18 R-36M replacement)(Russia) Russia

    And so…?

    Dingo

    ——–

    Speaking of Carl Sagan:

    Imagine, a room, awash in gasoline. And there are two implacable enemies in that room. One of them has 9,000 matches. The other has 7,000 matches. Each of them is concerned about who’s ahead, who’s stronger. Well, that’s the kind of situation we are actually in. The amount of weapons that are available to the United States and the Soviet Union are so bloated, so grossly in excess of what’s needed to dissuade the other that if it weren’t so tragic, it would be laughable”.

    Remarks on the nuclear arms race, on ABC News Viewpoint — “The Day After” (20 November 1983)

  • laurentweppe

    I have complete faith in the Republican’s ability and desire to fuck this up. I’m starting to be convinced that they really do hate America, and want us to fail.

    Authoritarians hate everything they don’t entirely own. And since the 1% owns only around 40% of the total US net worth….

    ***

    It could be an undiagnosed brain tumour

    Yeah, the caput mentulae meningioma is indeed one of the great disease of our time.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Michael Heath “Let’s not forget the Republican party is predominately devoted to contractionary economic policies…”

    Sure, but that’s only because Obama took all the good policies. He even took all the middling policies! Talk about Reparations!

     

    bustergg “But that’s their whole platform!”

    Now you’re just being ridiculous! You forgot tax cuts.

  • Chiroptera

    Actually, Obama doesn’t remind me of Chamberlain so much as the Republicans, warhawk Democrats, and Israeli leadership reminds me of the buffoons in charge of Europe when they blundered into WWI.

  • dõki

    This deal is bollocks. Not anywhere does it tackle the threat of Iran’s cartoon bombs. By this point, Iranian secret A.C.M.E. cartoonists must have completed the red line, the orange line and maybe even the yellow line, and will be soon advancing toward green, blue and purple. Once they complete the fuse, they may start drawing anvils, or even train tunnels on the walls, and then all we hold dear will be lost.

  • colnago80

    Re Raging Bee @ #36

    Actually, the IDF has a number of very low yield devices (<1KT) designed to be used against the Palestinians and other nearby neighbors. Some of them may be neutron bombs. which terminate the inhabitants of the target without doing much physical damage to the target and also don't generate much fallout.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Okay, so why can’t they negotiate a mutual-disarmament treaty with Iran?

    You seem perfectly eager to blather about technical matters, and have nothing to say about how it relates to real people. You sound like a prepubescent grade-school technocrat trying to show off how much he just learned about cool military hardware.

  • colnago80

    Re dingojack @ #37

    The SS18 and SS19 are liquid fueled and are thus obsolete. The US had a missile called the Titan II which was also liquid fueled and which was abandoned. Because the fuel can’t be stored in the missile, liquid fueled missiles are considered unsuitable for 2nd strikes as they would be destroyed by the other guy’s first strike before they could be fueled. They are also problematic as a first strike weapon as the amount of cryogenic material used to fuel them would be detected by satellite surveillance during fueling.

  • colnago80

    Re Raging Bee @ #43

    Unfortunately, the position of the ayatollahs is that Israel must either agree to or be forced to go out of business. Not much to negotiate here.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    You say that AFTER they make this deal with the country they call the Great Satan? Please. If they can negotiate with us, they can negotiate with Israel. Israel has absolutely ZERO excuse not to pursue such a deal; and its supporters have ZERO excuse not to support it.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Oh, and…

    Actually, the IDF has a number of very low yield devices (<1KT) designed to be used against the Palestinians and other nearby neighbors.

    So you’re saying Israel built up a nuclear arsenal to use ONLY against people who they’ve already subdued and made as powerless as possible? People so close to Israel that you can’t nuke them without the fallout blowing back into Israel proper? A government that stupid and demented doesn’t deserve to exist at all.

  • http://onhandcomments.blogspot.com/ left0ver1under

    Raging Bee (#47) –

    It’s not surprising that colnago/SLC is employing the Imperial Japanese argument (“We only killed 25,000 in Nanking, not 500,000…”). It’s all about rationalizing the irrational.

    Mano Singham doesn’t ban anyone from his blog, but colnago/SLC is so unwelcome that he is afraid of going back there. He lost every argument and knows the only thing he convinced anyone of is that he’s a sociopath. Even SteveR (who used to advocate using nukes and war against various countries, but has since stopped) can clue in that violent talk doesn’t help, but not colnago/SLC.

    This is but one of many examples that can be cited:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/dispatches/2014/12/15/bachmann-tells-obama-to-bomb-iran/

    I would confine any bombing attack on Iran to their nuclear sites, using conventional bunker buster bombs. After learning something about their effectiveness, it became evident that using nuclear weapons was vast overkill.

    In other words, he was for using nukes on Iran before he was against them.

    Hey dingo, go gargle with razor blades.

    Said to someone who dared to disagree with him. Such a well thought-out argument. 9_9

  • Who Cares

    colnago80(#3):

    1) Even if Iran was going to accept that it first had to complete everything on the list before the sanctions would be lifted

    (note they didn’t, the U.S. has reneged a few deals, not just with Iran, too many that were based on that premise) that letter those friendly & concerned republicans sent would have made them reconsider. They get sanctions relief for every step they complete when they complete it. Especially for ones that are considered irreversible like removing the reactor vat, enough plutonium to make 2 Fat Man bombs/year, of their breeder reactor to replace it with one that would require them years (plutonium production amount of the new reactor certified and continually monitored by non Iranian nuclear engineers) to make enough plutonium for a single test initiation.

    2) So concealed that the 2007 NIE categorically stated that Iran stopped nuclear weapon production in 2003, a NIE that was chock full of stove-piped intelligence and they couldn’t find anything to even spin as weapons development (Bush laments in his memoir that it prevented him from bombing Iran). Further the agreement allows for inspections and monitoring everything, starting from the mines until the disposal. Every ounce of uranium ore will be tracked.

    3) Only if you want them to prove a negative. There is fairly credible evidence that Iran banned the use of nuclear weapons at the same time they banned the use of chemical weapons in the Iraq-Iran war instead of stopping in 2003.

    4)Because a previous deal between Iran, the U.S. and France still has France owning tonnes of low enriched uranium that they were to make into fuel assemblies (effectively an irreversible process turning the stuff into something that can only be used for power generation) because the U.S. told France to not ship those to Iran. Oh and that was not because Iran did anything, that was just the U.S. (again) reneging a deal it made with an adversary it didn’t like and forcing the other parties to go along with it.

    5) Because it is a trade off. The research that is allowed is limited to the laboratory level allowing for ease of monitoring.

    6) Because the complaint that that wasn’t dealt with was added at the 11th hour by Israel and it’s amen clique after it started getting clear that there was a good chance the negotiations would succeed. It’s one of the roads they tried to spike the negotiations. Aside from that you don’t need an ICBM to deliver a nuke so it is preferable to prevent there being a payload at all making as you state the ICBM useless.

    7) Very easy, since they won’t be lifted until certain stages are verified to have happened. Until that point they are only suspended.

    8) It sure does. See how many U.N. resolutions that the U.S. couldn’t veto that Israel has been ignoring. And they’ve given nuclear weapon technology to Pakistan, to South Africa and almost to Iran (yes if Iran hadn’t broken of the agreement negotiations between it, South Africa and Israel it would have gotten the same technology from Israel that South Africa got out of the deal).

    Now back from the la-la land you seem to live in.

    What does it do? It tells people that if you take others with you to negotiate with the U.S. the U.S. might actually end up doing diplomacy instead of demand by threat negotiations that it tends to get involved in.

    9) That depends on how willing the U.S. is to break their side of the bargain. North Korea walked away when the U.S. started making excuses of why it wouldn’t deliver what was promised while neutral observers certified that North Korea (at that point) was keeping it’s side of the deal.

    10) That might have something to do with those sanctions not being sanctions for terrorism but for nuclear weapon related actions. The U.S. tried that neat little trick early in the negotiations and got an earful from the other 5 negotiators, Iran didn’t even have to say anything.

    Aside from that Iran would never have agreed to something that can so easily be sabotaged by just having another Curveball showing up just when the sanctions are to be lifted.

    And then there is the claim that Iran is the greatest sponsor of terror. I’ve got news for you, that’s the U.S. for a while now with those drone attacks, before that Saudi Arabia. Remember that little tiff the U.S. started in Afghanistan? That got started by Wahabi fundamentalists group, I believe they were called Al Qaeda, funded by Saudi royalty being desperate to stay on the good side of the Saudi clergy who considered Bin Laden a warrior for god,

    That nice little Caliphate now being created from the ashes of the Iraq invasion and the meddling of the U.S. and Saudi Arabia in Syria? Guess what Wahabi fundamentalists supported by ex-Iraq military officers who still think Iraq should have gassed Teheran once they got the range on the Scuds. Iran isn’t supporting terrorism anymore after they got the fervor of the revolution out of their system. Saudi Arabia on the other hand has funded several groups that are on the lists as terror groups. And used terror groups (MEK for example) to try and destabilize Iran.

    And there you go again about the lie that Iran wants Israel wiped of the map. It wants a regime change. To one that isn’t rabidly anti-Iran. I gave you a link about that the last time.

    And you complain about Iranian aggression in the region while the only war of aggression and choice at the moment is done by Saudi Arabia? I wonder why they haven’t been sanctioned yet for doing so. I also still wonder why the Saudis haven’t been hit by the same sanctions that the U.S. put on Russia for actually doing what the west has only claimed that Russia did.

  • Who Cares

    colnago80(#45):

    Iran has said it will recognize Israel the moment Israel recognizes the Palestine state.

  • Who Cares

    Oh and FFS stop dragging Chamberlain into this.

    The guy, working with the information he had at that point in 1938, came to the conclusion that Great Britain and France couldn’t win from Germany so he went and bought time. The only rebuttal I’ve seen so far from you is why didn’t Chamberlain use his crystal ball to gaze into the future so he’d know that that wouldn’t work out.

  • dingojack

    SLC –

    1) Go to Google Maps

    2) Move the map to show Eurasia

    3) Right click. Select the option ‘measure distance’

    4) Left click to place marker in the southern-most point of the Sinai (well south of all Israeli territory)

    5) Left click the other marker on the Kamchatka Peninsula (the furthest east Vlad the Impaler can command)

    6) Note the distance between the two

    7) Compare this distance with the range of those ‘obsolete’ liquid-fuelled ICBMs that are ‘unsuitable for second-strikes because they would be destroyed before they could be lauched’

    8) Compare this with the 4000 mile range (at most) of the few Jericho III rockets at Israel’s disposal

    9) Do the maths.

    @@

    You’re not even at the Churchillian level of military strategy.

    Dingo

  • lorn

    I don’t know where the numbers cited on numbers, yield, and intention for Israeli nuclear weapons come from but the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) asserts that while the exact numbers are not known, Israel isn’t saying, it can be assumed that Israel has between 70 and 400 warheads. There is mention that in 1973, with Israel facing possible catastrophe they assembled 13 – 20Kt warheads.

    From:http://fas.org/nuke/guide/israel/nuke/

    For comparison the Hiroshima bomb is listed as being 16 Kt +/- 2 while the Nagasaki bomb is listed as 21Kt +/- 2.

    From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_bombings_of_Hiroshima_and_Nagasaki

    From the same FAS article there is mention of Israeli warheads having 4 to 5 Kg of plutonium each. The average yield, in Kt/Kg is potentially so highly variable there may be no telling what the actual yield may be but most modern weapons seem to be in the 1 to 2Kt/Kg range. Six seems to be the theoretical maximum.

    Are we to assume the 20Kt weapons each had 4 Kg to 5Kg of Pu with a yield of 4 to 5 Kt/Kg? Or is the 4 to 5 Kg Pu figure applied to some other weapon?

    http://blog.nuclearsecrecy.com/2013/12/23/kilotons-per-kilogram/

    Before assuming that Israel can or cannot reach any particular target it might pay to remember that in addition to their ballistic missiles they have long range aircraft capable of delivering nuclear weapons, submarines capable of launching missiles (Popeye Turbo SLCM) with a possible 1500Km (900 mile range) while carrying a 200 Kt nuclear weapon.

    FAS and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popeye_%28missile%29

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1360322113 aaronbaker

    “If the Republicans fuck this up, it will be a huge, huge mistake.”

    Yeah, that’ll dissuade them.