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Live From Natanz

Well isn't that special:  "With great honor, I declare that as of today our dear country has joined the nuclear club of nations and can produce nuclear fuel on an industrial scale," Ahmadinejad said. The move expands a key nuclear … Read More

By / April 9, 2007

Well isn't that special: 

"With great honor, I declare that as of today our dear country has joined the nuclear club of nations and can produce nuclear fuel on an industrial scale," Ahmadinejad said. The move expands a key nuclear process that the United Nations has demanded the country halt.

"Now we are entering the mass production of centrifuges and starting to launch industrial scale enrichment, another step toward the flourishing of Islamic Iran," Vice President Gholamreza Aghazadeh said earlier at the ceremony at Natanz.

No doubt this "Nuclear Day" is brokered on the political gains of last week's British hostages fiasco.

Let's play a game called Give the Messianic Megalomaniac the Benefit of the Doubt. Assume that Iran is only cultivating enriched uranium for "peaceful" nuclear purposes. Does this, then, place them in violation of international law?  Yes. Here's the relevant text of the Non-Proliferation Treaty:

Article II

Each non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to receive the transfer from any transferor whatsoever of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or of control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly; not to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices; and not to seek or receive any assistance in the manufacture of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

Article III

1. Each non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes to accept safeguards, as set forth in an agreement to be negotiated and concluded with the International Atomic Energy Agency in accordance with the Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Agency’s safeguards system, for the exclusive purpose of verification of the fulfilment of its obligations assumed under this Treaty with a view to preventing diversion of nuclear energy from peaceful uses to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. Procedures for the safeguards required by this Article shall be followed with respect to source or special fissionable material whether it is being produced, processed or used in any principal nuclear facility or is outside any such facility. The safeguards required by this Article shall be applied on all source or special fissionable material in all peaceful nuclear activities within the territory of such State, under its jurisdiction, or carried out under its control anywhere.

2. Each State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to provide: (a) source or special fissionable material, or (b) equipment or material especially designed or prepared for the processing, use or production of special fissionable material, to any non-nuclear-weapon State for peaceful purposes, unless the source or special fissionable material shall be subject to the safeguards required by this Article.

3. The safeguards required by this Article shall be implemented in a manner designed to comply with Article IV of this Treaty, and to avoid hampering the economic or technological development of the Parties or international co-operation in the field of peaceful nuclear activities, including the international exchange of nuclear material and equipment for the processing, use or production of nuclear material for peaceful purposes in accordance with the provisions of this Article and the principle of safeguarding set forth in the Preamble of the Treaty.

4. Non-nuclear-weapon States Party to the Treaty shall conclude agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency to meet the requirements of this Article either individually or together with other States in accordance with the Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Negotiation of such agreements shall commence within 180 days from the original entry into force of this Treaty. For States depositing their instruments of ratification or accession after the 180-day period, negotiation of such agreements shall commence not later than the date of such deposit. Such agreements shall enter into force not later than eighteen months after the date of initiation of negotiations.

Article IV

1. Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with Articles I and II of this Treaty.

All the "safeguards" have been rubbished by the mullahs, thus leaving the impression that they've got something to hide. Do I think they're any closer than the most conservative estimate of five years from acquiring the bomb? No. As with all totalitarian states, Potemkin victories are brandished before a disenchanted nation as reason enough to continue to combat the enemy imperialist aggressor. The one trick up our sleeve, however, is this: Unlike the Soviet Union under Stalin, Iran under Khatamei and Ahmadinejad is intellectual and informationally porous enough to let the people gel to the fact that their supreme leaders are full of shit. In a perverse way, the more these petty little announcements from Tehran continue, the more the Iranian opposition is strengthened. That's reason enough not to entertain thoughts of preemption in this case.

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