Iran stockpiling enriched uranium: UN - Macleans.ca
 

Iran stockpiling enriched uranium: UN

New report concludes that Iran is blocking inspections at nuclear sites


 

Despite toughened international sanctions, a new UN inspection reports that Iran continues to stockpile enriched uranium. The International Atomic Energy Agency was unable to comment on the quantity of the nuclear materials, saying that they are often being blocked from investigating sites. However, representatives did say that the agency “remains concerned about the possible existence in Iran of past or undisclosed nuclear related activities,” including the possible “development of a nuclear payload for a missile,” reported the Washington Post. The UN report concluded that Iran has produced 50 pounds of uranium enriched at 20 per cent purification levels. Previously, it had not enriched it more than 5 per cent (90 per cent is considered weapons grade).

Washington Post


 
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Iran stockpiling enriched uranium: UN

  1. Anyone still willing to state in public that Iran has peaceful designs on its uranium enrichment for civilian energy use? Show of hands? Thank you. Now, those who are either eager for or indifferent to Israel's very existence, please raise your other hand. Those with only one hand raised: your thoughts and ideas need no longer be shared, as they are worthless. Thank you for participating in this exercise; it's good to know who is who sometimes.

    Operation Opera II will be far more risky, and far less likely to be successful, but it cannot happen soon enough.

    • McClelland should be coming by soon to call you a "rube".

      • I will carefully count how many hands he's got in the air.

    • myl,

      What is Operation Opera II?

        • Thank you.

          Why do you think that a second incarnation of this operation would be "far more risky, and far less likely to be successful"?

          • Iran was watching during Opera I. Facilities & stockpiles are distributed and buried deep, and in locations unknown (boy I hope Mossad is on top of this better than the IAEA). Air defences must be at their peak (yeah, Syria's got turned off like a light switch by the Israelis during Operation Orchard, but still). Iran is further away, and even though I am willing to believe Saudi Arabia (and maybe even Iraq) will conveniently "not notice" the airspace incursion, I am not prepared to believe that either will offer up an airbase or two for refueling or as a base of operations.

            This has tragedy written all over it. But the only way I see lesser tragedy is if Iran's nuke facilities get a big helping of Israeli firepower real soon. To wait for Iran to assemble everything in one place would be the best opportunity, but so close to catastrophic risk for the state of Israel that I hope they are not persuaded to wait that long.

          • I must confess total ignorance on the topic nuclear arsenals.

            Is "50 pounds of uranium enriched at 20 per cent purification levels" evidence (strong or otherwise) of nuclear weapons development, or are there other justifiable uses?

          • I am afraid no such uranium / enrichment / purification expertise will be coming from me. I just note that the leadership of the state currently playing hide-and-seek with international nuclear inspectors also has repeatedly expressed the desire to erase the state of Israel. I feel the Israelis would be foolish (1) not to take that creep at his word, or (2) to heed the calls for "restraint" and "diplomatic pressure" coming from corners with a whole lot less skin in the game.

          • Do you have any respect for the hypocrisy argument that asks why some nations can have nuclear weapons and not others?

          • Personally, I have no respect whatsoever for the "hypocrisy" argument with regards to nuclear weapons.

          • Yes, apocalyptic weaponry in the hands of eschatological actors seems absolutely impermissible. Do you have any suggestions of objective standards by which a regime could be determined to be unworthy of nuclear weapons? And do you think an unworthy regime should be permitted to have enriched uranium for non-weaponry purposes?

          • Do you have any suggestions of objective standards by which a regime could be determined to be unworthy of nuclear weapons?

            I think that any state that doesn't already have nuclear weapons should be prevented from acquiring them, regardless of standards. I don't feel any state is "worthy" of nuclear weapons, but since total disarmament is extremely unlikely, the next best thing to do is to limit the number of states that have them.

            And do you think an unworthy regime should be permitted to have enriched uranium for non-weaponry purposes?

            Any non-nuclear state that severely restricts human rights, sponsors terrorism, threatens its neighbours with military action, or is seeking to build WMDs should not be permitted to import any fissile material that could be used to make a nuclear weapon.

          • …the next best thing to do is to limit the number of states that have them.

            How do you think the limiting should be done, and by whom?

          • That is indeed a tough one. But we are pussyfooting with Pakistan and North Korea for a major reason that has nothing to do with the cruelty or incompetence of their leadership, and everything to do with the nasty "big stick" they've got in their cupboards.

            I suppose the best way to get at what you're getting at (and it's one of those very uncomfortable and fair questions — damn you, Justin!), is that I would be perfectly comfortable with Israel invoking self-defence in its pre-emptive strike against Iran's hostile and belligerent buildup thus far. No. Not "perfectly comfortable with." Make that "fervently hoping for."

          • And what evidence needs to exist to provide a solid justification for "invoking self-defence"? Or need any exist, ie., is it enough for a nation to simply feel threatened?

          • I am incapable, alas, of drawing the line in one single location with complete confidence. But belligerent threats from the country's leaders and an impatient program to develop a nuclear "industry" away from prying world eyes sits comfortably to one side of my line, FWIW.

          • FWIW?

          • Sorry: for what it's worth.

          • Just to be clear, I'm pretty sure myl was referring to a non-nuclear pre-emptive strike, such as firing a conventional missile at a uranium enrichment facility.

            Of course, that would be an extreme action and an act of war by Israel. However, I can imagine circumstances in which Israel might feel it had no choice.

          • Yes, absolutely. Non-nuclear. Operation Opera was just that. But the word "pre-emptive" could easily raise confusion, so thanks for that.

            However, I can imagine circumstances in which Israel might feel it had no choice.

            And a lot of nations in the area, no friends of Israel, are likely hoping that Israel will pull it off. They will then have their cake and eat it too. Tut-tut, that evil Zionist entity (just – phew – saved us from Iranian dominance).

          • "And a lot of nations in the area, no friends of Israel, are likely hoping that Israel will pull it off."

            I don't know if it is truth or not but there are persistent rumours that some Middle East countries want Israel/US to bomb Iran to stop its expansion and export of terror.

            "The Iranian regime does not just seek the destruction of Israel, but seeks to overthrow the pro-American Sunni Arab regimes, ushering in an era of Shiite dominance of the region. These Arab countries, despite their public denials, are wishing for the very scenario that the Obama Administration is trying to prevent: An Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. And there are growing signs that such a strike is being prepared for.

            The call for a “Greater Iran” stretching from Palestine to Afghanistan and vanquishing Saudi Wahhabism by the head of Hezbollah in Iran shocked the media, but the entire Middle East was already well-aware of this objective. The Iranians waged a proxy war against Yemen and Saudi Arabia last year, providing a tremendous amount of support to the radical Shiite Houthi rebels. The regime has been trying to dominate Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories via proxies, and the governments of the Arabian Peninsula have accused Iran of stirring up unrest in their lands for years.

            “The Saudis are as threatened as Israel by Iran's nuclear ambitions,” Aaron Klein, the Jerusalem Bureau Chief of WorldNetDaily.com, told FrontPage. He has broken numerous stories about the fear of Iran expressed by Arab officials behind the scenes.

            “Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia secretly back an Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. The Saudis are particularly active in coordinating with Israel since their oil interests are at stake in a major war,” Klein said." Front Page Mag, June 2010

          • A nuclear pre-emptive strike had never occurred to me.

            I had always assumed that an act of war would be the only way to prevent a hostile regime from developing nuclear weapons. What I'm grappling with is when, or at what point, such an action can be deemed justifiable (or does it even need to be justified?).

          • I think it's morally justifiable. To allow a hostile regime led by someone like Ahmadinejad to possess nuclear weapons is to allow for the very real possibility that these weapons might actually be used.

            A targeted military strike that significantly reduces this possibility is justifiable, given that the alternative (apocalyptic weaponry in the hands of eschatological actors) is worse by several orders of magnitude.

          • Vigorous enforcement of economic sanctions could also, I suppose, be taken as an act of war, if the ports are sealed off by naval blockade and the airspace is denied by the military forces of other countries.

            Beyond that, I am afraid I can not grapple any further than my attempts above.

          • Pretty sobering.

          • Very interesting article.

            Thank you for the link, Mr. Reasoning. I don't know if it's due to latent zine-ophobia, but I so rarely avail myself of online journalistic oases outside the borders of Maclean's.

          • It's a big web out there, Justin. Don't be shy. We'll be here when you get back.

          • I'm not so sure you will be. Commenters on whom I depend for thoughtful analysis and reasoned debate keep becoming casualties of the Emilification of these parts.

          • 1) It's necessary for 'some' nations to have nuclear weapons – because they're possible and MAD works. Probably enough already do.
            accordingly:
            2) Preventing any future nations with weapon ambitions from attaining them is probably desireable – for most nations it's not even a problem as they have no motivation for them. The desire to acquire nuclear weapons by a desert nation is almost the disqualifying factor by itself for why it shouldn't be allowed them. And being asked to submit to 'observation' when it comes to peaceful development is not unreasonable – that a nation feels the need to hide its nuclear program from nations already more advanced than it is another reason for concern.

          • MAD?

            * Oh yes. Mutually Assured Destruction.

          • And being asked to submit to 'observation' when it comes to peaceful development is not unreasonable…

            But, of course, there is the issue of sovereignty. Also, the argument could presumably be made that the technology involved needs to be protected from potential competitors.

          • Yes, it is a valid argument to lament our failure as a global village to keep some terrifying kit out of the hands of some very dangerous and unstable neighbours. But I have even more respect for the argument that such a hypocrisy argument should not be invoked to justify being even more permissive with nuclear proliferation.

          • I thought that was a great question, so I thought I'd look it up.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium_enrichment#H

            It seems 20% is highly enriched, good enough for a dirty bomb. It's 85% for fisson.

            No non-bomb uses were listed for above 20% U235.

          • Thank you, AJR79.

    • Major language foul-up above:

      either eager for or indifferent to Israel's very existence disappearance…

      Sorry for the glaring error.

      • we got the jist of it I think. You can edit those y'know.

        • Thanks, but I can only edit when there has yet to be a reply comment. So my linguistic incompetence is now frozen in place forever.

      • Sorry, over a year posting here, and I never realized until today that you couldn't edit a comment with replies. I just mispelled fission above, and couldn't change it. (damn politeness)

        I guess I've been lucky in the past, at catching my bad ones before anyone noticed.

  2. do i have to wait until israel is a cloud of ash before i get to say "i told you so"?

  3. But, but ….. Mr. Cheney wanted to invade Syria after the mission was accomplished in Iraq.

    How could he have been so wrong ?

  4. That and the already perverted progressivism applied to nations and belief systems whereby all ideologies are "equal" and are to be respected "equally" …(except christianity of course, that's subject to politically correct ridicule),

    such that Iran is to be viewed no differently than the US. You see, there is no better or no worse in the progressive transnational universe, only different.

    • What the F*ck are you talking about?? Is that really how you think left of centre people think?

  5. we're not allowed to think they both have serious, but different, flaws?
    You think left of centre people are for Iran? That America is worse than Iran? we can't see both as having huge problems with how they conduct themselves?

  6. I think Christianity and Islam, and athiesm, for that matter should be able to be ridiculed. Does that make me Left, right, centre, center? I am tired of these labels, and how they persist.

  7. ANOTHER MADE UP ENEMY…GREAT.