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Washington Post: The U.S. Response to Iran’s Cheating is a Worrying Omen

Zarif-Salehi-Getty

If it is reached in the coming days, a nuclear deal with Iran will be, at best, an unsatisfying and risky compromise. Iran’s emergence as a threshold nuclear power, with the ability to produce a weapon quickly, will not be prevented; it will be postponed, by 10 to 15 years. In exchange, Tehran will reap hundreds of billions of dollars in sanctions relief it can use to revive its economy and fund the wars it is waging around the Middle East.

“Rather than publicly report this departure from the accord, the Obama administration chose to quietly accept it. When a respected independent think tank, the Institute for Science and International Security, began pointing out the problem, the administration’s response was to rush to Iran’s defense…”

Whether this flawed deal is sustainable will depend on a complex set of verification arrangements and provisions for restoring sanctions in the event of cheating. The schemes may or may not work; the history of the comparable nuclear accord with North Korea in the 1990s is not encouraging.

[Also see – Obama Laying Groundwork For Capitulation To Iran On Anytime/Anywhere Inspections]

The United States and its allies will have to be aggressive in countering the inevitable Iranian attempts to test the accord and willing to insist on consequences even if it means straining relations with friendly governments or imposing costs on Western companies.

[Read the full text here, at The Washington Post]

That’s why a recent controversy over Iran’s compliance with the interim accord now governing its nuclear work is troubling. The deal allowed Iran to continue enriching uranium, but required that amounts over a specified ceiling be converted into an oxide powder that cannot easily be further enriched. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran met the requirement for the total size of its stockpile on June 30, but it did so by converting some of its enriched uranium into a different oxide form, apparently because of problems with a plant set up to carry out the powder conversion. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Environmentalism Has Become a Religion’ Says James Lovelock, Father of The Modern Green Movement

lovelockJames Delingpole writes:  Environmentalism has become a “religion” – and “religions don’t worry too much about facts” says scientist James Lovelock, father of the modern green movement.

Interviewed in the Guardian on the day of the IPCC’s latest report, Lovelock also praises nuclear power as “an extraordinary gift to humans” and dismisses criticisms of it as “propaganda”:

“I’m a scientist and an inventor, and it is absurd to reject nuclear energy,” he says. “It all comes from the religious side. They feel guilty about dropping atom bombs on people. Here was this extraordinary gift given to humans – a safe, cheap source of power – and it gets horribly abused right at the start.

We’re still playing out the guilt feelings about it. But it’s sad because we in Britain could now be having cheap energy if we’d gone on building [nuclear power stations].”

Nuclear waste? “It isn’t a problem,” he insists. “Sandy and I were invited to France, and we stood on 25 years of nuclear waste at La Hague. I had my own handheld monitor to check whether they were bullshitting me about it, and it was showing about the same reading as I was getting in this room. It was completely safe. Read the rest of this entry »