Monday, September 30, 2013

The Holes in Iranian President Rouhani's Charm Offensive

Dore Gold (Israel Hayom)
  • Iranian President Rouhani wrote in the Washington Post that Iran's "peaceful nuclear energy program" was for "generating nuclear power" and "diversifying" Iran's energy resources. Yet a U.S. State Department study showed that Iran had enough oil and gas to supply the country for at least 200 years.
  • Then there is the question of why Iran insisted that it must enrich its own uranium by itself. Tehran actually had only one working reactor for producing electricity at Bushehr, which used uranium fuel that was supplied by Russia. So why spend billions on enrichment plants at Natanz and Fordo? Finland, Spain, South Korea, and Sweden all import enriched uranium rather than build an uneconomical enrichment infrastructure.
  • When Iran began to enrich uranium in June 2010 to the 20% level, its spokesmen argued that this was for the small Tehran Research Reactor to manufacture medical isotopes. While a year later, Iran had enough 20%-enriched uranium to meet its demand for medical isotopes for at least seven years, it continued to produce more 20%-enriched uranium.
  • In a highly classified briefing in February 2008 given to ambassadors to the IAEA in Vienna, Iranian documents detailed how to design a warhead for the Iranian Shahab-3 ballistic missile. An IAEA report from May 2011 detailed a military research program that was based on "the removal of the conventional high explosive payload from the warhead of the Shahab-3 missile and replacing it with a spherical nuclear payload."

    The writer, a former Israeli ambassador to the UN, is president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

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