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Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program Speeds Forward

Reuters reports that Iran is proceeding with tests of more advanced, more efficient nuclear centrifuges:

Iran is moving ahead with testing [of] more efficient uranium enrichment technology, a spokesman for its atomic energy agency said on Saturday, in news that may concern world powers who last month agreed a deal to curb Tehran’s atomic activities.

As we have argued repeatedly, the claim that the Geneva agreement significantly “curbs” Iran’s nuclear program is a fantasy.

Spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi was quoted by state news agency IRNA as saying that initial testing on a new generation of more sophisticated centrifuges had been completed, underlining Iran’s determination to keep refining uranium in what it says is work to make fuel for a planned network of nuclear power plants.

Although the development does not appear to contravene the interim agreement struck between world powers and Iran last month…

That is correct, it doesn’t.

…it may concern the West nonetheless, as the material can also provide the fissile core of a nuclear bomb if enriched to a high degree. …

Iran’s development of a new generation of centrifuges – machines that spin at supersonic speed to increase the ratio of the fissile isotope – could enable it to refine uranium much faster.

Which will shorten the already-brief time Iran will require to produce nuclear weapons. John Kerry didn’t bargain for any limitation on Iran’s ability to advance its centrifuge technology.

In the Geneva agreement, the West gave up its bargaining chip, the stringent sanctions that have dragged down Iran’s economy and made the ruling mullahs unpopular with many Iranians. John Kerry and others agreed to relax those sanctions, in exchange for concessions by Iran that were virtually meaningless, as we have seen repeatedly since the agreement was announced. The agreement, even assuming it is followed by Iran for the next six months, will have little impact on Iran’s accelerating nuclear weapons program. The agreement seems to have been intended mainly for cosmetic purposes, to create the false impression among Western electorates that the U.S. and European governments are doing something about the Iranian nuclear threat.

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