Wednesday, November 27, 2013

27-Nov-13: Out of its own mouth, little by little, Iran makes plain what a nuclear agreement is and is not

Foreign ministers "react" in Geneva this past Sunday: Iran's Zarif; China's Wang Yi, United States' Kerry, Russia's Lavrov, France's Fabius [Image Source: Fabrice Coffrini /AFP/Getty Images]
There's a current surplus of analysis and commentary over the multi-dimensional controversy raging over whether the West's deal with Iran over the development of nuclear weapons capability is good for the world or bad. (Spoiler alert: it's certainly bad.)

Still, despite the surfeit, we believe there's still a need for occasional slaps across the face to wake some of us up. For those impressed with the new leaf having been turned, the opportunity for peace having been heroically grabbed, a new world of optimism and brotherliness suddenly under construction (like for instance the two-thirds of Americans who according to Reuters back the nuclear deal with Iran and are "very wary" of the US "resorting to military action against Tehran even if the historic diplomatic effort falls through") there's some factual stuff coming straight from the Iranians that's worth factoring in.

Reuters says (the entire text) this morning:
Iran will continue construction at Arak nuclear site - Zarif
DUBAI Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:38am GMT | (Reuters) - Iran will press on with construction at a nuclear reactor site at Arak, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif said on Wednesday, despite an agreement with Western powers to halt activity.The uncompleted heavy-water research reactor emerged as one of several crucial issues in negotiations in Geneva last week, when Iran agreed with six world powers to curb Tehran's nuclear programme for six months in return for limited sanctions relief. Iran said it would not make "any further advances of its activities" on the Arak reactor, according to text of the agreement.
"The capacity at the Arak site is not going to increase. It means no new nuclear fuel will be produced and no new installations will be installed, but construction will continue there," Zarif told parliament in translated comments broadcast on Iran's Press TV.
But experts have said an apparent gap in the text could allow Tehran to build components off-site to install later in the nuclear reactor. It was not immediately clear if Zarif was referring to this or other construction activity.
Tehran has said it could open the reactor as soon as next year. It says its purpose is only to make medical isotopes, but Western countries say it could also produce plutonium, one of two materials, along with enriched uranium, that can be used to make the fissile core of a nuclear bomb.
Those constitutionally inclined to be on the side of the optimists in this evolving nuclear-Iran saga had better equip themselves with some powerful headache pills.

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