|Ashton and Jalili|
Last Thursday the Iranian negotiator Saeed Jalili made remarks during a speech at a conference in Tehran on the “resistance economy” of Iran Jalili said that “The resistance of our nation has helped us effectively defend the rights of the Iranian people in the talks. In addition, the people are standing firm on their rights and will not relinquish an iota of them.” Jalili added, “After the Istanbul talks, we heard some (negative) comments from the Westerners. I warn them to be careful when making comments so that they will not make miscalculations.”
He also said, “Some are saying that the time for negotiations is running out. However, I tell them, ‘What is running out is the policy of exerting pressure.’”
Commenting on the sanctions imposed on Iran over the allegation that it is seeking to produce nuclear weapons, the Iranian official stated, “Those who assume that they can exert pressure on the people or hinder Iran’s progress through sanctions must be aware that they are playing on our field. Following the path of pressure will only make the Iranian nation more resistant and united.”
In respect to the talks between Iran and The P5+1 group in the 2009 meeting that took place in Geneva, The issue of 20 percent enriched uranium had been broached and Jalili said, “We told them (at the time), ‘If you are willing, we are ready to buy the fuel… otherwise, we will produce it ourselves.’”
During the conference he recounted that “However, I have never forgotten the smiles of certain people who had participated in the talks,” suggesting that Iran cannot produce the fuel.” he added. “If Iran had been provided with 20 percent enriched nuclear fuel, it could not have succeeded in producing the fuel itself.” Intimating that Iranians are not technically adept at such achievements.
|Ahmadinejad and Obama|
The scuttlebutt around Washington a few weeks ago was that a CIA operative had been negotiating with a member of the VEVAK, Iran's foreign intelligence equivalent of the CIA. The alleged messages that were exchanged came directly from President Obama and President Ahmadinejad. Through this shadowy exchange an agreement was reached in witch Iran would be able to continue to enrich uranium and keep what they had in their stock piles as long as the program stayed in conformance with the IAEA. This information was uncovered by Israel’s DEBKAfile when the Mossad exposed the backdoor dealings and in turn reported them directly to PM Netanyahu. The PM immediately called Great Britain's PM David Cameron and France's president Nicolas Sarkozy asking the two leaders to intervene and “get a straight answer” from Obama.
From the standpoint of Israel the Baghdad talks are critical to the Jewish states homeland security. PM Netanyahu is worried that the P5+1 will fall into a Iranian trap leading to Iran continuing their enrichment program covertly. This is one of the reasons why the PM is playing the “bad cop” and continues to speak with an iron tongue, to keep everyone on their toes. Playing the “good cop” Israel”s Defense Minister Ehud Barak came out with a written statement consenting to Iran's enrichment of uranium to a low level of 3.5 percent, as well as allowing a few hundred kilograms of 3.5% enriched uranium to remain in that country. The DM's remarks were issued in good faith so that the P5+1 can continue their talks unabated. Other concessions like the ability to acquire fuel rods and plates for their research reactor may be on the table as well.
With Israel becoming more flexible on the low enriched product it is unlikely that they will budge on the more potent 20% uranium that is currently being produced and stockpiled. It will be at Israel’s insistence that any form of nuclear material enriched past 3.5% leave the country and any remaining low enriched material be monitored by the IAEA.
|Russian suitcase nuke|
Looking at the situation practically the Israeli stance makes a lot of sense from a negotiators point of view. If Iran were to achieve weapons grade 90% enrichment and build a warhead capable of being deployed strategically, a stable ICBM platform would still need to be developed. The development of such a system would be quit apparent to Iran watchers because of the extensive testing that would need to take place. The existing Shahab 3 platforms that Iran is using are just not capable of the performance needed for nuclear deployment. Taking the strategic weapon of the table for now what needs to be seriously considered is the tactical nuclear weapon. The small size and low yield is much more practical for the Iranians or any of their surrogates to deploy. For example a 10 kiloton tactical device can be launched from a land based mobile launcher or a shipboard launching system. They can be hidden in trucks cars or light planes. Even smuggled in from Gaza via their tunnel system and detonated above or below ground level. Depending on the means of deployment and detonation one 10 kiloton device would completely destroy a 2 mile radius of Tel Aviv killing 100,000 people. The after effects would be felt for years.
The following paragraph was taken from a research paper written for the National Resources Defense Council and authored by Thomas B Cochran and Christopher E Paine. The paper was revised April 13 1995
“The Nagasaki bomb witch produced a 20 kiloton explosion with 6.1 kilograms of WGPu falls on the low technology curve, however only three kilograms of WGPu compressed the same amount would still have produced a 1 kt explosion. A non nuclear weapons state today can take advantage of the wealth of nuclear weapons design information that has been made public over the past 50 years, and do better. As seen in figure 1 to achieve yield of 1kt, we estimate that from1 to 3 kg of WGPu is required, depending upon the sophistication of the design. And from figure 2, we estimate that some 2 to 7 kg of HEU is required to achieve an explosive energy release of 1kt. Table 1 presents the same results of tabular from. We estimate, for example that as little as 2 kilograms of plutonium or about 4 kilograms of HEU are required to produce a yield of 10 kilotons.”
Leaving all that technical mambo-jumbo behind a “dirty bomb” is currently feasible now with the resources Iran possess in their inventory. A dirty bomb is comprised of a conventional explosive such as dynamite or C-4 plastic explosive. The size and weight of such a device can vary tremendously, from a hand carried suitcase to a fertilizer truck bomb. The bomb would be packaged with the uranium enriched to a low level or with the wast from nuclear reactors known as radioactive iodine. Deployment of such a device would probably take the form of a suicide bomber detonating the device in a enclosed environment such as a subway system, convention center or shopping mall.
Facts that can not be ignored by the P5+1 are that Iran and Syria are state sponsors of terrorism and have proven themselves to be resourceful at circumventing sanctions. Trusting the Iranians with with any type of radioactive material is a nightmare waiting to happen. Reuters news agency tweeted this morning that “Iran's foreign minister says Western pressure over nuclear program is futile in talks with world powers in Baghdad.”