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Enriched Iran

The world will soon have a new nuclear power.


The soap opera in the IAEA continues. Iran has until September XNUMX to comply with the Nuclear Energy Agency's demand to suspend all nuclear fuel production activities. The demand came in the form of a formal, and in fact unanimous, decision, but was nevertheless far in place. The consequence may be that the Iranian obstacle is sent to the UN Security Council for further treatment there.

It was a show of rather costly dimensions. For whom was it not like this Thursday in August, Iran ordered to once again seal the entrance to the nuclear plant in Isfahan? The 35-member "board of governors" included representatives of India, Pakistan, Russia, the United States, France, Britain and China – in other words, all the world's nuclear powers minus Israel. And it was these countries that gave the Iranians the index finger and told them that they no longer have the right to run a civilian nuclear power industry to meet the country's energy needs.

Unexpectedly, the reactions in Tehran were strong – and abandoned. The deputy head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Agency, Mohammed Saïdi, briefed Western journalists and declared that "Isfahan is no longer a topic of negotiation. The only thing we now have to talk about is Natanz. " In short, this means that the Iranians will set in motion the production plant in Isfahan – which converts natural uranium into gas that can then be spun in centrifuges – but that they do not currently intend to start a pilot project in Natanz, which in fact enriches uranium.

Enriched uranium can be used for both civil and military purposes. And therein lies the problem. For none of the Western powers, and obviously no one in the IAEA's leadership, believes in Tehran when they say that the nuclear program is exclusively civil, defensive and friendly. By contrast, they believe in an Iranian nuclear bomb. And it will stop them, at all costs.

Now it must be said that the Iranians probably er in the process of acquiring some much-anticipated nuclear weapons. There are many indications that tend towards "guilty after the indictment".

First, enrichment of uranium will only be profitable if the country of production has between twenty and forty reactors. South Korea, which has the world's fourth largest nuclear reactor park, has no national production of enriched uranium. Iran has per. today not a single reactor in turn.

Second: Iran bought all its centrifuges from the secret network of Pakistani Abdul Khader Khan.

Third, a planned heavy-water reactor in Arak will produce plutonium that has nothing to do with a civil nuclear program. The Western powers have offered to replace this with a light-water reactor, but the Iranians have rejected the offer.

For two decades, the Iranians kept their nuclear program hidden from the IAEA, which is a clear violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). When the activity was uncovered by an Iranian opposition group, the agency's reactions were draconian. Iran was required to freeze its entire program, civilian or not, and also sign the Additional Protocol – which gives the IAEA the right to unannounced inspections. Negotiations began between the EU (France, Germany and the United Kingdom) and Iran on technological and economic transfers in exchange for the decommissioning of all nuclear plans. Iran accepted a temporary halt. It is this voluntary moratorium that Iran has now lifted.

So far in this drama, the following is clear: Iran violated the non-proliferation security clauses when it failed to inform the IAEA of its secret nuclear program. But apart from that, they have (yet) done nothing illegal in relation to the NPT. Iran can convert natural uranium into gas og enriched uranium if they wish. The only thing they can't do is produce weapons.

The non-proliferation agreement states in black and white that countries have an undeniable right to nuclear power. This is the clause Iran refers to. The other party points out that the right to nuclear power cannot be defined as the right to enrich uranium. But there is no ban in the NPT against doing this, something not least Brazil knows – which enriches uranium over a low shoe to provide fuel for its nuclear-powered submarines.

Brazil was one of the countries that voted against Iran on August 11.

As for the other countries mentioned in the IAEA's board, it is of course even worse – because these have the weapons themselves, and some of them have not even signed the non-proliferation agreement (India, Pakistan).

Of course, when the Iranians summarize that the world is made up of two groups of countries, they are absolutely right. But that is not why they (in that case) are in the process of acquiring nuclear weapons. They do this because nuclear weapons are a deterrent to countries with hostile intentions. And because it attaches to the status of being nuclear power.

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