Iran's Red Line
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani underlined that Tehran is determined to forge ahead with its uranium enrichment program for peaceful purposes, and stressed that the size of uranium enrichment operation depends on the country’s nuclear facilities’ needs.
In an interview with The Financial Times published on Friday, President Rouhani underlined that Iran will not dismantle its nuclear facilities, and stressed that the size of uranium enrichment should be determined by Iran’s domestic needs for nuclear power.
Asked by the newspaper whether dismantling Iran’s atomic facilities was a “red line” for the Islamic republic of Iran, the Iranian president replied, “100 percent”. Fars news service
One might imagine that particularly at the very highest levels of executive decision-making a chief executive who has wavered between options might seek advice from those surrounding and advising his predecessors to garner from them the fruit of their understanding, to weigh their responses and finally arrive at a conclusion in full appreciation of all the meaningful details that describe a problem and its solution.
But then, that would by definition have demanded that one seek advice from the other end of the political spectrum.
Surprisingly, for a man dedicated to diplomacy over aggression, one committed to taking the less-travelled route of trust and hope and grasping opportunities to defuse brutal situations from become ever more deplorably unsolvable, American President Barack Obama places little trust in bi-partisan discussions. As though those reflecting a Republican agenda might be far less invested in security and peace and arriving at commendable solutions than his version of the Democratic agenda.
Two former U.S. secretaries of state, their opinions never having been sought based on their years of experience, have taken the opportunity to offer their opinions as a duo, regardless, and in a public venue, by writing an opinion-editorial in The Wall Street Journal. "Standing by itself, the interim agreement leaves Iran, hopefully only temporarily, in the position of a nuclear-threshold power -- a country that can achieve a military nuclear capability within months of choosing to do so. A final agreement leaving this threshold capacity unimpaired would institutionalize the Iranian nuclear threat, with profound consequences for global nonproliferation policy and the stability of the Middle East."
The point being that the interim negotiation agreement signed off by the United States, Britain, China, Russia, France, Germany and Iran is stunningly flawed. Meant to freeze or scale back Iran's nuclear ambitions for the promise of a limited lifting of some sanctions, ostensibly to give the country some breathing room and a restoration of their financial position, which will go a long way to enabling it in fact to continue its program, much will have been accomplished for Iran, and nothing whatever for non-proliferation.
To compensate, the two former statesmen emphasize the need for a rigorously firm final negotiation to be designed; it must be in the immediate preparations stages and ready for presentation once the six-month interim period has passed. That is, should inspections on a frequent basis to ensure that the points agreed upon in the interim deal are followed through by Iran. And that in and of itself should be of huge concern, since no sooner was the ink dry on the signatures to the agreement than Iran's representatives smugly gave their interpretations, bearing little resemblance to the understanding of the G5+1.
The agreement failed, in fact, from the very moment it was signed, for the forgiving enablement proffered to the Islamic Republic regarding uranium enrichment. Uranium enrichment at any level equates with proliferation. The signed agreement represents an approval by the members of the Security Council plus Germany, to welcome Iran into the exclusive nuclear club. Which has been Iran's game plan at the outset, and which it had been struggling to achieve, while the IAEA has latterly been diligently attempting to do its assigned work to ensure it does not.
Of course, secretaries of state who served under Republican administrations have nothing whatever to impart of any value to a Democratic president. They would have commiserated, and quite understood how difficult a challenge it represents to attempt rational negotiations with a regime that is well known for its intransigence and deceptive response to all reasonable overtures. In all such previous attempts to advance an understanding, talks might take place, but agreements to dismantle a nuclear program that alarms its neighbours for its obvious potential were absent by design.
And while sporadic diplomatic actions through face-to-face meets and discussions have taken place, nothing of any substance has ever resulted. They are, quite clearly, designed as delaying tactics. And each of those delays and the interim periods between talks have led to further advances achieved by a scheming and determined adversary to reason and rationality. Religious faith has no need of reason or rationality, and when a government is driven by its firm belief that it is divinely inspired all else is moot.
"Under the interim agreement, Iranian conduct that was previously condemned as illegal and illegitimate has effectively been recognized as a baseline, including an acceptance of Iran's continued enrichment of uranium (to 5%) during the agreement period. And that baseline program is of strategic significance. For Iran's stockpile of low-enriched uranium is coupled with an infrastructure sufficient to enrich it within a few months to weapons-grade, as well as a plausible route to producing weapons-grade plutonium in the installation now being built at Arak."
Arak, that would be the new heavy-water nuclear plant which the negotiators agreed should lie fallow for the time being. No further work to be done to bring it to operational and productive capacity. The uncompleted facility to be set aside until such time as the six-months has elapsed. And then, broach the topic from a different angle: complete dismantlement, since there is no need for the structure for a country that insists it is interested only in supplying itself with another energy and medical isotopes source.
"Because, quite frankly, we're not quite sure what you need a 40-megawatt heavy water reactor -- which is what Arak is -- for any civilian peaceful purpose."But, surprise! Iranian hard-liners were assured in Tehran that work will proceed at Arak, regardless.
U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman
The two former secretaries of state emphasized the Iranian negotiator returning triumphantly to Tehran, trumpeting the success of the six-month agreement as "giving Iran its long-claimed right to enrich, and in effect, eliminating the American threat of force as a last resort".
Quite so. For anything less than an absolute requirement that Iran be prepared unequivocally to dismantle its nuclear infrastructure would lead to the inevitability of the country presenting itself in short order as a "de facto nuclear power leading an Islamist camp". And where would that leave American negotiations?
"Enrichment, which is one part of our nuclear right, will continue, it is continuing today and it will continue tomorrow and our enrichment will never stop and this is our red line."
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani