Iran Acquiring Banned Nuclear Technology, Breaking Sanctions; Prompts Speculation Of Israeli Pre-Emptive Strike
Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency said Tuesday that “it had no information about the [recent, alleged] illicit procurement of nuclear equipment for its Arak research reactor facility — as alleged in a report by a U.N. panel of experts; and. based on a briefing by a member country,” the Reuters News Service reported on December 9, 2014. Reuters added that “the U.N. panel of experts, which monitors compliance with the U.N.s Iran sanctions regime, said in a report seen Monday by Reuters — that Tehran’s illicit procurement of banned nuclear technology…appeared to have continued to breach [or attempt to evade] the sanctions. The panel said it was briefed by a “member state,” which several diplomats identified as the United States, “that it had observed no recent downturn in procurement by Iran.” “The state in question,” Reuters added, “had noted a “relative decrease in centrifuge-related procurement;” but, an “increase in procurement on behalf,” of the Arak reactor,” the report said.
Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization spokesman, Behrouz Kamalvandi, told the semi-official Fars News Agency – “I don’t have any information on that issue.” Reuters added that “Kamalvandi did not address whether such procurement activity violated U.N. sanctions. However, he did say it was not a breach of last year’s nuclear agreement, since “only bans installing new equipment in the [Arak] reactor — not buying new parts.”
“Under last year’s interim deal signed in Geneva between Iran and the P5+1 world powers, the Islamic Republic agreed not to make any further advances to its construction work at Arak,” Reuters reported. The news agency added that “the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which monitors the implementation of the agreement, confirmed last month that Tehran is far from meeting its commitments under the accord.”
Colum Lynch, writing in Foreign Policy, writes that Washington “has quietly accused Iran of going on an “international shopping spree” to acquire the necessary components for the Arak heavy-water reactor to produce nuclear, weapons-grade material.” “Similarly, Mr. Katsman writes, “the Institute for Science and International Security has also reported violations by Iran of the Joint Plan of Action — by building up both its uranium and plutonium programs — while [continuing] negotiations.”
Iran Duplicity On Nuclear Agreement Prompts Speculation Of Israeli Pre-Emptive Strike
Abe Katsman, reporting in the December 9, 2014 website — Breitbart — is reporting that “quiet allegations of Iranian cheating on its interim nuclear agreement is fueling speculation in the Israeli press that Israel may be preparing to launch a pre-emptive strike against Tehran’s nuclear facilities and infrastructure.” Mr. Katsman writes, the “Israeli website NRG speculates that should Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hang-on; and, be re-elected in March 2015, — he will face a dilemma of whether to strike Iran in June, one month before the current extended deadline for an agreement ends.”
FYI, from a weather standpoint, the best time to conduct a long-range airstrike in the Middle East is at its prime in the February/March timeframe. With the potential for oil to break below $60 per barrel — the impact of such a pre-emptive strike on global oil prices also would appear to be significantly diminished — than such a strike would be if oil were still selling north of $100 per barrel.
And, by March of 2015, a Republican majority in both the Senate and the House may also been seen by Tel Aviv as a more favorable/receptive audience on Capital Hill to an Israeli pre-emptive strike against Iran. If Iran is cheating now — before an agreement is signed — what makes anyone think they won’t continue down to road to a potential nuclear breakout capability? I doubt of many in Israel are uncertain about the answer to that question. V/R, RCP