There’s one of those “little things” that bother me that has been, well, bothering me.
For most of the last 3 or 4 months of “negotiations” with Iran over their nuclear bomb program, we’ve been hearing that Iran is “2 months away form a nuclear bomb”. Now Congress is going to take “2 months” (really 60 days… but…) to “review the deal”. Then there will be another month or two while things get implemented.
Now I’m not always the sharpest knife in the drawer, but sometimes I catch a clue.
Isn’t 3 months + 2 months + 1 month > 2 months?
It sure seems to me like Iran ought to have a bomb already if those timing reports are / were at all accurate.
I’ve bolded some bits in the quotes below. Here’s one of the oldest claims, from WND, I could find in a quick search:
IRAN ‘2 TO 3 WEEKS’ FROM NUCLEAR BOMB
Former IAEA director warns Tehran could nix deal, arm itself quickly
Published: 01/19/2014 at 7:44 PM
If Iran breaks its deal with the West tomorrow, the country would be only two to three weeks away from producing enough highly enriched uranium to assemble a nuclear weapon, according to Olli Heinonen, former deputy director of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Heinonen directed the safeguards division of the United Nations body charged with enforcing the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
So the IAEA, the agency that is supposed to be on top of all this, through a “former Deputy Director”, said they were 3 WEEKS away, a year and a half ago.
Iran’s Nuclear Timetable
June 17, 2015
This report estimates how soon Iran could fuel a nuclear weapon. With its thousands of gas centrifuges, Iran now has the ability to enrich uranium to a grade suitable for use in nuclear reactors or to a higher grade suitable for use in nuclear warheads. The data below, which are based on reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency, describe Iran’s uranium stockpile, its centrifuges, and the rate at which its nuclear capacity is growing.
By using the approximately 9,000 first generation centrifuges operating at its Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant, Iran could theoretically produce enough weapon-grade uranium to fuel a single nuclear warhead in less than 2 months. This timetable is longer if Iran operates fewer centrifuges, or feeds the machines with natural uranium rather than low-enriched uranium.
Iran’s more advanced IR-2m centrifuges, about 1,000 of which are installed at Natanz, would allow Iran to produce weapon-grade uranium more quickly.
These folks were saying “2 months” about a month ago. But faster if they use all their gear including the new stuff.
How about a mainstream global news service of long standing reputation:
World | Tue Apr 8, 2014 5:43pm EDT Related: WORLD, UNITED NATIONS
U.S. warns on Iran ‘breakout’ capability as nuclear talks start
VIENNA | BY JUSTYNA PAWLAK AND PARISA HAFEZI
The United States said on Tuesday Iran has the ability to produce fissile material for a nuclear bomb in two months, if it so decided, as Tehran and six world powers swung into a new round of talks in Vienna on resolving their atomic dispute.
Secretary of State John Kerry’s comments in Washington highlighted Western concerns about Iran’s nuclear intentions and the wide divisions between the two sides that could still foil a deal. Iran says its nuclear program is entirely peaceful.
Back in April of 2014 we have a US claim of, wait for it, “two months”… 15 months ago.
So which “2 months” was it? (Is it?)
A Lie, or an OMG Lie?
Somebody is lying. The only question is: who?
Well, and maybe “By how much?”
Was the USA lying in April of 2014? Was Kerry lying (just about any time he opened his mouth)? Was the IAEA lying in Jan of 2014? Are the IranWatch folks lying now, saying that it’s still a ways out?
Or maybe more pointedly, look at the date on that first “old” link above from WND “Published: 01/19/2014 at 7:44 PM” and compare with this one from, well, WND: “Published: 11/27/2013 at 8:29 PM”.
Now I make that November 2013 is, roughly, “2 months” before January 2014. So did Iran have the bomb in January 2014 and we didn’t notice?
EX-U.N. INSPECTOR: DEAL LEAVES IRAN 2 MONTHS FROM BOMB
Warns of loopholes on centrifuges, undeclared sites
Published: 11/27/2013 at 8:29 PM
TEL AVIV – The deal between Iran and Western powers leaves Tehran just two months away from enriching enough uranium to assemble one nuclear weapon, according to an analysis by Olli Heinonen, the former International Atomic Energy Agency inspector.
Heinonen was the IAEA’s deputy director-general for safeguards until 2010.
In an email to WND, he explained that the deal that requires Iran to cap its uranium enrichment at 5 percent instead of its current 20 percent constantly would leave the country two months away from the technical ability to build a nuke.
“Let us look at the current the facts on the ground. With Iran’s inventory of 20% enriched uranium, it would take about 2 weeks using 6000 IR-1 centrifuges, operating in tandem cascades, to produce enough weapons grade material for one nuclear device. If Iran uses 3-5 % enriched uranium as feed material at all its currently installed 18,000 IR-1 centrifuges at Natanz and Fordow, the same result would be achieved in two months.
I’m having a bit of a “Groundhog Day” moment here… I keep reliving the same “Nuke Scare in 2 Months” moment month after month, year after year.
The Iranian Angle
Now just for my own bit of pot stirring…
Was any of this true, or is it all one big fat lie to use to bludgeon Iran?
Were I Iran, what would I have been doing for these multiple years of “2 months”?
And just why come to the table now?
First off, I’d presume there was a fair amount of “sellers puff” in those 2 months stories. (Especially a couple of years later). But I’d also presume that Iran isn’t stupid, and has in fact been working for all it is worth to get The Bomb. Further, you don’t just scrap a multi-$Billions game changing program that grants you local hegemony and superior military strength over most of your neighbors at the very last step.
So again, why now?
My rampant speculation is pretty simple: Iran already has a bomb. They are pretty sure it will work (Pakistani plans, so that one was known to function even if not all that well – low yield). But they also suspect (rightly I’d wager) that once they do the test shot they will not be seeing their $150 Billion of frozen assets… What does a rational Islamist State do?
Lie to the infidel (it’s in the Koran).
I speculate that Iran is “negotiating” just to get the money back. Once that money is repatriated (likely as gold or other hard assets) they will proceed with their “test shot” and announce to the world that:”The USA just took too long to sign the ‘deal’ and, well, sorry they were so slow, but we’re a nuclear power now, so the ‘deal’ is moot.” For Iran, a “Win-Win” (nuke AND the Money), for the USA, a “Lose-Lose”. What’s not to like?
The alternative explanation, that Iran is just going to pack up and give up when they already ought to have crossed the finish line so at the very worst case are standing with their toes on it; just doesn’t “fit”. Not in their character.
But the reality of “the known facts” is simply that everyone seems to be lying and we have no clue what is the real state of affairs. Deal or no deal, nuke or no nuke, and the money is in play.