It is becoming increasingly obvious that the “P5+1” talks with Iran on its nuclear weapons program are a farce, and a dangerous one at that.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Iran has already gamed its program so as to avoid Israel’s “red line” but for all intents and purposes become a nuclear weapons-ready power:
Seeking to ward off international pressure, Iranian nuclear officials have kept the country’s stockpile of uranium enriched to 20% purity below 250 kilograms (550 pounds). Iran would need such an amount—if processed further into weapons-grade fuel—to produce one atomic bomb, experts believe. It is also the amount Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the United Nations in September that the world should prevent Iran from amassing, through a military strike if necessary. . . .
U.S. and Israeli officials believe Iran’s moves represent a delay, rather than a change of heart, and that other actions are accelerating the pace at which the country could create weapons-grade fuel. It has installed thousands of new centrifuge machines at an underground military facility in the holy city of Qom, the IAEA reported. The site, called Fordow, is in a fortified bunker and seen as largely immune to U.S. or Israeli military strikes.
Iran also has been adding advanced centrifuge machines that are seen as capable of tripling the pace at which it enriches uranium. If Mr. Khamenei decides to breach Israel’s mark later this year, U.S. and Israeli officials said, Iran could move more rapidly to produce the weapons-grade fuel required for a bomb.
And Iran could do so quietly and with little time for the West to react, even if it were inclined to do so.
Meanwhile, not even the Obama administration believes the negotiations are accomplishing anything, Foreign Policy reports:
“I have such low expectations for what’s going to come out of this next round of talks that I think it’s a mistake to try to set the bar,” said Gary Samore, who served on President Barack Obama’s National Security Staff as the chief official for weapons of mass destruction from 2009 until January. “I mean, if they agree to another round of meetings that will be the process continuing, but I think that it really is unrealistic to expect that there be some kind of breakthrough in these talks.”
So let’s recap: Iran has figured out how to become nuclear weapons-capable without triggering Israel’s red line and the Obama administration is, with the pretext of ongoing talks, giving the mullahs cover to do so and the distinct impression we would rather pretend to negotiate than take forceful action. And it gets worse when you consider what the Obama administration is doing to keep the fruitless talks going. According to Javier Solana, former secretary general of NATO and foreign minister of Spain, “I think that the United States has not taken a more active role in Syria from the beginning because they didn’t want to destroy the possibility of — I mean to give them space to negotiate with Tehran. They probably knew that getting very engaged against [Bashar al-] Assad… could contribute to a breaking in the potential negotiations with Iran. Nowadays the situation may be different because the situation within Syria is much worse than it was in the beginning.”
This is frightful incoherence on the part of the administration. Rather than take on Assad, to send a signal to Tehran and prevent a human and regional catastrophe, the Obama administration shied away so as to not antagonize Iran and keep alive useless talks that provide cover for the Iranian nuclear weapons program. This is the brain child of the Obama-Hillary Clinton brain trust. Its naiveté is as stunning as it is dangerous.