Iran nuclear talks still ongoing, still collapsing

Parchin nuclear facility in Iran

Satellite image of the Parchin facility in April (photo credit: Institute for Science and International Security)

Just in case anyone has forgotten about Iran in all the brouhaha about Israeli settlements, traitorous journalists and treasonous ex-politicians, international talks between Iran and the IAEA are still ongoing. However they are not going well at all and appear to have collapsed just before the weekend. Again.

Nuclear talks between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency broke down again Friday after the nuclear watchdog’s inspectors failed to gain access to Parchin, a key Iranian nuclear site. The failure of the meeting lowered hopes of a breakthrough in talks between world powers and Iran scheduled to take place in Moscow later this month.

Herman Nackaerts, the IAEA’s chief inspector, said “no progress has been made… and there is no point to finishing this round of talks,” referring to his meeting with Iran’s envoy to the IAEA Ali Asghar Soltanieh. He called the talks inconclusive and “disappointing,” and said Iran was going back on previous commitments it had made to inspectors. He added that a follow-up date for another meeting had not been set.


The breakdown in IAEA-Iranian talks comes approximately three weeks after the moderate success of IAEA chief Yukiya Amano, who, after flying to Iran, claimed that the Islamic republic had agreed to grant the agency’s officials access to key facilities and scientists involved in the country’s nuclear program.

I don’t know why anyone would believe anything the Iranians say about their nuclear facilities. They are playing the West like dummies, and laughing all the way to the bomb, to quote Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon.

Iran is laughing all the way to the bomb,” Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Wednesday, while noting that a new report showed that the Islamic Republic has had produced almost 6.2 tons of uranium enriched to a level of 3.5% since it began the work in 2007.

Speaking at a conference in Tel Aviv organized by The Institute for National Security Studies, Yaalon said “there is no indication that Iran feels threatened in any way, despite all the pressure (from the West) and economic difficulties. It still hasn’t brought the regime (in Tehran) to the point where it has to choose between a bomb and survival. They’re not there.”

According to the report, which was published by The Institute for Science and International Security, “This total amount of 3.5% low enriched uranium hexafluoride, if further enriched to weapon grade, is enough to make over five nuclear weapons.”

The New York Daily News has a comprehensive run-down of Iran’s bait-and-switch tactics with the IAEA and the West.

Sept. 23, 2004: “UN Official Says Iranians Seem to Curb Atom Activity.” Nov. 26: Iranians Refuse to Terminate Nuclear Plans.”

Oct. 13, 2005: “In a Shift, Iran Agrees to Resume Nuclear Talks.” Nov. 21: “Iran Parliament Votes to Close Atomic Sites to UN Monitors.”

Nov. 23, 2007: “Nuclear Agency Says Iran Has Improved Cooperation.” Dec. 2: “Iranian Official Pushes Nuclear Talks Back to Square 1.”

Oct. 22, 2009: “Deal With Iran Would Slow Making of Nuclear Bombs.” Nov. 21: “World Powers Express Frustration as Iran Stalls on Deal.”

And on it went last week.

As for the Parchin site, the ostensible pretext for this week’s breakdown, the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) reports that mysterious activity has been taking place at Parchin, apparently buildings having been razed in order to hide evidence of explosives testing and other nuclear activity.

Satellite imagery obtained by ISIS shows what appears to be further sanitization activity at the site in the Parchin military complex where Iran is suspected to have conducted high explosive tests pertinent to the development of nuclear weapons.

DigitalGlobe satellite imagery from May 25, 2012 shows that two small buildings at the same site as the suspected testing chamber have been razed (figure 1). There are visible tracks made by heavy machinery used in the demolition process. Heavy machinery tracks and extensive evidence of earth displacement are also visible throughout the interior as well as the exterior of the site’s perimeter (figures 2 and 5).

This new round of activity has followed suspected cleanup activities in the explosives testing chamber building, which are visible in an April 9, 2012 satellite image published in an earlier ISIS report (figure 4). In the April 9, 2012 image, the two support buildings are intact (figure 3).

These activities raise further concerns of Iranian efforts to destroy evidence of alleged past nuclear weaponization activities.  The IAEA has asked repeatedly to visit this site, but so far Iran has refused. In the May 25, 2012 IAEA safeguards report on Iran, the IAEA stated that “based on satellite imagery, at this location, where virtually no activity had been observed for a number of years, the buildings of interest to the Agency are now subject to extensive activities that could hamper the Agency’s ability to undertake effective verification.”

Read the rest of the article and see the satellite imagery detailing the illicit activity by the Iranians.

The only reason I can think of to possibly explain the continued charade of talks with Iran is that the world absolutely does not want Israel to attack Iran’s nuclear site, and they think that as long as talks are taking place, however futile and whatever the pretence, Israel will hold its fire. I sincerely hope that Israel’s leaders are not taken in by this charade, and will know to take action when necessary for its own well-being, especially since it is beyond obvious that the world will not come to Israel’s defense.

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4 Responses to Iran nuclear talks still ongoing, still collapsing

  1. Rob Harris says:

    Nice rundown of the issue Anne. The situation is truly terrible, with Iran obviously taking the piss because they know the West with Obama and Ashton at the helm are pathetically weak. If that wasn’t bad enough apologists for Iran are trying to pull the rug under Israel’s feet by co-opting the pro-peace/anti-war posture, to defend a genocidal oppressive regime by claiming Israel doesn’t have a legal right to strike under international law as there is no evidence of an imminent threat etc. How about Iran being at a state of proxy war with Israel for several decades?

    I liked this description of the talks in another recent report:

    “Mark Fitzpatrick, a former senior US state department official and now a director at the International Institute for Strategic Studies think-tank in London, said: “This situation is reminiscent of the Peanuts cartoon of Charlie Brown repeatedly believing Lucy this time will hold the football for him to kick, with her always snatching it away at the last minute, leaving him to fall flat.””

    • anneinpt says:

      Thanks for the compliments Rob, and thanks for that link too. The hesitant language that they (the diplomats and the reporters) use when describing the perfidy of the Iranians is exceedingly aggravating.

      The lack of result may heighten Western suspicions that Iran is seeking to drag out the two sets of talks to buy time for its uranium enrichment programme,

      MAY? You don’t say! Grrr!

      Peanuts is such a good analogy for the whole Iran-talks fiasco.

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