Just when we had hoped the Obama administration was going to engage Tehran in meaningful negotiations, if that's even possible with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the last few days have likely rattled Israel and the European Community - substantially upping the ante for a diplomatic solution. Furthermore, if a diplomatic solution is achieved, will Iran actually honor their side of the agreement or instead follow in the footsteps of North Korea and use the process of diplomacy to buy more time while actively developing a nuclear weapons program? These are issues where no tangible answers exist; Iran has lied to the international community on several occasions, continues to "proudly" deny the Holocaust, and its actions, which are far more powerful than its words, are cause for suspicion and distrust. Obama and the International Community face a daunting task, one that Iran continually makes worse through its rhetoric against Israel and recent events belie Iran's claim their nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes:
Iran Threatened With More Sanctions After Revealing Secret Enrichment Plant
By Ron Synovitz, RFE/RL
The leaders of the United States, France, and Britain have condemned Tehran for secretly building a uranium enrichment facility in violation of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed earlier today that Tehran has admitted the existence of a second uranium-enrichment facility in Iran, in addition to the one at Natanz. The disclosure came in the form of a letter sent on September 21 to IAEA chief Muhammad El-Baradei.
"The existence of this facility underscores Iran's continuing unwillingness to meet its obligations under UN Security Council resolutions and IAEA requirements," Obama said. "We expect the IAEA to immediately investigate this disturbing information and to report to the IAEA board of governors."
Obama said Iran has a right to develop peaceful nuclear power. But he said the size and configuration of the newly disclosed facility is not consistent with Tehran's claims that its nuclear program is aimed only at developing nuclear energy.
Meanwhile, an exiled Iranian opposition group in France has released satellite images and details about what it claims are two sites in Iran that are used to research and build nuclear weapons. It is the National Council of Resistance of Iran -- a political arm of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (People's Mujahedin Organization of Iran).
Fitzpatrick says the Mujahedin-e-Khalq has some credibility because of "stunning and very useful revelations" it has made about Iran's nuclear program in the past.
"They were the ones who broke the news about Iran's enrichment plant at Natanz and its research reactor at Araq back in 2002," Fitzpatrick said. "That's what led to the unraveling of Iran's secret program." Much More
Some people have speculated that Iran's new enrichment facility was likely designed as a back-up in case Israel bombed their enrichment facility in Natanz. While we don't know all of the details of this newest enrichment site, 3,000 centrifuges would not produce enough enriched uranium for peaceful use, but is well within the scope for clandestinely building a nuclear weapon(s). Iran learned that Western Intelligence agencies were aware of its newest enrichment plant in Qom, hidden on a military base (Deep inside a mountain) - and after failing to mention this new facility at the United Nations, Iran sent a letter to the IAEA only after their deception had been uncovered:
Press TV - In line with its guarantee to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for clarity on its nuclear activities, Iran has informed the agency that it is constructing a second plant for uranium enrichment.
"I can confirm that on 21 September, Iran informed the IAEA in a letter that a new pilot fuel enrichment plant is under construction in the country," agency spokesman Marc Vidricaire said Friday. LINK
Iran is struggling with its international image after an election whose results are extremely dubious, and instead of attempting to change its public image and its dismal record of human rights, Iran answered widespread protests with violence, murder, and the rape and torture its own citizens. For the casual observer, Iran appears to be becoming more authoritarian by the day, and with an unemployment rate that is above 20%, rather than invest in its own economy - Iran is spending its money on more nuclear facilities and fine-tuning their ballistic missile capability, some of which can hardly be labeled as defensive and are bordering on having a first-strike capability:
Iran's Sajjil missile "threatens Europe'