Iranian Nuclear Program :Past. Present and Future
This is an aerial picture of Parchin nuclear site. There is a small river next to it. There was multiple military signs of "Do NOT ENTER" on the road to Parchin. In undergraduate years we used to go through all those sing for fishing in that river, because the river was full of fish, no one else was stupid enough to enter a military road with unregistered shot guns for hunting in the jeep. At that time Parchin was the military compound making explosives for construction of the roads in the mountains.
The first nuclear reactor in Iran was built in sixties and seventies in University of Iran for research purposes by Americans.
When I was in the last year of high school one of the teachers who thought Evolution ,was a Ph.D , and was working in the reactor himself ,was able to obtain the approval to take a few of us to the reactor for observation. I went there with the group and it was a big honor for a high school kid to be able to get there.
There was no public knowledge of an Iranian Nuclear project up to a decade ago. At that time a miserable opposition group of Iran known as MEK informed people of the world as an advanced Iranian nuclear program. There has always been a suspicion that they got the information from Israel, however the MEK had infiltrated Iranian government so much, that their involvement was quite possible. Since then this issue of the bomb has been a do or die scenario for Iran. there is heavy involvement of the UN watch dog IAEA, 5+1 countries and the Mossad.
Currently the program is massive .It has been distributed in different locations in Iran , The main site for enrichment of uranium is in city of Natanz .I was in that city when it was just a village in the center of the deserts of the country with no properly asphalted roads.
At this time Natanz is one of the main facilities with center fugues enriching uranium up to 60%. Natanz was deliberately chosen at its current location because it is just about the center of the country and in case of an aerial attack of enemy planes have to fly the same distance regardless of their point of entry.
Since the issue of Iranian nuclear program became public, Iran has remained steed fast that its intentions are purely peaceful and science oriented. The level of enrichment for hospitals and scientific research is 3.5 percent. However, everyone knew that such a large facilities dispersed around Iran are not for peaceful purposes.
The American government had frozen Iranian assets of 150 billion dollars in the U.S since the revolution of 1979. Iran filed a lawsuit against the American government in the international court and they won. However, the US refused to pay the money and had to pay monthly interest of that $150 billion to Iran (I do not know how much interest you get for $150 billion, but it must be a lot).There was a second financial problem between two countries. It was about the military equipment that Iran had bought from the U.S before 1979 revolution, the U.S. was refusing to give Iran the weapons or pay back the money.
After decades of negotiation during the second term of Obama administration, there was a comprehensive deal between all countries involved known as 5+1 (Russia, China, Germany, UK, and the U.S) agreement. The agreement was comprehensive and took care of all of the problems combined.
The Iranians agreed to complete observation of its nuclear sites by the United Nation IAEA (CIA), destroying the heavy water compound of Arak and destroying some other Iranian nuclear sites, with the understanding that Iran would not enrich uranium beyond 3.5% any time soon. The $150 billion came out of freezer. However, the Iranian deposited money for the weapons in the U.S. had to be delivered in cash by a plane to Iran due to banking problems with Iran. All people involved in the deal were happy with this peaceful outcome, except Republicans, Iranian hawks and Israel (who wanted monopoly on nuclear activity in the Middle East), the chief of these complainers was Trump who did not know the cause of transfer of cash and still hated Obama for making fun of him in public about his birth certificate. They all went on a rampage against Obama.
When trump became president he unilaterally dumped the JCPOA and imposed the most severe sanctions on Iran. The other members of 5+1 countries did not support Trump. Iranian government with its long range goals did not drop out of JCPOA until Trump assassinated General Ghasem Suleimani, at that point they began to increase the enrichment up to 20%. Then there was the assassination of an Iranian scientist , Israeli cyber-attacks and propaganda. consequently, Iran increased it enrichment to 60% and increased its process of accumulating its enriched uranium as well as renewing its attempts to make the bomb.
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