Monday, January 9, 2017

Obama's Final Gift:, Uranium Headed To Iran

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Obama's Final Gift: Uranium Headed To Iran

Guillaume Souvant/AFP/Getty Images
BY Hank Berrien
January 9, 2017

Unsatisfied with stoking the fiery cauldrons of Islamic fundamentalism with his weak-kneed response during his eight-year tenure, Barack Obama has now enabled Iran, the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism, to speed ever-closer toward successful attainment of nuclear weapons, approving a secret delivery of roughly 130 tons of uranium for the fundamentalist Iranian regime.
As AP reports, the move to send Iran the uranium from Russia is supposedly to curry favor with Iran so it will remain committed to the nuclear deal it negotiated with the West:
VideoWhite House: Iran nuclear vessel would not not violate atomic deal
Iran is to receive a huge shipment of natural uranium from Russia to compensate it for exporting tons of reactor coolant, diplomats say, in a move approved by the outgoing U.S. administration and other governments seeking to keep Tehran committed to a landmark nuclear pact. Two senior diplomats said the transfer recently agreed by the U.S. and five other world powers that negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran foresees delivery of 116 metric tons (nearly 130 tons) of natural uranium. U.N. Security Council approval is needed but a formality, considering five of those powers are permanent Security Council members, they said.
Once Iran possesses the uranium, it can enrich it to use as reactor fuel or the core of an atomic bomb. Iran already received roughly the same amount of uranium in 2015 as the carrot to induce it to agree to the nuclear deal; it sent enriched uranium in return to Russia. In the current deal, Russia has been compensated by roughly 40 metric tons (44 tons) of heavy water given by Iran; 30 more metric tons have gone to the U.S. and Oman.
Heavy water cools reactors that produce more plutonium than reactors cooled by light water. Plutonium can be turned into the fissile core of a nuclear weapon.
Diplomats who leaked the news preferred to remain anonymous, stating that any natural uranium going to Iran would be under strict surveillance by the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency for 25 years after the deal went through. They protested that Iran might simply turn the uranium into low-enriched uranium and then export it for use as reactor fuel.
But David Albright of the Institute of Science and International Security said the uranium could be enriched to enough weapons-grade uranium to build over 10 simple nuclear bombs, "depending on the efficiency of the enrichment process and the design of the nuclear weapon."
This week Iran, the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany will meet in Vienna to review Iranian complaints that the U.S. had not complied with sanctions relief pledges included in the nuclear deal.
Meanwhile, while the West is bolstering Iran with uranium, the Iranian regime is growing more openly belligerent. On Sunday, four Iranian fast-attack vessels zoomed within 900 yards of a U.S. Navy destroyer near the Strait of Hormuz; the destroyer fired warning flares and a U.S. Navy helicopter also dropped a smoke float before the destroyer fired three warning shots. In August, a U.S. Navy ship fired warning shots toward an Iranian fast-attack craft that approached two U.S. ships.
Not only is Iran’s belligerence manifested in the actions on the water, but on Monday Iranian lawmakers approved plans to expand military spending to five percent of the budget. That plan entails developing long-range missiles, armed drones and cyber-war capabilities.
"Two senior diplomats said the transfer recently agreed by the U.S. and five other world powers that negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran foresees delivery of 116 metric tons (nearly 130 tons) of natural uranium."
AP
Iran has been conducting ballistic missile tests recently, despite a U.N. resolution adopted last year that said Iran should refrain from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has recently said Iran should eschew rapprochement with the West while maintaining its military strength. As Press TV reports, he said the “Western powers have blueprints for the dismemberment of the Middle East in a bid to make regional states ‘manageable.’”

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