Iran can keep its nuclear program afloat with a quiet mind and without fear of international harassment, thanks to the intercession of Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva "Lula" and Turkish prime minister Reccep Erdogan. They clinched a deal in Tehran Monday, May 17, for Iran to export some 1,200 kilograms of its lightly enriched uranium to Turkey for reprocessing to 19.5 percent grade.
The two leaders mounted their initiative on behalf of the nascent anti-American bloc also backed by Russia, as well as Iran's close allies Syria, Hizballah and Hamas.
There was no immediate response from Washington.
From a wide range of data, debkafile's military sources confirm the deal is wholly fraudulent and no more than a piece of diplomatic trickery.
1. Turkey does not possess the facilities for reprocessing enriched uranium to a higher level, unlike Russia and France, which also have the technology to block its further enrichment to weapons-grade and whose services Tehran rejected.
2. The deal legitimizes Iran's right to enriched uranium of a higher grade, which can be converted in short order to fuel for a nuclear bomb. Tehran has now gained an international seal for going up to weapons grade.
3. Given the close bonds unfolding between Turkey, Iran and Syria, no independent agency can expect a chance to monitor the transaction or find out the actual quantity of enriched uranium Tehran is in fact exporting to Turkey.
4. The Six-Power group's compromise proposition for the export of 1.200 kilograms of low-enriched Iranian uranium was put forward more than a year ago and left hanging. There is no telling how much enriched uranium Tehran has produced in the interim period. Therefore, the quantity Iran has agreed to send to Turkey may be a drop in the ocean. In any case, the deal leaves Tehran with all the necessary infrastructure for continuing to build up its stocks of enriched uranium – and at a higher grade.
5. US president Barack Obama's insistence on engaging Iran in diplomacy and concentrating the effort on curbing Iran's product of enriched uranium has led up a blind alley after being outmaneuvered by Tehran and its backers.
The Iranians can use the phony deal pulled off by Lula and Erdogan as a recipe for putting paid to all hopes of the UN Security Council uniting behind a resolution for reining in their drive for a nuclear bomb. It has stripped the United States of levers for controlling the most dangerous peril besetting Middle East stability in the immediate future.
The Brazilian and Turkish rulers were not alone; they maintained constant communication with Moscow in the last ten days, during which Russian president Dmitry Medvedev made trips to Damascus and Ankara, the Brazilian president's stopped over in Moscow on his way to Tehran Sunday, May 16, and Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin kept an open line to the prime movers in the anti-US group's scheme to get Tehran off the nuclear hook.
After the signing, the Brazilian, Turkish and Iranian foreign ministers announced they expected by the Six Power Group led by the United States to approve the deal within a week and delivery of Iranian enriched uranium to Turkey a month later.
Turkish foreign minister Ahmed Davutoglu said he saw no need for further sanctions against Iran, even though the foreign ministry spokesman in Tehran said the deal brokered between the three powers would not prevent Iran from continuing to enrich uranium up to 20 percent inside the country.