If actions speak louder than words, Tehran’s overt moves hours before delivering its reply on August 22 to the package of incentives on offer for giving up nuclear enrichment added up to a resounding no!
In the two weeks preceding that date, new centrifuges were installed at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility (as DEBKA-Net-Weekly 266 reported last week). And the deputy director of Iran’s nuclear program, Mohammad Saidi, announced without constraint that the heavy water reactor at Arak in central Iran would “shortly be operational.”
Tehran’s frankness about its illicit nuclear activities – which amounted to a flat refusal to give them up – was greeted with unusual mildness in Washington. The Bush administration’s refusal to call immediately for sanctions was out of character.
Neither American nor European officials paid any verbal attention to the new centrifuges or the impending operation of the heavy water reactor.
What Tehran was saying in deed if not word, as interpreted by DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s Iranian and military experts was this:
Attention Americans and Europeans.
After spurning your economic incentives for dropping our nuclear program, we are advancing with all speed on our target of developing a nuclear weapon along two tracks: uranium enrichment by centrifuge and the use of plutonium obtained from the Bushehr nuclear reactor.
We are on the point of completing the nuclear fuel cycle on the uranium track with the use of centrifuges; now we are beginning the same process with plutonium.
In the absence of any firm Western or international response to this message, a high official in Tehran official took it a step further by announcing Wednesday, Aug. 23, that Iran would very soon unveil another dramatic advance in its nuclear program.
(Incidentally, DEBKA-Net-Weekly confirms that the core of the Western incentives package was not as misreported the promise of nuclear reactors for manufacturing electricity, but a wholesale overhaul of Iran’s oil industry, including a brand-new oil and gas pipeline network).