Seizure of US Sailors – a Diversion from Iran’s Nuclear Infringement at Arak

Last week, US Secretary of State John Kerry declared: “We are days away from implementation” of Iran’s commitments. He was referring to the commitments under the nuclear accord Iran signed with six world powers last November.
However, as DEBKA Weekly reports, as of Thursday, Jan. 14, only one of those commitments has been honored: the handover of 9 tons of enriched uranium to Russia.
The number of centrifuges spinning enriched uranium at Natanz has not been reduced from 19,500 to 5,050 as formally pledged; nor has the number at the Fordo underground facility been cut down to one thousand.
Finally, on Monday, Jan. 11, the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) mouthpiece, the Fars news agency, cited unnamed sources as reporting that the Arak heavy-water reactor for producing plutonium “has not been decommissioned.”
Two days later, on Wednesday, Iran’s deputy nuclear chief denied reports that the core of the Arak plant had been removed and the central vessel, the calandria, filled with concrete.
On this, too, Iran had reneged on its undertaking under the November deal.
Nevertheless, on the same day, Kerry stated that the vessel would be removed and filled with concrete “within hours.”
All in all, Iran has failed to live up to most of the conditions for the lifting of sanctions this Friday.
But as far as the Obama administration is concerned, there is no suggestion of a delay. The nuclear deal is viewed as finally in the bag.
Indeed, Kerry spoke of it in the past tense Wednesday, Jan. 14, after the Revolutionary Guards deigned to release 10 US sailors captured with their patrol boats near Farsi Island
“I think we can all imagine how a similar situation might have played out three or four years ago,” the Secretary of State said. He thanked Iranian officials for their cooperation in this “tense Persian Gulf incident.”
This attitude was wholly consistent with the Obama administration’s approach to Iran, DEBKA Weekly’s intelligence and Iranian sources note.
There was not a single cross word about the IRGC’s totally unprovoked seizure of the US boats and their crews. Nor was there any US complaint about the way the Guards had exploited the incident to divert attention from Iran’s infringements of its commitments under the nuclear accord, and turned it into a stunt for serving their political agenda at home. (See a separate item on this.)
Indeed, US officials continue to refer to the Islamic Republic – almost affectionately – as a fully cooperative partner of America – whether on the nuclear issue, or as a useful helpmeet for easing tensions in the region. This American indulgence opens the door wide for Tehran to carry on committing anti-US acts whenever such aggression is useful for promoting its agenda. 

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