Divorced as ever from reality, European Union foreign policy Executive Catherine Ashton said Wednesday April 3 that it is very important for Iran to respond to an offer by the world powers if the coming round of nuclear talks is to succeed.
None of the previous rounds have succeeded, any more than the next one in Almaty On April 5-6, is expected to, say DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s sources.
Her plea moreover fell on deaf ears in Tehran, although an Iranian delegation always puts in an appearance at the sessions with United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany which Ashton chaires,
A false optimistic note was offered Tuesday, April 2, by The Wall Street Journal’s “discovery” that Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had decided to slow down the Iranian nuclear program for the presidential polls of June.
This report was so wide of the mark that International Atomic Agency (IAEA) Director, the cautious and moderate Yukiya Amano, felt impelled to put the record straight.
He spoke Wednesday of the proof procured by his inspectors that Iran is secretly continuing to develop nuclear weapons. "Iran has done so in the past and is doing so now," he said.
Nuclear watchdog chief fed up with Western claptrap
Even Amano has become fed up with all the current claptrap and false figures put about in the West on Iran’s uranium enrichment and stocks. He has also had it up to here with red lines.
With a single sentence, Amano came right out with the truth which all the policy-makers and Iran mavens know, but avoid spelling out: That Iran continues to secretly enrich uranium to 20 percent, just short of weapons grade.
Indeed, according to DEBKA-Net-Weekly's intelligence sources, the White House itself has identified three or four small clandestine plants, where at least 30 new IR2 centrifuges are spinning to enrich uranium outside of the big facilities at Natanz and Fordo, which are at least partly monitored by the IAEA.
However those intelligence sources report there are more – at least ten such secret factories.
There may have been a slowdown in enrichment due to technical faults in the new centrifuges rather than politics, disappointing Iranian hopes of doubling of tripling their output. At the same time, this output long ago passed the red lines Washington and Jerusalem laid down.
Iran has by now accumulated enough fuel for several nuclear bombs.
Washington still insists Khamenei is exercising nuclear restraint
This did not deter Catherine Ashton from following the trail of illusions well-trodden by Washington.
On April 1, Gary Samore, until recently the White House coordinator for arms control and weapons of mass destruction, insisted – contrary to all the evidence – that the Iranians are “slowing down aspects of their nuclear program for the time being.”
Speaking at the Brookings Institute think tank, he said that “ups and downs and differences and frustrations are going to continue for the foreseeable future in world powers’ negotiations with Iran.”
Still, he added, “Even if there isn’t a formal deal, I do think the Iranians are exercising some constraints on their program for political reasons.”
Those reasons, in Samore’s view, were the care Khamenei was taking “not to come near the red line of advanced uranium enrichment that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu laid down at the UN in the fall, since he doesn’t want to trigger more sanctions or a military attack before the elections are held.”
At the same time, he said, it would be “unrealistic to expect there would be some kind of breakthrough in the talks” with world powers at the end of the week.
A linkage between Iran and Syria? Certainly not
The former Obama adviser went on to knock over the thesis put forward at the same session by
former European Union Iran negotiator Javier Solana, that Iran was unlikely to agree to a nuclear deal at this point unless negotiations were expanded to include the issue of Syria.
There is no connection between the two, Samore argued, reflecting President Barack Obama refusal to see any linkage between the issues.
He also disputed the perceptions of a fellow former White House strategist, Dennis Ross, saying he did not favor trying to pivot to negotiating a more comprehensive “go big” offer with Iran which Ross has advocated, “because,” he said, “there’s little chance it would succeed.”
“The primary factor which determines whether military force will be used is what happens on the ground,” Samore said. “I can imagine [a scenario] in which the diplomacy continues, in fits and starts. But the Iranians remain cautious to not take action that would trigger military strikes."
Alireza Miryousefi, a spokesman for the Iranian UN mission, asked to respond on Samore’s comments, said: “Iran’s presidential elections were not a chief impediment to a nuclear deal.
There is a national consensus in Iran on the inalienable right of the country to peaceful nuclear technology, including the right of uranium enrichment for peaceful purposes and any president in Iran must follow this national consensus…which is shared by the Iranian people.."