Uncategorized

Checkmate

A billet of highly enriched uranium // Flickr.com

A billet of highly enriched uranium // Flickr.com

The International Atomic Energy Agency yesterday delivered a damning ultimatum to Iran: cease construction of the discovered enrichment facility near Qum, or else.

­­­This is a historic statement. The IAEA has never submitted an unequivocal demand as this to Tehran over its nuclear ambitions. However, the rebuke is undoubtedly compelling because both Russia and China have endorsed the decision.

The problem is that the “or else” part hasn’t been agreed upon. The United States must still submit a sanctions proposal to the United Nations Security Council if diplomatic progress hasn’t been made by the end of the year.

On Friday, Sept. 25, the U.S. and Europe revealed intelligence regarding the construction of the clandestine uranium enrichment facility. Its location, deeply entrenched in a mountain far inside a Revolutionary Guard base and 20 miles near the religious center of Qum, suggests Iran wanted its existence to remain a secret.

Both American and European intelligence officials are said to have access to the facility, fueling speculation that spies have penetrated the plant.

Iran argues that the facility was never meant to be a secret. American intelligence officials state that Iran, after learning that the plant had been discovered, submitted a concise letter to the IAEA notifying them about the construction of a second facility.

Convenience seems to be Iran’s closest ally in the entire debacle. After years of inspections and international unrest about their one single enrichment facility, Iran decides to generously disclose that construction on a second enrichment plant is already halfway complete.

Of course the uranium enrichment facility was going to be disclosed! The project just needed a few years to get around to that “Notify the Inspectors” part of the process. Y’know, the part that will get you in trouble because you’d be considered in violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty?

Iran urges that the second enrichment plant will be used for peaceful purposes, but the IAEA and western intelligence agencies have concluded otherwise.

An anonymous intelligence official informed the New York Times that “multiple independent sources” confirmed the plant’s main purpose was for nuclear capabilities.

Iran was caught – and it’s running out of options. Their diplomatic capital is depleting, especially with China and Russia’s endorsement of the IAEA announcement.

This is the second time Russia has worried over Iran’s inability to negotiate with the west. Earlier this month, President Medvedev expressed concerns over Iran’s procrastination in responding to a UN-brokered offer for Iran to send uranium to Russia for peaceful enrichment. Iran would then be eligible to receive the nuclear energy it says it originally wanted for civilian purposes.

Iran evidently doesn’t respond well to threats either. Israel has yet to retract its threat (or bluff?) of military action if progress on the issue hasn’t been made by 2010. If Israel stays true to its word, our troops in Afghanistan will be put at risk. Let’s hope Tehran picks its fights more carefully, and chooses to negotiate here.

November 28, 2009

Reporters

Ramon Galiana

News Editor


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

1. MARLINS: Jeter's Fish trade Gordon. Stanton next?: While others spend -- like the Angels to ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Thursday: ▪ With the first ever early signing period just two we ...

University of Miami coach Mark Richt and Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst sat on a stage poolside at the ...

Former pro wrestler and promoter The Tennessee Stud Ron Fuller was interviewed by Ryan K. Boman of T ...

The University of Miami has its future quarterback. Jarren Williams, a consensus four-star, dual-thr ...

Graduating with Comedic Timing ...

The top graduate from UM's School of Education and Human Development shines in the classroom. ...

Students in University of Miami’s School of Communication’s Orange Umbrella Student Consultancy garn ...

Through its new Leadership UMiami program, the Butler Center for Service and Leadership is empowerin ...

A Biomedical Engineering Major and campus leader, Sterile Achille involved herself in many activitie ...

The University of Miami women's basketball team earned an impressive 65-54 win over No. 20/23 K ...

After its longest break of the season thus far, the University of Miami women's basketball team ...

Miami senior wide receiver Braxton Berrios, a double major in finance and entrepreneurship, was name ...

University of Miami head volleyball coach Jose "Keno" Gandara is excited to announce a fou ...

University of Miami women's volleyball player Brooke McDermott is an active member in the Hurri ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.