In another concession, world powers drop demand that Iran disclose past atomic weapons research before final deal

 

The P5+1 are ready to sign a final agreement omitting an Iranian disclosure of their past nuclear research, according to a Thursday report by the Associated Press. This echoes a March report in The Wall Street Journal, during the talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, that the Western powers were scaling back their demands on Iran’s need to disclose its PMDs.

The Obama administration has repeatedly asserted that Iran would have to address concerns of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) about PMDs in any final agreement. In an April interview on PBS Newshour, Secretary of State John Kerry unequivocally stated that Iran would have to disclose its past activities: “They have to do it. It will be done. If there’s going to be a deal, it will be done…It will be part of a final agreement. It has to be.”

The importance of obtaining information about PMDs is not to extract a “mea culpa” from the Iranians, but rather to establish a baseline of their program in order to verify any nuclear agreement. Without full disclosure from Iran on PMDs,  it would not be possible to know the extent to which Iran had shut down its uranium mines, shipped off its uranium stockpiles, and stopped its centrifuges from spinning: in other words, verification, a central plank of the Obama administration’s argument for a deal, will be impossible. Michael Singh of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy has written, “Without insight into the full extent of Iran’s clandestine nuclear activities, no amount of monitoring and inspection can provide true confidence that Iran lacks a parallel program beyond inspectors’ view.” David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security and Bruno Tertrais of the Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique wrote last May, “It is critical to know whether the Islamic Republic had a nuclear-weapons program in the past, how far the work on warheads advanced and whether it continues. Without clear answers to these questions, outsiders will be unable to determine how fast the Iranian regime could construct either a crude nuclear-test device or a deliverable weapon if it chose to renege on an agreement.”

 

Iran is sending arms and money to support the Taliban in Afghanistan, The Wall Street Journal reported (Google link) Thursday. While the Taliban is an extreme Sunni movement, Iran has supported other similar movements when it has suited its purposes. Iran has worked with Al Qaeda against American interests since 2007. Earlier this month, the United States accused Syria, Iran’s client, of helping the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

In Meet the Proxies: How Iran Spreads Its Empire through Terrorist Militias, which was published in the March 2015 issue of The Tower Magazine, David Daoud explained the role that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force plays in spreading Iran’s revolution. (via TheTower.org)

 

Google chairman Eric Schmidt gushed over Israeli high-tech and its innovation culture during a recent visit to the Weizmann Institute of Science. He said he is so impressed by the local startup arena that he invests in it. “The influence that Israelis have on science and technology is tremendous; that’s why I’m here, and that’s why I invest here,” he told a group of students and researchers at the university in Rehovot. Schmidt praised Israel’s ‘culture of entrepreneurship’ repeated times during his visit here. He highlighted Israelis’ risk-taking and refusing to play by the rules as keys to success. “Israel is thriving in terms of innovation because you have a culture that makes it possible to question authority and to challenge everything – you don’t follow the rules,” he was quoted by Yediot Ahronot as saying at the Weizmann Institute. Schmidt brought executives of the investment firm he heads, Innovation Endeavors, to the Weizmann meeting. Innovation Endeavors is one of the most active investment funds in Israel, according to local reports. Schmidt asked the researchers to ‘think big’ and try to solve ‘global problems.’ "You have to make big bets. If you’re building something, try to solve problems for the entire world,” he said. “1.2 million people die each year in traffic accidents. Anything that can be done to reduce this number would be tremendous. In the coming years, many people will move to the big cities, and existing traffic infrastructures will not be sufficient.” (via Israel21c)


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