Iran has violated one of the terms of the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA), according to a report by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a non-proliferation think tank.
Under the JPOA, Iran is obligated to convert all newly enriched hexafluoride uranium to uranium dioxide. However, “only 9 percent…has actually been converted into uranium dioxide form,” according to a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA
). The remainder of the stockpile “remains in intermediate forms.” While administration officials have insisted that the uranium has been converted into another form of oxide, the ISIS analysts, including the president of the institute, David Albright, argue that it shows a “shifting criteria” in the JPOA: “When it became clear Iran could not meet its commitment to convert the LEU into uranium dioxide, the United States revised its criteria for Iran meetings its obligations.” This raises concerns that the P5+1 may ignore or explain away Iranian violations of any future agreement over its nuclear program.
Illicit Iranian efforts to acquire nuclear-related materials – some of which would be prohibited under the emerging deal – are known to be ongoing. Reuters reported
last month that the Czech government had uncovered an Iranian attempt to purchase a shipment of compressors from a U.S.-owned company based in Prague. Olli Heinonen, a former deputy director of the IAEA, told the outlet that the compressors “can be used to extract enriched uranium directly from the [centrifuge] cascades.” In April, the British Government reportedly informed
a United Nations panel about an illicit Iranian nuclear procurement network involving two firms under sanctions for suspected links to Iran’s nuclear activities. Iran fed
uranium hexafluoride gas into an advanced centrifuge, in violation of the JPOA. Reuters reported
in April 2014 that Iran’s oil exports were far in excess of the monthly 1 million barrel-per-day limit imposed by the JPOA. All of this deepens concerns that P5+1 members might continue to look the other way when future violations occur.
Western diplomats said that the “red lines” set out by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei last week are preventing any breakthrough in the nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 nations, Reuters reported today.
“I don’t think we’re at any kind of breakthrough moment yet and we will do whatever we need to do to keep the momentum,” British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told reporters.
Khamenei also declared that scientists who have worked on Iran’s nuclear program are off-limits to inspectors. A report in today’s New York Times explained why this access is essential to any deal.
Khamenei’s speech last week also demanded immediate sanctions relief upon reaching an agreement. These comments represented a significant retreat made from the understandings the parties agreed upon in April. In response to Khamenei’s speech, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that the Iranian leader’s demands were moving negotiations towards a “bad deal.” An editorial in The Washington Post assertedthat if Iran stuck to Khamanei’s demands, the United States should “walk away rather than accept a bad deal.” (via TheTower.org)
Eight-member IsraAID team gut and fix some of the 375 homes in need of repair in Illinois community.
The Israeli humanitarian aid relief organization IsraAID is sending an eight member team to Coal City, Illinois to help rebuild the community in the wake of an EF3 tornado that ripped through the town on Monday night. Packing winds up to 160 mph, the tornado left utter destruction in its wake including 884 damaged properties. The Israeli team members are set to join an American army veteran group to help homeowners gut and fix their homes. Local reports cite that 349 damaged properties are still habitable, 375 are habitable with repairs needed, 106 are uninhabitable and 54 were lost completely. Among the IsraAID volunteers is the grandson of a Holocaust survivor. The grandmother, Bracha Heffner, was raised as a Catholic by a foster family in Germany after the Nazis murdered her father and her mother died of an illness. At 59,upon learning she was Jewish, she moved her entire family to Israel. (via Israel21c