HAARETZ…..REASON OR ??? - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • JOHN TRAIN
    • 04.08.13 | 07:42 (IDT)

    Rohani, … Old wine in old bottles. Graham Allison, an Obama Advisor , the Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Douglas Dillon Professor of Government at the Harvard Kennedy School reports: 1. Where does Iran stand on the road to a nuclear bomb? As a technical fact,it has done 90 percent of the work required to produce the highly enriched uranium (HEU) needed for an explodable nuclear bomb. In a football metaphor, Iran has marched down the field into our red zone and now stands just 10 yards away from our goal line. 2. On the current path, using the known facilities, when is the earliest that Iran could get a nuclear bomb? Today, Iran has accumulated seven bombs' worth of low- and medium-enriched uranium. Today, Iran is operating more than 10,000 centrifuges, producing an additional 230 kilograms of LEU and 15 kilograms of MEU monthly. When it brings all of its installed centrifuges into operation, it will triple its MEU production rate. It has also announced the installation of several thousand more advanced centrifuges, at least three times more efficient than the current generation. From where it stands today, using known LEU or MEU at known facilities, Iran would require several months to build a bomb. From today my best judgment is that it would take Iran at least one to two months to produce the material for its first bomb, using its declared facilities, and at least another month to fabricate this material into a weapon. BACKGROUND: Rouhani has become a favorite "moderate" with much of the Western media, with The New York Times gushing in a recent headline: "President-Elect Stirs Optimism in Iran and West." But such optimism defies history. Rouhani is not a new figure on the Iranian scene. HE HAS SERVED AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF THE ISLAMIC REGIME FOR DECADES. For 16 years, he served as secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, the chief body responsible for foreign policy and national security, and was deputy commander in chief of the regime's defense forces for three years prior to that. In 2003, he became Iran's chief negotiator in nuclear talks with Britain, France and Germany aimed at curtailing Iran's uranium enrichment program. It was his role in those talks that gave rise to his "moderate" credentials. BUT THE EVIDENCE SUGGESTS HIS MAIN ROLE WAS TO TRY TO DUPE THE WEST BY PLAYING FOR TIME. In a speech to the Supreme Council, parts of which were published in 2005 in an Iranian publication, Rouhani claimed that Iran suspended activities on nuclear enrichment only in those facilities where they had no technical issues. "WHILE WE WERE TALKING WITH THE EUROPEANS IN TEHRAN, " HE BOASTED, "WE WERE INSTALLING EQUIPMENT IN PARTS OF THE FACILITY IN ISFAHAN, BUT WE STILL HAD A LONG WAY TO GO TO COMPLETE THE PROJECT. IN FACT, BY CREATING A CALM ENVIRONMENT, WE WERE ABLE TO COMPLETE THE WORK IN ISFAHAN." INSTITUTE FOR SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY IN WASHINGTON David Albright and Christina Walrond A new report by the Institute for Science and International Security suggests that Rouhani's plan worked. According to the study, Iran may achieve the "critical capability" to build a nuclear bomb by mid-2014. A nuclear-armed Iran would make the world a far more dangerous place than it is today, regardless of who occupies the largely symbolic role of Iranian president. Iran already has announced its plans to install 3,000 advanced centrifuges, which are the essential element in creating enough fissile material to produce a bomb. Rouhani's assumption of power won't change this reality; indeed it may prove a distraction.The inauguration of Hassan Rouhani is no cause for optimism. David Albright and Christina Walrond explained that based on what we know, Iran will reached "critical capacity" in its nuclear program by mid-2014. Albright and Walrond defined critical capacity as "the technical capability to produce sufficient weapon-grade uranium from its safeguarded stocks of low enriched uranium for a nuclear explosive, without being detected." Albright and Walrond then explained the many ways Iran can speed up the process, and hide its achievement from the international community for long enough to make it too late to conduct military strikes on their nuclear facilities to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. In other words, they told us diplomatically, if urgently that we have arrived at the moment of decision. Will the US or Israel strike Iran's nuclear installations to prevent it from becoming a nuclear power, or will Iran become a nuclear power? If we wait much longer, we won't have sufficient time to act.

    from the article: Until proven otherwise, Iran's Hassan Rohani deserves the West's trust
    First published 01:46 04.08.13 | Last updated 01:46 04.08.13
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