By Elise Labott
Iran's announcement Wednesday about the status of its nuclear program may say more about the defiance of the regime in the face of escalating sanctions than signaling any significant nuclear advances.
Before Wednesday, the question foremost on people's minds was whether the announcement would signal Iran was moving closer toward getting a nuclear weapon, crossing a red line which could force Israel to take a preemptive military strike.
That question got a lot of eye-rolling post-announcement.
"Israel was expecting a major announcement," said Fred Fleitz, managing editor of the intelligence forecasting service Lignet.com and a former nonproliferation official under President George W. Bush. "This is it? Israel is not going to be worried about this. But it does suggest they aren't willing to change and it's certainly not going to encourage anyone to negotiate with them."
But negotiations could be the name of the game. Just as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was placing fuel rods into Tehran's research reactor to great fanfare, the regime was sending a letter to European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton about resuming nuclear talks with world powers. Coincidence? Unlikely.
Ahmadinejad's show may have merely been staged for public consumption, designed to wrap the regime in a nuclear flag and rally them in the face of crippling sanctions. Iran's nuclear program is still an issue of national pride and one rare point of consensus among Iran's fractured regime, which Ahmadinejad could use to his advantage in next month's parliamentary elections.
Or it could, as some experts believe, be meant to suggest that Iran is willing to negotiate with the West about its nuclear program.
Tough sanctions on the regime have begun to trickle down to the Iranian people, and the suffering is sure to intensify once curbs against Iranian oil exports take effect in June. By responding to an invitation for talks from so-called P5 Plus 1 (the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany) on the same day it declares nuclear advances, Tehran may be saying it expects to come to the table from a position of strength.
But that might be wishful thinking on the regime's part. The announcement fell flat in Washington, with State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland declared it "not terribly impressive."
Simply put, the nuclear revelations didn't live up to the hype. Tehran's claims that it had inserted its domestically produced fuel rods in its nuclear reactor and that it had a "new generation" of centrifuges at its Natanz facility capable of more rapidly enriching uranium were neither alarming nor surprising, experts say.
Iran had already announced last month it had produced the fuel rods for its Tehran Research Reactor, which is used to make medical isotopes. The reactor, which was running out of fuel, was the subject of a proposed deal between Tehran and the P5 plus 1 powers in which a Western country would provide fuel for the reactor in exchange for Iran giving up a majority of its low-enriched uranium stockpile. Even with the fuel rods, the reactor is not considered to be a significant proliferation risk because it uses a small amount of fuel, making it too difficult and time-consuming to provide weapons-grade uranium.
It's unclear whether Iran even has the technical expertise to produce quality fuel rods capable of operating the research reactor or - more important - its Bushehr reactor, which is far more powerful and has the capability to produce weapons-grade uranium. Currently, Russia makes the fuel rods for Bushehr.
What's more, U.S. officials and nonproliferation experts alike have challenged Iran's claims about the capacity and sophistication of its centrifuges. The 9,000 centrifuges spinning at its Natanz plant since 2009 have given Iran's nuclear experts all sorts of trouble. They haven't worked well or produced great amounts of uranium, but they've eaten up precious raw materials that Tehran is finding in increasingly short supply due to ever stronger sanctions. It's unclear whether the new advanced ones they rolled out Wednesday are operable yet or even capable of working.
"None of this is a big technical accomplishment," says David Albright, a leading nuclear expert with the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS).
Tehran, Albright suggests, chose its accomplishments carefully. That Ahmadinejad did not mention the enrichment at the Fordow nuclear enrichment facility, which is built deep into a mountain near the city of Qom and is considered a major flashpoint for Israel, could actually suggest a willingness to be engage in negotiations.
"They could have announced that they plan to install 1,000 advanced centrifuges at Fordow or further increase production of 20 percent enriched uranium," Albright said, referring to Iran's advanced state of enrichment, which has caused international concern. "The fact they didn't is a positive."
But he notes even Iran's modest accomplishments constitute slow progress that the international community can't ignore.
"Iran continues to make progress on its nuclear program" Albright warns. "So the problem of dealing with Iran hasn't been eased by today."
Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after browsing through a few of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely pleased I found it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back regularly!
herbal viagra http://loxviagra.com/ – does viagra raise blood pressure is viagra a vasodilator
Saved as a favorite, I love your website!
Very good post. I certainly love this website. Stick with it!
Hi there! This article couldn’t be written much better! Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept talking about this. I'll send this article to him. Fairly certain he's going to have a very good read. Thanks for sharing!
Chloromycetin Hyzaar the canadian pharmacy
This page truly has all of the info I wanted about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.
This website was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something which helped me. Cheers!
what was viagra originally used for http://jokviagra.com/ before and after viagra
viagra paracetamol http://llviagra.com/ viagra askmen
Everyone loves it whenever people get together and share views. Great blog, keep it up!
Next time I read a blog, Hopefully it does not fail me just as much as this particular one. After all, I know it was my choice to read through, however I actually believed you would have something interesting to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of crying about something you could possibly fix if you weren't too busy looking for attention.
bestsellers online pharmacy school discount rx
Greetings! Very useful advice within this post! It's the little changes that make the largest changes. Thanks for sharing!
Great article. I am going through many of these issues as well..
Aw, this was an extremely good post. Finding the time and actual effort to make a superb article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a whole lot and don't manage to get nearly anything done.
Pretty! This was a really wonderful article. Many thanks for supplying this information.
When I initially commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I receive four emails with the same comment. Is there an easy method you are able to remove me from that service? Thanks a lot!
Spot on with this write-up, I truly think this website needs a great deal more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read through more, thanks for the advice!
Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Many thanks, However I am having problems with your RSS. I don’t understand why I cannot subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting the same RSS problems? Anyone who knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanks!!
I have to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this website. I am hoping to see the same high-grade blog posts from you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my very own site now 😉
Excellent post. I'm dealing with some of these issues as well..
free trial cialis http://rcialisgl.com/ cialis for cheap
cialiscanada https://cialisee.com/ – generic cialis 7days viagra cialis melbourne site:au
There is certainly a great deal to know about this issue. I love all of the points you have made.
cialis what age http://rcialisgl.com/ cialis online america
An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who had been doing a little research on this. And he in fact ordered me breakfast due to the fact that I found it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to talk about this matter here on your site.
This is a very good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Simple but very accurate info… Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read post!
Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thanks, However I am encountering troubles with your RSS. I don’t understand the reason why I cannot join it. Is there anybody having similar RSS problems? Anybody who knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanks!!
Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thank you so much, However I am encountering difficulties with your RSS. I don’t know why I can't subscribe to it. Is there anybody else having the same RSS issues? Anybody who knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanks!!
I love it when people come together and share ideas. Great site, stick with it!
cialis ordering https://cialisee.com/ buy low dose cialis online
I like reading through an article that can make men and women think. Also, thanks for allowing for me to comment!
I want to to thank you for this excellent read!! I absolutely loved every bit of it. I've got you book marked to check out new things you post…
online pharmacy dubai save on pharmacy best online pharmacy reddit
This web site really has all of the information I wanted about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.
I seriously love your site.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you build this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m hoping to create my own website and want to learn where you got this from or what the theme is called. Thanks!
You made some decent points there. I looked on the net for more info about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.
Spot on with this write-up, I really believe that this website needs far more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read more, thanks for the info!
what happens when you take viagra https://jokviagra.com/ viagra price comparison
cialis sales in victoria canada http://ucialisdas.com/ – cialis dapoxetine australia buy cialis online in australia
Good post. I am facing many of these issues as well..
This is a topic that is near to my heart... Many thanks! Where are your contact details though?
After I initially left a comment I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I receive four emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is an easy method you are able to remove me from that service? Thanks!
Your style is really unique in comparison to other folks I've read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I'll just book mark this web site.
Aw, this was an extremely good post. Taking the time and actual effort to produce a top notch article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a lot and don't seem to get nearly anything done.
viagra canada free sample http://loxviagra.com/ – does viagra really work get viagra prescribed online
I blog quite often and I truly appreciate your content. This article has truly peaked my interest. I'm going to bookmark your blog and keep checking for new information about once a week. I subscribed to your RSS feed too.
Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Many thanks, However I am having difficulties with your RSS. I don’t know why I can't subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting similar RSS problems? Anyone that knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanks!!
I love it whenever people get together and share ideas. Great blog, keep it up!
viagra honey http://llviagra.com/ will 50mg of viagra work
Hola Franchesca, como todo lo que vale la pena en la red, Neobux requiere dedicación y trabajo duro para tener éxito. Puedes ganar todo lo que quieras fuera del sitio pero primero debes crear tu cuenta. Conozco a muchos miembros que lo están haciendo MUY bien a través de su sistema (¡más de 100 dólares al mes para empezar!).
I was able to find good information from your content.
I could not refrain from commenting. Very well written!
I’m impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come across a blog that’s equally educative and interesting, and without a doubt, you've hit the nail on the head. The issue is an issue that too few men and women are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I found this in my hunt for something regarding this.
cialis with dapoxetine sale https://ucialisdas.com/ – cialis reviews cialis dosage recommended
I blog frequently and I genuinely thank you for your information. This article has truly peaked my interest. I'm going to book mark your website and keep checking for new details about once a week. I subscribed to your RSS feed too.
Excellent site you have here.. It’s difficult to find good quality writing like yours nowadays. I really appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!
Greetings! Very useful advice within this article! It's the little changes that will make the largest changes. Thanks for sharing!
I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Well written!
A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment. I do believe that you should write more on this subject matter, it might not be a taboo matter but generally people do not talk about such subjects. To the next! Best wishes!!
I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it. I've got you bookmarked to look at new things you post…
I’m impressed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s equally educative and entertaining, and without a doubt, you've hit the nail on the head. The problem is an issue that not enough men and women are speaking intelligently about. I'm very happy I found this in my hunt for something regarding this.