Despite Obama's assurances, Iran has increased its nuclear fuel stockpile by 20%

President Obama has been going around the country trying to sell his nuclear deal with Iran by claiming that during the negotiations over the last two years, Iran's nuclear program has been "frozen."

But recent inspections by the International Atomic Energy Administration have found that the Iranians have increased their stockpile of enriched uranium by 20%.

Jerusalem Post:

The revelations have confounded Western officials who are unsure as to why the Iranians have increased their stockpiles during the course of the negotiations. According to The New York Times, analysts speculate that the Iranians may be seeking a contingency plan should the talks fail to produce an agreement. There is also the possibility that the Iranians have encountered technical problems that have rendered its enriched uranium unusable for weapons.

Iran's cheating has "confounded" Western officials?  Forget "contingency plans" and "technical problems"; how about just good old-fashioned, run-of-the-mill dishonesty?  Why can't analysts consider that?

If accurate, it could prove to be another obstacle to the Obama administration’s efforts to convince a skeptical Congress to support a final nuclear agreement with Iran.

Last week, Iran’s foreign minister said that his government will discuss "other solutions" to Western demands that it allow UN inspectors access to its military sites and to interview its nuclear scientists.

The question of access for international inspectors has become one of the main sticking points between Tehran and six world powers as they try to overcome obstacles to a final nuclear agreement one month before of a deadline.

"We have decided to discuss other solutions to resolve this issue," Mohammad Javad Zarif was quoted as saying by the Mehr news agency, after holding six hours of meetings on Saturday with his US counterpart John Kerry.

Western officials say inspections of military sites by the IAEA and access to Iran's scientists are critical to checking whether Iran is pursuing a clandestine nuclear weapons program.

Iran denies any ambition to develop a nuclear weapon and says its program is purely peaceful.

The United States and France have threatened to block any deal that does not allow access but Iran's Supreme Leader has explicitly ruled out any inspections or interviews, creating an obstacle ahead of the June 30 deadline to reach an agreement.

Zarif did not give further details about how Iranian negotiators planned to resolve the issue and said there were still several points of difference between Iran and the United States, implying there had been no major breakthrough in his bilateral talks with Kerry.

"We have decided to work full time for the next three or four weeks to see whether or not it will be possible to reach an agreement," he said.

The Iranians are testing Obama to see just how much he will grovel to reach an agreement.  If the Iranians prevent inspections at military sites, this will almost certainly be a red line for France, but the Iranians may find wording that Obama could point to as "resolving" the issue, and a deal can go forward.

The clock is ticking toward the June 30 deadline, but both sides have already indicated they will be willing to go beyond that date if an agreement is close.  Meanwhile, the Iranians continue to enrich uranium, and the administration continues to lie about it.  It certainly doesn't give a rational leader any confidence that Iran can be trusted to hold up its end of any bargain.

Yes, but "rational" leaders in the West seem to be in very short supply.

President Obama has been going around the country trying to sell his nuclear deal with Iran by claiming that during the negotiations over the last two years, Iran's nuclear program has been "frozen."

But recent inspections by the International Atomic Energy Administration have found that the Iranians have increased their stockpile of enriched uranium by 20%.

Jerusalem Post:

The revelations have confounded Western officials who are unsure as to why the Iranians have increased their stockpiles during the course of the negotiations. According to The New York Times, analysts speculate that the Iranians may be seeking a contingency plan should the talks fail to produce an agreement. There is also the possibility that the Iranians have encountered technical problems that have rendered its enriched uranium unusable for weapons.

Iran's cheating has "confounded" Western officials?  Forget "contingency plans" and "technical problems"; how about just good old-fashioned, run-of-the-mill dishonesty?  Why can't analysts consider that?

If accurate, it could prove to be another obstacle to the Obama administration’s efforts to convince a skeptical Congress to support a final nuclear agreement with Iran.

Last week, Iran’s foreign minister said that his government will discuss "other solutions" to Western demands that it allow UN inspectors access to its military sites and to interview its nuclear scientists.

The question of access for international inspectors has become one of the main sticking points between Tehran and six world powers as they try to overcome obstacles to a final nuclear agreement one month before of a deadline.

"We have decided to discuss other solutions to resolve this issue," Mohammad Javad Zarif was quoted as saying by the Mehr news agency, after holding six hours of meetings on Saturday with his US counterpart John Kerry.

Western officials say inspections of military sites by the IAEA and access to Iran's scientists are critical to checking whether Iran is pursuing a clandestine nuclear weapons program.

Iran denies any ambition to develop a nuclear weapon and says its program is purely peaceful.

The United States and France have threatened to block any deal that does not allow access but Iran's Supreme Leader has explicitly ruled out any inspections or interviews, creating an obstacle ahead of the June 30 deadline to reach an agreement.

Zarif did not give further details about how Iranian negotiators planned to resolve the issue and said there were still several points of difference between Iran and the United States, implying there had been no major breakthrough in his bilateral talks with Kerry.

"We have decided to work full time for the next three or four weeks to see whether or not it will be possible to reach an agreement," he said.

The Iranians are testing Obama to see just how much he will grovel to reach an agreement.  If the Iranians prevent inspections at military sites, this will almost certainly be a red line for France, but the Iranians may find wording that Obama could point to as "resolving" the issue, and a deal can go forward.

The clock is ticking toward the June 30 deadline, but both sides have already indicated they will be willing to go beyond that date if an agreement is close.  Meanwhile, the Iranians continue to enrich uranium, and the administration continues to lie about it.  It certainly doesn't give a rational leader any confidence that Iran can be trusted to hold up its end of any bargain.

Yes, but "rational" leaders in the West seem to be in very short supply.