'Breakthrough' in Iran nuke talks?
We've ridden this horse many times before with Iran. Just when it appears that there's a deal in place to swap out their uranium for further enrichment in another country, the Iranians have either reneged outright on the deal or put so may qualifying conditions on it that it becomes impossible to implement.
But in a real life example of Charlie Brown once again falling for Lucy taking the football away at the last moment to cause him to land flat on his back, the international community is falling for it:
In what could be a stunning breakthrough in the years-long diplomatic deadlock over Iran's nuclear program, Tehran has agreed to send the bulk of its nuclear material to Turkey as part of an exchange meant to ease international concerns about the Islamic Republic's aims and provide fuel for an ailing medical reactor, the spokesman for Iran's foreign ministry told state television Monday morning. Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told state television that a letter describing the deal would be sent to the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency within a week. "After a final agreement is signed between Iran and the Vienna group, our fuel will be shipped to Turkey under the supervision of Iran and the IAEA," he told journalists on the sidelines of a conference of developing nations. "Then we will dispatch 1,200 kilograms [2,640 pounds] of 3.5% enriched uranium to Turkey to be exchanged for 120 kilograms [264 pounds] of 20% enriched uran ium from the Vienna group.
Somewhere in the Iranian foreign office, they have a stack of these boilerplate announcements of a "breakthrough" in negotiations where all they have to do prior to releasing the document is change the date and maybe a few names. This becomes evident with the news that Iran is adding to their ability to enrich uranium to the 20% level:
Iran has expanded the number of machines producing medical reactor-grade uranium, an incremental step that could increase its ability to produce the highly refined material necessary to build a nuclear bomb, said two diplomats in Vienna, home of the U.N. atomic watchdog agency. The disclosure, first revealed by news agencies Friday, ups pressure on diplomats struggling to find a resolution of the confrontation between Tehran and the United States, Israel and their European allies over the nuclear program.
Riddle me this: Why would Iran need additional centrifuges to further enrich their uranium if they are going to send it all to Turkey?
Don't ask. Don't tell.