Iran says they will 'restart' nuclear program they never halted if US pulls out of nuke deal
A spokesman for the Iranian nuclear program claimed that, if given the go ahead by senior leadership, they could restart the process of enriching uranium in 4 days.
The threat comes as US and their European allies are working to agree on how to fix the obvious flaws in the nuclear deal negotiated by President Obama with the Iranians. There is a May deadline to recertify the deal and it is widely believed that unless substantial and meaningful changes can be made to the deal, the US will walk away from it.
The Iranian threat to "restart" their nuclear program exposes one of the biggest flaws in the deal; they never stopped in the first place.
Mark Dubowitz, a nuclear expert who has advised the White House and Congress on the Iran issue, told the Free Beacon that Iran's latest enrichment threats expose critical flaws in the Iran deal that the Trump administration is seeking to address.
Iran's "threats confirm that the Iranian regime never gave up on its atomic weapon ambitions," said Dubowitz, CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington-based think-tank.
The nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, "merely hit the pause button temporarily on those aspects of Iran’s nuclear program that it had already perfected — and, as [Salehi's] threats underscore, could be easily restarted—while leaving Tehran with the time and space to develop technologies that it hadn't perfected such as advanced centrifuges and missiles," Dubowitz said. "His threats reveal what many deal skeptics have long argued: unless the JCPOA is fixed, Iran has pathways to dozens of nuclear-tipped missiles capable of striking U.S. forces, U.S. allies, and eventually the U.S. homeland."
Trump administration insiders who spoke to the Free Beacon about the matter warned that Iran’s threats can be backed up with action should the Islamic Republic decide to abandon the deal and buck Trump.
"This is exactly what President Trump means when he says the Iran deal is the worst agreement ever negotiated," said one Republican foreign policy adviser who is close to the White House.
"The Obama administration gave away the store, literally sending Iran billions and billions of dollars, but the deal left Iran with the ability to reverse their concessions in a couple of days," the source said. "We gave away too much for too little, and every day the deal stays in place Iran gets more and more benefits from sanctions relief. No wonder the president is leaning toward getting us out."
Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser and expert on rogue regimes, noted that while international inspectors have had access to some of Iran’s nuclear sites, it has not been permitted to inspect secret sites, including underground facilities that could have continued to serve as a nuclear research hub for Iran since the deal was implemented.
The entire inspection regime was flawed from the start. In essence, there would never be any surprise inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities, and as the article mentions, there were several sites that were believed to harbor nuclear research facilities that have never been inspected at all.
Iran has been permitted to continue its improvement of centrifuges so that when they start up those machines again, they will be several times more efficient at enriching uranium. This means the window for an Iranian nuclear weapon is narrowed from several months to a matter of weeks.
The president is particularly concerned that the nuclear deal did not include any restrictions on Iran's ability to build ICBMs that could threaten the US and Europe.
In fact, there is so much wrong with this deal and so many areas that the US would like to see revisions that it is highly unlikely Iran will agreee to most of the changes being contemplated.
That means the deal is likely dead. No doubt, our European allies will find an excuse not to do anything about Iran restarting its nuclear program. Obama's famous line about sanctions "snapping back" in place if Iran violated the agreement is a pipe dream. Russia and China will never allow the UN Security Council to reimpose sanctions on Iran and our allies are too busy trying to make money in Iran to care.
It's too late to take back the tens of billions of dollars Iran received as part of the deal and used to fund terrorism and rebuild its military. But we can prevent them from getting any more of that cash and that might be worth scuttling the nuclear deal in its entirety.