Geoff FordenParadox: Now is the Time to Deal

Iran has admitted that it has at least one (and there is no reason to believe that there are not more) secret enrichment facilities. More information will undoubtedly come out in the coming days but we can deal now with the most important issue: how to proceed from here. As President Obama has rightly said today, this is not the first time Iran has hidden nuclear facilities it should rightly declare to the IAEA.

Iran will undoubtedly claim that it has not introduced nuclear material into the centrifuges and therefore did not have the obligation to report it. In fact, when I was in Israel earlier this summer, everyone I spoke to was convinced that such a facility existed but that Iran had not introduced uranium into it. However, there is a lot that can be done to train personnel etc. with enriching other isotopes like xenon or silicon. And training personnel is the important aspect right now. When the history of these secret facilities is known, I suspect that we will discover that they were started during the enrichment “suspension” that ended in 2006. We will also discover, I firmly believe, that the Natanz facility has been used as a training center for workers for those covert facilities. That could explain why there has been a relatively slow start: they were constantly cycling new trainees through with the consequent inefficiencies new workers always introduce.

Now is the Time for a Multinational Enrichment Center

Now that we know about at least this one covert facility, it is the time to reach a deal with Iran about placing a multinational enrichment facility on Iranian soil. This may seem paradoxical, but such a facility is the best way of ensuring that Iran cannot set up other secret enrichment facilities later. We obviously now know that “suspension” is not the answer; they can use the freedom such inactivity gives their workers to setup new plants outside the prying IAEA inspectors’ view. We need to be with the Iranian scientists and engineers 24 hours a day, seven days a week to understand what they are doing. Of course, the first step will be to require lists of workers at both the covert and overt enrichment plants as well as enough supporting documentation (shift schedules, pay stubs, payroll accounts come immediately to mind) to instill confidence in the West that we know everyone who has worked there. Of course, while we are checking those documents, Westerners can be working in the plants; keeping an eye on those already there. They could start that tomorrow.

This revelation of a covert facility might be just the bargaining chip the West needs to force the measures necessary to build up confidence Iran is not establishing other secret plants. We need assurances about the people who Iran needs to establish a new plant. That level of confidence can only be achieved by the most intrusive inspections imaginable: working side-by-side with the Iranian scientists and engineers involved in enrichment. Under an agreement for a multinational enrichment center, Westerns would start working in the existing Iranian facilities the day after an agreement is signed. Of course, it is vital that we not give Iran any more time to establish other covert plants while we are not watching their people. It is time to realize that a multinational enrichment facility is the best way to prevent Iran from getting a bomb and, in fact, to roll back their indigenous enrichment capabilities.


  1. RAJ47

    “Iran has admitted that it has at least one (and there is no reason to believe that there are not more) secret enrichment facilities.”
    Please quote who,when and where admitted this.

  2. Geoff Forden (History)

    Please see the link I have added for the NYT article on Iran admitting it has a second, secret enrichment facility.

  3. Anonymous (History)

    There was an article in the New York Review of Books proposing something similar. The article is still online at:

  4. Geoff Forden (History)
  5. David P (History)

    On what basis do you derive confidence that Iran might ever accept such a proposal, even in offered? I am confused by the implicit assumptions here. If Iran is indeed only pursuing enrichment for peaceful purposes, I can see how the prestige of such an arrangement might appeal to them. If, on the other hand, their efforts are designed as a hedge to pursue latency or actual weapons (as their behavior appears to suggest), why would they sign on to this? the Iranians have made no indications whatsoever that they would accept “the most intrusive inspections imaginable” under any circumstances. Why do you consider the offer of an MNEF to be a game-changer in this regard?

  6. Geoff Forden (History)

    Iran has not only indicated that they would accept such a plan, but they even claim they have proposed it. Pres. Ahmadinejad brought it up before the UN general assembly several years ago. Now is the time to accept their offer but, of course, with the necessary provisos to build Western confidence.

  7. Major Lemon (History)

    “a multinational enrichment facility on Iranian soil.” Geoff, are you serious?

  8. b (History)

    A smart move by Iran.

    1. Under the NPT obligations Iran signed it has to announce nuclear facilities to the IAEA only 6 month before introducing nuclear material to such a facility. The alleged “secrecy” is thereby a non issue as the facility is not yet in use and was announced to the IAEA on Monday.

    2. The NYT says it is a small site for only 3,000 centrifuges. Such a site does NOT make sense to be used as a secondary for the big 50,000 centrifuges (planned end state) site in Natanz.

    3. Ahmedinejad asked yesterday for U.S. supply for the Tehran research reactor which was launched with U.S. help in 1968. That 5 MW reactor has medical and scientific use. It runs with medium enriched Uranium – i.e. 18-20% enrichment – and is under IAEA control.

    4. Iran can not make, without some serious re engineering, such fuel in Natanz.

    5. An extra 3,000 centrifuge site makes perfect sense to enrich especially for the Tehran research reactor.

    6. Now Iran can say: “Either sell us fuel for the research reactor or we, unfortunately, will have to make that fuel ourselves at the new site.”

    Clever chessplayers …

    But I agree, a good starting point for a solution of the situation.

  9. blowback (History)

    As President Obama has rightly said today, this is not the first time Iran has hidden nuclear facilities it should rightly declare to the IAEA.

    As you correctly say, Iran was under no obligation to disclose this facility to the IAEA until six months before they introduced nuclear material into is, so just why should the “West” get upset when Iran sticks to the rules while the “West” has broken the rules by, for instance, having the IAEA refer Iran’s portfolio to the UNSC ultra vires.

  10. Fred2 (History)

    I’m not at sure Iran has a use for the uranium that would come out of a multinational enrichment center. The main use for the uranium is weapons.

    Iran has more uranium than reactors that can use it.

  11. David P (History)

    Geoff- the key question, IMHO, is not whether Iran would accept such a facility, but whether it would accept such a facility in conjunction with or in exchange for “the necessary provisos to build Western confidence” i.e. the aforementioned “most intrusive inspections imaginable.” What I am wondering is whether you are aware of any Iranian indications that they would actually be willing to make the requisite concessions (AP, ad-hoc transparency measures) to see a plan like this realized. Having gone through the report you authored with John Thomson, I do not think this question has been satisfactorily addressed. The notion that Iran would accept full transparency for any sort of carrot appears to assume that Iran is not really interested in developing weapons, now or in the future. Do you believe that to be the case?

  12. archjr (History)


    You are right to focus on internationalization as a longer-term goal. Right now, we need a special inspection of Qum.

  13. Geoff Forden (History)

    David P

    It is not clear to me that ALL important elements in the policy making power structure in Tehran have decided to make a nuclear weapon. There are any number of reasons why those that do not want a bomb, those that want closer ties to the West and the development of the economy that implies, can make to accept this proposal rather than go down the road to a bomb. The current unrest in Iran is one reason. The faltering economy is another. This proposal has enough economic benefits for Iran (as well as enhanced barriers to proliferation for the West) that they might very well be able to come out on top at this time. Once such a facility is built, it will have self-perpetuating benefits to both sides.

  14. johnbragg (History)

    Assume such an internationalized facility. Why couldn’t Iran still cycle through cadre after cadre? Then use those cadres to build secret or public Iranian enrichment facilities? We would know, but what would/could we do about it?

  15. Mark (History)

    OK, enough with the policy debate. Let’s get to the stuff this blog is great for: speculating on the location of this new facility.

    The information I’ve seen in the press says:
    -near Qom
    -160 kilometers southwest of Tehran
    -on a military base
    -built under/into the side of a mountain

    Looking at Google Earth, there’s a big military facility/depot near 34o56’N, 50o46’E, north of Qom, but that’s not far enough away from Tehran.

    There’s another facility near 34o30’N, 51o16’E that’s the right distance, but more straight south of Tehran than southwest. That site has gotten a lot of Digital Globe coverage the last couple of years, but that’s probably related to missile testing.

    Other possibilities?

  16. RAJ47

    In a statement from its headquarters in Vienna on Friday, the atomic agency confirmed that it had been told on Monday by Iran that “a new pilot fuel enrichment plant is under construction in the country.” The agency said it had requested more information about the plant and access to it as soon as possible. “The agency also understands from Iran that no nuclear material has been introduced into the facility,” the statement said. qoute NYT.
    Iran is willing to have its nuclear experts meet with scientists from the United States and other world powers as a confidence-building measure aimed at resolving concerns about Tehran’s nuclear program, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday. quote WaPo @
    Well, Iran does not seem to hide anything but it is timing the disclosures perfectly. Iran has not introduced uranium to this site, so they are (or atleast seem to be) legally correct. Iran too has the right to safegaurd its own national interests. IAEA should exploit the offer of access to Iranian nuclear scientists.

  17. Proud Iranian

    Having a Multinational Enrichment Center on IRAN’s SOIL is not 10 times, not 100 times but 1000 times more important for us than having 1000 nuclear bombs because we want to be the sole superpower of the Middle East and to have this facility only on our soil will reassure us we will always be above Turks and Arabs. What use is to have nuclear weapons when everybody around you has them too ?


    Political systems whether monarchies, theocracies or democracies always change.

  18. mark hibbs


    For the record, the IAEA has NOT validated Iran’s claim that it has 180 days to declare this plant prior to introduction of nuclear fuel. If you go into the records of previous IAEA board of governors deliberations you will find this to be the case. Iran is the only country in the world with a CSA and significant nuclear activities which has not implemented a modified Code 3.1 of the subsidiary arrangements of its SG agreement requiring real-time notification of construction of nuclear facilities to be put under safeguards. President Obama is correct about this development violating international law. Since 2006 Iran has been subject to UNSCR which bans construction of this uranium enrichment plant.

  19. b (History)


    the NYT piece you linked (it has changed now) was written by David Sanger and sourced on “US officials”.

    Now if you believe a WMD related claim by the NYT, written by Sanger and based on “US officials” you must have evidently missed that little incident in Iraq a few years ago.

    Iran has not “admitted” that it has a “secret” “enrichment facility”.

    Iran has openly declared to the IAEA that it has a more or less empty building which it would like to turn into an additional enrichment facility under IAEA watch.

    As you start off your post with a quite sensational, misleading propaganda sentence, how am I supposed to take the rest serious?

  20. Geoff Forden (History)

    b, you are just too funny.

  21. anon

    Iran has not introduced nuclear material into this facility, and Iran is therefore in compliance with the NPT’s Comprehensive Full Scope Safeguards Agreement, which requires it to notify the IAEA six months before nuclear material is introduced into any new facility.

    See the article by Prof. Walt of Harvard.

    Chill, this is NOT a big deal.

  22. Geoff Forden (History)

    ok, anon is even funnier.

  23. DZ (History)

    Thanks for the good posts b,

    its is unfortunate that this campaign of lies and misinformation is still being used by the US and its allies….. and I like b am quite disappointed by the contents of the article posted on this site.. I come here to read facts not fiction written by the NYT based on he said she said…… Iran HAS AGAIN NOT DONE anything that is contrary to its commitment. I find the whole US and European position to be laughable. the sad part is that there is a lot of people who will read the garbage written by the NYT and take it as a fact.

  24. anon

    What is funny about the fact that Iran declared it has another facility — with no UF6 — to the IAEA in compliance with its requirements to do so?

    Is this a threat? Am I supposed to be worried?

    Please clarify the source of humor.

  25. Geoff Forden (History)

    anon, you are certainly not threatened by me. I just think its funny that you dont think this is a big deal. But, just to reassure you, there are plenty of people who disagree with me and agree with you.

  26. Tom F (History)

    I personally would be curious to know if North Korea was involved in the construction of the facility in question given their penchant for exporting their tunnelling expertise.

    I would assume than an inspection of the new facility at Qom could also provide some pointers on what to look for in North Korea for these types of facilities. Or Burma for that matter.

  27. anon

    I meant that much of the reporting in general — not your blog — seems to cast this as just another reason to consider bombing Iran, whereas they have acted in good faith.

    Luckily, more sober assessments have been made by educated people.

    I agree with your post that now is the time to sit down and deal with Iran. That time could have been 10 years ago also. Better late than never.

  28. hass (History)

    Iran hasn’t “admitted” it – they’ve disclosed plans to build an erichment plan. This isn’t a “Secret” either. Stop trying to put a negative spin on Iran ABIDING by its safeguards agreements.

  29. Norman (History)

    Geoffrey. There is a major unanswered question here: How could Iran accept highly intrusive inspections, while Israel and the US threaten to attack Iran whenever they are so disposed? Iran could maintain that requests to inspect some questionable facility cannot be honored because those sites are sensitive militarily. Would not Israel and the US have to guarantee Iran against military attack in exchange for full IAEA access? And could this be a realistic agreement?

  30. b (History)

    Geoff above writes in a comment:

    “There are any number of reasons why those that do not want a bomb, those that want closer ties to the West and the development of the economy that implies, can make to accept this proposal rather than go down the road to a bomb. The current unrest in Iran is one reason. The faltering economy is another.</B>”

    There is, as far as I can tell, currently no unrest in Iran at all.

    U.S. polls in Iran ( TFT ) before the election pointed to an decent Ahmedinejad victory.

    After the elections there were violent riots by some people who’s candidate lost and who thought the election was fraudulent but unfortunately happened to bring up no fact to prove that claim.

    Now after the election there was another U.S. poll in Iran ( PIPA= ) with the result:

    Most Iranians express acceptance of the outcome of the Presidential election. Eighty-one percent say they consider Ahmadinejad to be Iran’s legitimate president, and 62 percent say they have a lot of confidence in the declared election results, while 21 percent say they have some confidence. Just 13 percent say they do not have much confidence or no confidence in the results.

    So U.S. polls before and after the election find Ahmedinejad the likely winner of the election. A few people protested (violently) for a while but are now quiet and that is “current unrest”?

    And then we have a “faltering economy” claim which is somewhat curious as Iran’s GDP has grown between 1996 and 2006 at a respectable rate of 5.4% per year and is currently still growing, though slower, while major “western” counties experience harsh drops in their GDP. Who’s economy is faltering?

    Dear Geoff – I do not know how good your expert judgment on nukes is but I am sure that the quality of your amateur judgment on internal Iranian politics and the Iranian economy is quite low. Maybe all the propaganda you swallowed on that clouded your judgment?

    But I am sure you will find that funny …

  31. Ataune (History)

    Excerpts from June 2009 IAEA board of governors report. It shows clearly that IAEA considers implementing the 3.1 code as Iran’s sovereign right.

    “13. Iran has not yet implemented the revised Code 3.1 of the Subsidiary Arrangements General Part
    (GOV/2008/59, para. 9; GOV/2007/22, paras 12–14). Iran is the only State with significant nuclear
    activities which has a comprehensive safeguards agreement in force but is not implementing the
    provisions of the revised Code 3.1 on the early provision of design information. The absence of such
    information results in late notification to the Agency of the construction of new facilities and changes
    to the design of existing facilities.”

  32. Azr@el (History)

    The Iranians have played their hand masterfully, had their timing been off just a few days…. As far as the legality of the new site, it’s perfectly within their right, the commentator who claimed that the UNSC has forbidden the IRI from building new centrifuges or nuclear related facilities is woefully misinformed. The UNSC can demand that IRI suspend enrichment activity and can threaten or implement sanctions to achieve that end, but they lack the ability to ‘ban’ the construction of this uranium enrichment plant or another enrichment plant without appending an ‘all necessary means’ clause to a resolution. The push for an ‘all necessary means’ clause could very well destabilize the current UNSC and lead to request for massive concessions to the PRC and Russia in the former soviet bloc and far east Eurasia. Definitely not an ideal endgame.

    The most important thing I got from this admission by the IRI is not that they have another enrichment facility, since seriously we all knew that, but rather the form they’ve chosen to take. If we assume that the the new fac is slated to have IR-3/4’s then to match Natanz slated 54k centrifuges they’d need roughly ~18k of the new machines. Considering their goal of ~3k centrifuges then it seems to argue that the IRI has decided on a distributed architecture, most likely to hide the energy signature and reduce potential strike effectiveness. This of course begs the question; where are the other five new facilities?

  33. Arnold Evans (History)

    It is difficult for Westerners to wrap their heads around how little leverage they have over Iran right now, which causes them to focus on what they want in a best case scenario instead of what they are willing to trade for what is actually possible.

    Zero centrifuges is not possible. The AP is possible if Iran is left with an acknowledged military nuclear capability.

    Or the status quo is possible. With the added bonus of the West stupidly goading Iran into increasing its production of enriched uranium by applying more sanctions.

  34. Grichio (History)

    Iran never denied they have other facilities..the IAEA just dont have access to those facilities since they were boycotted from the Iranians after the most recent sanctions.
    this is we were saying dont work, and they actually cause more secrets..
    but NO..Israel always pressure for more and more sanctions, hence more confrontations and inflammation
    stop listening to Israel and I suggest pressure Israel to join the Nuclear non-proliferation treaty since they have 250 nuclear heads that can destroy the world five times, and yet they keep screaming about othert contries.
    Wake up America.

  35. Tom F (History)

    @b: Iran does indeed have a “faltering economy”.

    All you need to do is look at the declining state of their oil industry, their revenue from it and their current population growth and you’ll discover that their internal demand for petroleum will actually exceed their export capability at some point around 2015 or so based on the current rates of investment in their oil industry and new production/exploration coming on line.

    they may be pumping like mad now but they quite simply cannot keep it up based on current reinvestment in their oil industry.

    Given that Iran’s entire economy is funded by oil care to place a small wager on what becoming a net oil importer… and one with extremely heavily subsidised consumers… will do to them?

    And South Pars is nothing but smoke and mirrors. The Iranians are pretty much in the same boat as Saudi Arabia in depending on Western technical expertise from European companies to keep their industry running.

    Neither China nor Russia will have the ability to replace any Western involvement in Iran’s oil industry under any sort of meaningful time line.

  36. Carey Sublette

    There are two different interpretative frameworks at work here: the intelligence analyst approach that considers all available evidence to infer likely intent, and those seeking to determine whether Iran is in formal violation of any legal commitments.

    These two frameworks have little in common – behavior that is not a formal violation may still provide evidence that may point to illegal intent.

    If Iran had announced its intention to build this facility before breaking ground, or if they had announced it before it had been discovered, or at least before they knew it had been discovered, most grounds of suspicion would not exist.

    But the pattern of building secret facilities that are disclosed only after Iran knows that secrecy has been breached does not build them much stock of credibility.

    This particular facility is especially interesting since as “b” observes a small facility like this is just the ticket to produce higher enriched uranium as a topping cascade from LEU, which requires many fewer SWUs than taking natural uranium up to LEU. This could be for a research reactor running of 20% U-235, as “b” suggests, or even higher enriched material for something else.

    If Iran is building several of these small plants (but only one of which has thus far been discovered/disclosed) then, as Azr@el suggests, they might be operated as a distributed Natanz – which would give Iran a cover story should some more of these plants turn up.

    On the other hand this would be consistent with Iran building multiple facilities in secret with the hope that one will escape detection.

    Iran could put these fears to rest by declaring their intent to build facilities in advance, or at least disclosing them before the secret is already out.

  37. hass (History)

    Mark Hibb
    First of all the UNSC resolution is itself illegal and ultravires. Iran is under no obligation to implement the modified subsidiary arrangement. And leaving aside the quibble of whether Iran should have declared the facilities now or earlier, the fact remains that it is not a “weapons” site, it was not “covert” and it is an NPT compliant site, which will be subject to IAEA inspections.

  38. DE Teodoru (History)

    All the hooplah aside, so far Iran has done NOTHING illigal. The issue Obama faces is totally domestic politics: does he again try to appeal to neocons and right wing by “premptive strike” a la Bush? If he does, he’ll lose the world and will gain domestically as little as he did on healthcare. But in truth, US can’t attack Iran because China has been sneaking nuclear technology to Tehran with Russian accord and so China will say “no.” When Wash. DC’s banker sais no, US listens. We are too much in debt to be defiant. Obama will get nothing from Israel or the neocons if he gets tough with Iran; he will only gradually lose the Europeans who count on Iran oil, nukes or no nukes. You can’t be so much in debt and be No#1. US better learn to be more accomodating so it can save up to pay its debts. Even if Iran gets nukes it’s not our problem. If Israel flies over Iraq to get to Iran we will be kicked out of there by the plebicite on the SOFA accord that Maliki agreed recently to suspend. If we do Netanyahu’s bidding the Shia and Sunni Muslims will unite against us. We need to pull back and stop hogging the lime light as we can’t afford to act really.

  39. Mohammad (History)

    Geoff, I’m not a non-proliferation expert, but as an Iranian national I can detect a problem in your suggestion which relates to the Iranian national psyche: The Iranians should not feel humiliated and behaved with unequally (compared to other nations), for any solution to work. This may seem obsurd or funny at first, but this is something real which does have considerable impact on Iranian strategic decisions.
    Ahmadinejad himself gathered support during the election campaign using his “resisting bullying powers” stance as his foreign policy strength, while criticizing Khatami’s reformist government for “surrendering to unjust foreign pressures for the suspension”. Conservatives frequently attack reformists because they tend to “bow down” to “unjust Western pressures”. All of this is because Iranians are historically sensitive to being dealt with unequally and “humiliatingly”.
    So with this suggestion (which admittedly is still the best proposal yet) there will be a question in the Iranian public that “Why only Iran?” “Why not have multinational enrichment centers in the US, with Iran participating?”, etc. Conservatives will use these questions to refrain from such an agreement if it is only used in the case of Iran.
    Especially your last sentence (if Iranians find about the “real intent” behind the proposal) will be problematic: “… in fact, to roll back their indigenous enrichment capabilities.”

  40. Muskrat

    Poster ‘Mark’ was asking about the possible site, and looking at military facilities. On no basis whatsoever, except that fairly old habit of hiding things you don’t want bombed in hospitals/temples/next to Babylonians archeological sites, is it possible that the site is not in a military facility per se but in or near one of the sites that make Qom a “holy city”? I don’t mean in the basement of a mosque, but maybe within the area, or in a nearby industrial neighborhood? Just a thought.

  41. blowback (History)

    Mark Hibbs – What Hass said.
    Additionally, another author at this site raises the principle of Pacta sunt servanda. That requires that every treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith. By responding to political pressure from the US and reporting Iran to the UNSC for behaviour that was legal under the NPT and allowed to Iran under the IAEA’s rules, the IAEA was not acting in good faith so the IAEA has already breached the pacta sunt servanda principle.

  42. hass (History)

    Carey Sublette — we don;t know for fact that Iran disclosed this site only becasue it had been compromised. It is equally likely (more so) that the US pre-empted Iran’s disclosure of the site in order to portray Iran has having been “caught” doing something nefarious. The bottom line remains that Iran announced a site which is not yet functioning a full 18 months before any nuclear material is there.

  43. RAJ47

    The two facilities are
    34 53 00.91N 50 59 58.35E and 34 56 38.03N 50 45 28.83E

    The imageries are extremely clear and you can make out the approx size of underground facilities.

  44. blowback (History)

    1. So far I have seen only one mention of General Ali Rez Asgari on the press, Iran’s former deputy defence minister and erstwile member of the IRGC who defected to the west in 2007 after being recruited in 2005. Since the Western IC claims to have known about this since 2005 and work started in 2006 then it is quite likely the Ali Rez Asgari knew about this and Iranian would know he knew so the Iranians could safely assume that the Western IC already knew about the enrichment plant in 2007 if not earlier, so the claim that Iran is only revealing its existance now because they suspect that the West has recently breached their security seems rather specious to me.
    2. Where is the satellite imagery. If the Western IC has known about this for years, why has no satellite imagery been produced so far by official sources at or after the White House presentation. The White House has known for days that the Iranian’s have informed the IAEA of its existence, so I find it hard to believe that the White House doesn’t seem to have any imagery of it. It can’t take more than a few minutes for an analyst at the NRO to attach a few JPEGs to an e-mail and send it to the White House. Could it be because the Western IC doesn’t actually know where it is located as the IAEA hasn’t told them yet.
    3. Surprise, surprise. Mr Albright at ISIS has had a tentative stab at locating this site so maybe he is ahead if the Western IC.

  45. Arnold Evans (History)


    How is breakout capacity treated in your international consortium scenario?

    If Iran is to be denied a breakout capacity, your proposal is just as unrealistic as asking Iran to give up enrichment.

  46. Livingbridge (History)

    Interesting discussion. But consider, also, the following.

    With years of focus on Iran’s program, attention is being deflected away from nuclear-armed NNPT signatories’ [Russia, China, US, France, Britain] violation of the very reason the treaty was created: to ensure the elimination of existing nuclear weapons arsenals while preserving — promoting, even — the technology of civilian nuclear power production.

    It seems to me pretty damn cheeky on the part of US and Europe to be vilifying Iran when they, themselves, have been in clear contravention of the treaty for decades. Their hypocrisy is seemingly endless, given that both promoted and supported a nuclear power program in Iran under the Shah.

    The big mistake, it’s becoming clear, was to have allowed Israel to develop a covert nuclear weapons program in the 60s. This marked the end of the IAEA’s true oversight capability, and ushered in an era of politicization of nuclear weapons capability. The US ‘allowed’ Pakistan and India to develop a nuclear weapons program in exchange for full commitment to the US’s regional geopolitical ambitions.

    With that, how can one not be sensitive to Iran’s indignation at being treated to variable standards and economic sanctions when, in fact and in deed, Iran is the ONLY country that is acting in full compliance with its obligations as signatory of the NNPT?

    The world is being treated to yet another Western conspiracy, backed by a notoriously servile media, to clear a path to the control of the energy and considerable mineral wealth of the Caucasus and Central Asia. “The prize”, in Brzezinski’s own words.

    Aren’t the circumstances in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Pakistan, not to mention the bald incitement to violence in former Soviet republics, sufficient to provide the outlines of broader Western designs?

    It really ought to be clear, by now, to anyone who is paying attention, that the hysteria over Iran’s nuclear power program is a flimsy pretext to neuter Iran and gain greater regional control.

    If the US succeeds in controlling Central Asia, its gargantuan foreign debt won’t matter much, any more, as the US will be well on its way towards the elimination of its chief rivals, Russia and China.

    Unfortunately, the subjugation of Iran appears to be one of a remaining few ‘stepping stones’ towards that goal.

  47. SMH (History)

    A multinational enrichment facility is basically good idea.
    But why in Iranian soil? As russian president V. Putin suggested,
    it can be russian soil or any other good non-proliferation record.