Published On: Wed, Mar 4th, 2015

Nuclear energy versus nuclear weapons of Iran

Jacob Gelt DekkerOn the 3rd of March, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel addressed the joint session of the United States Congress on the Iranian nuclear weapon threat. President Obama characterized Netanyahu’s well-delivered speech as theatre.

The issue:

1. Iran has 17 known nuclear facilities in; Anarak, Arak, Ardakan, Bonab, Bushehr, Chalus, Darkovin, Fordow, Isfahan, Karaj, Lashkar Abad, Lavizan, Natanz, Parchin, Saghand, Tehran and Yazd. There could be more hidden facilities. 2. It has also at least 800 ton enriched Uranium. Needed is 25 kilogram Plutonium for one nuclear bomb. The only application of large quantities of Plutonium is for nuclear weapons. 3. Plutonium is made in enrichment centrifuges. Iran has 20,000 first generation rather primitive centrifuges, of which 10,000 are operational. In order to run its nuclear program for energy production, only 6.000 would be more than efficient. 4. Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei is set on obtaining nuclear arms to fence off the great Satan, the USA, and its proxy, Israel, which has to “eliminated” and “wiped off the map.”

The negotiations:

1. Negotiations in Geneva between five countries are discussing; • The scope of the Iranian program in all its facets, but most of all the amount of enriched Uranium and centrifuges to produce Plutonium. Russia wants to ship home at least 600 tons of Uranium to produce fuel for nuclear facilities in the world. • The timetable. Iran demands lifting of all UN and USA sanctions within 6 months after 30 June 2015, whereas IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) is proposing gradual lifting, and USA, lifting in lock step with compliance of Iran and only by Presidential waiver. • The negotiated ban agreement would be valid for 15 years, with relaxing of rules after 10 years. 2. The most likely outcomes:

• There could be an agreement reached between parties by 30 June. Netanyahu is very much against such agreement and claims; “ Better no agreement than a bad agreement.” Obama wants to give negotiation a chance. • The negotiations fail all together and parties go home. That would not a disaster since either side has benefitted from the status quo. Iran got some sanction lifted and the West got Iran to stop production of large quantities of Plutonium. • An extension of negotiations will be agreed upon, at least for the duration of the Obama presidency.

By Jacob Gelt Dekker. Opinion Columnist for the Curaçao Chronicle.

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