The Congressional Research Service (available via Gallery Watch) summarizes the progress of negotiations to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons (from Iran’s Nuclear Program: Recent Developments Order Number RS21592).
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections of Iran’s nuclear program since 2003 have revealed significant undeclared activities with potential application for nuclear weapons, including uranium enrichment facilities and plutonium separation efforts. Ever on the brink of being declared in violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran has allowed IAEA inspectors access only when pressed. Iran agreed to suspend its enrichment and reprocessing activities in exchange for promises of assistance from Germany, France, and the UK (EU-3). Negotiations with the EU-3 are ongoing, although on August 1, 2005, Iran told the IAEA of its plans to resume uranium conversion, regardless of what the EU-3 offer.
The Guardian recently said that Iran had 25 times more uranium refining capacity than it has admitted to the UN, according to an Iranian who runs Strategic Policy Consulting, a Washington-based think tank. Alireza Jafarzadeh, an exiled Iranian dissident who in 2002 helped to uncover almost two decades of covert Iranian nuclear activity, said the centrifuges - rotating machines used in separation processes - were ready to be installed at Iran's nuclear facility in Natanz. ... The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is holding an emergency meeting on Iran later today, did not comment on the centrifuge allegations. ...
"These 4,000 centrifuge machines have not been declared to the IAEA, and the regime has kept the production of these machines hidden from the inspectors while the negotiations with the EU have been going on over the past 21 months," Mr Jafarzadeh told the Associated Press.
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), an organization which monitors and translates open news sources published in Arabic and other regional languages provided this transcript of an "interview withIranian chief negotiator on nuclear affairs, and member of the Iranian Supreme Council for National Security Hosein Musavian, which aired on Iranian Channel 2 on August 4, 2005".
Musavian: Those (in Iran) who criticize us and claim that we should have only worked with the IAEA do not know that at that stage -- that is, in August 2003 -- we needed another year to complete the Esfahan (UCF) project, so it could be operational. ... The regime adopted a twofold policy here: It worked intensively with the IAEA, and it also conducted negotiations on international and political levels. The IAEA gave us a 50-day extension to suspend the enrichment and all related activities. But thanks to the negotiations with Europe we gained another year, in which we completed (the UCF) in Esfahan.
Esfahan's (UCF) was completed during that year. Even in Natanz, we needed six to twelve months to complete the work on the centrifuges. Within that year, the Natanz project reached a stage where the small number of centrifuges required for the preliminary stage, could operate. In Esfahan, we have reached UF4 and UF6 production stages. ...
Thanks to our dealings with Europe, even when we got a 50-day ultimatum, we managed to continue the work for two years. This way we completed (the UCF) in Esfahan. This way we carried out the work to complete Natanz, and on top of that, we even gained benefits. For 10 years, America prevented Iran from joining the WTO. This obstacle was removed, and Iran began talks in order to join the WTO. In the past, the world did not accept Iran as a member of the group of countries with a nuclear fuel cycle. In these two years, and thanks to the Paris Agreement, we entered the international game of the nuclear fuel cycle, and Iran was recognized as one of the countries with a nuclear fuel cycle. An Iranian delegate even participated in the relevant talks. We gained other benefits during these two years as well.
None of these revelations matter because virtually no Western politician can ever use force again to prevent a regime, even one openly dedicated to terrorism, from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. The subject is verboten because the Left has declared it so. Unless something radically changes, it is only logical to prepare for the consequences of this head-in-the-sand policy, a possible catastrophe beside which September 11 will diminish into insignificance. Perhaps this event is already inevitable and those future victims beyond saving. But even so, it is important to begin the work of opening our eyes now, so that we might avoid the blindness which took the world of the 1930s and the 1990s over a cliff. Some mental disease in Western culture has allowed it to stand idly by while evil grew to monstrous proportions around and within it; an infirmity dignified with the name of pacifism. Perhaps it has already killed some of us reading this post; and the least we can do, if our final moments come, is to realize why we died.