According to Robert Einhorn of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, “Before centrifuge technology for enriching uranium became available from the black market network of Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, the plutonium route using heavy-water reactors was the dependable choice for aspiring nuclear-weapon states.”
And that is precisely why the nuclear deal signed last July specifically limited the amount of heavy water that Iran was supposed to produce. The issue of heavy-water production at the Arak nuclear facility had been one of the major sticking points in the over two-year negotiating process with Iran. The agreement explicitly limits the amount to 130 metric tons. According to the International Atomic Energy Administration, Iran exceeded that amount in February and would have had to ship it out to satisfy compliance. However, it failed to do so. So rather than acknowledging Iran’s lack of compliance, the Obama administration will be buying Iran’s heavy water to “safeguard Iran’s nuclear agreement.”
Energy Secretary Ernst Moniz has been quoted as saying, “People have already forgotten that it wasn’t that many years ago that the big threat was considered to be the Arak reactor. We had to take care of that. That has been taken care of in spades.”
But is this actually “taking care of” the issue, or is the U.S. engaged in playing a heavy-handed game, enabling the Iranians to appear to comply with the nuclear agreement while they simultaneously link it up with the U.S. monetary system, something that the U.S. has specific laws on the books prohibiting them from doing?
David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, certainly thinks so. He recently said, “We shouldn’t be paying them for something they shouldn’t be producing in the first place.”
The heavy-water facility will therefore be around when Iran is “legally” allowed to produce a nuclear weapon in 10 to 15 years, when the deal is set to expire. So rather than insisting that the details of the deal be complied with, we are enabling the Iranians to achieve their lethal goals.
Not only that, but by purchasing the heavy water, not only is America paying the Iranians $8.6 million, but it is acting as a sales agent for the Iranian regime. Moniz said, “That will be a statement to the world: ‘You want to buy heavy water from Iran, you can buy heavy water from Iran. It’s been done. Even the United States did it.'”
As Omri Ceren of the Israel Project has pointed out, “The Obama administration’s broader goal in the sale is to mainstream Iran’s nuclear program and encourage other countries to begin relying on Iran for nuclear materials.”
How has it come about that the sale of nuclear materials around the globe by Iran has suddenly been transformed into a positive aspect of the deal? Aren’t we in the U.S. and other reasonable countries trying to decrease the amount of international nuclear proliferation?
And why are we enabling the Iranians to purchase the heavy water in dollars, therefore giving it access to the U.S. monetary system?
Last July, when the Obama administration was intent on selling the deal to a skeptical public and Congress, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and emphatically stated that after the nuclear deal, Iran would not be allowed access to the U.S. financial system.
“Iranian banks will not be able to clear U.S. dollars through New York, hold correspondent account relationships with U.S. financial institutions, or enter into financing arrangements with U.S. banks,” he said.
And while testifying before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs in September, Acting Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Adam Szubin said, “No Iranian banks can access the U.S. financial system; not to open an account, not to purchase a security, and not even to execute a dollarized transaction where a split second’s worth of business is done in a New York clearing bank.”
There are a host of reasons why this would have been an excellent idea. For openers: Iran remains the single largest state sponsor of terrorism and money laundering. And it is using American taxpayers’ dollars to fund its terrorist networks and proxies in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Bahrain, Yemen and the Gaza Strip.
This has all come about because the avaricious Islamic Republic of Iran has been complaining it has not seen as much cash as it wanted as fast as it wanted.
When the Iranians conducted their recent missile tests, with the words “Israel must be wiped out” printed on the missiles in both Hebrew and Farsi, they broadcast to the entire world their true intentions regarding this deal.
And, as an overly eager suitor, the Obama administration is afraid that the Iranians are going to call off the entire wedding. So once again, the U.S. under President Barack Obama has not only caved, but it is encouraging other international actors to cave as well.
Originally published at Israel Hayom: https://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=15919
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