Guardian reporter tours Iranian uranium enrichment plant, comes up with really good question

posted at 10:31 pm on July 29, 2007 by Allahpundit

To paraphrase Lyndon Johnson on Walker Cronkite, if they’ve lost the Guardian, they’ve lost the western left.

Well … no, not really. They’ll never lose them. But a good question regardless:

For the time being, the wires are back in place at Isfahan, along with two IAEA cameras that stare down from high perches on either side. But the degree of international control is tenuous at best. The very fact that the machinery is humming at Isfahan puts Iran in contravention of UN security council resolutions, calling for all work related to uranium enrichment to be suspended…

[T]here is another huge question mark hanging over Isfahan and Natanz: why is the government in such a rush to enrich fuel, when it has no nuclear power plants in which to use it?

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Well … no, not really. They’ll never lose them.

If the Guardian writers are asking these questions, then yes, really.

AlexB on July 29, 2007 at 10:38 PM

why is the government in such a rush to enrich fuel, when it has no nuclear power plants in which to use it?

“For… err… ehhh… peacful purposes, yeah, that’s it!” Says Ahmednutjob

deathNtaxes on July 29, 2007 at 10:40 PM

Wow… someone from the Guardian has a brain??? How did he slip through the Interview process….

Romeo13 on July 29, 2007 at 10:40 PM

[T]here is another huge question mark hanging over Isfahan and Natanz: why is the government in such a rush to enrich fuel, when it has no nuclear power plants in which to use it?

I’ve wondered that myself. Especially when you consider that part of the reactor deal included fuel provided by the russians for the first few years. I’m not sure if it was 3 or 7 years that the russians had agreed to fuel it. Still, considering that the plant is not finished, it is suspicious that they are in such a rush.

Guardian on July 29, 2007 at 10:41 PM

If the Guardian writers are asking these questions, then yes, really.

AlexB on July 29, 2007 at 10:38 PM

Let’s hope so. But when things become fubar, the Guardian will be the first to blame it all on the US and Israel.

forest on July 29, 2007 at 10:43 PM

An editor is in trouble perhaps?
Then again, this will probably not go any further than the question.What, you expect investigation and real questions from journalists?

bbz123 on July 29, 2007 at 10:43 PM

[T]here is another huge question mark hanging over Isfahan and Natanz: why is the government in such a rush to enrich fuel, when it has no nuclear power plants in which to use it?

And… no generators… and… no transmission lines.

Just like North Korea.

DANEgerus on July 29, 2007 at 10:49 PM

They need all that nuclear material for their pacemakers.

There are thousands of weak hearts in Iran.

profitsbeard on July 29, 2007 at 10:57 PM

why is the government in such a rush to enrich fuel, when it has no nuclear power plants in which to use it?

Inch by inch, the ship continues its slow turn. But will it be in time?

Weight of Glory on July 29, 2007 at 11:03 PM

*thinking*
*thinking*
*thinking*

Got it!
Bomb!

spike on July 29, 2007 at 11:08 PM

a senior government official said in Tehran. This is at the heart of Iran’s justification for its programme. The outside world cannot be counted on, and Tehran believes that only once it has mastered uranium enrichment will it be taken seriously.
Uh yeah that would do it.heh

sonnyspats1 on July 29, 2007 at 11:09 PM

Watch dials.

It doesn’t matter if the left and the MSM know what Iran is up to….they won’t DO anything about it. ‘Ain’t it terrible?’….’Yeah, Maud it is, what’s on channel 6?’

Dinnerjacket will have his OZ because Dorothy is too busy dressing up Toto.

Limerick on July 29, 2007 at 11:11 PM

Smoke alarms?

Millions of smoke alarms?

Limerick-

Follow the Yellowcake road?

profitsbeard on July 29, 2007 at 11:14 PM

profitsbeard on July 29, 2007 at 11:14 PM

you owe me a keyboard….beer is everywhere :L

Limerick on July 29, 2007 at 11:20 PM

Limerick-

Keyboard destroyed?

In toto?

:^)

profitsbeard on July 29, 2007 at 11:24 PM

why is the government in such a rush to enrich fuel, when it has no nuclear power plants in which to use it?

ummmm………… Hey! Look! Puppies!

D’OH

synycalwon on July 29, 2007 at 11:33 PM

They are not enriching it. They are condensing it, like canned soup, so it can be packed neatly in a small container that can be quickly delivered by plane or missile to off site storage in Israel

entagor on July 29, 2007 at 11:41 PM

Jesus. If that is the case, I cannot believe that question is just now coming up. That that the type of question that our government should be asking?

treyevans on July 30, 2007 at 12:31 AM

Look for Israel to take care of business for the world again. What is a philosophic/political problem for us is life and death for them…and all the rest of the countries which Iran can reach with their missiles.
Remember…we can always fall back on…http://www.imao.us/docs/NukeTheMoon.htm

Doug on July 30, 2007 at 12:57 AM

Luckily these guys are like the Norks, couldn’t organize a junior high Sock Hop if their lives depended on it.

This is a political move. Ahmmy’s a hardliner fighting a growing liberal, westernized Iranian youth. Banging the nationalist drums masks his lack of political skill and the fact that the entire country is run like that town in Footloose before Kevin Bacon taught them how to dance.

I give these bozos 5 years before they can construct a bomb, and even then I’m sure it’ll be as craptacular as Kim Jong Il’s dud. Then there’s another 5 years or so before they can mate said craptacular bomb onto a capable delivery system.

Let them waste their money on this. The more that goes into an ineffectual nuke program, the less they spend developing IEDs that actually do work.

John from OPFOR on July 30, 2007 at 12:59 AM

John from OPFOR I here this from the left all the time “why worry it’ll be year before they can blow us up. If I may I would like to remind you of a little something that happened in May of 1998

Pakistani clandestine underground nuclear tests According to a preliminary analysis conducted at Los Alamos National Laboratory, material released into the atmosphere during an underground nuclear test by Pakistan in May 1998 contained low levels of weapons-grade plutonium. The significance of the Los Alamos finding was that Pakistan had either imported or produced plutonium undetected by the US intelligence community.

Gwillie on July 30, 2007 at 1:18 AM

Here’s how we fix this:

We send Megan Fox to Iran, and while everyone is totally distracted by her, we sneak in and destroy their nuclear facilities. It’s foolproof.

I’m sending this plan to W. It’s so totally going to work.

Halley on July 30, 2007 at 1:21 AM

You’re right, Gwille. The enormous technological hurdles involved in isotope separation simply disappears because Pakistan did it.

We both want the same thing, Mullahs out, pro-western government in. But if you bomb these jokers, you can wave bye-bye to that scenario for a least a decade.

Believe me, if it were as dire as you’re forcing yourself to believe, this program would have been disemboweled yesterday. With the amount of firepower we’ve got in the Gulf right now, we could set that program back 20 years by Thursday if we felt like it.

There’s a reason we haven’t. So please, simmer.

John from OPFOR on July 30, 2007 at 1:40 AM

Maybe I am just gun shy of the leftist gobblydegook, but with the NYT times article about how we may actualy win and this, I suspect that there is an agenda that they have that they want to suck us into. I still do not trust the MSM on any continent.

bbz123 on July 30, 2007 at 1:45 AM

John from OPFOR: The point is we don’t really know how far away they are from getting what they need to make a bomb! No one saw the Pakistani test coming and Iran’s program was running under the radar for years, same with North Korea and Libya was well on the way when they just said “look at what we got” no one saw that ether. so if you want to trust the IAEA when they say Iran is 5 to 10 years form a bomb go ahead, I say we have to act now because the IAEA has been saying this for at least 5 years now…

One diplomat said details were emerging slowly since the Libyans “had for more than 20 years run their nuclear programme in secrecy and now all of a sudden they have to talk to foreigners. It’s like a change of regime.”

Gwillie on July 30, 2007 at 2:52 AM

Since this fellow is so hot to have teh nucular power, I say we just let him have a few of the ones we have just lyin’ around. In fact, we could just deliver them to his doorstep, you know, just to be nice.

TinMan13 on July 30, 2007 at 3:01 AM

This was in 2003

VIENNA, Austria (AP) — A U.N. nuclear agency report said Iran produced small amounts of plutonium as part of covert nuclear activities. While finding “no evidence” that Tehran tried to make atomic arms, it said such efforts cannot be ruled out.
The significance of the plutonium extraction was unclear. The report by the International Atomic Energy Agency did not link it to weapons activity but it criticized Iran for not reporting its processing activities, listing it among dozens of cases where Tehran had covert programs in place.

And a few months earlier

The International Atomic Energy Agency said in a confidential report Tuesday that IAEA inspectors have uncovered traces of enriched uranium in environmental samples taken from a nuclear facility in Natanz, Iran, according to Reuters news agency.
The report, to be distributed to the IAEA’s Board of Governors on Sept. 8, heightens suspicion that Iran may be running a covert nuclear weapons program.

And in 2004

ELBARADEI: Well, I hate to speculate, Wolf, but let me put it this way: We haven´t seen in Iran any material imported or produced that could be used for nuclear weapon. That is the good news. We haven´t also seen any of their small experiment directly related to a nuclear weapon program. However, I should add that this program has been going on for almost two decades. We´re still going through a lot of investigation. We are making good progress and understanding the nature and extent of the program.
So I´m not sure we are facing an imminent threat, but we are facing Iran acquiring, if not already acquired, a capability to produce the material that can be used of nuclear weapon should they decide to do that.

Call me a fear monger but this is scary stuff.

Israel and the United States believed in 1992 that Iran would attain a military nuclear capability within eight to 10 years. In 1995 ACDA Director John Holum testified that Iran could have the bomb by 2003, though by 1997 he testified that Iran could have the bomb by 2005-2007. In the mid-1990′s the view of the United States government was that Iran was implementing a military nuclear program that could achieve a weapons capability within five years, that is, by the year 2000. As of 1998 the estimate of the US Central Command was that Iranian efforts could result in the development of a nuclear device by the middle of the next decade, that is, by the year 2005.

snip

In January 2000, marking a significant departure from previous assessments, the Central Intelligence Agency concluded that Iran might now be able to make a nuclear weapon.

snip

In an April 2004 speech, John R. Bolton, the Bush Administration’s primary policymaker on weapons of mass destruction, said: “If we permit Iran’s deception to go on much longer, it will be too late. Iran will have nuclear weapons.”

Gwillie on July 30, 2007 at 3:24 AM

… why is the government in such a rush to enrich fuel, when it has no nuclear power plants in which to use it?

I’ll take “Because-dead-Jews-don’t-need-nuclear-power-plants” for $200, Alex.

paul006 on July 30, 2007 at 3:32 AM

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s secret MySpace entry:

Hi there fellow Islamic bloggers. My name is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and I am the great and fearless President of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

I was was born one of seven children to a humble blacksmith and when I was a child growing up I worked on a farm to earn extra money for my poor father and I got to know a lot of the farm animals very well. I was a real nature boy back then. I was a real animal lover. My favorites were the goats of course. I still have such fond memories of my boyhood.

Later I excelled as a student, earning my master’s degree and a Ph.D in civil engineering. I have only three wifes, but as the leader of such a great Islamic country I feel that it is time for me to take my fourth wife. If any nice Islamic ladies are reading this you should email me some time soon. You must be between the ages of 12 and 28 years old. If you are under 12 that would be alright too but you must have a note from a male relative of course.

In addition to my important duties as the Great President of the Islamic Republic of Iran I am now working on my post graduate science project, which when completed in a very few years, I will test on Evil Israel and the Great Satin America.

Who I would like to meet … …
In addition to my fourth wife, and remember
if you are under 12 years old, you must have a note from a male relative, I would like to meet other dedicated members of the Great Religion of Peace, Islam of course. We can all get together after work and spend time reading inspiring passages from the Koran and comparing notes on our mutual love of farm animals. We can also go over a list of priority test sites for my developing science project. It will be a blast!

MB4 on July 30, 2007 at 3:41 AM

Iran is under a fault line. In 1978, 1,500 people were killed in Tabas, Iran by a 7.7 Richter Scale Earthquake. In 1990, 35,000 people died, and in 2003, 15,000 die. So, yes, they’re definitely in a rush before the plant, “shakes, rattles, and rolls melts”.

Disasters Waiting to Happen for $600, Alex!

kiakjones on July 30, 2007 at 6:31 AM

why is the government in such a rush to enrich fuel, when it has no nuclear power plants in which to use it?

Could be rephrased as:
What’s that fig leaf hiding?

He knows and we know but the answer is ugly and the world doesn’t want think about it. So, for now at least, it looks like the fig leaf is working.

TunaTalon on July 30, 2007 at 9:16 AM

Yes Gwille and in 1984, Jane’s Defence reported that Iran was within 3 years of obtaining a bomb.

Don’t believe everything that you read, and don’t presume that you know what the intelligence community is aware/unaware of.

John from OPFOR on July 30, 2007 at 9:51 AM

There is another huge question mark hanging over Isfahan and Natanz: why is the government in such a rush to enrich fuel, when it has no nuclear power plants in which to use it?

They’re “smart” enough to ask the quesion but still blind to its answer. Should I be surprised?

Yakko77 on July 30, 2007 at 10:46 AM

Another perfectly good cover story blown to hell!

Tantor on July 30, 2007 at 11:21 AM

What’s with all the lib news outfits writing non-fiction today?

BadgerHawk on July 30, 2007 at 3:31 PM