When faced with a particularly scary, nettlesome problem, there’s a natural tendency in
In this case,
What they and most pundits have ignored, however, are the hard facts that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported and posted November 23. Iran, it turns out, already has more than enough low enriched uranium on hand (some 2,152 kilograms) to make its first bomb’s worth of weapons-grade uranium in roughly ten weeks. All
All of this severely deflates whatever extra negotiating time we and our friends might hope we have to limit the Iranian nuclear weapons effort diplomatically. Instead of a year, we must now think about a nuclear negotiating grace period that’s shrunk to zero.
Second, proposals that would have Iran surrender whatever uranium it has enriched in exchange for an equivalent amount of fully fabricated fresh reactor fuel will have to require Iran to give up nearly all of the uranium it has enriched to have any hope of success. Last fall, the
The reality, however, is that pushing this approach is pointless. Undercutting the Security Council's unanimous demand for a suspension of fuel-making activities and allowing a nuclear violator, such as
Being this candid, of course, risks worsening relations with the government of
Henry Sokolski is executive director of the