OpinionIran in the World PressGood mullah behavior

Good mullah behavior

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Wall Street Journal – REVIEW & OUTLOOK: So Iran has now released its blueprints for casting uranium into nuclear warheads. Lest you missed that newsy detail, we suggest you read past today’s headlines that the Islamic Republic is being “generally truthful” about its nuclear programs by offering up various tokens of cooperation to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The Wall Street Journal

REVIEW & OUTLOOK

November 16, 2007; Page A20

So Iran has now released its blueprints for casting uranium into nuclear warheads. Lest you missed that newsy detail, we suggest you read past today’s headlines that the Islamic Republic is being “generally truthful” about its nuclear programs by offering up various tokens of cooperation to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The story about the blueprints arrives alongside yesterday’s IAEA update on Iran’s nuclear dossier. True to media hype, the report concludes that the Iranians seem to have truthfully answered at least some of the previously unresolved questions concerning their decades-old nuclear black market transactions. But as with the release of the blueprints, which the IAEA first discovered two years ago but was not allowed to copy until this week, the Iranians seem to have done little more than tell the IAEA what it already knew.

Despite the show of good mullah behavior, the report also notes that “since early 2006, the Agency has not received the type of information that Iran had previously been providing. . . . As a result, the Agency’s knowledge about Iran’s current nuclear program is diminishing.” Among the more worrisome unresolved issues are the links between Iran’s ostensibly civilian Atomic Energy Organization and its military, such as those that relate to “high explosives testing and the design of a missile re-entry vehicle.”

On one point, at least, the report is unequivocal: Iran is now enriching uranium using no fewer than 2,952 centrifuges, in violation of two legally binding U.N. Security Council demands. That number represents an 18-fold increase in Iran’s enrichment capabilities in the past year alone. Diplomatic efforts at the U.N. will never match that pace. Unless U.S. and European efforts do, we’ll be writing about another 18-fold increase this time next year, if not something more explosive.

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