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July 14, 2015

Did Iran Illegally Purchase Nuclear Weapons Technology During Talks?

Iran’s drive to build what the West believes is a nuclear weapons program is hardly news, but apparently Iranian violations before a nuclear agreement was even signed should have been. Tehran has a history of being less-than-forthcoming about its purported nuclear weapons program. Revelations in 2002 by an Iranian dissident opposition group that the mullahs —in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) they signed—had a nuclear weapons program resulted in increased international economic sanctions. These led to the recently concluded nuclear talks with the theocratic regime.

Writing in The Weekly Standard (“Iran Made Illegal Purchases of Nuclear Weapons Technology Last Month,” July 10, 2015), Benjamin Weinthal and Emanuele Ottolenghi of the think-tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies, note that Iran has “illicitly and clandestinely” attempted to procure nuclear weapons technology “apace, if not faster” than before the U.S.-led nuclear negotiations began in 2013.

The authors reached their conclusion after reading a report from a German spy agency.

According to Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Iran has continued to seek illicit ballistic and nuclear technology. The authors note that Tehran has “sought industry computers, high-speed cameras, cable fiber, and pumps for its nuclear and missile program” since November 2013.

Weinthal and Ottolenghi also assert that Iran committed other violations including—but perhaps not limited to—selling more “oil then is allowed” under the interim international agreement and “pushing the envelope” on caps on the uranium stockpile. In all of these instances, Iran received no punishment from the West and no referrals were made to the United Nations. Perhaps, the writers speculate, this is because “the Obama administration and other Western powers have so much invested in their diplomatic efforts that they’ll deny such violations ever occurred.”

The Weekly Standard writers conclude that the Islamic Republic’s incessant cheating and the apparent lack of Western resolve essential to countering it “does not bode well for the future.”

For more on Iranian violations before the ink was even on the paper of the July 14th agreement, the Weinthal and Ottoloenghi article can be found here.-Sean Durns



Posted by ER at July 14, 2015 04:45 PM

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