IAEA Confirms Iranian Breach of Uranium Limit; Who Blinks First?
Confirmation by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Tehran has exceeded the limit of the size of its stockpile of enriched uranium was swift and unequivocal, setting up a confrontation between the Iranians and Americans…or not. When asked whether he has a message for Tehran, President Trump passed on the opportunity, saying instead, “No message to Iran. They know what they’re doing. They know what they’re playing with, and I think they’re playing with fire. So, no message to Iran whatsoever.” The American leader sparred with the Iranian foreign minister who rejected President Trump’s insinuation that the Islamic Republic had been violating the agreement brokered between the U.S., several Western nations and Iran all along. FM Mohammad Javad Zarif insisted to do so would have been illogical and claimed there’s nothing to violate since the Americans withdrew from the plan. The European Union meanwhile is posturing to assume the now-vacant leadership position from the Americans, but in order to do so the Iranians are demanding that a new mechanism that allows Iran to pursue international trade without fear of U.S. sanctions and allows Iranian oil to trade, also without fear of sanctions. And all of the new posturing comes against the backdrop of new violence including the mining of two oil tankers and the shooting down of an American drone.