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The Iranian Nuclear Program Is Advancing and the World Is Watching!

In the midst of the wave of massive popular protests afflicting Iran, the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a resolution condemning the Iranian authorities’ violations of their obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Safeguards Agreement. The IAEA threatened to escalate the matter to the UN Security Council, with the possibility of implementing the “snapback” sanctions outlined in the 2015 nuclear deal and its annexes. This is the second time this year that the IAEA Board of Governors has issued a condemnation against Iran, which it accuses of not providing acceptable and technically credible explanations for the presence of uranium particles that were discovered in three sites previously unannounced by the Iranian authorities. In addition, Tehran has not stopped its violation of the restrictions imposed on it under the nuclear agreement, which prohibit it from enriching uranium to a level exceeding 3.65%, while the current rate of enrichment in a number of facilities, including Natanz, has reached over 60%. Several intelligence reports leaked to the press indicate that, in some cases, the Iranians have raised the rate of enrichment to over 90%, which is considered a serious breach of the agreement. Such a high enrichment percentage can only imply the militarization of Iran’s nuclear program openly in front of the world’s eyes. In addition, the IAEA further stated that Iran has stopped most aspects of cooperation with it and permanently removed the agency’s surveillance cameras from its nuclear sites. The Iranian government also prevented the IAEA’s inspection teams from continuing their surprise inspections stipulated in the safeguards agreement attached to the 2015 nuclear agreement. All of this indicates that Iran is proceeding with its strategic project to become a nuclear power in the short to medium term, at a time when the Western countries concerned with the 2015 nuclear agreement – namely, the United States, France, Britain and Germany, along with their allies in the Middle East and around the world – are unable to formulate a real deterrence strategy to prevent Iran from building its first nuclear bomb. Until now, the Europeans have bet on Iran’s ultimate return to the negotiating table and its agreement to respect its obligations under the nuclear agreement. But that is not the case. Iran is betting on a lack of an American desire to put a credible military option on the table, as demanded by Israel, which continues to train and simulate attacks against Iranian nuclear facilities. It is true that Tehran possesses technological and technical capabilities and skills in the field of a nuclear program, and it has the scientific base and personnel for this purpose, but it has not yet reached the stage of industrialization. There are those in Western capitals and some Israeli research centers who say that Iran will reach the nuclear threshold and stop there, coinciding with its preparation for the production stage at any moment it deems appropriate. As a consequence, Iran, which is preoccupied with its deep internal crisis, will continue to play the “cat and mouse” game with the International Atomic Energy Agency. The Iranian nuclear program is originally a program with military goals, and this will not change. The secret military faction, which was run by the scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was assassinated two years ago on the outskirts of Tehran by Israel’s Mossad, never stopped pushing Iran toward a bomb. So far, the strategy of sanctions, then containment, then openness, and finally the strategy of tearing up the agreement, has failed without putting the military option credibly on the table. From here on out, Tehran will come closer and closer, with each passing day, to manufacturing its own nuclear bomb. Meanwhile, the world, led by the United States, is standing idly by and watching from afar. – Ali Hamada (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)