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The U.S. Is Bracing for Blows With Israel as Iran Nuclear Talks Near

The U.S. Is Bracing for Blows With Israel as Iran Nuclear Talks Near,  
 U.S. officials say it’s already much more difficult to carry out a cyberattack to set back Iran’s nuclear program as Iran improves air defenses and places nuclear facilities underground.   Amos Harel, Haaretz, 22 Nov 21,
The closer we get to the scheduled renewal Monday in Vienna of the talks to restore Iran’s nuclear agreement with world powers, the more the psychological warfare between the sides escalated. Oddly, perhaps, very few of these skirmishes are between Tehran and its negotiating partners. Most of them are between two countries that won’t have a foot in the door at the talks. The first is the United States, whose representatives will be in Vienna but won’t be participating in the direct talks on account of Iranian opposition. The other is Israel.

……………………. President Joe Biden’s hope that in his first year in office he could return to the agreement and afterward focus on a “longer, stronger” deal, has been dashed, in light of Iran’s intentional delaying policy. The regime in Tehran delayed talks during the period of the presidential elections in Iran, and waited a few more months after the hawkish President Ebrahim Raisi, entered office.

This is the current U.S. position, but the conclusion that goes along with it is interesting. According to the administration, not only has the policy of maximum pressure led by former president Donald Trump collapsed. Israel’s sabotage campaign against Iran’s nuclear program has also failed.   Moreover, paradoxically, it seems that these actions have only served to move the Iranians closer to their goal…….. over the past 20 months Israel assassinated the head of the Iranian nuclear project, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh and caused significant explosions in four nuclear and missile facilities in Iran, in the hopes of delaying the ability of Iran to build a bomb. But the result, according to U.S. intelligence officials and the international inspectors, was the opposite of what was intended. The Iranians quickly restored operations at the sites and installed new centrifuges that can enrich uranium more rapidly.

…………….  the sources in the U.S. administration believe that Iran wants to reach the status of a nuclear threshold state, which will leave it a very short distance from manufacturing a bomb if it wants to. This gloomy conclusion underscores the most recent report of the Institute for Science and International Security. In the report, published Sunday, the chief researcher of the prestigious U.S. think tank, David Albright, writes that Iran has enough uranium enriched to near-20 and 60 percent to produce sufficient weapon-grade uranium for a single nuclear weapon in as little as three weeks. Albright adds that some of the major advances are due to the installation of advanced centrifuges.

If Iran wants to manufacture a nuclear weapon, it still needs to execute the military part of its program – installing the bomb as a nuclear warhead on a ballistic missile, a process that according to various experts could take another one to two years. And yet, Albright’s conclusion shows how much the Iranians have advanced while the administrations in Washington – first Trump’s and now Biden’s – persuaded themselves that they were dealing well with the problem.

November 23, 2021 - Posted by | Israel, politics international

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