Thursday, July 11, 2013

New Iranian Nuclear Sites?

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (political branch of the People's Mujahedin Of Iran/Mujahedin-E Khalq) has "revealed" another "new" Iranian nuclear site. Surprisingly, this article does quite a good job of addressing the potential flaws of these allegations. While this group (NCRI) has correctly identified several sites in the past, they have also been wrong about sites as well.

The NCRI clearly has an agenda, and the timing (right after the election of the 'moderate' cleric Hassan Rouhani to the Iranian presidency) makes me curious why this was released now. Many hawks have been frustrated by the election of a less controversial, antagonistic figure than Mahmoud Ahmadi Nezhad, the last president of Iran who was best known for his incendiary remarks and Holocaust denial.

If Iran were to once again to be in non-compliance with the NPT (requires proper notification to the IAEA if any new nuclear facilities are built etc.) as they admitted in 2003, it would certainly reduce the prospects for negotiations on Iran's nuclear program. Even though Binyamin Netanyahu has finally admitted that Supreme Leader Khamenei is in fact in control of the Iranian nuclear program (not Ahmadi Nezhad as Netanyahu incessantly and vociferously claimed for years), and Mr. Rouhani has not even been sworn in yet, this revelation, if true, would mitigate the positive feelings created by Rouhani's election and his attempts to repair relations with countries.

While I am skeptical of anything from the NCRI for the obvious reasons, I am also highly suspicious of Iran considering its track record of non-compliance. Things have appeared to have calmed down a bit regarding the Iran-Israel/US conflict and a new problem such as a hidden nuclear site would quickly ramp up tensions once again.

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