Good news, everyone! It turns out, if Iran likes its secret, underground, bomb-proof nuclear bunker, thanks to the actions of the Obama Administration, Iran can keep its secret, underground, bomb-proof nuclear bunker.
Now, if you or I were conducting these negotiations – and I’m not saying I’m qualified in the least to do so, but then, seemingly, neither is the team we have on the ground – we might be suspicious that Iran would like to keep its nuclear program in a shelter, deep underground, far out of reach of, say, bombs dropped by Israeli warplanes. We might have questions as to why we weren’t allowed to see the centrifuges, or whether it was truly efficient to keep a clearly peaceful energy production system well outside a major city. But thankfully for Iran, John Kerry and his crack team of American diplomats have raised no such concerns. And it seems like, in order to get a deal in writing from the Mullahs, we’re about to leave it all – including a secret uranium enrichment project – on the table.
The United States is considering letting Tehran run hundreds of centrifuges at a once-secret, fortified underground bunker in exchange for limits on centrifuge work and research and development at other sites, officials have told The Associated Press.
The trade-off would allow Iran to run several hundred of the devices at its Fordo facility, although the Iranians would not be allowed to do work that could lead to an atomic bomb and the site would be subject to international inspections, according to Western officials familiar with details of negotiations now underway. In return, Iran would be required to scale back the number of centrifuges it runs at its Natanz facility and accept other restrictions on nuclear-related work.
Instead of uranium, which can be enriched to be the fissile core of a nuclear weapon, any centrifuges permitted at Fordo would be fed elements such as zinc, xenon or germanium for separating out isotopes used in medicine, industry or science, the officials said. The number of centrifuges would not be enough to produce the amount of uranium needed to produce a weapon within a year — the minimum time-frame that Washington and its negotiating partners demand.
Okie dokie. Let’s review: Iran gets to have centrifuges at an underground facility that we have no proof they will allow UN weapons inspectors to crawl over (they said a few days ago, they’d be unwilling to have snap inspections, to put it mildly), and in return, we get them to scale back production at a site we already knew about and that is not as well-defended. The catch seems to be that they use something other than uranium at the formerly-secret bunker – zinc and xenon are mentioned – so that the underground bunker can only be used to further the cause of science, not to harbor the makings of a horrific nuclear experiment.
The most terrifying part is, this might be the best deal we can get, and this may just be the starting point of negotiations. On a project that was supposed to get Iran to agree to end its nuclear ambitions in return for a release of sanctions. In just a few short months, we’ve gone from bringing peace to the Middle East, to rubber stamping the Bond Villain-esque facility they’ve constructed as a black eye to the West. And the kicker is that the Fordo station is only in negotiations because we know about it thanks to a mix up sometime back in 2009. There might be other well-hidden, bomb-proof facilities, run by lunatic henchmen and their hairless cats, just waiting to fire off a warhead at the moon or ramp up their weather-control machine.
It’s probably just as well. John Kerry really needs to get this done, as windsurfing season is just about to begin on Nantucket. May as well sell the farm now and not drag it out.