Thursday, April 25, 2013

Daniel Pipes: Iran deadline is not just the matter of months, but even weeks

Center for Security Policy, April 16, 2013

20 min 24 seconds into the video Daniel Pipes said: 

Fifth. Talking about Iran, four more years have gone by, and now I can’t say nothing has happened, I do not know enough to say that, and there could be all sorts of things going on below the surface, behind the screen, but we are very close to a deadline. From what I understand from informed sources – if we haven’t not done anything, or if the Israelis haven’t done anything by September, the Iranians will have reached the point, crossed the red line, reached the point of breakout, so it’s not just the matter of months, but even weeks before the two governments face the choice of bomb or get the bomb.

Iran has crossed the nuclear red line set by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, former Military Intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin announced on Tuesday.
Speaking at a Tel Aviv conference held by the Institute for National Security Studies, which he heads, Yadlin later clarified the remarks, saying, “If Iran continues to enrich uranium at its current rate, toward the end of the year it will cross the red line in a clear manner.”
Earlier, the former army intelligence head said, “Despite all of the attempts made to stop the nuclear program, no one is able to stop the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.”
Tuesday’s comments are in line with an assessment made by Yadlin in February, when he said that, at its current rate of uranium enrichment, the Islamic Republic would reach nuclear breakout capacity between June and August.

Netanyahu has defined Israel’s red line regarding Iran as the possession of 250 kg. of uranium enriched to the 20 percent level, known as medium-enriched uranium.
According to an International Atomic Energy Agency report released in February, Tehran has not crossed that point, but has already amassed 167 kg. of uranium enriched to that level.
“By the summer, Iran will be a month or two away from a decision about the bomb,” Yadlin said at the INSS conference, adding that the decision whether to advance beyond that will be made after Iran’s presidential elections in June.
Once Iran amasses sufficient enriched uranium, “it will be very hard to stop,” Yadlin said. “If the US, Iran and Israel all stand behind their announcements, then we are on a collision course toward the end of the year.”
According to the former Military Intelligence head, Tehran already has enough low-enriched uranium for six bombs, and nearly enough medium-enriched uranium for one bomb.
“They have no problem converting back what they allegedly turned to nuclear fuel. Within a week, it could be turned into nuclear material for a bomb,” he warned, referring to Iran’s decision in 2012 to reduce international tensions by converting some of its enriched uranium to fuel rods.
In reality, Yadlin told Channel 2, the uranium was not converted to fuel rods, but rather, to uranium oxide, which is easy to turn back to nuclear material, a process that can be completed within a week, he said.
In London last week, Netanyahu told the BBC that Iran has crept up to the red line for the production of a nuclear weapon – which he dramatically referenced when he held up a diagram of a bomb as he spoke at the United Nations General Assembly opening session in the fall – but has not crossed it. He explained that Iran was 80 kg.