Only a few short months ago the permanent war crowd were calling for air strikes on Iran, today the UN nuclear agency says that Iran has made all of the enriched uranium that could be used to make nuclear weapons into more harmless forms.
That’s right, feel free to exhale and relax from the resolution of yet another apocalyptic scenario that was arguably never real in the first place.
Of course, given that much of the saber rattling by the reactionaries in America and Israel for bombing Iran was more about distracting the public from Israel’s unwillingness to participate in a peace process than a credible threat of a nuclear weapons strike, I guess the Iran nuclear issue is moot for many Very Serious People now anyway.
Iran has turned all of its enriched uranium closest to the level needed to make nuclear arms into more harmless forms, the UN nuclear agency says. The conversion of its stock of 20%-enriched uranium was part of a deal to curb Iran’s nuclear programme.
Correspondents say Iran’s completion of eliminating its most worrying uranium stockpile is a promising sign that its leaders do not want to derail the diplomatic process. A new report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says Iran is observing all of its other commitments as well.
For some perspective, Iran had 200kgs of 20% enriched uranium which – before it was made harmless – would have been enough to make one nuclear weapon. Israel, the only state in the region with nuclear weapons, has over 100 working nuclear warheads. So even if Iran had made one, they would have been considerably outnumbered and been under the same existential threat of retaliation from a first strike that the US and Russia were during the Cold War.
In exchange for Iran’s compliance with the agreement to render its enriched uranium harmless the US agreed to unlock $2.8 billion in Iranian frozen funds. It is almost as if Iran is more like a typical rational state actor than an insane group of religious fanatics bent on annihilating themselves. Who knew?