US-Iranian nuclear talks fail. Iran has plutonium for 24 Nagasaki-type bombs

US-Iranian nuclear talks fail. Iran has plutonium for 24 Nagasaki-type bombs.

DEBKAfile Special Report December 15, 2012, 12:03 PM (GMT+02:00)

Fatman: Implosion-type nuke
Fatman: Implosion-type nuke

The secret, one-on-one nuclear negotiations President Barack Obama launched with Iran have run into a blank wall. A senior Iranian team member, Mostafa Dolatyar, said Friday, Dec. 14 in New Delhi that the diplomatic process for solving the nuclear issue with Iran was in effect going nowhere, because the demand that Tehran halt its 20-percent enrichment of uranium “doesn’t make sense.”

He went on to say: “They [the world powers] have made certain connections with purely technical issues and something purely political. In so far as this is the mentality and this is the approach from 5 + 1 (the Six World Powers) – or whatever else you call it – definitely there is no end for this game.”

debkafile: The phrase “or whatever else you call it” may be taken as Iran’s first veiled reference to the direct talks with Washington that were launched Dec. 1 in the Swiss town of Lausanne.
Mostafa Dolatyar is not just a faceless official. He is head of the Iranian foreign ministry’s think tank, the Institute for Political and International Studies, as well as a senior member of the Iranian team facing US negotiators in Lausanne. His remarks were undoubtedly authorized by the office of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who, through him, posted a message to Washington: If the enrichment suspension demand stands, the game’s over.

After more than 15 years of on-and-off, largely aimless, nuclear diplomacy with world powers and evasive tactics with the UN nuclear agency, Tehran is for the first time showing signs of impatience and not just is usual disdain. This is because two things have changed:

1. For all those years, Tehran availed itself of every diplomatic opening for protracted bargaining about its nuclear program for the sake of buying time, free of pressure, to push that program forward. Now, the Iranians are telling the US and Europe that they have arrived at their destination. For them, time is no longer of essence, as it may be for the West.

2.  The second development was revealed on Dec. 5 by The Wall Street Journal in a short leader captioned “From Bushehr to the Bomb.” This revelation was not picked up by any other Western – or even Israeli – publication despite its sensational nature.
Drawing on US intelligence sources, the paper suggested that the withdrawal of 136 fuel rods from Iran’s nuclear reactor at Bushehr in mid-October – on the pretext of wandering metal bolts – and the rods’ return in the last week of November “could have been a test run for the Iranians should they decide to reprocess those rods into weapons-grade plutonium.”

American, Russian and Israeli nuclear experts have always maintained that the technology for extracting plutonium from fuel rods was too expensive and complicated to be practical – and certainly beyond Iran’s capacity.
The Wall Street Journal begs to differ:  “…experts tell us that the rapid extraction of weapons-usable plutonium from spent fuel rods is a straightforward process that can be preformed in a fairly small (and easily secreted) space.”

This means that Tehran can easily manufacture plutonium bombs without building a large plutonium reactor like the one under construction at Arak.

The paper goes on to reveal that, by this method, Iran could extract 220 pounds (just under 100 kilos) of plutonium, enough to produce as many as “24 Nagasaki-type bombs” – a reference to the World War II bombing of the Japanese city on Aug. 9, 1945.

One of those bombs – nicknamed “Fat Man” (after Winston Churchill) – is equal to 20 kilotons.
debkafile’s military and intelligence sources note that if this disclosure represents the true state of Iran’s nuclear program, the game really is over. The diplomacy-cum-sanctions policy pursued by the West to force Iran to abandon enrichment and shut down its underground facility in Fordo has become irrelevant.  So, too, have the red lines Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu drew so graphically before the UN Assembly on September 27.

What Mostafa Dolatyar was saying in effect is that Iran has outplayed its adversaries up to the game’s finishing line.

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16 Comments on “US-Iranian nuclear talks fail. Iran has plutonium for 24 Nagasaki-type bombs”

  1. OyiaBrown Says:

    Reblogged this on Oyia Brown and commented:
    Why any one ever trusted these perople….

  2. ‘National Unity Brigades’ say third intifada has already started in Hebron, vow not to relinquish ‘an inch of Palestine’ – Times of Israel

  3. Mark Says:

    I still don’t know why Netanyahu didn’t bomb Bushehr in 2010 when everyone was warning time was up.

    Now it is surely too late to stop Iran.

  4. artaxes Says:

    The sad thing is, that all of this was so utterly predictable.
    Still Iran getting nuclear weapons can be prevented. It will just be more costly (in therms of human lives).
    It’s like the 1930s. The world knew back then what Germany and Hitler was up to and still they preferred to deny reality until reality hit them in a hard and ugly way.

    • Jac Says:

      Rest assured, the West is going to go for it, and soon. The speedy deployment of THAAD and patriot missile systems to Turkey and East Mediterranean is absolutely not aimed at Syria. Turkey along the UAE, due to its proximity to many sites of interest, will be one of two hubs of coming military operations against Iran, meaning it will host a lot of Western personnel who require robust defence. I suspect there is a Russian dimension to this deployment too, though as Caspian sea remains a largely undisturbed route for resupplying Iran, I cannot see what else that could be other than conflict escalation contingency.

      This is now looking increasingly unavoidable. There’s still time for more diplotalk rubbish to soften the ground in the media, but I have this gut feeling that the race for the bomb has now in Iran, and with it the road to war now seems oddly short and straight.

      Although the West will not give Iran an ultimatum without a go-ahad from the UNSC, I still expect to see major increase in diplotalk IMMEDIATELY before any action takes place.

      • artaxes Says:

        I do NOT rest assured. I am following this thing for years and everything I have seen so far indicates that the US and the West will do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.
        Of course, I would love to be wrong.
        Out of curiosity: On what grounds do you base your assesment.
        Please do not tell me about this or that speech or this or that wonderful rhetoric. The only thing that count is actions, not words.

      • Justice for israel Says:

        defensive deployments mean nothing there often a smoke screen for bluffing

    • Mark Says:

      “Still Iran getting nuclear weapons can be prevented.”

      Maybe it’s time people start admitting Iran already has nuclear weapons. For how many more years will the West pretend they still aren’t there yet???

  5. Mark Says:

    It’s been 20 years since Netanyahu first told us Iran was “3 to 5 years” from a nuclear weapon. At some point we have to admit failure.

    • artaxes Says:

      If that is your argument, it’s a really weak one.
      That shows not that they have already nukes.
      In regards to preventing Iran from getting nukes, there is always this option left as a last ressort: Jericho 3 tipped with tactical nuke.

  6. Luis Says:

    Israel will act, eventually. We know it will. We dont know when.

    • renbe Says:

      Reminds me of my days in Mexico: whenever one asked a Mexican when the job would be done, the answer inevitably was “eventually”… Of course, the job would never get done, and I soon moved to live in another country.

  7. Lothar Heisenberg Says:

    Twenty-three (23) bombs, not twenty-four (24). Our precise calculations at MPP (Max-Planck-Institut für Physik ) are irrefutable.

    Trust me.

  8. renbe Says:

    At least no one can accuse Iran of flip flopping. Iran has made it clear from day one that it would never give up its right to enrich uranium.

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