Marie Harf, Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications, was “perplexed” by a New York Times article published last Tuesday in which some disturbing information was revealed about Iran’s nuclear stockpile.
About two years ago, Iran promised the Obama Administration that nuclear acquisitions would come to a halt during the 18-month sanctions negotiation period. According to the IAEA, the country’s nuclear fuel stockpile has increased by 20% since then.
The Times also insinuated that recent acquisitions could be used as leverage during negotiations and hinted the US has no idea how this new material got into Iranian claws.
While a 20% increase in nuclear fuel has most of us worried, State Department spokesperson Marie Harf isn’t the least bit concerned. She took to the podium to affirm that Western officials are completely in the know and referred to the article’s assumptions as “inaccurate.” She then used Twitter to reassure the public that there’s nothing to worry about.
I’m not convinced.
According to the JPOA (Joint Plan of Action) agreed to in November 2013, the amount of nuclear material in Iran must be below 7,650 kilograms by June 30th. Slight fluctuations before that time are okay as long as the requirement is met at the end of June.
According to Harf, increases and decreases are normal. “This type of stockpile under the JPOA and the extensions can go up and down. That is perfectly acceptable,” she says. “As long as at the end of the time period, which in this case is June 30th, it’s back below 7,650 kilograms.”
Harf went on to say that there have been increases in the past, but that Iran has always made the proper reductions. She has no doubt Iran will meet the deadline at the end of June because “they have always done so.” On top of that, she adds that this issue will in no way muddle up negotiations.
Harf doesn’t even seem to be worried about how the country will make the reduction. She explained their options are shipping it out, diluting it, and selling it on the open market. But since they’ve behaved in the past, there’s nothing to worry about, right?
Well, Harf, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but this isn’t the first time Iran has failed to honor an agreement. For example, just earlier this year during nuclear discussions with the West, Iran was caught in an attempt to purchase nuclear technology using false documentation.
As the Obama Administration continues to blindly trust to this undeserving ally, let’s cross our fingers and hope Iran doesn’t take advantage of that trust.