Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Iran’s Uranium Enrichment, Ctd

Iran said it has produced more than 17 kilograms of 20 percent enriched uranium and is capable of adding some 5 kilograms a month. Ali Akbar Salehi, director of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, announced the news in Tehran.

"We have so far produced more than 17 kilograms of 20 percent enriched uranium and we can potentially produce five kilograms per month," Salehi said [ISNA, 24 June].

Salehi had previously announced that Iran had acquired the necessary technical expertise to convert the 20 percent enriched uranium into fuel plates required to power reactors [ISNA, 16 June].

The enrichment announcement represents a defiance of the UN Security Council resolution calling on Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment activities.

Brazil that had helped brokered an agreement with Iran to send its LEU to Turkey in return for the reactor fuel; today issued a word of caution to Iran. The Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim, on a visit to Bulgaria, said there were concerns over Iran’s nuclear program by the Vienna Group over the Tehran Agreement and “now it is up to Iran to react to these” [AFP, 24 June].


Anonymous said...

I think this "cautionary" remark is intended to convey a sense of honesty, for attempting to broker a deal. And the public revelations of >20% LEU is intended to convey transparency, as well as the seriousness of Iran in meeting its needs for the TRR.

The MSM, of course, spins it otherwise.

Nader Uskowi said...


I actually enjoy these type of analysis offered here. If the Brazilians cautioned Iran, we call it “honesty.” If they had not cautioned Iran, we would have called it a sign of Iran’s power and righteousness. And then we go ahead and accuse the world of “spinning” the news! It seems to me the purpose of these types of “analysis” is to justify the Iranian government’s positions at all costs; that’s the starting point, and then the appropriate analyses are created to demonstrate them.

Being pro-Iran should not and need not mean to “spin” everything in favor of the government of the day in Tehran, even spinning the intentions of the Brazilian foreign minister as though he is a close personal friend, unless we want to act as a government press aid to explain its policies.

Anonymous said...

Nader, I'm responding to a AFP article, not a FARS one.

You must admit, the material in the AFP report could be depicted completely different. However, the anti-Iran narrative remains pervasive in this and most other examples provided by the Western media.

And, a proper, well rounded analyses must allow for an antithetical perspective, which is what I'm really getting at with this very brief comment.

Nader Uskowi said...

Agreed, antithetical perspective is the key for any serious analysis. The Western press, such as AFP, does have a pervasive anti-Iran narrative, as the Iranian press, such as Fars, does have a pervasive anti-West narrative. My concern: the natural tendency of exposing the anti-Iran narrative of the Western press often leads to acceptance of the Iranian official positions at their face value, without applying an antithetical perspective to those official positions. That’s the danger facing Iran analysts. That’s my cautionary note, if you will.

Anonymous said...

Nader, I would just add that too many Iranian analysts in the US are actually at the forefront of the anti-Iran narrative.

Yourself, you're more balanced.

Hilary Mann and Flynt Leverett also provide a non anti-Iran perspective. And they've been remarkably proven correct on a consistent basis.

Nader Uskowi said...

Thanks much for starting a very serious, and I believe timely discussion on Iran analysis. It is really tough to analyze Iran. Let me throw in few points and hope that others also join us in the conversation.

1. Every important issue seems to rapidly become divisive. Let’s start with the government and government supporters. If anyone does not side with them on any specific issue, he/she becomes a tool of world arrogance. Yesterday, Larijani, the speaker of Majlis, was branded as such, because his Majlis passed a resolution preventing the Ahmadinejad government form taking control of Azad University. Not just the student protesters, but read Fars News Agency and Kayhan’s take on the issue. If Larijani is treated that way, imagine what they would say about a lowly analyst disagreeing with them. A simple issue, whether a specific university should remain private or not, is elevated into an issue of government vs. mafia, government vs. world arrogance, government vs. traitors to the Islamic revolution. This is the atmosphere that has become prevalent in the country.

2. Iran is situated in a region of the world that has a long history of foreign interventions and foreign occupation. The natural tendency throughout the long years of colonialism and foreign intervention has been to divide the society to pro-colonial/pro foreign intervention camp on one hand and anti-colonial, anti foreign intervention camp on the other. The Left especially has been pushing this way of thinking, which goes to such extreme as to support unconditionally all policies and actions of the government because it would perceive such support as helping the cause of anti-colonialism/anti-imperialism. Here the Left finds common grounds with the government and any analysis deemed supporting the West is judged as a tool of world arrogance. No one is spared either, speaker of Majlis, a former prime minister or a lowly analyst.

3. A number of foreign-based Iran analysts have not, or could not, visit the country and therefore offer an unrealistic picture of the situation in the country. At its extreme, their anti-government tendencies prevent them from offering an intellectually honest and balanced analysis. Such crowd normally considers any analyst who tries to remain objective as a tool of the Iranian government, willingly or not. This is the reverse of the approach of the pro-government and the Left crowds as discussed above, and as dangerous. I should add that there are those inside the country who behave similarly; their anti-government tendencies push them into this camp, even though they speak the language of their society.

Needless to say, such charged atmosphere is not conducive to balanced and honest analysis.

Anonymous said...

Nader, some of these conditions you cite are actually norms for a country enduring an extended period of Cold War. I saw a similar atmosphere here in the US during the late 1960s and early 70s and beyond, particularly among the Right.

Iran finds itself in such a Cold War, but it faces a superpower while it is merely a developing country. Its very development is what is most challenged in this Cold War, in order to inhibit its natural rise to prominence in the region. We both know the reason why.

But we were talking about MSM articles and their anti-Iran narrative, which has been assisted by certain Iranian analysts. And, of course, I think we both recognize the ultimate threat of looming war in all of this. The similarities to the Iraq War debacle are striking. And once again the MSM is acting irresponsibly, as are these Iranian analysts here in the US (yourself excluded).

Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of this blog(check it every day) , mainly because I see your reporting factual and non biased .
I have to agree with you a hundred percent when you say :
"My concern: the natural tendency of exposing the anti-Iran narrative of the Western press often leads to acceptance of the Iranian official positions at their face value "end-quote

what I can add up to it is that I'm finding more and more Iranians (including myself),
faced with the Irony of rejecting the Anti-Iran Narrative of western media (including VOA and BBC farsi broadcasts)
and being accused or wondering themselves if they are supporting the regime and infact neglecting the atrocities it has comitted in the past three decades.

this is a big issue in Iran now every private conversation at some point, ends up with one party accusing the other of believing VOA lies or hearing " you have become a regime supporter".

we are cuaght up in the middle of an all out war of media the confusion is the first effect of this war.
the answer for me lies in the beliefs of our 67 generation just listen to their RAP and you will notice how beatifully they reject western propaganda and hit back at the regime this is the generation that will build Iran its pragmatic ,peacefull and welconnected to the world with a very strong Iranian Identity .

they were at the heart of the green movement we were just the followers ,read Balatarin and you will see how smart they are .


Nader Uskowi said...


Thanks for your keen observations of these complex issues. I too believe that the new generation of Iranians can and do distinguish between Western media bias against Iran and anti-democratic nature of their government. If Iran wants to prosper, it would need a democratic government. The autocratic nature of the current government cannot be justified under the guise of its “crusade against world arrogance.” This is a crude excuse to perpetuate the rule of the extreme right.

Anonymous said...

When pre-WW2 dictatorships were eradicated, the victorious Yanks came up with a better alternative for our "uncivilized" part of the world: democracy.
Now some American ideologues were not so sure that giving all individuals abroad their own political choice would not ultimately harm US interests. Sure, they realized that those commercial media moguls overseas like Springer, Maxwell, Murdoch, Berlusconi etc. would marginalize each and every opinion that was against their own reason of being, i.e. capitalism, but they needed a second line of defense.
So they invented the perpetual "crazy foreign bad guy", whose threat would stifle every kind of unpatriotic dissent at home and require ever increasing amounts of "civilian-friendly precision ordnance and delivery systems" (boosting the US military-industrial complex as an extra bonus).
First it was Stalin, who to his discredit used less subtle means of voter control, and later on of course the likes of Mao, Fidel, Ho Chi Minh, Nasser, Arafat, Khaddafi, Saddam and lately Ahmadinejad.
But don't these "bad guys" use this same "imaginary-external-threat-to-quell-internal-dissent" ploy, you might ask? Maybe, but the difference is that there's nothing "imaginary" about Napalm, Agent Orange, Daisy cutters, Bunker busters, tactical nukes, Predators (extra-judicial killings), unlawful regime change (Mosaddegh, Allende), kidnappings and many other fine tools of "political coercion".


Anonymous said...

...and then there's OIL of course!


Anonymous said...

...shame on me, I forgot CHAVEZ !


PS: bin Laden is the odd man out, because he was the only one who in the end took the "War on (fill in the EVIL of your choice)" back to US soil... unless you believe the conspiracy theories.