Bring back French Fries.
First, Russia shows the impotence of our Syrian policy and now France demonstrates how we are appeasing Iran foolishly. It’s not been a good year for Obama’s foreign policy. The world is catching on.
But for the objections of the newly stand-up French, led by Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, the 5+1 talks would have led to an abject surrender to Iran, allowing the terrorist-state to continue to build a plutonium plant and to freeze its uranium enrichment centrifuges just one notch below bomb-level.
A plutonium plant can produce enough fissionable material to make a bomb very quickly. And uranium, when enriched to 20%, can be further enriched to 90% — bomb grade — in a few weeks.
(The hard part is getting it to 20%).
In return, Iran would have gotten (according to Senator Mark Kirk -R-Ill- who has been the leading advocate of sanctions):
• An end to sanctions on its gold sales which would have netted at least $10 billion in gold sales
• Relief from Petrochemical Sanctions. Last year Iran exported $11.2 billion in petrochemicals.
• Automobile Sanctions Relief. With the auto sector owned by the Revolutionary Guards, the $1.3 billion in likely sales would go toward the nuclear program.
• Unfreezing of $3 billion of Iranian assets.
This $20 billion of sanctions relief would be a heaven sent rescue for Iran’s failing economy. With a GDP under $500 billion, it would amount to a 4% increment — about the same as giving the U.S. $600 billion.
It would also boost Iran’s total foreign exchange reserves by 25% and double those that are fully accessible.
Under the agreement, Iran would be allowed to continue enriching uranium, up to 3.5% utilizing 9,000 centrifuges. Senator Kirk reports that:
• “Based on Iran’s current rate of production, 9,000 IR-1 centrifuges would produce 1,380kg of 3.5% enriched uranium over a six-month period. Roughly 1,500kg of 3.5% enriched uranium is needed to produce one nuclear weapon”.
• Iran could also continue to manufacture centrifuges. At Iran’s current installation rate of 500 centrifuges per month, it would make 3,000 over six months added to the 19,000 it already has, shortening Iran’s breakout timeline by 16%.
• And there would be no prohibition against Iran continuing to work on the Arak heavy water reactor which is scheduled to come on line in mid-2014.
So, under this wonderful proposal, Iran would be able to produce one bomb within six months, enough to destroy Israel.
Moreover, Iran could restart its enrichment program without the world even knowing. Four to eight weeks later, we would hear the sound of its bomb and have no further way to stop it.
Even if the enrichment is not unfrozen, the potential for a plutonium bomb is terrifying enough and the deal would have done nothing to avert it. Iran would not have had to open its plutonium plant to inspection much less to freeze construction.
France rightly insists that Iran de-commission its centrifuges and halt construction of its plutonium plant before any tradeoff for reduced sanctions or asset turnover.
But the larger point is how inept and weak American foreign policy has become. If Russia is more peace loving than we are and France more resolved and strong, how low we have fallen!
Israel’s denunciation of the deal would have counted for nothing had France not heeded her call. It is a delight to see France back in the game, standing up to aggression. It has been a long wait, but the tricolour is once again flying proudly in the cause of justice and world peace.
Vive la France!
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