Iran's Mask Slips:

It was never a very convincing disguise anyway, but this puts paid to it.

The technical document describes the use of a neutron source, uranium deuteride, which independent experts confirm has no possible civilian or military use other than in a nuclear weapon. Uranium deuteride is the material used in Pakistan’s bomb, from where Iran obtained its blueprint.

“Although Iran might claim that this work is for civil purposes, there is no civil application,” said David Albright, a physicist and president of the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington, which has analysed hundreds of pages of documents related to the Iranian programme. “This is a very strong indicator of weapons work.”


Mark Fitzpatrick, senior fellow for non-proliferation at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, said: “The most shattering conclusion is that, if this was an effort that began in 2007, it could be a casus belli. If Iran is working on weapons, it means there is no diplomatic solution.”
It was always difficult to imagine the Israeli prime minister who would endure Iran's nuclear program passing a certain point. That was true even if you could make a plausible claim that it was for civilian, peaceful use.

If Iran follows through this time on its pledge to swap fuel for uranium, it might buy time for some other approach to be tried by the community of nations. However, this exposes their negotiations for what many of us have always suspected that they were: merely a ploy. A ploy to do what? Why, to buy time!

The diplomatic options therefore become much less attractive, even if Iran actually does follow through on the swap. It's clear that they're continuing to refine uranium; all the swap does is push out the time until they have enough for a bomb. However, if they need that time anyway to overcome the remaining techincal challenges -- including this one, which they have apparently been trying to solve since 2007 -- they stand to lose nothing from the swap. They do gain the appearance of cooperation and good faith, however, which might protect their program from military action... just... long... enough.

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