Another Iran Concession: Sure, You Can Run Centrifuges In Your Fortified Underground Bunker

AP Photo/Vahid Salemi
AP Photo/Vahid Salemi

The latest Associated Press dispatch from nuclear negotiations in Lausanne, Switzerland, reads like satire: “The United States is considering letting Tehran run hundreds of centrifuges at a once-secret, fortified underground bunker in exchange for limits on centrifuge work and research and development at other sites, officials have told The Associated Press.”

The AP explains that “the trade-off would allow Iran to run several hundred of the devices at its Fordo facility, although the Iranians would not be allowed to do work that could lead to an atomic bomb and the site would be subject to international inspections, according to Western officials familiar with details of negotiations now underway.”

What international inspections? The ones Iran dismissed as an “illegal” non-starter this week?

Experts tactfully described the latest concession to Iran as “problematic,” because “it would allow Iran to keep intact technology that could be quickly repurposed for uranium enrichment at a sensitive facility that the U.S. and its allies originally wanted stripped of all such machines – centrifuges that can spin uranium gas into uses ranging from reactor fuel to weapons-grade material.”

They will be doing that spinning in a fortified bunker virtually impervious to air attack. No one seems interested in asking Iran why they’d need such a facility to house part of a program for the entirely peaceful production of nuclear energy for civilian customers, which they perpetually claim is the goal of their nuclear program.

The AP also mentions Iran’s resistance to snap inspections, and their refusal to divulge crucial information about their past activities to establish a baseline for future compliance, described in detail here. A great deal of the historical information they refuse to hand over would involve the Fordo bunker site, which was kept secret until 2009.

We are basically watching Iran squeeze one crazy concession after another from Team Obama, while the clock runs down on a month-end deadline for agreeing on the outline of an agreement – a deadline that clearly rattles Obama far more than it bothers the mullahs. Everything going on right now looks more like Obama half-heartedly negotiating a surrender than working out some kind of tough deal. The Iranians insult him at will, dismiss any concession that would seriously hinder their nuclear program, and answer each new Obama capitulation with a fresh set of demands.

If they really want to push their luck, they should demand Obama personally abstain from golf until 2017, and see what he does. They should also demand the right to spin centrifuges in secret supervillain volcano lairs, grade schools, and mosques.