Iran Stockpiles Uranium, and the U.S. Turns a Blind Eye

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recently reported that, over the past eighteen months, Iran has increased its supply of nuclear fuel by 20 percent. Jonathan Tobin explains:

[T]he fact that Iran’s stockpile has been increasing at a time when President Obama has been proclaiming that their program was “frozen” is more than an inconvenient detail that can be swept under the rug. Under the terms of the framework, Iran is, at least according to the United States, obligated to shrink its nuclear stockpile by approximately 96 percent from the amount reported by the IAEA in a matter of months after the agreement is signed. Iran doesn’t have the capacity to convert its fuel into rods that can’t be used for bombs that quickly and has made it clear that it has no intention of allowing the precious stockpile to be taken out of the country. This creates an apparently insoluble problem for an administration that is all-in on a negotiating process that isn’t working the way it thought it would. . . .

If the final negotiations on the Iran deal proceed as if we didn’t know that Iran has been expanding its nuclear stockpile, it calls into question the credibility of the entire process. With no assurances about Iran opening up its facilities on military applications of nuclear research, inspections, and the re-imposition of sanctions, the obstacles to a final agreement before the June 30 deadline loom large. But if administration negotiators treat every instance of Iranian bad faith as merely a detail to be swept under the rug, as they have throughout this process, the Iranians have no reason to live up to their word.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Barack Obama, Foreign Policy, Iran, Iran nuclear program, Politics & Current Affairs


Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security