New Evidence Shows That Iran Was Closer to Building a Nuclear Bomb Than Previously Thought

In April, Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israeli operatives had spirited a vast, secret archive relating to Iran’s nuclear-weapons program out of the country and brought it to Jerusalem. Having studied the documents that have been made public, David Albright, Sarah Burkhard, Olli Heinonen, and Frank Pabian conclude that Tehran has been carrying out research necessary for the development of a nuclear bomb at a military facility in Parchin, and that this research was more advanced than experts had believed. If so, the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal and the current regimen of inspections are not preventing the Islamic Republic from continuing on its path to the bomb:

Iran’s stark aim, in violation of its commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and contrary to its signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, contradicts the finding by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in December 2015 that Iran’s nuclear-weapons activities had not gone beyond feasibility and simple scientific studies. . . .

The archive provides the public its first look inside the Parchin nuclear weapons-development facility and at the type of nuclear weapons-related activities that took place at the site, [and it includes] confirmation that Iran was testing . . . a specialized, difficult-to-develop, neutron initiator to start the chain reaction in a nuclear explosion. The new information about Parchin . . . shows that Iran conducted far more high-explosive tests at the site than previously understood. It may have maintained some of the equipment for later use, and did in fact resume (elsewhere) some of those activities related to nuclear-weapons development under a new organizational structure. . . .

More broadly, at issue remains [the question of] whether Iran is simply preserving, curating, and improving its nuclear-weapons capabilities, awaiting a decision to reconstitute a full-blown nuclear-weapons program at a later date, if such a political decision is made. Its failure to destroy all of these documents, and purportedly, the equipment used in these activities, does not align with its commitment under the nuclear deal “that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop, or acquire nuclear weapons.”

Read more at Institute for Science and International Security

More about: Iranian nuclear program, Mossad, Nuclear proliferation, Politics & Current Affairs

How to Save the Universities

To Peter Berkowitz, the rot in American institutions of higher learning exposed by Tuesday’s hearings resembles a disease that in its early stages was easy to cure but difficult to diagnose, and now is so advanced that it is easy to diagnose but difficult to cure. Recent analyses of these problems have now at last made it to the pages of the New York Times but are, he writes, “tardy by several decades,” and their suggested remedies woefully inadequate:

They fail to identify the chief problem. They ignore the principal obstacles to reform. They propose reforms that provide the equivalent of band-aids for gaping wounds and shattered limbs. And they overlook the mainstream media’s complicity in largely ignoring, downplaying, or dismissing repeated warnings extending back a quarter century and more—largely, but not exclusively, from conservatives—that our universities undermine the public interest by attacking free speech, eviscerating due process, and hollowing out and politicizing the curriculum.

The remedy, Berkowitz argues, would be turning universities into places that cultivate, encourage, and teach freedom of thought and speech. But doing so seems unlikely:

Having undermined respect for others and the art of listening by presiding over—or silently acquiescing in—the curtailment of dissenting speech for more than a generation, the current crop of administrators and professors seems ill-suited to fashion and implement free-speech training. Moreover, free speech is best learned not by didactic lectures and seminars but by practicing it in the reasoned consideration of competing ideas with those capable of challenging one’s assumptions and arguments. But where are the professors who can lead such conversations? Which faculty members remain capable of understanding their side of the argument because they understand the other side?

Read more at RealClearPolitics

More about: Academia, Anti-Semitism, Freedom of Speech, Israel on campus