covert actions

Iran Begins Uranium Enrichment at Qom Tuesday, Enrichment Scientist at Natanz Assassinated Wednesday

Fars News photo of the aftermath of the bomb that killed Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton railed Tuesday against Iran’s beginning of operations at its Qom uranium enrichment facility, which is buried deep within a mountain to protect it from bunker-buster bombs. Less than 24 hours later, the Deputy Director of the Natanz enrichment facility was assassinated when a bomb attached to his car exploded in northern Tehran. Iran is blaming Israel,citing similarities of this attack with two previous attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists, attacks in which Iran says the US also was complicit.

Despite the fact that Iran’s new uranium enrichment plant at Qom is designed to enrich uranium to only 20%, well short of the 90%+ that is needed for nuclear weapons, the US response to the start of operations there paints it as a highly provocative act:

“This step once again demonstrates the Iranian regime’s blatant disregard for its responsibilities and that the country’s growing isolation is self-inflicted,” Clinton said in a statement.

/snip/

“The circumstances surrounding this latest action are especially troubling,” Clinton said.

“There is no plausible justification for this production. Such enrichment brings Iran a significant step closer to having the capability to produce weapons-grade highly enriched uranium.”

Clinton rejected Iran’s assertion that it needed to enrich uranium to produce fuel for a medical research reactor, saying Western powers had offered alternatives means of obtaining such fuel but their offers had been rejected by Tehran.

Remarkably, Clinton also called for Iran to return to the “P5+1” talks, apparently having missed Iran’s Foreign Minister stating last week that Iran is ready to return to these critical talks aimed at diffusing the tension over Iran’s nuclear technology.

It appears that the US is having a bit of trouble with message management over its actions in relation to Iran. Over at Moon of Alabama, b reports on an embarrassing incident yesterday in which transcription from a “senior administration official” in the Washington Post got a bit too candid and had to be revised. Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz Me too. It would be so much preferable to the inane reportage of Dylan Byers https://t.co/pKVOuOQ1QG
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bmaz RT @tamarbirckhead: Juvenile defense is a specialty, not a training ground. And more states are realizing this. https://t.co/sS6cMCvSJe
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bmaz RT @JimWhiteGNV: While Dems gloat about Trump destroying the GOP, note that since Obama put @DWStweets in charge, our party is in tatters,…
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emptywheel If IC has problem briefing Trump--ONCE!--now's time to back off support for unlimited POTUS discretion w/CLASS info. https://t.co/fXumIgXeS0
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JimWhiteGNV RT @IFThunder: @JimWhiteGNV @DWStweets It actually started right out of the gate with Tim Kaine. But DWS is the icing on the shitty cake.
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emptywheel @DrSchadNFreude You're telling @ValeriePlame about the downsides of notorious douches having access to classified info? @needsfixed
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JimWhiteGNV While Dems gloat about Trump destroying the GOP, note that since Obama put @DWStweets in charge, our party is in tatters, too.
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bmaz @davidminpdx Talk to @teddysanfran (Who is now really TeddyPortland)
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bmaz @MiracMagntism Absolutely, but most of ones from the right that will come already are. Don't dispirit left by trying harder to please right.
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bmaz @SunsetGunShot Yeah, but I kind of like the premise!
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bmaz Hillary is more concerned with swimming right than left and here are the @Democrats doing what they do https://t.co/ppBJe088OP
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bmaz RT @GinnyLaRoe: some sad truth right here https://t.co/hT9diSEB3N
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