economic sanctions

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
emptywheel @joanmccarter Right, but w/60 on a fully mature USAF, that won't work, right? @DemFromCT
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emptywheel @DemFromCT Which is not my preferred outcome, but almost certainly what will happen.
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emptywheel @DemFromCT I think some combo of King, Ernst, McCain, and Kirk will provide votes to put USAF over next Sunday.
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emptywheel RT @joanneleon: Here's a clip I created of last night's Senate showdown on short term reauth PATRIOT Act bulk surveillance http://t.co/gnE9
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emptywheel LOL. Ron Johnson voted for USAF last night. Both 2016 WI General and MD primary affecting surveillance votes already.
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emptywheel @DemFromCT All the spooks (except the ones who read me religiously, as they have admitted) tell me I'm not one!
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emptywheel @DemFromCT Also, I'm not transcribing. It probably helps to assess things from far away bc no one even tries to dictate to me.
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emptywheel @NadiaKayyali @TyreJim & yet neither of your drunk or sober CSPAN watchers has created a clip of McConnell's humiliating defeat last night?
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emptywheel If I can predict what is going to happen a full month before it does those in DC might be able to report what happened after it did, right?
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emptywheel This prediction of McConnell's plan--down to imposing data "retention" for iMessage--proved correct. https://t.co/N5zxWvmnoO
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bmaz @Popehat @jadler1969 Clearly. I would think both party consent would be the norm though.
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emptywheel @billyez2 Think even Ernst said something that indicated she might consider flipping. They prolly can get to 60 pretty easily.
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