Former official says Obama Iran policy ineffective

Bill Gertz:
The State Department’s former top weapons proliferation official said recently that the Obama administration’s failure to threaten military force against Iran had helped advance the covert nuclear arms program there.
Robert Joseph, undersecretary of state for arms control during the George W. Bush administration, also said in a speech that the administration’s push to engage Iran and North Korea, and to eliminate all nuclear arms, has increased global threats to U.S. security.
Joseph challenged President Obama’s statement that his administration inherited a policy toward Iran “in tatters” and said the current conciliatory approach had failed to stem Tehran’s drive for a nuclear bomb.
“Despite multiple claims that the sanctions are working, the scope and the pace of Iran’s nuclear program are expanding and accelerating,” Joseph said at a breakfast meeting May 9.
Iran operated about 4,000 centrifuges for enriching uranium at a plant near Natanz at the end of 2008. Three years later, the IAEA reported that Iran’s enrichment capacity in Natanz doubled to more than 8,000 centrifuges, he said.
Joseph, an adviser to presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, said the two main themes of administration efforts to stop the flow of nuclear and other arms has been “an unshakable faith in engagement” with Tehran and Pyongyang and a global push for eliminating all nuclear weapons.
“My bottom line is that both of these themes have actually undermined our ability to stop proliferation, and in fact may produce the opposite effects of those intended, a more proliferated and more unstable and dangerous world,” Joseph said.
On Iran, Joseph said Tehran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium increased five-fold from about 1,000 kilograms in early 2009 to over 5,000 kilograms today.
Additionally, the formerly covert underground nuclear plant is producing 20-percent enriched uranium, which is closer to what is needed for producing weapons.
“As for weaponization, the past two IAEA reports have emphasized disturbing and in some cases recent activities that the agency’s inspectors on the ground believe are, in their words, ‘strong indicators of possible weapons development,’” Joseph said.
The work on nuclear arms includes evidence of neutron initiatives, triggering systems, and implosion experiments.
“The administration can continue to claim that Iran halted its weapons work in 2003 to 2004, but it cannot deny the existence of evidence to the contrary,” Joseph, now with the National Institute for Public Policy, said. ”On this question, the IAEA is far to the right of the administration. But hey, who is not to the right of this administration?”
There is more.

It looks like Romney will challenge Obama on his ineffective policy toward Iran and North Korea.  The facts certainly suggest that things are worse now than before.  It was not until Israel said it was prepared to attack Iran this year that they agreed to talks and at those talks they have not agreed to roll back their nuclear effort.  We are also seeing evidence that they have built equipment for testing nuclear weapons.


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