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ElBaradei Downplays Uranium Find in Iran

The European Union heads into Monday Iran Rejects Incentives in order to entice Iran from its nuclear program and uranium enrichment activities. But before even making it to the table, Iran has rejected it, reminding once again that its nuclear program is not for sale, regardless of economic and security incentives that may be offered it by Friday of this week. Offers to Iran have been made for nearly two years, all of them summarily dismissed. They simply are not interested.

Last week’s revelation that equipment from Iran’s razed Lavizan plant tested positively for highly enriched uranium could prove quite problematic for the persistent Iranian regime. While Ahmadinejad has outright denied the test results are true, it is expected that Iran will eventually claim that the equipment swabbed by the IAEA was used and that the residue of HEU trace back to the equipment’s origin, Pakistan.

While that may prove true, just as did the tested samples from Natanz earlier, it puts Iran’s denial that its military is involved in their clandestine nuclear program squarely on its head, as the Lavizan site was a military facility, also suspected of carrying out explosives tests consistent with testing nuclear detonators.

For the IAEA’s part, Iran’s state-run media arm, IRNA, noted that IAEA head Mohamad ElBaradei has already said the HEU find was of little significance and likely traceable to Pakistani centrifuges again.

In another exchange, ElBaradei said that the world should be less concerned about Iran with nuclear weapons and more concerned about terrorists getting them. Said ElBaradei, “The fear of terrorists acquiring nuclear weapons is much more [of a risk], in my view … than a country acquiring nuclear weapons right now.” This thinking demonstrates a failure to acknowledge the Iranian theocracy as the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism. They founded Hizballah and support Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, PFLP and others via funds, arms and training. Iran also currently houses at least 25 of al-Qaeda’s top deputies. The Iranian regime is synonymous with terrorism.

How might terrorists acquire nuclear arms but through a state? Which state is most likely to do so but a state sponsor of terrorism? This logic is unsettling coming from the head of the world’s nuclear watchdog organization.

But another question also arises regarding ElBaradei and the IAEA.

The IAEA has had the samples in question for some time, likely months. The samples were acknowledged in a 28Apr06 IAEA report to the UN Security Council. How long before the report the samples were taken is not yet clear.

Yet the sample findings were only made available three days ago - and only then initiated by anonymous insiders. How long can it possibly take to determine the presence of HEU?

Was ElBaradei and the IAEA keeping the analysis quiet? Or did his IAEA drag their feet in beginning the fissile material analysis?

It cannot possibly take months to perform particle analysis, especially when the issue at hand is an acute international crisis.

So why now? That is a question that remains to be answered.

Considering the results of the tests were made public by ‘anonymous sources’ rather than ElBaradei or an IAEA spokesman, ElBaradei’s above comments immediately downplaying them - or more accurately, the logic behind them - are troubling.