The latest WSJ article which stated that Iran was keeping its 20% enriched Uranium stockpile below Israel’s red line made headlines in Israel today. Most of the Hebrew as well as English language press published it as if it only happened recently.
But in reality this is old news-it belongs to August last year.
Iran has been putting parts of its stockpile of 20% enriched uranium beyond military use before Bibi’s public declaration of his red line against Iran which was drawn with a big red marker in the UN on the 27th of September.
His red line stood at 240 kilos of 20% enriched uranium.
Iran had already started putting parts of its stockpile of 20% enriched uranium beyond military use by converting it into fuel plates since August 2012 a month after the EU started its oil sanctions against Iran.
In fact Ehud Barak used this tactic by the Iranians as a reason to publicly justify distancing his position away from that of Netanyahu on Iran last September.
So there is nothing new about this development.
What could be happening and of course this is only an assumption, is that both US and Israeli governments are preparing for a possible deal with Iran.
By highlighting such positive initiatives taken by Iran (Khamenei putting enriched uranium beyond use of military use) they could be preparing public opinion for a deal.
Or its just possible that the WSJ was late in picking up this story and our press in Israel followed suit.
Who said sanctions against the Iranian regime are not impacting its nuclear policies ?
There was a recent Gallup poll carried out in Iran which among other things it aimed to measure Iranian attitudes towards sanctions and the nuclear program.
Among other things it found that 63% of Iranian believe that the nuclear program should continue despite the sanctions.
Gallup is a very credible organization. I am sure they did a professional job.
At the same time I think it’s a credible question to ask whether those questioned in Iran could say what they really thought.
Imagine that you are live in what is fast becoming a totalitarian state. A blogger (Sattar Beheshti) gets tortured to death because he makes a facebook page criticizing government help for Lebanon. 15 reporters recently got arrested on trumped-up charges. Thousands of people were tortured in Tehran’s dreaded Kahrizak detention center after the 2009 elections. The regime even arrested some young people for staging a water fight because it was worried it could turn into a revolution.
Now imagine some unknown person calls you in your house. Someone who knows who you are because they have your number but you don’t know who they are. They say they are calling to survey your opinion from Gallup, but they could be anybody. They could be the Ministry of Intelligence or IRGC intelligence organization as well. How are you supposed to know?
They then ask you a question about whether you support continuing with the nuclear program despite the sanctions. At the back of your mind you know that this is something which the regime, the IRGC and the supreme leader has openly backed
How willing would you be to tell this unknown person that you contradict what is essentially current government policy?
I have no doubt that there are some people in Iran who back the government’s views.
However I think there is reason to questions the accuracy of the findings of this poll based on the fact that those questioned have genuine reason to fear the possible implications of saying what they really think.
What do you think?