Iran doesn’t have anything like the centrifuges operating that it’s boastful President says it has, but don’t just take my word for it-
Ahmadinejad’s reference to 3,000 “working” appeared at odds with the latest quarterly International Atomic Energy Agency report on Iran, which said about 2,000 centrifuges were enriching uranium as of August 19 at the underground Natanz plant.
About 800 centrifuges were at various stages of installation and testing there and in a small pilot facility but few were enriching uranium. Even the 2,000 in the main plant were operating well below capacity, the August 30 report said.
The IAEA report indicated that the pace of Iran’s centrifuge installation had slowed markedly since April. Diplomats cite as possible factors both technical difficulties and political restraint designed to head off more painful sanctions.
And the sciencey bit-
We know that Iran operated 8 cascades between 18 April- 19 August. That is seventeen weeks, 119 days or 2856 hours. Eight cascades, fed 70 grams of hex per hour, should have consumed 1,600 kg of hex.
Assume the four additional cascades began operating on May 13 (about 14 weeks). The additional four cascades should have consumed another 650 kg, for a grand total of 2,250 kilograms. Instead, Iran consumed 690 kilograms of hex during that period, for an operating efficiency of about 30 percent.
That’s very low.
What is very odd that is that 260 of those kilograms were consumed between 15 April-22 May. As a result, all twelve cascades consumed only 430 kilograms in the not quite 13 weeks that followed. Twelve cascades, over the course of 89 days or 2136 hours, should consume almost 1800 kg of hex. That means Iran’s centrifuges operated close to one-quarter of their efficiency, a substantial decrease from the relatively continuous operation between 15 April – 22 May (about half their maximum feed).
And today the news (via MOA) that reformist former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has been elected as speaker of the Assembly of Experts, now the below graphic may help explain exactly what that means, or indeed it might confuse you more than ever (click for full size)-
How’d you do? Yeah me either, anyways what it does mean is a reformist pragmatist has been brought back into the fold showing that Ahmadinejad’s influence is being countered. That’s important because in all reporting of Iran Ahmadinejad has been created as the human embodiment of all Iran, it’s as if one assumed all Americans were moronic scumbags because of Bush being their President (which of course is hugely inaccurate whatever Fox News would make one think otherwise). Ludicrous but in the cooking of the crisis to create a situation that could presage an attack it is a useful tactic for the propagandists. Yet reality confounds them at every turn, the scale and technical prowess of the nuclear program is way below their bogeyman Ahmadinejad’s claims and the political establishment is balancing out his power with popular opposition figures which rather blows the President standing for a whole county’s monolithic intentions meme. Which all makes for some hopeful developments except… that assumes the Whitehouse is living in this reality and doesn’t go to war on lies… You see right there what the problem is? All the debating over the Bush administration’s intentions does assume (if not good faith, ha!) at least sanity or some semblance of human reason connected to an honest appraisal of the facts.
One garrulous neo-con did once say that pretty well much the Iraq invasion was the result of the work of fewer than 100 people, that without them there would have been no war. Not that the empire would have gone all peaceful on us, but it’s state of near war had to be tipped into hot conflict by determined elites. Imagine a person so appalling their work is to cause war, imagine even after these same monsters have caused over a million deaths they are still at work and treated with deference by our fourth estate for their own less than salubrious reasons. In other words imagine standing in the wreckage of a still burning building and upon meeting the pyromaniacs who torched it, you hand them a can of gasoline and a box of brand spanking new matches, then telling yourself everything is just fine- people don’t want to go to war, it is a last resort, everyone knows that. And that’s even before you get to the influence of Israel and the Christian dominionists. There is only one crisis and that is the crisis in the American empire and its externalities are global waves of death. That crisis though is something long term and deeply ingrained, it is manifest destiny, American exceptionalism, ‘spreading democracy’ based on the spurious identification of capitalism with democracy thus business justified interventionism draped in the raiments of freedom and justice.
Britain had its empire now the hyperpower wants its due on a battleground of dwindling hydrocarbons and failing ecosystems. No potential leader will stand in the way of this engine of imperialism (are liberals waking up?) but even if a change did come it will not come in time, because 6 years into an administration’s rule the bubble of their perception is hermetically sealed and what we are actually dealing with are the most powerful people on earth become mentally ill. Paranoid, delusional, aggressive, non-empathetic. Discussing whether they will attack Iran based on reason is a mistake, the only discussion should be about the ways to force them not to. Threatening impeachment, cutting war funding- is any of that happening? After all if the opposition (is there any?) assume the worse and are mistaken they will still have halted war funding and stymied the Whitehouses power grab. So if they are not doing that (and they aren’t) it is to all intents and purposes a green light. And is there any open debate about the influence of Israel on US policy? Or longer term even debate on the huge military spending, the 700+ bases in more than 130 countries while healthcare is for profit? If there was any actual democracy the coming election would be between the dem/repub hybrid conservative clone and Kucinich. Instead politics is between two conservative imperial corporate public relations organisations. No more democratic than Iran, but with the nuclear (and propensity to use them) and military might to destroy planet Earth several times over before lunch. That’s the crisis.