Today, we have a welcome bit of good news out of Iran. At Antiwar.com today, Jason Ditz is reporting that Iran has shipped the vast majority of its remaining enriched uranium stockpile to Russia, where it will be converted before being sent back to Iran. The conversion process transforms the uranium into a form that can only be used for energy production and not for the production of nuclear weapons. Thus, by sending the majority of its stockpile to Russia, Iran is severely limiting any capability to move towards a nuclear weapon. And by complying with the terms of the nuclear deal so quickly, Iran is hoping to also expedite the relief from international sanctions. In short, this is really a win for everyone.
Lest anyone should be confused, we should hasten to point out that there is no solid evidence that the Iranians were actually trying to develop a nuclear weapon at any time in recent history. Even the intelligence community concluded that it couldn’t find evidence of a weapons program after 2003, and other authors have credibly contended that in fact, the Iranians never pursued such a program because it was deemed forbidden under Islamic law. Wherever the truth lies here, there is no basis for the presumption of Iranian guilt employed by Western media when discussing this topic. This latest step towards compliance offers further evidence that the Iranian aspirations were peaceful in nature. Of course, it remains to be seen whether the US will keep up its end of the deal and lift sanctions, but Iran appears to be doing everything it can to comply with the deal.
And given the general tide of chaos sweeping over much of the Middle East, it’s nice to know that with at least one country, we are moving away from war and towards peace. Let’s hope this trend can continue.