Cheating already? According to an IAEA report released Friday, Iran’s nuclear stockpiles have grown by 20 percent over the last 18 months, despite the Obama Administration’s claim that Tehran’s program was “frozen” during that time. The Administration now finds itself with an even harder sell to make: convincing Congress and America’s wary allies that Iran will get rid of 96 percent of its stockpile in only a few months following the conclusion of a deal.
Western experts say that the oversupply could have been caused by technical problems, and that the material isn’t necessarily usable for weapons. Alternatively, Iran may well have been stockpiling in order to secure an advantage if negotiations fall through (or, rather, when
they do, as our own Adam Garfinkle has repeatedly predicted).“From the U.S. perspective, it’s obviously less than ideal,” an Iran specialist at Columbia University said, while noting that nevertheless the development is not necessarily a deal-breaker. Indeed, it seems very unlikely to be, given the Obama Administration’s frantic pursuit of this deal at what looks like any cost.