The Iran deal, continued: Finally, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh can holiday in Florida
Hotel Coburg, Vienna - 15th July
We're back to talk about the nuclear deal of the century - and this time, we're doing it with added sobriety. The champagne bottles are being packed up and the post-deal hangover is just wearing off.
Fortunately, it won't be the worst hangover that we've ever had. Indeed, the terms of the nuclear deal look to be a workable compromise from the lofty heights of Redline Towers. And we're not the only ones to think so - anoraks around the world are lining up to stroke their beards and declare the deal Pretty Good. That said a deal is only the beginning and Iran needs to live up to the Terms and Conditions.
We're just grateful that we weren't in Vienna. Redline hopes that the negotiating teams packed plenty of Stay Hards because that was a tiring couple of weeks, and we spent most of it on the couch. Indeed, we endured a Max Delay or two while the successive deadlines were passed.
But enough small talk. What's in the deal for Mohsen Fakhrizadeh (محسن فخری زاده) and his merry band of wannabe nuclear weaponeers in Iran's SPND (سپند) organisation?
1) The bad news for SPND – Iran promises no more research on nuclear weapons :(
The deal prohibits Iran from undertaking the very sort of nuclear weapon-related R&D that Mohsen Fakhrizadeh and friends most want to undertake. So there'll be no more experiments on neutron generators, nuclear yield calculations, implosion diagnostics with flash x-ray machines or fissile material metallurgy. All of those things would be needed to make nukes - and SPND is banned from doing them, under punishment of collapsing the whole darn deal. Of course a dedicated Redline reader might ask what about the covert facilities….
2) The good news for SPND - no more sanctions on SPND!
Interestingly, SPND and Mohsen Fakhrizadeh are both on the list of entities who will be removed from sanctions lists once Iran completes its undertakings.
That means that SPND old-timers like Saeed Borji (سعید برجی), Javad Al-Yasin (جواد آل یاسین) and Mohammad Sadegh-Naseri (محمدصادق ناصری) can finally take those holidays to the US that they've been yearning for without fear of being arrested. Party time!
3) More good news for SPND - lots of non-weapony business opportunities!
The deal also envisages a whole lot of new cooperation between Iran and the rest of the world on various aspects of civil nuclear research. That's supposed to include nuclear fusion; detection using neutrinos; medical isotope production and all sorts of stuff that's genuinely interesting to nuclear physicists. No doubt some of the ex-SPND scientists will be looking to get on board with this sort of work.
4) Good news for everyone - Fordow converted from evil underground lair to international research centre
Lots of those research projects will be taking place in Fordow, which is being converted from an underground, undeclared clandestine facility producing 20%-enriched uranium into an international nuclear research centre. The doors of Fordow will be thrown open to visiting scientists from across the world, and Redline will be extremely jealous of anyone who gets to go inside. Please, please buy us a Fordow t-shirt.
5) Good news for the person who gets to pour concrete into the Arak reactor pressure vessel and araldite into centrifuge piping at Natanz
Yep, check the fine print of the deal. The old, plutonium-capable reactor pressure vessel at Arak will be removed and filled with cement. And various centrifuges at Natanz will be glued up to stop them being used.
6) Bad news for forests
The deal is 159 pages long. Redline fondly remembers the trees that sacrificed their lives so that we might have very long annexes full of technical detail.
Of course signing a deal is one thing, abiding by it is another. Plenty of people have crossed their fingers when signing a piece of paper and then gone back on the whole thing later on. Redline is still shocked by the break up of Brad and Jen and the impact this had on our lives. Call us suspicious but whilst we hope Iran will keep to this once in a lifetime agreement we’ll be watching for how the SPND behaves.Comment on this article...