Reihan doesn't think that Iran handing over the uranium is such big news:
All of this sounds like good news, and it is. Unfortunately, it is also extremely good news for Iran and Ahmadinejad, who has managed to buy still more time to build his weapons program. There's little doubt that the Qom facility is just part of a vast network of secret nuclear facilities that the Iranians have been building for years to evade inspectors. It solves the "puzzle" of why the Iranians haven't been able to account for large amounts of uranium from one of their mines...So while the Iranians will hand over low-enriched nuclear fuel they've said they have, they're not about to give up the nuclear they haven't said they have. Get it?
Juan Cole counters:
The NYT report on all this adds in all kinds of extraneous and unproven allegations, of a network of secret enrichment plants or secret stores of low-enriched uranium or nefarious Iranian plans to make a bomb, or of Iran having enough nuclear material to make a bomb (irrelevant if they can't enrich to 90%), and what Israel thinks of all this (since the Israelis really have thumbed their nose at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and made a whole arsenal of bombs, thus further destabilizing the Middle East, why they aren't under UN sanctions I'll never understand; but they certainly don't have standing to dictate anything to other countries on the proliferation issue). It reminds me of all the NYT front page stories about aluminum tubes and Iraqi WMD of Judy Miller in 2002. Isn't it bad journalism to report completely unproven allegations for which there is no evidence?
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