It’s too late. International diplomatic efforts have failed. Iran will cross the nuclear threshold.
That was the dire message conveyed this week by Rafael Grossi, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
He told the IAEA’s annual Board of Governors meeting in Vienna that Iran was now “very close” to achieving this milestone. At this point “it cannot be avoided,” he added.
Grossi stressed, “Having a significant quantity [crossing the uranium enrichment threshold] does not mean having a bomb, but … this idea of crossing the line, it’s going to happen.”
After more than a decade of Iran lying to the world about pursuing weapons-grade uranium, it would be beyond foolish to now assume they won’t turn it into a bomb.
It’s Iran’s lying that Grossi said is the main problem.
“Iran has not responded to questions posed by the IAEA—it can’t do it without blatantly lying and without being caught,” he said while addressing Tehran’s failure to provide credible explanations for nuclear activity at undeclared sites.
He added that even at declared sites it was not possible to verify Iran’s compliance due to a refusal fully cooperate.
Who’s really to blame?
Israel has been saying for years that the real problem isn’t Iran lying. Rather, it’s the world’s willingness to for so long believe those lies.
With a nuclear Iran now seemingly a fait accompli, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Tuesday signaled that the time had come for Israel to act.
Bennett told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee:
“In recent years, Iran has crossed a series of red lines, especially in enriching uranium at a level of 60%—without a response, and the world goes on. Israel cannot—and will not—accept such a situation.
“Last Friday, I met with … Grossi and we discussed this. He came for a snap visit and I clarified Israel’s position, which is that we are acting, and will continue to reserve the freedom to take such action against the Iranian nuclear program as may be necessary, at any time, with or without an agreement. Nothing will tie our hands.”
The IAEA is expected to conclude its meetings this week with a resolution condemning Iran, which will no doubt be promptly rejected by the ayatollahs.
The ball, it would seem, is now in Israel’s court.