William R Collier JR- The ability to efficiently find, mine, and process uranium for nuclear fuel is a feat of technical know-how that few governments possess. While Russia has access to all the uranium it can use from Kazakhstan, their technical know-how has always lagged behind the West. As the chief supplier of semi-processed uranium to Iran, Russia had, prior to 2013, little access to the highest technology and latest techniques for finding, mining, and process uranium. That has changed and Iran has a new secret weapon in its nuclear program.
After 2013 Russia, Iran's chief uranium supplier, was able to manuevre, using legal loopholes, in order to obtain a Canadian uranium-mining company that itself controls and estimated 20-50% of US uranium output. Through its US subsidiaries that company had access to American technology and know-how that is far more advanced than anything the Russians had.
The 2013 deal, in which a Russian government owned energy company purchased "Uranium One" and those obtained outright control over a US uranium mine and technical know-how, was initially approved by US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and then finally approved by Secretary of State John Kerry. In effect, the deal gives the Russian Government, and now also the Iranian government, access to American technical know-how and even, incredibly, US uranium itself. So it turns out that American technical know is the secret source for Iran's nuclear program.
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Regardless of the politics, defense and security experts believe that this deal was flawed from the start and is not in keeping with the current American President's claim to be pursuing non-proliferation. Russia has long been believed to be violating all non-proliferation agreements, exchanging uranium and technical support for hard currency, which the Russian state has been lacking.
The optics of the deal are clear and simple: the Clinton Foundation received millions of dollars in donations and Bill Clinton received a $500,000 speaking fee from either the Canadian company and/or the Russian government owned company and THEN this deal was pushed through. It could have been stopped by Secretary Clinton with one word, but it was not. Therefore observers must either believe that the Secretary allowed her parochial intersts to influence her decision or that she genuinely felt this deal was consistent with US policy and US interests. Either conclusion is troubling as this deal effectively boosts Iran's nuclear program, especially as it gives the Russian state, Iran's chief supplier, access to American know-how that is, frankly, superior to anything the Russians had access to before.
This American uranium could be used to fuel Russian nuclear weapons aimed at the US or even Iranian weapons. That is possible. What is definite is that the aquisition of American know-how and technology in this critical field is a boon to America's enemies and a loss to American security. Why the US Government, from Secretary Clinton to President Obama, decided this is a good deal remains a point of controversy.
With American technical and know-how the Russians, and by extension the Iranians, can decrease the amount of time it takes to refine uranium and they can do so with less raw materials and at a cheaper cost. Whereas before it may have taken 6,000 pounds of uranium and 3 month's processing time to produce 100 pounds of weapons-grade uranium, today it may only take 2,000 pounds to produce a far more highly refined 50 pounds of superior weapons grade uranium in 30 days. (The exact figures are debated.)
How does News Scope know that this deal was all about the technology for Russia and, by extension, Iran? The Russian government has made a deal in Kazakhstan, which, interestingly enough, it is alleged Bill Clinton was somehow involved with, to gain access to their uranium. Kazakhstan is the world's biggest producer of uranium.
This deal was done in 2005. So why, 8 years later, was the Russian state pushing so hard to aquire a Canadian company that had access, at the time, to far less uranium than could be had from Kazakhstan? The answer is obvious- the Russians were after American technology and know-how, which is no doubt being passed on to the Iranians. Thanks to this technology and know-how, based on the amount of uranium available to the Iranians, the break-out time for building Iranian nuclear weapons is, at any time, only 30 days and the amount of weapons that can be produced has likely doubled.
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