On November 7, Michael R. Gordon reported in the lede of a New York Times article titled “West and Iran Seen as Nearing a Nuclear Deal”:
After years of fruitless negotiations, Western and Iranian diplomats are on the verge of an agreement that would freeze Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for an easing of some economic sanctions.
I knew that was nonsense when I read it. Gordon then confirmed that it was nonsense the next day, when he and co-author Mark Landler, in an article titled “Roadblocks Remain as Officials Work Toward Iranian Nuclear Pact” wrote in the lede:
With Secretary of State John Kerry and other ranking Western officials converging here on Friday, negotiators wrestled with the final hurdles to a landmark nuclear agreement with Iran that would temporarily freeze its nuclear program.
But then added halfway down the page:
Iran has made clear it has no intention of suspending the enrichment of low-enriched uranium, either under an interim agreement or as part of a comprehensive accord.
Indeed. How, then, could it be reported that the parties were “Nearing a Nuclear Deal”? Iran’s insistence on its right to enrich uranium under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and rejection of the U.S.’s demands that it cease its production of low-enriched uranium, even if only supposedly “temporarily” (which it already did once, incidentally, only to get nothing in return except more threats and ultimatums), is also obviously not merely one of a few “final hurdles” to reaching “a landmark nuclear agreement”. The proposal is a non-starter.
Gordon and Landler add, with reference to Iran’s Arak research reactor, which would produce plutonium as a byproduct (the reactor is under IAEA supervision and Iran lacks the reprocessing facility that would be necessary for it to turn the plutonium into weapons-grade nuclear material):
Once the reactor becomes operational, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for the West to disable it by military means for fear of igniting the plutonium, a component of nuclear weapons.
To “disable” the reactor “by military means”. This is their way of saying “to illegally bomb it”.