John on May 26, 2008 at 10:14 pm
From the no-brainer segment of the news:
Obtained by the AP, the restricted report forwarded to the U.N. Security Council and to the 35 board members of the IAEA said Iran remains defiant of the council’s demands that it suspend uranium enrichment.
Shrugging off three sets of council sanctions, Iran has expanded its operational centrifuges â€” machines that churn out enriched uranium â€” by about 500 since the last IAEA report, in February, the new report said.
In announcing major progress in his government’s push for nuclear power, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said last month that Iranian scientists were putting 6,000 new uranium enriching centrifuges into place and testing a new type that worked five times faster.
The IAEA report noted Iran now had only 3,500 centrifuges and said the few advanced machines actually running were only in a testing phase. Still the senior U.N. official said Iran’s goal of 6,000 machines running by the summer was “pretty much plausible.”
Uranium can be used as nuclear reactor fuel or as the core for atomic warheads, depending on the degree of enrichment.
Running smoothly, 3,000 centrifuges could produce enough nuclear material for a bomb within 18 months. But Iran insists it is only working to produce fuel for reactors that will generate electricity and says it has a right to conduct enrichment for such purposes under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
In addressing whether Iran was complying with IAEA requests, the report appeared to come down on the side of the U.S. “Iran has not provided the Agency with all the information, access to documents and access to individuals necessary to support Iran’s statements” that its activities are purely peaceful in intent, it said.
“The Agency is of the view that Iran may have additional information, in particular on high explosives testing and missile related activities which … Iran should share with the agency,” the report said. It was referring to two alleged sets of tests that IAEA officials say could be linked to a nuclear weapons program.
But here’s the really serious part. Given Ahmedinejad’s continued statements about wiping Israel off the map, maybe we should be worried:
Intelligence received by the IAEA in its investigations, as well as from the U.S. and other agency board member nations, suggest Iran experimented with an undeclared uranium enrichment program that was linked to a missile project and drew up blueprints on refitting missiles to allow them to carry nuclear warheads.
It’s 1938 all over again.
Category: Islamic Jihad |