Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (C) speaks during a military parade to commemorate Army day in Tehran April 18, 2007. The banner reads ‘Peaceful nuclear technology is a basic fundamental right for our country’.
Iran is delivering small amounts of uranium gas to centrifuges that can enrich it to weapons-grade level and is running more than 1,300 centrifuge machines, according to an
International Atomic Energy Agency document obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press.
The confidential document â€” a letter to Iranian officials from a senior staff member at the International Atomic Energy Agency â€” also protests an Iranian decision to prevent agency inspectors from visiting the country’s heavy water facility that, when built, will produce plutonium.
Enriched uranium and plutonium can both be used for the fissile core of nuclear warheads.
The letter, signed by IAEA deputy director general Olli Heinonen and dated April 18, said Iran has provided information to the agency that it has put into operation 1,312 centrifuges â€” the machines used to spin the gas into enriched uranium.
The letter also cites Iranian information to the agency that “some UF6 is being fed” into the centrifuges at the underground Natanz facility, referring to the uranium gas that can be enriched to levels potent enough to be used for nuclear arms.
Iran stopped experimental enrichment â€” which it was doing on a much smaller scale â€” in exchange for negotiations with European nations. Talks broke down in 2005, but Tehran has generally refrained from even small scale enrichment, while continuing to develop the technology.
The document reports a significant development, particularly considering the number of centrifuges involved, and the next step â€” large scale enrichment.
The ball is now in the United Nations Security Council’s court. Here are the resolutions that Iran is clearly violating.
The United Nations sanction resolutions:
So, what will the feckless UNSC P-5-Plus Germany do?
Probably talk with Iran until the Mullahs have a few nuclear weapons. But, will the United States and Israel wait?
Iranâ€™s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad points to his supporters as he speaks at a sport complex in the city of Shiraz, 895km (556 miles) south of Tehran April 16, 2007. Iran will announce unspecified new â€˜nuclear achievementsâ€™ if the United Nations takes fresh steps against it over its disputed atomic program, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday.
The Natanz uranium enrichment complex in Natanz is pictured in this January 2, 2006 satellite image.
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