Iran Enriches Nuclear Fuel, Says IAEA
The United Nations' nuclear watchdog said it has information suggesting Iran may be working to build a nuclear warhead, an assessment that could escalate the U.S. and other Western governments' confrontation with Iran over its nuclear activities.
The International Atomic Energy Agency, a Vienna-based U.N. body, said in a confidential report Thursday that Iran has impeded agency efforts to establish the true purpose of Tehran's nuclear program.
"The information available to the agency...raises concerns about the possible existence in Iran of past or current undisclosed activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile," IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano wrote in the report.
The expression of concern over the "weaponization" of enriched uranium is a first for the agency.
The IAEA's first report under its new director general underscores what senior Obama administration officials see as a shift at the agency toward a tougher, factually based approach to Iran's nuclear program. One senior U.S. official said Mr. Amano is sticking strictly to the watchdog's responsibilities of ensuring that nuclear safeguards are obeyed.
Egyptian Mohamed ElBaradei, the last director general, saw the IAEA's role more broadly, asserting it in matters of war, peace and international stability.
Nonetheless, the new report puts the U.S. in an awkward position. Officially, White House officials said, Washington is standing by the 2007 conclusions of its intelligence community that Iran has shelved efforts to "weaponize"—or turn its enriched nuclear materials into a nuclear weapon. At the same time, as President Barack Obama pressed for tougher sanctions, the senior administration officials didn't try to refute the IAEA's conclusions.
Iran's "pattern of behavior is very disturbing," one senior administration official said.
The report also confirmed that Iran has produced its first batch of uranium enriched to 20% purity, a level suitable for use in Iran's medical-research reactor. Iran insists its nuclear activities serve only peaceful purposes. Uranium must be enriched much further to be suitable for a weapon.
At least the new guy heading that meaningless toothless joke called IAEA isn't lying and hiding the facts like his predecessor - Al Bardai. Gee - ya think 'cause he's Arab he might have played a role in assisting Iran duping the willfully blind UN?
Here's another clue for the clueless who managed to avoid this issue thus far: Iran is also threatening to commit the next holocaust against Jews. But shhh!!!! don't tell that to certain 'Diplomacy and Engagement' hope'n'change willfully delusional people who are unfortunately at the helms of this great country.