Iran installs 6,000 more centrifuges in nuke facility

Rick Moran
It has been two years since the United Nations demanded that Iran suspend it's enrichment of uranium so that a thorough review of its nuclear program could take place under the auspices of the IAEA.

Since then, Iran has installed more than 3,000 centrifuges at its facility in Nantanz to convert uranium to either nuclear fuel to power a reactor or highly enriched uranium to build a bomb. This despite 3 different sets of sanctions given out by the Security Council.

Now the Iranians are making a giant leap in capability by seeking to double the number of operational centrifuges at Nantanz:

Iran has begun installing 6,000 new centrifuges at its uranium enrichment plant in Natanz, state television quoted President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying Tuesday.

The U.S. immediately criticized the announcement as an example of Iran's continued defiance of international demands that it suspend uranium enrichment, which can produce fuel for a nuclear reactor or fissile material for a weapon.

"Today's announcement reflects the Iranian leadership's continuing violation of international obligations and refusal to address international concerns," said Gregory Schulte, the U.S. representative to the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency. Iran already has about 3,000 centrifuges operating at its underground nuclear facility in Natanz, and the U.N. has passed three sets of sanctions against Iran for its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment.

Tehran insists its nuclear program is focused on the peaceful production of energy, not the development of weapons as claimed by the U.S. and many of its allies.

"Iran has not only failed to suspend enrichment, but has chosen to ignore the will of the international community by announcing the installation of new centrifuges," said a spokesman for Britain's Foreign Office on condition of anonymity in line with policy.
The fact that Iran continues to thumb its nose at the UN should be of enormous concern to the international community. In the end, words are cheap. What is needed are sanctions that are stern enough that they would force the Iranians to choose between damage to their economy or allowing full and unfettered UN inspections.

The alternative - military action - may be effective in the short term. But the number of unknowns - including what Iran would do in Iraq as well as other threats to our friends and forces in the region - would make any military strike a last resort. And the fact that the Iranians would be able to rebuild whatever we bombed means that any campaign against Iran would almost by definition mean changing the current regime - a non starter with the American people and Congress.

The United Nations simply has to decide that its will must be enforced. Anything less means the Iranians may soon have the capability to construct a nuclear device that would threaten us all.
It has been two years since the United Nations demanded that Iran suspend it's enrichment of uranium so that a thorough review of its nuclear program could take place under the auspices of the IAEA.

Since then, Iran has installed more than 3,000 centrifuges at its facility in Nantanz to convert uranium to either nuclear fuel to power a reactor or highly enriched uranium to build a bomb. This despite 3 different sets of sanctions given out by the Security Council.

Now the Iranians are making a giant leap in capability by seeking to double the number of operational centrifuges at Nantanz:

Iran has begun installing 6,000 new centrifuges at its uranium enrichment plant in Natanz, state television quoted President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying Tuesday.

The U.S. immediately criticized the announcement as an example of Iran's continued defiance of international demands that it suspend uranium enrichment, which can produce fuel for a nuclear reactor or fissile material for a weapon.

"Today's announcement reflects the Iranian leadership's continuing violation of international obligations and refusal to address international concerns," said Gregory Schulte, the U.S. representative to the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency. Iran already has about 3,000 centrifuges operating at its underground nuclear facility in Natanz, and the U.N. has passed three sets of sanctions against Iran for its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment.

Tehran insists its nuclear program is focused on the peaceful production of energy, not the development of weapons as claimed by the U.S. and many of its allies.

"Iran has not only failed to suspend enrichment, but has chosen to ignore the will of the international community by announcing the installation of new centrifuges," said a spokesman for Britain's Foreign Office on condition of anonymity in line with policy.
The fact that Iran continues to thumb its nose at the UN should be of enormous concern to the international community. In the end, words are cheap. What is needed are sanctions that are stern enough that they would force the Iranians to choose between damage to their economy or allowing full and unfettered UN inspections.

The alternative - military action - may be effective in the short term. But the number of unknowns - including what Iran would do in Iraq as well as other threats to our friends and forces in the region - would make any military strike a last resort. And the fact that the Iranians would be able to rebuild whatever we bombed means that any campaign against Iran would almost by definition mean changing the current regime - a non starter with the American people and Congress.

The United Nations simply has to decide that its will must be enforced. Anything less means the Iranians may soon have the capability to construct a nuclear device that would threaten us all.