Thursday, February 12, 2004

Tick, tock

More Iranian lies have been exposed and this article confirms that, despite its agreement to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran is still working on a nuclear bomb:

United Nations inspectors have found a new type of centrifuge design in Iran which Tehran has failed to declare, despite its promise of cooperation to dispel fears about its nuclear programme.

Unnamed Western officials told the Financial Times that the International Atomic Energy Agency's findings on Iran would be included in a progress report prepared by Mohamed ElBaradei, the agency's head, ahead of an IAEA board meeting in March.

A western diplomat told the Financial Times that the omissions detracted from Iran's credibility but did not add to Iran's known capabilities.

Centrifuges can be used to enrich uranium, a key ingredient in a nuclear bomb.

Under international pressure, notably from the United States, Iran pledged last November to suspend uranium enrichment as a confidence-building measure to show the IAEA it was not secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons.

And in December Tehran ended months of wrangling by signing a key UN treaty protocol allowing surprise inspections of its nuclear facilities.

But Iran has interpreted the pledge over suspending uranium enrichment in a narrow sense, stopping such activities at its Natanz nuclear fuel-making plant, but continuing to assemble centrifuges in case it decides to resume making highly-enriched uranium, which can be used both as fuel for reactors or to make a bomb, according to diplomats.


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