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Saturday, September 03, 2005

Do They or Don't They?

This is interesting. In this article from the AP concerning Iran's nuclear weapons program, the lead runs like this:

VIENNA, Austria - Iran faced a deadline Saturday to freeze work that could enable it to make an atomic weapon.
European Union representatives warned Tehran had just weeks before a likely referral to the Security Council.

The probability of Security Council referral grew after an IAEA report revealed Friday that Tehran had pumped out about seven tons of the gas it needs for uranium enrichment since restarting the conversion process last month.

Key European nations awaited the results of the report, setting Saturday as an informal deadline for Tehran to reimpose its freeze or face the threat of referral to Council.
Ooooooh! Kid Various bets that the Iranians are shakin' now!!! An informal deadline to stop the enrichment process which could enable them to make a nuclear weapon...

Of course, in the AP story, posted by the same writer 2 hours earlier and located in the same location on the internet, the lead ran something like this:

VIENNA, Austria -Iran has pumped out about seven tons of the gas it needs for uranium enrichment since it restarted the process last month, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported Friday. A former U.N. nuclear inspector said that would be enough for an atomic weapon.

In unusually strong language, an IAEA report also said despite its investigation, questions remain about key aspects of Iran's 18 years of clandestine nuclear activity and that it still was unable "to conclude that there are no undeclared nuclear materials or activities in Iran."

THAT sound a skeech more important doesn't it? You know, the fact that Iran is on the cusp of developing nuclear weapons?

The old article continues:

"Iran's full transparency is indispensable and overdue," said the confidential document obtained by The Associated Press. The document listed perceived Iranian failings and called for "access to individuals, documentation related to procurement ... certain military-owned workshops and research and development locations."

Among the unanswered questions, according to the report, were gaps in the documented development of Iran's centrifuge program used in uranium enrichment — and in what was received, and when, from the black market network headed by the Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan.

...But the key issue in the report was uranium conversion — changing raw uranium into gas that then is spun by centrifuges into enriched uranium.

The report, prepared by IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei, said Iran had produced about 15,000 pounds of uranium hexafluoride, the gaseous feed stock that is spun by centrifuge into enriched uranium. Depending on the level of enrichment, that substance can be used either as a source of power or as the core of nuclear weapons.

But David Albright, a former IAEA nuclear inspector, said that were Tehran to use the material for weapons purposes, it would be enough for one atomic bomb.

Kid Various wonders why THAT information no longer relevant to the story?


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