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Iranian Atomic Work Nears Bomb Capability, U.S. Says

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Jonathan Tirone
Thursday, Sept 9th, 2009

Iran’s nuclear work is approaching a “dangerous and destabilizing” point at which the Persian Gulf country could build a bomb, the U.S. envoy to the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency said.

“Iran is now either very near or in possession already of sufficient low-enriched uranium to produce one nuclear weapon, if the decision were made to further enrich it to weapons grade,” Ambassador Glyn Davies said today in a statement prepared for the IAEA’s 35-member board of governors, which is meeting for a third day in Vienna.

This “moves Iran closer to a dangerous and destabilizing possible breakout capacity,” Davies added, in some of the strongest comments yet used by a U.S. official about the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program. He repeated President Barack Obama’s overtures to Iran for direct negotiations and said the administration in Washington is committed to a negotiated resolution to the international dispute over Iran’s work.

Iran, holder of the world’s No. 2 oil and natural gas reserves, is under three sets of UN Security Council sanctions for refusing to halt uranium enrichment, a process to isolate an isotope needed to generate fuel for a nuclear power reactor or, in higher concentrations, to make a weapon. The government in Tehran says it wants to generate power and rejects Western allegations that it seeks to build an atomic bomb.


This article was posted: Wednesday, September 9, 2009 at 10:00 am

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