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US fears Iran weeks from producing 20% enriched uranium

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December 15, 2011

The Obama administration is concerned Iran is on the verge of being able to enrich uranium at a facility deep underground near the Muslim holy city of Qom, which may strengthen those advocating tougher action to stop Iran’s suspected atomic weapons program.

Iranian nuclear scientists at the Fordow facility appear to be within weeks of producing 20 percent enriched uranium, according to Iran analysts and nuclear specialists who are in close communication with US officials and atomic inspectors. Enriched uranium is used to fuel power plants and reactors, and may be further processed into atomic weapons material.

Administration officials speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue say Iran’s actions may bolster calls for military or covert action against the Persian Gulf country from Republican presidential candidates. It may also fuel pressure on the administration to impose measures approved by Congress to limit Iran’s oil exports.

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This article was posted: Thursday, December 15, 2011 at 4:35 am

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