DAVOS, Switzerland – Iran expects to start installing thousands of centrifuges in an underground facility next month, the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency said Friday. The installation would pave the way to large-scale uranium enrichment, a potential way of making nuclear weapons.
On the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, Mohamed ElBaradei said: “I understand that they are going to announce that they are going to build up their 3,000 centrifuge facility … sometime next month.”
He did not elaborate. But U.N. officials, who demanded anonymity because the information was confidential, emphasized that Iran had not officially said it would embark on the assembly of what will initially be 3,000 centrifuges at Natanz. But they said senior officials have informally told the International Atomic Energy Agency the work would begin next month.
Iran ultimately plans to expand its enrichment program to 54,000 centrifuges, which spin uranium gas into enriched material to produce nuclear fuel. That would give it the capacity to produce dozens of nuclear warheads a year, if it chose to develop weapons.
Diplomats briefed on the IAEA’s latest findings said earlier this month the Iranians recently finished all pre-assembly work at their Natanz facility, which is underground as protection against attack. And senior Iranian officials have repeatedly said recently that large-scale installation work at Natanz would begin soon.
But the comments by the U.N. officials were the first independent confirmation that the Iranians had informed the IAEA _ the U.N. nuclear monitor _ of such plans, even if informally.
Considering that the Dems who voted in favor of the Iraq war resolution would have preferred we had the ‘support of the UN’ before we went into Iraq – and who quickly changed their minds on the war not long after the first shot was fired – seem to worship at the altar of the UN, I’d like for everyone, including Senator Jay Rockefeller and others earlier in the week who tried to downplay the threat from Iran and who accused the administration of ‘erroneously talking up the threat’ ‘like they did the Iraq threat’ to acknowledge this information and stand up and apologize for falsely accusing the admin overstating the threat from Iran. Let me repost what was said earlier this week by Senator Rockefeller (emphasis added):
Rockefeller was quoted as saying the administration is building a case against Tehran even as American intelligence agencies still know little about Iran’s internal dynamics or its intentions in the Middle East. “To be quite honest, I’m a little concerned that it’s Iraq again” Rockefeller reportedly said during an interview in his office.
According to the New York Times article, the Rockefeller comments reflect the mounting concerns being voiced by other influential Democrats including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Senator Joe Biden of Delaware about the Bush administration’s approach to Iran. The Democrats have warned the administration is moving toward a confrontation with Iran when the United States has neither the military resources nor the support among American allies and members of Congress to carry out such a move.
The article said, “Because Mr. Rockefeller is one of a handful of lawmakers with access to the most classified intelligence about the threat from Iran, his views carry particular weight. He has also historically been more tempered in his criticism of the White House on national security issues than some of his Democratic colleagues.
What a joke! And one that isn’t funny. I’d REALLY be laughing if this issue weren’t so gravely serious.
I won’t hold my breath for these clueless wonders to admit they were wrong.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had Democrats tell me that our ‘real focus’ should ‘always have been on Iran’ – and now that it’s clear we have been focusing closely on Iran, and are so now more than ever, Democrats want to act like the threat is overhyped?
The evidence couldn’t be more clear that the Dems simply cannot be trusted on matters related to our national security, because they will be against whatever the President is for, even after once being for what he was formerly against!