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Sunday, May 24, 2009

US will allow Iran to continue nuclear program

Inspections did not prevent Iran from building a heavy water reactor and manufacturing centrifuges in secret. How will they prevent Iran from getting the bomb?
By Edward DeMarco
May 24 (Bloomberg) -- Iran may be able to retain its disputed nuclear energy program with international inspections, President Barack Obama's top military adviser said today.
Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said "that's certainly a possibility" when asked on ABC's "This Week" program whether it would be acceptable for Iran to have a nuclear program similar to Japan's. Japan enriches uranium for use in reactors and reprocesses spent fuel under international supervision.
The U.S. is preparing for talks with Iran intended to achieve a breakthrough and limit Iranian nuclear ambitions while easing the security concerns of Israel and Arab nations. Mullen reiterated his view that an Iranian nuclear bomb capability would be "incredibly destabilizing" for the Middle East.
Mullen said "the unintended consequences of a strike against Iran right now would be incredibly serious as well as the unintended consequences of their achieving a nuclear weapon," a goal he said was probably still being pursued.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has increased tensions with the West since taking office in August 2005, pursuing a nuclear program that the U.S. and several major allies say is likely a cover for weapons development.
Iran, under three sets of United Nations Security Council sanctions for its refusal to halt uranium enrichment, says the program is peaceful and intended to generate electricity.
Full Inspections Impossible
Iran isn't allowing sufficient scrutiny of its nuclear facilities, inspectors say. The International Atomic Energy Agency, in a February report, said inspectors checking into the construction of an Iranian nuclear reactor at Arak are no longer able to rely on satellite surveillance of the site since the completion of a dome over the plant.
The government in Tehran has supported radical Islamist movements such as the Gaza Strip-based Hamas and Lebanon's Hezbollah. Ahmadinejad has questioned the scope of the Holocaust and Israel's right to exist.
U.S. officials have said that Iran may seek a peaceful commercial nuclear energy effort that complies with its international inspection obligations...


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