Iran Unveils Nuclear Advances
In a move that will do nothing to cool rhetoric between Iran, Israel and the West, Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced Wednesday that the country’s scientists have manufactured nuclear fuel rods and advanced centrifuges, according to multiple news outlets.
The Iranians claim this means they have mastered the nuclear fuel cycle, stoking worries that Iran may be a major step closer to obtaining a nuclear weapon. But U.S. officials are skeptical that Iran’s scientists and engineers have managed to actually make the technology work, according to CNN.
President Barack Obama’s administration has said repeatedly, including in January’s State of the Union address, that Iran cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.
This also comes amid heightened tensions between Iran and Israel following speculation over whether Israel will attack Iran to dismantle its nuclear program.
Ahmadinejad's move is seen as being in defiance of international sanctions. Iran has also been accused of supplying Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime.
Iran has expressed readiness to negotiate with western countries, according to The Guardian, which also notes Iran’s nuclear program has suffered a multitude of recent set-backs, including assassinations of scientists and cyber attacks.
Dennis B. Ross, a former State Department official, argued in a New York Times op-ed Wednesday that Iran is ready to negotiate because of economic sanctions.
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