February 23, 2007 Special Dispatch No. 1475

Reports on Iran's Nuclear Progress

February 23, 2007
Iran | Special Dispatch No. 1475

Recently, the Iranian media have been citing Western sources on accelerated Iranian nuclear activity. It should be stressed that so far, the Iranian regime has neither denied nor confirmed any of these reports.

The Nine Tons of UF6 Gas Brought to Natanz Could Be Used for One Atom Bomb

On February 20, 2007, the conservative Iranian news agency Aftab said, in a report attributed to Western sources, that Iran had "at the beginning of the month transferred a container of nine tons of UF6 gas to the nuclear facilities at Natanz. If they wanted to, the Iranians could [now], using this gas, operate a number of centrifuges... If these nine tons of UF6 in this container undergo an enrichment process, it will be possible to produce from them a single atom bomb." [1]

On February 20, 2007, the ISNA news agency reported that diplomatic sources in Vienna had told it that "in early February 2007, Iran had transferred nine tons of UF6 from the nuclear facilities in Isfahan to the subterranean nuclear facilities at Natanz, in which centrifuge installation began last month." [2]

On February 22, 2007, the reformist online daily Rooz wrote that this was the joyous news that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had intended to present at nuclear celebrations following the "Ten Days of Fajr" in early February.

Kayhan: With "One More Step in its Nuclear Program," Iran "Will Force the World to Treat it As It [i.e. Iran] Wants"

Since early February, a number of reports have appeared in the Iranian media that could hint at this accelerated nuclear activity. In a February 4, 2007 editorial, the Iranian daily Kayhan, which is close to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, stated that Iran's nuclearization was a fait accompli, and that the West had no choice but to live with a nuclear Iran: "After a period of relative calm, Iran's nuclear dossier is facing important changes [which] will rapidly change the fate of many issues, and could end in very important results that are different from the past. Iran is about to move ahead one more step in its nuclear program... [which] will force the world to look at Iran in a completely different way and to treat it as it [i.e. Iran] wants...

"The [U.N.] Security Council has asked Iran to suspend all activity connected to enrichment, but the Iranian engineers at the Natanz subterranean [nuclear facilities] are preparing the advanced steps for installing 3,000 centrifuges. [With this], regardless of the West's reaction to it, in another few months [Iran's nuclear program] will finally be crowned with success...

"Iran will impose its aspiration to nuclearize on those Westerners [who want to keep nuclear programs for themselves alone]. In fact, if the Westerners think a little logically, and open their eyes, they will see that ultimately, they can do nothing, and that the nuclear Iran has already broken forth... Not a single Western commentator believes that a military attack can completely stop Iran's nuclear program... The only thing that would come after [such an attack] would be Tehran's continuation of its [nuclear] program, with greater impetus... The West has no choice [but] to think about life alongside a nuclear Iran..." [3]

"A Nuclear Iran... Is a Fact... That Others Must Accept In Order to Safeguard Their Legitimate Interests"

In a February 5, 2007 article, the weekly Sobh-e Sadeq, which is the mouthpiece of Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei circulated among the Revolutionary Guards, Revolutionary Guards Political Bureau director General Yadollah Javani spoke of Iran's continued nuclear progress: "...Despite the Americans' imagined success in sending [Iran's nuclear] dossier back to the Security Council and in passing Resolutions No. 1696 and 1737, the ineffectuality of the passage of this resolution becomes clearer by the day, in light of Iran's opposition and its continued nuclear activity... Thus, nuclear Iran, strong and influential among the countries of the region... is a fact and a living truth which others must accept in order to safeguard their legitimate interests." [4]

[1] Aftab, Iran, February 20, 2007.

[2] ISNA, Iran, February 20, 2007.

[3] Kayhan (Iran), February 4, 2007.

[4] Sobh-e Sadeq (Iran), February 5, 2007.

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