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Thursday, February 11, 2010

A'jad says Iran has enriched uranium to 20%, can go to 80%

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced on Thursday morning that his regime has enriched uranium to 20% purity, and is capable of going to 80% whenever they choose to do so.
In his central Revolution Day speech in Tehran, Ahmadinejad told the West: "Know that if we want, our nation has enough courage to say loud and clear that we want to manufacture nuclear weapons and to manufacture them without being afraid of you...

Even now we have the ability to enrich [uranium] to over 80%, but since we have no need, we are not enriching [uranium] to this level... Listen carefully, we are not liars and cowards like you. Who said that you will manufacture [20%] uranium and we will buy it from you? Maybe [it should be] the other way around?...

The day before yesterday we started to manufacture 20% nuclear fuel... Today I say proudly that the Iranian nation has laser technology, and we will use wherever it is necessary."
What you won't hear from the mainstream media - because the foreign correspondents are not being allowed to report it - is that while Ahamdinejad said that, thousands of Iranians were chanting "death to the dictator," according to various tweets I have seen. As I am typing this, there are riots all over Iran including just about all of the major cities. For those who are interested in following the action, you can search #iranelection on Twitter, where it's a trending topic.
Foreign media were only allowed to cover the ceremonies in the square and the speech by Ahmadinejad, with photographers bussed to the site and then away. There is an explicit ban on covering opposition protests.
But Ahmadinejad was quite explicit that Iran has enriched to the 20% level, and as you may recall, once you reach 20%, it's very easy to go higher:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced Thursday that the Islamic republic has produced its first package of highly enriched uranium just two days after beginning the process. "We have the capability to enrich uranium more than 20 percent or 80 percent but we don't enrich [to this level] because we don't need it," he said in a speech broadcast live on state television.

"I want to announce with a loud voice here that the first package of 20 percent fuel was produced and provided to the scientists," he said, referring to the recently begun process of enriching Iran's uranium stockpile to higher levels.
Ahmadinejad claimed again that his country is not seeking to develop nuclear weapons.
"When we say we do not manufacture the bomb, we mean it, and we do not believe in manufacturing a bomb," he told the crowd. "If we wanted to manufacture a bomb, we would announce it ... our nation has the courage to explicitly say it and build it and not fear you."
There may be a reason Ahamdinejad is saying that: Most Iranians don't want a nuclear weapon.
According to an analysis by the University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) only about a third of Iranians want a nuclear bomb.

The study found that while 86% of Iranians say that Iran should pursue nuclear power only 38% believe Iran needs a nuclear weapon.
But that doesn't mean that the regime is not producing a nuclear weapon.

Among other reports I have seen on Twitter:

1. Access to gmail from accounts in Iran have been cut.

2. Cell phone service in Tehran is sporadic.

3. Police are firing paint balls at protesters to make it easier to arrest them later.

4. Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi expects to be arrested on Friday.

There's a fairly good summary of the day's events (thus far) here.


At 3:50 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - not to mention the fact Ahmedinejad has promised to see to the "end of Israel." Go ahead and tell me there is no cause for concern. Iran is seeking a nuclear weapon. You don't enrich uranium if all you intend is to produce peaceful nuclear power. The time is running out for Israel to stop an Iranian bomb.

At 4:54 PM, Blogger nomatter said...

"The time is running out for Israel to stop an Iranian bomb.'

Seriously, can Israel do this completely alone? If the answer is no, who then will help Israel to stop Iran?

For years Iran has been working to the goal of enriching uranium. To that end world leaders imposed upon Iran mere toothless condemnations and lightweight sanctions.

Our feckless world leaders knew Iran would eventually come to this point and if that is not the rub, nothing is.


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