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Iran To Resume Nuclear Research

The Iranian government has informed the International Atomic Energy Agency, or I-A-E-A, that it will resume nuclear fuel research. Iran had suspended such research during negotiations with the European Union about Iran's nuclear program.

U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack says that nuclear fuel research qualifies as a uranium-enrichment activity. Enriched uranium can be used to produce either nuclear energy or atomic weapons, and many nations believe that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian energy program. Mr. McCormack says the U.S. "strongly opposes Iran proceeding with any further [uranium-] enrichment related activities":

"They began resumption of uranium conversion activities this past August [2005] which was in contravention of the November 2004 Paris agreement that they reached with the EU-3[Germany, Britain, and France] in which they pledged to suspend all enrichment and conversion activities. Our view is if Iran takes any further enrichment-related steps, the international community will have to consider additional measures to constrain Iran's nuclear ambitions."

Mr. McCormack says that the insistence by Iran's rulers that their oil- and gas-rich country needs nuclear power for civilian energy purposes is "inexplicable." Mr. McCormack also pointed to the Russian government's proposal to supply Iran with uranium enriched in Russia. Mr. McCormack says Iran's rulers have offered nothing except to break the agreements they have already made:

"They are certainly not engaging in good faith negotiations as the rest of the world would have them do and [as the rest of the world] sent a clear message that they should do."

"The patience of the international community is not infinite on this issue," says U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack. "Iran is trying to pursue nuclear weapons under the cover of a peaceful nuclear program," he said. "We don't think that that should be allowed to happen. . . .Iran's obtaining a nuclear weapon would be destabilizing to the region and destabilizing to the world."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.