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Iran's Dangerous Nuclear Program

Defying the United Nations and the international community, the government of Iran says it will continue to expand its nuclear program. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has announced that Iran has enriched uranium for the first time and will now press ahead with industrial-scale enrichment. "I am officially announcing," he said, "that Iran has joined the group of those countries which have nuclear technology."

The United Nations Security Council, the European Union, and the International Atomic Energy Agency have called on Iran to stop all enrichment activity because of well-founded suspicions that the program's aim is to make nuclear weapons, not just fuel for power stations. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says Iran has again chosen defiance instead of cooperation:

"Iran has been offered many opportunities to negotiate in good faith by the Europeans, by the Russians. They've never taken those opportunities."

Secretary of State Rice says it is is "time for action" on the international demands for Iran to cease its uranium enrichment activities. "We can't let this continue," she said:

"Iran is not adhering to the international community's requirements. And I do think that the (United Nations) Security Council will need to take into consideration this move by Iran, and that it will be time when it reconvenes on this case, for strong steps to make certain that we maintain the credibility of the international community on this issue."

"The world does not believe," said Secretary of State Rice, "that Iran should have the capability and technology" that could lead to production of a nuclear weapon. In the words of President George W. Bush, "The free world is sending the regime in Tehran a clear message: We're not going to allow Iran to have nuclear weapons."

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