Mohammad Saeedi, Iran's deputy Atomic Energy Minister, says his country has plans to use fifty-four-thousand centrifuges to make fuel for a one-thousand megawatt nuclear reactor. Enriched uranium can be used as fuel for nuclear reactors, but when enriched to high enough levels can also be used as fissile materials in nuclear weapons.
Iran has proceeded with uranium enrichment operations in defiance of numerous resolutions passed by the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors, as well as a March 29th United Nations Security Council Presidential Statement, all calling on Iran to fully suspend such activities. John Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the U-N, says Iran is "expressing distain for the Security Council":
"The risk that Iran poses by mastery of the nuclear fuel cycle, and especially by uranium enrichment is that the decision whether to accumulate enough highly enriched uranium, to construct a nuclear weapon is entirely in their hands, and given their record, given the statements of President [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad, that is leaving a potential nuclear weapons capability in the hand of the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism, and that is not a happy prospect."
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says that Iran's announcement "is just a step that is going to further isolate Iran. It demonstrates," she says, that Iran "is not adhering to the international community's requirements":
"Iran has been offered many opportunities to negotiate in good faith – by the Europeans, by the Russians. They've never taken those opportunities. . . . We're consulting now, and when the [United Nations] Security Council reconvenes, I think it will be time for action."
"The Security Council," says Secretary of State Rice, "will need to take into consideration this move by Iran and I think 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 preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.