Iran's regime has refused to comply with the United Nations Security Council's demand that it suspend all uranium–enrichment-related and reprocessing activity. Enriched uranium can be used to produce either electricity or nuclear bombs.
Robert Joseph is the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. He says "it is now essential" that the international community "move[s] to adopt sanctions against Iran":
"Sanctions represent the next step in our diplomacy, as the United States continues to work with others to persuade Iran to change its course and abandon its nuclear weapons program."
Under Secretary of State Joseph says that sanctions could be imposed on Iran "in a graduated fashion, perhaps starting with a targeted set [focusing] on weapons of mass destruction and missile programs." Iran's regime, he says, has been playing for time and that should no longer be tolerated:
"We cannot allow Iran to have more time to pursue its nuclear program. Part of its strategy has been to change the reality on the ground. We certainly saw this last April when they made their announcement that they had actually enriched uranium. We've seen it since in a number of different contexts."
Especially disturbing, says Under Secretary of State Joseph, is the work Iran has been doing with "one hundred and sixty-four machine centrifuge cascades":
"Because once they're able to operate centrifuges – one hundred and sixty-four machine centrifuges – in cascades and feed uranium hexafluoride into those centrifuges in the cascade, and run those cascades over a sustained period of time, they will be able to acquire a nuclear weapon without us knowing about it."
"A nuclear-armed Iran is intolerable," says Under Secretary of State Robert Joseph. "With nuclear weapons, Tehran would be even more aggressive in its support for terror and its subversion of peace and stability in Lebanon, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and elsewhere in the region."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.