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11/25/03 - IRAN AND NUCLEAR WEAPONS - 2003-11-25

In what can only be an attempt to build a capacity to develop nuclear weapons, Iran has enriched uranium and has produced and reprocessed plutonium. Iran has attempted to cover up its nuclear weapons program and has failed to report its activities, as required by international agreements.

Three reports by the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the I-A-E-A, have established that Iran is in violation of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. While Iran has denied having any program to develop nuclear weapons, the I-A-E-A has collected an enormous amount of evidence to the contrary.

The most recent report was issued November 10th. The document, says U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, “should lay to rest any concerns about what’s going on in Iran”:

“The I-A-E-A report made clear that the Iranians have been concealing, that they’ve not been truthful in the past. And I think the issue now is, are they going to be truthful in the future? Are they going to come clean about what had been going on in Iran? Are they going to agree to verification measures and protocols that give the international community some confidence, given that they weren’t transparent in the past, that they’re going to be transparent in the future?”

Ms. Rice says that the I-A-E-A report raises “very serious concerns about what has been going on in Iran and what might be continuing to go on”:

“The international community has an obligation, knowing now what we know about Iran’s behavior, past behavior, to make sure that anything that is signed on to with the Iranians takes account of that past, and really insists on performance from the Iranians.”

Iran must satisfy the world that it does not have a nuclear weapons program. If it fails to do so, Iran must be declared in violation of its international obligations.