soon and very soon

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Here is the text of Nicholas Burns' speech today at SAIS re: Iran.

If weapons capability was not Iran’s ultimate objective, why would its leaders have hidden such sensitive aspects of its nuclear activities for 18 years, only acknowledging their efforts when confronted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)? Why has Iran refused to grant the IAEA access to documents, sites and people the Agency has requested to see? If Iran’s nuclear aims were peaceful, why would this country continue to insist it must have now an independent uranium conversion and enrichment capability, even though it has no need for enriched uranium for nuclear power generation for at least a decade?

Why, when the Iranian regime was elected on a pledge of economic recovery, would Iran continue spending billions of dollars on a nuclear infrastructure it does not need? Why is Iran operating a uranium conversion facility and constructing a heavy water reactor in defiance of the IAEA Board, which found Iran in September to be in non-compliance with its safeguards obligations? Finally, why would Iran, according to IAEA Director General Mohammed El Baradei, have information for casting and machining enriched uranium metal into hemispheres – information which clearly applies only to nuclear weapons?

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