AFP: Iran has shown again it intends to press ahead with its nuclear program, in defiance of the world community, by announcing its latest move on uranium enrichment, a senior US official said Wednesday. WASHINGTON (AFP) Iran has shown again it intends to press ahead with its nuclear program, in defiance of the world community, by announcing its latest move on uranium enrichment, a senior US official said Wednesday.
“There’s a rational expectation, based on history, that they are indeed continuing to push forward on their nuclear program in defiance of the international community,” said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.
He told reporters that he could not confirm Tehran’s announcement that it has reached a key target of 3,000 centrifuges for uranium enrichment, but said Iran has usually met its targetted goals.
McCormack said, pointing out that the Vienna-based nuclear watchdog, the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), had experts in Iran and would be issuing a report next week.
Scientists say the 3,000 centrifuges can under ideal conditions make enough highly enriched uranium in a year’s time for a nuclear bomb.
The Iranians, he added, “have refused the offers of negotiations and cooperation that have been offered them while we support the efforts of the IAEA to look back and determine what has happened in the past.
“That again is not a sufficient condition in order for Iran to clear its books with the international community,” he said.
He added: “The international community demands to know what is going on now and where Iran is headed,” he said.
The hardline president also said the Islamic republic “could not care less” about UN Security Council resolutions aimed at halting Tehran’s nuclear drive.
Iran denies Western charges that it is trying to build atomic weapons under the guise of its civilian nuclear program, and says it only wants to enrich uranium for civilian energy purposes.
The sanctions target Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
The United States, which is spearheading international efforts to thwart Iran’s atomic work, has imposed a set of unilateral sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear defiance and alleged support of terrorism.
Washington has blacklisted Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard corps and its Qods force, accused of arming and training insurgents in Iraq.
It has also blacklisted major Iranian banks and successfully encouraged virtually all major European banks into cutting business with the Islamic republic.