Iran Nuclear NewsTehran ‘a step away’ from nukes

Tehran ‘a step away’ from nukes

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AP: Iran is closing in on the production of nuclear weapons
and even U.N. sanctions may not deter the aggressive government in Tehran, a top State Department official said Friday.
The Associated Press

Iran aggressively pursuing weapons, diplomat says

WASHINGTON — Iran is closing in on the production of nuclear weapons and even U.N. sanctions may not deter the aggressive government in Tehran, a top State Department official said Friday.

Describing the Iranian government as “very aggressive, very determined to develop nuclear weapons,” Robert Joseph, undersecretary for arms control and international security, dismissed Iran’s contention that it seeks only civilian nuclear power.

“We know this is not the case,” Joseph said at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center in Charlottesville.

Iran has methodically taken all but one last step to turn out nuclear weapons, he said.

“Once they begin to enrich, that is the point of no return,” he said.

Negotiations between the European Union and Iran to stop Iran with offers of economic incentives have foundered.

Still, Joseph said the United States was relying on diplomacy to try to deter Iran.

In the meantime, he said, the Bush administration has held off seeking economic sanctions against Iran in the U.N. Security Council in order to solicit the support of Russia and China.

However, Iran is so determined to produce nuclear weapons that sanctions might not stop the accelerating drive, Joseph said.

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