Key Lawmaker Hails Report That Iran Operates Huge Nuclear Production Works
A new report shows that Iran clearly is pressing ahead with a massive nuclear materials enrichment operation, and should be stopped, Rep. Duncan Hunter of California, ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, said.
Iran is taking the steps needed to begin building nuclear weapons, Hunter warned.
The United States, United Nations and other industrialized countries have called on Iran to abandon its nuclear efforts, to no avail.
Hunter pointed to a new report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which confirmed that the rogue nation is pressing ahead with sensitive nuclear development activity, including installation and operation of 3,000 uranium enrichment centrifuges.
As well, Iran has launched multiple missiles in a single test, fired a missile from a submerged submarine, and taken other threatening steps. And Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said Israel should be wiped from the map.
Hunter said it is past time to cease debating about whether Iran hopes to become a nuclear military power.
"While western analysts have to this point disputed the assertion that Iran is operating 3,000 uranium enrichment centrifuges, the new IAEA report confirms for the first time that Iran has in fact installed and is now operating all of these centrifuges. The report also verified that Iran is proceeding with the construction of a heavy water reactor. These are two critical steps needed to produce nuclear weapons."
The United States has seen this sort of misconduct before, the congressman said.
"It appears that Iran has adopted the North Korea model of talking and building, with the clear goal of developing a nuclear device," Hunter said.
North Korea is developing steadily longer-range missiles, and now is working on a Taepo Dong-2 missile that, if successful, could reach targets in the United States. And North Korea has detonated a nuclear weapon in an underground test.
"The United States and its allies should not attempt to hide from the reality of Iran’s weapons program," Hunter said, "but face it squarely and develop a policy that sets a clear level of development past which Iran will not be allowed to proceed. At the same time, sanctions [on Iran] should be increased."