Monday, March 10
Iran's Nuclear Threat --
Massimo Calabresi, TIME.com, Mar. 17, 2003
With war in Iraq looming and North Korea defiantly pursuing its own nuclear program, the last thing President Bush needs is another nuclear crisis. But that is what he may soon face in Iran.
On a visit last month to Tehran, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director Mohamed El Baradei announced he had discovered that Iran was constructing a facility to enrich uranium — a key component of advanced nuclear weapons — near Natanz. But diplomatic sources tell TIME the plant is much further along than previously revealed. The sources say work on the plant is "extremely advanced" and involves "hundreds" of gas centrifuges ready to produce enriched uranium and "the parts for a thousand others ready to be assembled." [...]
The revelations come at a bad time for Washington. Critics of the Administration say Bush's hard public line against the so-called axis of evil, combined with the impending war with Iraq, have acted as a spur to both Iran and North Korea to accelerate their nuclear programs. [...]