Citing Iran’s intentions to begin enriching uranium for medical isotopes, the US and French governments today demanded harsher sanctions against Iran, with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates saying the sanctions were in everyone’s best interest.
Though State Department spokesman PJ Crowley conceded that there was a legitimate humanitarian need for fuel for the US-built Tehran medical research reactor, he said it was more important that Iran “pay a price” for its intransigence.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner was even less accepting of Iran’s civilian enrichment, calling it “blackmail” and “truly negative.” He insisted that sanctions against Iran were the “only option left.”
Iran has been producing 3.5% enriched uranium, a level needed for its nuclear power plant at Bushehr. The creation of fuel rods for the medical isotopes will require enrichment to around 20%, still well short of the level needed for weapons.
Though there is question about Iran’s ability to produce the fuel rods, the shortage of medical isotopes could force thousands of Iranian patients to go without nuclear medicine, and with third-party enrichment talks stalled, the nation insists it has no choice but to try for self-sufficiency.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- European Union 'Stands Ready to Act' Over US Sanctions on Russia - July 24th, 2017
- Hezbollah: Border Fighting Against Nusra Is Almost Won - July 24th, 2017
- Israel Removes Metal Detectors From Around al-Aqsa Mosque - July 24th, 2017
- Egypt's Sisi Vows Qatar Blockade Will Continue - July 24th, 2017
- US Blames Failed Missile Test on Sailor Pushing 'The Wrong Button' - July 24th, 2017