Iran’s nuclear agency issued a formal, written response to the IAEA addressing Western outrage to its uranium enrichment program today, sparking international outcries and new calls from the US to “punish” the nation.
The letter was not made public, but was said to have repeated statements made by officials in the past. Reportedly the government again expressed openness for a direct exchange of 3.5 percent uranium for 20 percent uranium, but insisted that it would only make a direct exchange on its own soil.
It was unclear if this comment represented a distinct offer from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s offer to send uranium abroad for further enrichment or if this was a new caveat to the old offer, nevertheless US officials reacted with predictable outrage.
The US State Department condemned the offer as “unacceptable” and demanded sanctions to punish the nation for even proposing it. The White House, for its part, declared that time was “running out” on Iran.
Adding to the level of demands made by officials, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs demanded that Iran stop enriching uranium entirely, warning of “consequences” if they refused to do so.