Fresh off the charge that Iran had understated the amount of uranium it had enriched, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said today that Iran ‘continues to renege’ on its international obligations and called the nation an “urgent problem that has to be addressed.”
Other than giving the Obama Administration an opportunity to make bellicose statements, the understatement appears to have little impact. The IAEA conceded that it was almost certainly a “technical mistake,” and Iran has continued to enrich uranium only to the low levels needed for its soon-to-be-operational nuclear power plant, not to the levels required for nuclear weapons.
Despite the administration’s claims, Iran has continued to fulfill all of its obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, but in 2006 stopped voluntary cooperation with an Additional Protocol to their Safeguards Agreement. Though President Obama has repeatedly accused Iran of “development of a nuclear weapon,” this is perhaps the most publicly hostile statement toward the Iranian government since he took office last month, at a time when Iran has been pressing for improved relations.