Reports Falsely Link Iran’s Uranium Metal to Nuclear Weapons

Iran attempts to produce fuel rods, not arms

Continuing the never-ending flurry of misleading allegations against Iran, a report of Iran producing equipment at Isfahan to produce uranium metal is now being presented as a proliferation threat, with the Wall Street Journal noting “uranium metal can be used to construct the core of a nuclear weapons.”

Uranium, by its very nature, is a metal, so that isn’t a particularly helpful statement from them. Any use of uranium outside of unrefined ore can be said to be uranium metal. The uranium used for nuclear weapons would need to be enriched to 90% or higher, while Iran isn’t attempting anything nearly so high. There are other uses for uranium that are not military.

Indeed, the whole need for this equipment was an attempt to produce improved fuel rods for the US-built Tehran Research Reactor. These rods use 20% enriched uranium, and produce medical isotopes.

That means there isn’t only a civilian explanation for Iran’s actions, but that is exactly what Iran is already being reported to be doing. Yet talk of a nuclear weapon is constantly brought up, irrationally so, just to keep fear of the program going.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.