A few days after talks with 5 other nuclear countries stalled, the Iranians have announced the opening of a new uranium-enrichment plant. This announcement came in what is celebrated as “National Nuclear Day” in Iran. The state run news agency in Iran announced that Iran is opening both a new uranium mine and a processing plant. As always, the international community is very suspicious about this enrichment, while Iran claims it is acting well within its “nuclear rights” of using it for energy.
"Enrichment is part of the rights of the Iranian people, whether we're talking about 5% or 20%," said Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili,. However, Arnie Gundersen, a chief energy adviser, said that the difference between 5 percent and 20 percent is exactly the difference between peaceful energy and weapons grade uranium. The other substance that is needed to enrich uranium is what has been known as yellow cake, which is processed, mined uranium ore (pictured).
Substance known as yellow cake.
The other nuclear countries, which include the United States, France, Britain, China, Russia and Germany, will continue to impose sanctions on Iran and push for energy inspectors to be allowed access to all of Iran’s facilities. However, Iran continues is stubborn agenda towards the international community, which only makes the standoff much worse.
One of the big worries of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons (besides the obvious threat to Israel) is what would happen to them in the event of a regime change. Would the nuclear weapons be secure, or could they fall into the hands of those that have the motivation to actually use them, from anything to Israel to terrorism. This fear, along with the questionable regime and an unstable region, could add up to action by the international community if Iran continues its “rogue” nuclear program, be it for peaceful energy or something much more sinister.