Iran’s announcement that it will further enrich its stock of uranium adds to suspicion of its ultimate intentions but leaves the United States and its allies as confused as ever.
The Iranian move came only days after President Ahmadinejad spoke positively of a deal under which the further enrichment would be done abroad.
There are still no answers to the questions: Does Iran intend to build a nuclear device one day?
Is it simply acquiring some of the know-how so that it could do so?
Is it, as it says, just developing the peaceful use of nuclear power, exercising its rights under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (though this is for the moment superseded by the demands of the Security Council and the UN’s nuclear watchdog the IAEA that it stop all enrichment activities)?
Or is it using its nuclear programme as a rallying-cry for the regime and to increase its international impact?
As is so often the case with Iran, it has, with this latest move, increased its resistance but has fallen short of reaching the significant red line of enriching to weapons-grade standard.
It has said that it will raise the level of its uranium enrichment only to a level not suitable for a nuclear weapon and only for a particular purpose.
Specifically, it has said it will take some of the uranium it has enriched to the 3.5% level needed for nuclear power station fuel and will further enrich it to 20%, but not to the 90% nee… >>>