Clamping down on Iran's nuclear ambitions
Washingtn Post / Editorial

THE LATEST report about Iran by the International Atomic Energy Agency contains a lot of bad news: Iran has already produced its first batch of more highly enriched uranium, and it did so without waiting for IAEA inspectors to arrive; it has produced 4,550 pounds of low-enriched uranium -- almost enough, if further processed, for two atomic bombs; and it has begun work on manufacturing uranium in metallic form, another key step in bomb production.
There are, however, two pieces of good news amid all the bad -- something the Obama administration and its allies are badly in need of at a time when the effort to stop Tehran's nuclear program is showing little progress. The first is that the number of working centrifuges at the Natanz enrichment plant is declining, though the overall output is still increasing. A recent study by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) showed that more than half of the Natanz plant's 8,700 centrifuges were not working in November; the new IAEA report records a further decline. Iran's enrichment of its stockpile is also proceeding at a snail's pace.
More significant, the report signals that under a new leader, Yukiya Amano, the United Nations' nuclear inspection agency will scrupulously carry out its technical mission and honestly report the facts. That would be a sea change from the politicized tenure of former chief Mohammed ElBaradei, who envisioned himself as an independent actor and openly declared his oppos... >>>

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