Is this the surprise we were told to expect?
KHONDAB, Iran – Iran’s hard-line president on Saturday inaugurated a heavy-water production plant, a facility the West fears will be used to develop a nuclear bomb, as Tehran remained defiant ahead of a U.N. deadline that could lead to sanctions.
The U.N. has called on Tehran to stop the separate process of uranium enrichment — which also can be used to create nuclear weapons — by Thursday or face economic and political sanctions.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared that his nation’s nuclear program poses no threat to other nations, even Israel, “which is a definite enemy.”
Ahmadinejad said in a speech that Iran would never abandon what he once again called its purely peaceful nuclear program.
“There is no discussion of nuclear weapons,” he said. “We are not a threat to anybody even the Zionist regime, which is a definite enemy for the people of the region.”
Though the West’s main worry has been enrichment of uranium that could be used in a bomb, it also has called on Iran to stop the construction of a heavy-water reactor near the production plant that Ahmadinejad inaugurated.
A senior Israeli lawmaker warned in a statement that the plant inauguration marks “another leap in Iran’s advance toward a nuclear bomb.”
The UN has placed a deadline of August 31 for Iran to stop enriching uranium. If Iran fails to do so, the UNSC will be forced to do a lot of public blustering while not forcing Iran to pay serious consequences.