Iran now a nuclear state?

Ahmadinejad says yes:

Ignoring United States threats of more stringent sanctions, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted on Thursday as saying Iran had produced a first batch of uranium enriched to a level of 20 percent and that it was capable of achieving much higher levels of purity.

Iran was now “a nuclear state,” Mr. Ahmadinejad told a huge rally of supporters on the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, The Associated Press reported.

Western experts have already said that once Iran was able to enrich uranium to 20 percent it could theoretically also move relatively quickly toward the manufacture of weapons-grade fuel, usually reckoned to require 90 percent purification.

The process at the Natanz facility south of Tehran took place in the presence of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations nuclear oversight body. I.A.E.A. officials said Thursday they could not confirm the Iranian claim.

“Right now at Natanz we have the capability to enrich uranium to much higher levels,” Mr. Ahmadinejad told tens of thousands of supporters in Tehran’s Azadi Square, saying “it was reported that the first consignment of 20 percent enriched uranium was produced and was put at the disposal of the scientists,” Reuters said.

“In the near future we will treble [sic] its production,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said.

If the world (or Israel) is going to do something about this situation, one would think that it’s about time to do it.

One would think.

Crossposted(*).

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