U.S. officials said Friday that the United States and the international
community must urgently address Iran's nuclear activities, following a
United Nations report on Tehran's uranium enrichment.
close to the U.N. nuclear agency say Iran has until recently been
underestimating the amount of uranium it has enriched by nearly
one-third. The disclosure came in a report issued Thursday to the
board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
White House spokesman, Robert Gibbs, says that the report "represents
another lost opportunity for Iran," and that the international
community cannot be confident that Iran's nuclear program is peaceful.
Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice said in a radio interview that the
report left no doubt about Iran's continued pursuit of its nuclear
program, and that Washington would use "enhanced pressures" and
possibly "direct engagement" to convince it to change course.
IAEA report said Iran had produced a total of 839 kilograms of
low-enriched uranium (UF6) by mid-November. But the agency's previous
report, published in November, said Iran at the time estimated that it
had produced only 630 kilograms.
Diplomats are downplaying the
significance of the discrepancy. They attribute it to the difference
between Iran's own estimates of its production and the actual
measurements made by IAEA inspectors in their annual physical inventory.
is now believed to possess 1,010 kilograms of low-enriched nuclear
fuel. Nuclear experts say that amount - if it were further purified
- would be enough to create a nuclear weapon if Iran had the technical
ability to do so.
Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful and
aimed only at producing nuclear energy. The United States and Europe
believe Iran is secretly pursuing nuclear weapons.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.