Iran Says It’s a “Nuclear State”

In a speech today marking the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinajad declared his country had produced its first batch of uranium enriched to a higher level and that Iran could now claim to be a “nuclear state.”

Though the level of enrichment is said not to meet requirements for a bomb, and Ahmadinejad continues to insist that Iran’s intentions are peaceful, the move has led the U.S. and France to threaten a new round of sanctions.

Supposedly, the Iranians want the enriched uranium for a research reactor which would produce medical isotopes to treat cancer.  But much of the international community — especially the U.S., Israel and Europe — see uranium enrichment as a critical step on the slippery slope towards weaponization.     

Meanwhile, there’s been a lot of unrest in Iran since last year’s controversial elections, and today’s anniversary celebrations in Tehran were marred by anti-government protestors.  In response, government security forces orchestrated a widespread crackdown — which even included disruptions to the internet.

To read more about the confrontation with Iran and its nuclear capability, try some of these titles from Greensboro Public Library:  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:  President of Iran by Matthew Broyles (juvenile); Deception:  Pakistan, the United States, and the Secret Trade in Nuclear Weapons by Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark; Iran:  The Next Iraq? (DVD); The Nuclear Sphinx of Tehran: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the State of Iran by Yossi Melman and Meir Javedanfar; The Iran Threat:  President Ahmadinejad and the Coming Nuclear Crisis by Alireza Jafarzadeh; Bitter Fiends, Bsom Eemies:  Iran, the U.S., and the Twisted Path to Confrontation by Barbara Slavin; Target Iran:  The Truth About the White House’s Plans for Regime Change by Scott Ritter; Confronting Iran: The Failure of American Foreign Policy and the Next Great Crisis in the Middle East by Ali M. Ansari; The Secret War with Iran:  The 30-year Clandestine Struggle Against the World’s Most Dangerous Terrorist Power by Ronen Bergman; Iran by Laura K. Egendorf, editor (juvenile); Jerusalem Countdown by John Hagee; and The Final Move Beyond Iraq:  The Final Solution While the World Sleeps by Mike Evans.

You can also keep up with the news on Iran in Facts on File’s World News Digest.

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