Iran’s development of a nuclear fuel rod for medical research isn’t a milestone in a quest for atomic weapons, according to energy analysts in the U.S.
“This has some diplomatic significance and virtually no military significance,” James Acton, a senior associate in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace inWashington, said yesterday in a telephone interview.
Although Iran’s announcement sends a signal that the country may have the ability to develop fuel for research uses without external help, such units need uranium that’s less concentrated than what’s needed to make weapons, he said.
It’s not just the perceived dovish peace organization saying this. The Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, a group that has men the likes of Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski on its board, notices the facts:
Iran is running out of the 19.75 percent enriched uranium needed to power Tehran’s research reactor, Sharon Squassoni, director of the Proliferation Prevention Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said in a phone interview.
Only Argentina and France make this type of fuel, she said. Weapons-grade uranium is at least 90 percent enriched and power- plant fuel is enriched about 3 percent to 5 percent, she said.
Squassoni concluded that Iran’s statement “has no connection to a nuclear weapons timeline.”