Friday, June 24, 2005

Blix: Iran Years From Nuclear Bomb-Making Capacity

Former chief UN weapons inspector in Iraq, Hans Blix, says Iran is years away from achieving a nuclear capacity sufficient to create a bomb. The United States and the European Union have repeatedly urged Iran to freeze uranium enrichment and reprocessing amid worries that Tehran is seeking to acquire nuclear weapons. Tehran claims its nuclear program is for civilian use only. Blix also told Swedish Radio news that concerns over Iran’s first nuclear power station are exaggerated, pointing out that while the shell of the plant is high-tech, it is filled with low-grade nuclear technology, ”It’s like putting the motor of a Lada in a Mercedes car,” he joked. Meanwhile he said, ”What is uncomfortable and dangerous is that they have acquired the capacity to enrich uranium out of their own uranium that they dig out of the ground,” adding that it is hard to trust Tehran’s claims that it will only enrich uranium to levels required for civil purposes. Hans Blix currently heads an independent, international commission on weapons of mass destruction working on finding ways of limiting the spread of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons as well as on ways of disarming countries that already have such weapons.


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