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October 23, 2013

Where's the Coverage? Many Countries Have Nuclear Power but No Enrichment

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The “P5+1” talks proceed, meaning Iran is negotiating on the issue of its nuclear program with the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (the United States, Great Britain, France, China, Russia) plus Germany. The next round will take place early next month in Geneva and the media are tripping over themselves to cover differences between the United States and Israel on the matter. And there are differences. According to Bloomberg:

In Moscow yesterday, Russia’s chief negotiator at the talks said Iran and world powers may strike an accord allowing the Islamic republic to continue enriching uranium up to 5 percent purity. That level would require more time to turn into weapons-grade material than the 20 percent enriched uranium Iran is also producing.

[…]

Netanyahu has urged the U.S. and five other powers taking part in talks with Iran in Geneva to reject any proposal that would not ensure a halt to all uranium enrichment. Iran must also stop building a plutonium-producing reactor and curtail other capabilities to make sure it can’t build a nuclear weapon, the Israeli leader says.

Iran is already in violation of a number of Security Council resolutions demanding it cease all uranium enrichment and heavy water activity – a process used to create weapons-grade plutonium. Furthermore, none of this activity is even remotely necessary if Iran, as it claims, only wants a peaceful nuclear program.

There are many countries that have nuclear power that do not have the capability to enrich their own fuel. They buy it from abroad and that’s what Iran could do. And that’s what the media are neglecting to tell you.

There are over thirty countries around the world that have nuclear power programs but according to the World Nuclear Association, only eleven have the capacity to enrich their own fuel.

Here are some of the countries that have nuclear energy but don’t enrich their own nuclear fuel:

• Argentina
• Armenia
• Belgium
• Bulgaria
• Canada
• Czech Republic
• Finland
• Hungary
• South Korea
• Lithuania
• Mexico
• Romania
• Slovakia
• Slovenia
• South Africa
• Spain
• Sweden
• Switzerland
• Ukraine

The fact is that, of countries that have enrichment capabilities, the majority also possess nuclear weapons. Countries that enrich nuclear materials but do not have nuclear weapons include Germany, Japan and the Netherlands. Countries that enrich and do have nuclear weapons include Pakistan, Russia and China.

When you think of Iran, do you think it fits in with Germany, Japan and the Netherlands? Or, does it fit better with Pakistan, Russia and China?

If that isn’t enough to make you uncomfortable, in a speech to the Supreme Cultural Revolutionary Council in 2005, Rouhani himself said:

A county that could enrich uranium to about 3.5 percent will also have the capability to enrich it to about 90 percent. Having fuel cycle capability virtually means that a country that possesses this capability is able to produce nuclear weapons.

Since Argentina, Armenia, Sweden and Spain can buy nuclear fuel from abroad, why can’t Iran? Since our neighbors Canada and Mexico can pursue this policy, why can’t Iran? And since numerous countries have nuclear energy without any enrichment capabilities, why don’t the media include this in their reporting? Where’s the context? Where’s the background? Where’s the coverage?


nuclear_power_plant_spain.jpg

A nuclear power plant in Spain, a country that does not have nuclear enrichment capability.
Notice it is not underground.

Posted by SC at October 23, 2013 07:47 PM

Comments

Argentina does have enrichment capabilities, does not have nuclear weapons, but usually buys nuclear fuel from abroad. (its cheaper than the one produced in the country).

Posted by: Anonymous at March 30, 2016 01:25 PM

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