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Panetta admits Iran not developing nukes | The Raw Story

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta let slip on Sunday the big open secret that Washington war hawks don’t want widely known: Iran is not developing nuclear weapons.

Appearing on CBS’s Face The Nation on Sunday, Panetta admitted despite all the rhetoric, Iran is not pursuing the ability to split atoms with weapons, saying it is instead pursuing “a nuclear capability.”

That “capability” falls in line with what Iran has said for years: that it is developing nuclear energy facilities, not nuclear weapons.

"I think the pressure of the sanctions, the diplomatic pressures from everywhere, Europe, the United States, elsewhere, it’s working to put pressure on them," Panetta explained on Sunday. "To make then understand that they cannot continue to do what they’re doing. Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No. But we know that they are trying to develop a nuclear capability, and that’s what concerns us. And our red line to Iran is, do not develop a nuclear weapon. That’s the red line for us."

Republicans have been beating the drums of war in recent weeks as tensions in the Iranian gulf have soared. Iran has threatened to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, a key oil transport hub crucial to global industry, if U.S. warships return to monitor their activities.

Iran said it was planning to hols military exercises in the Strait of Hormuz in the coming weeks, and prior wargames saw the Iranians test missiles that are designed to sink warships.

President Barack Obama recently agreed to fresh sanctions on Iran targeting the country’s central bank, in hopes of slowing down their nuclear program. The European Union was also considering fresh sanctions, and details were expected later in January. The U.N., as well, has sanctioned Iran repeatedly over it’s nuclear program.

Iran said recently that it had created the country’s first ever nuclear fuel rod made from domestic uranium enriched at their own facilities.

Nuclear fuel enrichment is much different from enrichment for weapons. Most commercial nuclear reactors use lightly enriched uranium, which is between 3-5 percent enriched. Weapons-grade uranium must be enriched to approximately 85 percent or more of a key radioactive isotopefor it to be usable in an atomic bomb.

Iran added on Monday that it had also enriched uranium up to 20 percent in an underground facility, explaining that the isotopes were to be used to help cancer patients.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said late last year that Iran had carried out tests that suggested they may be making the first steps toward building a nuclear weapon, but former agency insiders disputed the claim as being misleading.

Watch the video from CBS News, broadcast Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012 here.

177 notes

  1. other-stuff reblogged this from randomactsofchaos
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  3. mattmeetstheinternet reblogged this from mohandasgandhi
  4. lifeasme92 reblogged this from mohandasgandhi
  5. morphetamine reblogged this from thefoolthewildcardarcana and added:
    god all these quotations make the article annoying to read. they have a couple good points though.
  6. lovingremixed reblogged this from mohandasgandhi and added:
    Emphasis/bolding mine, because I’d always been a bit unclear on what happened between the US and Iran, and that makes it...
  7. lannistersroar reblogged this from theladymonsters
  8. theladymonsters reblogged this from sanityscraps
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  10. ragasas reblogged this from jonathan-cunningham and added:
  11. orobolicious reblogged this from purplenana
  12. akio reblogged this from mohandasgandhi
  13. nhaler reblogged this from jonathan-cunningham and added:
    Whoa whoawhoawhoa whoa, what?
  14. iambal reblogged this from section9 and added:
    I’m confused even the 2nd time I’m reading this on my dash. Are people defending Iran and implying they are honestly not...
  15. jackpowerx reblogged this from sanityscraps and added:
    Iran - a signatory to the anti-proliferation treaty, I might add - has been saying all along that they are only seeking...
  16. sosungjackskellington reblogged this from mohandasgandhi and added:
    Does anyone seriously want a unstable theocracy to have the capability to produce nukes? Because, ’unstable Theocracy’...
  17. revenantirreverence reblogged this from sanityscraps
  18. section9 reblogged this from jonathan-cunningham and added:
    Like I said the first time you posted this: If not a nuclear warhead, what does Iran plan on putting on top of the...
  19. sp00kyblue reblogged this from mohandasgandhi
  20. nomadic-dreams reblogged this from thefreeusapress
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  22. coconutavocado reblogged this from sanityscraps
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