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Iran and the Bomb

A senior official said yesterday that Iran has cleared up all the questions surrounding its nuclear program. Unfortunately, the official was from Iran.

The rest of the world has serious and growing doubts about Tehran's contention that its nuclear activities are purely peaceful. The International Atomic Energy Agency is still investigating how traces of enriched uranium that could be used for bomb-making found their way to Iranian nuclear sites, where they were detected by inspectors. The agency would also like to know why Iran is so interested in sophisticated centrifuges that can speed up the production of weapons-grade uranium.

Iran has not been reassuring in either case. Given its record of nuclear cheating over many years, the international community cannot take it on faith that Iran's intentions are innocent. This is a totalitarian regime whose criminal and mendacious nature has been cruelly revealed in the case of Zahra Kazemi, the Iranian-Canadian photojournalist murdered after being arrested by authorities in Tehran. Its decision to push ahead with uranium enrichment despite the rising concern about its nuclear program only confirms its contempt for international rules.

Unless Iran takes meaningful steps to show its nuclear program is peaceful, the IAEA should refer the case to the United Nations Security Council and put Iran on notice that the world will not stand by as it develops nuclear weapons.

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