Then, why the secrecy and subterfuge on the nuclear program?
In all likelihood, somewhere around the time of an Iranian nuclear test, we’ll hear about the other side of the coin, a monumental “BUT…” and some claim of extenuating circumstances. “Iran says making nuclear bombs a ‘great sin’,” by Caroline Copley for Reuters, February 29:
GENEVA (Reuters) – Iran, facing growing international pressure over its nuclear program, called for more talks with the U.N. nuclear watchdog on Tuesday and condemned production of atomic weapons as a “great sin.”
Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful but negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have stalled and Western powers have grown increasingly concerned over the possible military dimensions of Tehran’s atomic work.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, in a speech to the U.N.-sponsored Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, said he expected talks to continue and that he was optimistic they would proceed in the right direction.
“I would like to re-emphasize that we do not see any glory, pride or power in the nuclear weapons, quite the opposite based on the religious decree issued by our supreme leader, the production, possession, use or threat of use of nuclear weapons, are illegitimate, futile, harmful, dangerous and prohibited as a great sin,” he said.
However many in the Western camp were skeptical, with the IAEA saying no further talks were scheduled, given what Western diplomats have described as Iran’s unwillingness to address allegations of military nuclear research.
A report by the IAEA last week said Iran was significantly stepping up its uranium enrichment, a finding that sent oil prices higher on fears tensions between Tehran and the West could escalate into military conflict.
Israel has threatened to launch strikes to prevent Iran getting the bomb, saying Tehran’s continued technological progress means it could soon pass into a “zone of immunity.”
In high-level meetings between the IAEA and Iran, held in Tehran in January and February, Iranian officials stuck to a refusal to address intelligence reports about covert research relevant to developing nuclear weapons, Western diplomats say….