Is Second Facility Really ‘Provocative’ or a Hedge Against Attack?
Citing Iran’s revelation earlier this week that it is constructing a second, smaller uranium enrichment facility, President Barack Obama demanded that the Iranian government “come clean” about his long-standing accusations of a nuclear weapons program, and said he would not rule out attacking the nation if they refused.
Obama said the second facility, reportedly an underground plant outside of Qom, was “inconsistent with a peaceful program” and claimed that the nation was “breaking rules that all nations must follow.”
Despite these claims, it isn’t apparent that Iran broke any rules with the facility. The IAEA only requires that it be informed six months before the facility is operational, which Iran apparently did on Monday. The IAEA has said the information it has been given suggests the facility, like Iran’s current one, is only designed to enrich uranium to 5%, useful only for civilian purposes.