The Washington Post reported on August 30, 2006 that Iranian nuclear specialists have begun enriching a new batch of uranium. Inspectors with the International Atomic Energy Agency plan to formally disclose the new enrichment work, as well as additional Iranian nuclear advances, in a report due out on August 31, 2006. The officials, who revealed the information on condition of anonymity, stressed that the Iranians are working at a slow pace with small quantities of uranium, and that they are enriching the material to an extremely low level that could not be used for nuclear weapons. Still, it is unlikely that the Iranians will stop the work in time to meet the Security Council's August 31 deadline.
Undersecretary of State R. Nicholas Burns said, “We've seen no indication that
On August 29,
Meanwhile, on August 29, 2006, former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad declared support for Iran's right to peaceful use of nuclear technology. In a meeting with the visiting head of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, Alaeddin Boroujerdi in
In related news, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad used a press conference on August 29 to focus attention on his challenge to the president of the United States: a face-off in a live televised debate. Mr. Ahmadinejad also found himself challenged by local reporters who questioned the government’s economic program and its tolerance of a critical press.