Thursday, April 13, 2006

Analysts Say a Nuclear Iran Is Years Away - New York Times

Analysts Say a Nuclear Iran Is Years Away - New York Times:
It took Tehran 21 years of planning and 7 years of sporadic experiments, mostly in secret, to reach its current ability to link 164 spinning centrifuges in what nuclear experts call a cascade. Now, the analysts said, Tehran has to achieve not only consistent results around the clock for many months and years but even higher degrees of precision and mass production. It is as if Iran, having mastered a difficult musical instrument, now faces the challenge of making thousands of them and creating a very large orchestra that always plays in tune and in unison.

Yesterday, Mr. Saeedi, the Iranian nuclear official, said Iran was moving rapidly toward its atomic goals. 'We will expand uranium enrichment to industrial scale at Natanz,' he was quoted as saying by the ISNA student news agency in a reference to Iran's main enrichment facility. Mr. Saeedi said Iran would start operating the first of 3,000 centrifuges at Natanz by late 2006, with further expansion to 54,000 centrifuges. 'We have no problem in doing that,' he told ISNA. 'We just need to increase our production lines.'

The news from Iran, which holds 10 percent of the world's oil reserves, has made oil markets very nervous in recent days and contributed to a spike in oil prices to nearly $70 a barrel on Tuesday. Oil futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed at $68.62 a barrel yesterday, just $2 short of their record after Hurricane Katrina.
Yes, but since when has logical analysis held any sway over BushCo? Notice the bit about oil prices. That's what holds sway over BushCo. And higher prices are "good" in the eyes of BushCo.

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