Iran has enough nuclear fuel to build a bomb if it decides to take the drastic steps of violating its international treaty obligations, kicking out inspectors and further refining its supply, U.N. officials and arms-control experts said Thursday.
Iran has made no such gestures and has slowed its expansion of machines producing nuclear fuel, increasing its production capacity by less than 5 percent over the last three months, according to a report issued Thursday by the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA.
The report revealed that Iran had amassed 1,010 kilograms of low-enriched or reactor-grade nuclear fuel by late January. Physicists estimate that producing the 25 kilograms or so of highly enriched or weapons-grade uranium to build an atomic warhead requires between 1,000 and 1,700 kilograms of low-enriched or reactor-grade uranium.
President OKs law to close U.S. base
Kyrgyzstan’s president has signed a law to close a key U.S. air base used as a staging post for military operations in Afghanistan.
President Kurmanbek Bakiyev signed the bill today to cancel the lease agreement for the Manas air base. Bakiyev’s action following a nearly unanimous vote by Kyrgyz lawmakers on Thursday to shutter the base.
Kyrgyz authorities can now issue an eviction notice, giving the United States 180 days to leave the base.
The air base, just outside the capital of Bishkek, is an integral part of the supply chain of soldiers and equipment to Afghanistan. Crews from Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane helped set up the military operations at Manas. Fairchild personnel have continued to rotate in and out of the base on tours lasting about 60 days.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Holocaust-denying bishop ejected
The traditionalist bishop whose denials of the Holocaust embarrassed the Vatican was ordered Thursday to leave Argentina within 10 days.
The Interior Ministry said it had ordered Richard Williamson out of Argentina because he had failed to declare his true job as director of a seminary on immigration forms and because his comments on the Holocaust “profoundly insult Argentine society, the Jewish community and all of humanity by denying a historic truth.”
Williamson’s views created an uproar last month when Pope Benedict XVI lifted his excommunication and that of three other bishops consecrated by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre as part of a process meant to heal a rift with ultraconservatives.
The flap led the Vatican to demand that the British clergyman recant before he can be admitted as a bishop in the Roman Catholic Church.
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