From stinking up his hotel with food to decrying U.S. involvement in 9/11, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has made quite the splash in New York this week. And now Ahmadinejad has served up a surprise by declaring his country would consider ending uranium enrichment.
After days of confusion over whether or not Iran would reopen negotiations regarding its nuclear program, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has ordered his country's atomic energy agency to begin producing uranium for a medical reactor in Tehran. The United States quickly expressed disappointment over the announcement.
Iran seems to enjoy its nuclear swagger. Tehran has now approved construction of 10 uranium enrichment plants, a remarkable development given that a U.N. watchdog agency demanded last week that Iran cease construction of a previously secret enrichment facility.
The continuing drama surrounding Iran's nuclear program took a daring turn earlier this month when the U.S. revealed the existence of a secret uranium enrichment plant. Now U.N. inspectors have checked out that plant, and will do so again in the next couple days.
Iran's nuclear program is once again raising concerns among members of the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), who claim in a new report that, despite earlier signs of cooperation this year, Tehran is leaving key questions unanswered about possible plans to ramp up its uranium enrichment capabilities by the end of this summer.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that his nation is willing to shut down its nuclear enrichment program in order to hold talks, but first the West must do likewise: "We say how is it that your [nuclear fuel] production facilities work 24 hours a day, but you feel threatened by our newly established complex and we need to shut it down for talks?"