Obama Concerned That Iran is on Verge of Underground Nuclear Enrichment [View all]
The Obama administration is concerned Iran is on the verge of enriching uranium at a facility deep underground near the Muslim holy city of Qom, a move that may strengthen those advocating tougher action to stop Iranís suspected atomic weapons program.
Iranian nuclear scientists at the Fordo facility appear to be within weeks of producing 20 percent enriched uranium, according to Iran analysts and nuclear specialists in close communication with U.S. officials and atomic inspectors. Enriched uranium is used to fuel power plants and reactors, and may be further processed into atomic weapons material.
Administration officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, worry Iranís actions may bolster calls for a military response and ratchet up pressure to limit Iranís oil exports, which might send oil prices soaring.
ďSenior advisers to President Obama privately express concern that Israel might see Iranís commencement of the Fordo facilityĒ as a justification for a military strike, said Karim Sadjadpour, an Iran analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington who has frequent discussions with U.S. officials.