Monday, September 15, 2008
Centrifuges, Whirled Milk, & a Peaceful Iran
Centrifuges are utilized throughout the world for a multitude of peaceful purposes, like separating milk. However, they are most ominously utilized in the process of enriching uranium for the purposes of reactor fuel or weapons material. In fact, it is the quality and quantity of centrifuge(s) which dictates the rate and volume of enriched material output and enables stockpiling capabilities. Therefore, in accordance with the recent NY Times article, it is quite worrisome to note the recently declared efficiency gains made by Iran in regards to its centrifuge technology.
To begin, this revelation – if true – thrusts the world once more into worry over the now undeniable progression of an Iranian nuclear program. This ongoing development in international affairs is only exacerbated by a more confrontational Iran (following the leadership of Mahmud Amedinejahd) which appears at the moment to be manipulating the fear of nuclear armament as leverage in the expansion of influence and importance in the region. This system of diplomatic and political operating in itself is dangerous due to the potential of a renewed arms race, the prospect of a preemptive attack, and the chance of destabilization.
Perhaps more important, however, is the impact this technological development will have on the threat assessment produced by the United States in reference to Iran. With the increasing probability that Iran will soon have the capacity to produce weapons grade uranium (and produce in increasing volume), there will inevitably be a powerful shift in U.S. assessment and policy towards Iran to compensate for the burgeoning threat posed by a new, nuclear power in the Middle East.
This newest development will inevitably increase the tension in an already tenuous situation, and will hopefully generate a new pressure for multilateral negotiations, but will more likely expedite the danger of a volatile confrontation.
"Nuclear Agency Says Iran Has Improved Enrichment"