This morning, at the opening of the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh, President Obama stood side by side with the leaders of Britain and France and revealed to the world that Iran is secretly building an underground uranium enrichment plant. Western intelligence agencies had known about the plant for years, but only decided to reveal its existence now because Iran recently realized the facility had been discovered. Earlier this week, Iran sent a letter to the U.N.’s nuclear-watchdog agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency, vaguely informing them of the facility, which it called a “pilot plant.”
Iran already has one such enrichment plant, but the fact that they’ve hidden the existence of this second plant for years, Obama said, “represents a direct challenge to the basic compact of the nuclear nonproliferation regime.” In addition, he pointed out that while every nation has the right to nuclear power, the size of the plant wasn’t consistent with peaceful purposes. He called on the IAEA to investigate the plant, and for Iran to finally come clean on all its nuclear activities. Nicolas Sarkozy and Gordon Brown then took to the podium with even more aggressive statements, the former threatening tougher sanctions and the latter drawing a “line in the sand.” Yes, the October 1 talks between Iran and the United States, France, Great Britain, China, Russia, and Germany just got a little more intense.