Raw Story reports on the banging of the drums of war:
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta let slip on Sunday the big open secret that Washington war hawks don’t want widely known: Iran is not developing nuclear weapons.
Appearing on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday, Panetta admitted that despite all the rhetoric, Iran is not pursuing the ability to split atoms with weapons, saying it is instead pursuing “a nuclear capability.” That “capability” falls in line with what Iran has said for years: that it is developing nuclear energy facilities, not nuclear weapons.
“They cannot continue to do what they’re doing. Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No. But we know that they’re trying to develop a nuclear capability, and that’s what concerns us.”
Republicans have been beating the drums of war in recent weeks as tensions in the Iranian gulf have soared. Iran has threatened to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, a key oil transport hub crucial to global industry, if U.S. warships return to monitor their activities.
Iran said recently that it had created the country’s first ever nuclear fuel rod made from domestic uranium enriched at their own facilities.
Nuclear fuel enrichment is much different from enrichment for weapons. Most commercial nuclear reactors use lightly enriched uranium, which is between 3-5 percent enriched. Weapons-grade uranium must be enriched to approximately 85 percent or more of a key radioactive isotope for it to be usable in an atomic bomb.