Fact Check: Israeli claims on Iran nuclear program

By Brian Murphy

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 6 2013 6:49 a.m. MST

The U.N. measure was taken after concluding that the U.N.'s nuclear agency — the International Atomic Energy Agency — did not have enough information from Tehran on whether its nuclear program was solely for peaceful purposes. The vote opened the way for much tighter sanctions on Iran. Although the provisions of the Security Council resolution remain in place, nuclear negotiators from the U.S. and allies appear to have backed off demands that Iran halt its enrichment efforts. Discussion at the talks has shifted to possibly allowing enrichment — with strict U.N. monitoring — at lower levels need for peaceful reactors.

Iran insists it has the "right" to uranium enrichment because it has signed the U.N.'s Non-Proliferation Treaty, or NPT, which oversees the spread of nuclear technology. Israel, which is widely believed to have a nuclear arsenal, has not signed the NPT.

CLAIM: The Israeli Security Cabinet statement said Iran has increased the number of centrifuges used in enrichment from 164 in 2006 to more than 18,000.

DETAILS: This is correct but not all are active. Of those 18,000 installed, Iran currently runs more than 10,000 centrifuges, which convert uranium feed stock into nuclear fuel.

CLAIM: The Israeli statement notes that Iran's advances in the technology needed to create nuclear fuel mean that Tehran is also "able to produce nuclear weapons."

DETAILS: While technically true, this would apply to at least five countries that enrich uranium but do not have their own nuclear arsenal. The list includes Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Japan and the Netherlands.

CLAIM: In remarks at the weekly Cabinet meeting on Oct. 6, Netanyahu said that "16 countries produce nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without even one centrifuge," suggesting those countries obtain nuclear fuel abroad.

DETAILS: The number is correct. The list spans the globe including Canada, Belgium and South Africa.

CLAIM: In an Oct. 3 interview with Univision, Netanyahu said Iran has "missiles that can reach Israel" and was "building these long-range intercontinental missiles to reach the United States."

DETAILS: Iran has claimed its Shahab-3 missile has a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles), which covers much of the Middle East, including Israel. Iran's aerospace program has reported the launch of satellites and animals to outside earth's atmosphere. This has raised concerns in the West that the same technology could be used to develop an intercontinental arsenal.

Associated Press writers George Jahn in Vienna, Josef Federman in Jerusalem and Ali Akbar Dareini in Tehran, Iran, contributed to this report.

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS