A "strong step" against Iran.
Is Iran's nuclear capability a threat to the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. ? Yes, say President George George, river, c.345 mi (560 km) long, rising in a lake on the Quebec-Labrador boundary, E Canada. It flows N through Indian Lake (125 sq mi/324 sq km) to Ungava Bay (an arm of Hudson Strait). W. Bush and many U.S. intelligence experts. "We face no greater challenge from a single country than from Iran," said a recent report by the Bush administration.
Earlier this year, Iran said that it would end an agreement with the European Union European Union (EU), name given since the ratification (Nov., 1993) of the Treaty of European Union, or Maastricht Treaty, to the
European Community (EU) to limit its nuclear program. (See 'Iran's Nuclear Threat?" JS, 2/20/06.)The agreement had been made after pressure from the United Kingdom, France, and Germany Germany (jûr`mənē), Ger. Deutschland, officially Federal Republic of Germany, republic (2005 est. pop. 82,431,000), 137,699 sq mi (356,733 sq km). , on behalf of the EU.
Then, last month, the Middle Eastern country announced that it had already begun to make fuel for its nuclear reactors List of nuclear reactors is a comprehensive annotated list of all the nuclear reactors of the world, sorted by country. This list excludes nuclear marine propulsion reactors, except those at land installations, and . . Iran, an anti-Western theocracy theocracy
Government by divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided. In many theocracies, government leaders are members of the clergy, and the state's legal system is based on religious law. Theocratic rule was typical of early civilizations. (rule by religious leaders), says that it plans to greatly expand its nuclear capability.
The U.S., which has sought to place limits on Iran's nuclear potential, is reacting with alarm. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has called for a new "strong step" from the United Nations Security Council. President Bush has also warned that tough action against Iran may be taken.
Iran insists on its right to develop nuclear power for peaceful purposes. But the U.S. and other nations fear that Iran will use the technology to make weapons. They believe that the Iranian government is too hostile to be trusted with such power. Even worse, they fear that nuclear arms may spread to other unfriendly governments, and finally to terrorists.
Some analysts have urged calm, saying that Iran is years away from being able to reach its nuclear goals.