Monday, April 12, 2010

N. Korea, Iran Snub Obama, Keep Up Nuclear Programs

North Korea and Iran have both announced that they plan to move forward with their nuclear programs, after U.S. President Obama rebuked both nations for failing to comply with nuclear nonproliferation standards.

As if in response to Obama, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi announced Friday that Iran has produced its first third-generation centrifuge. The new centrifuge machine, planned as the first of many, has a production capacity much higher than that of Iran's current machines, he said.

A-jad: Nuclear Bomb is "Against Mankind"
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke Friday at Iran's National Nuclear Festival. He said that Iran does not seek nuclear weapons, and considers the nuclear bomb to be “against mankind.” However, he said that Iran would not cooperate with attempts to restrain its nuclear program, stating, “Like it or not, Iran is now denuclearize, and it will remain so in the future.”

North Korean officials, for their part, slammed Obama's policy as “hostile,” and vowed to expand their country's arsenal of nuclear weapons.

In advance of a conference on stopping nuclear spread, Obama promised last week that America would not use nuclear weapons against countries that do not possess nuclear weapons, even in case of a chemical or biological attack. Iran and North Korea were not included in the list of countries exempt from nuclear retaliation, as both countries have refused to cooperate with the international community regarding their nuclear program.

Iranian leaders charged that by leaving Iran off the list, Obama had “implicitly threatened” a U.S. nuclear attack on Iran, and said they would take the matter to the United Nations.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Obama's new policy would send a “strong message” to Iran and North Korea to “play by the rules.”