Iran: We're Building a Nuclear Sub
Project can be used to justify nuclear enrichment
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2012 7:56 AM CDT
Two new Iranian Ghadir-class submarines are unveiled during a ceremony in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas on August 8, 2010.   (Getty Images/AFP)

(Newser) – Iran says it has begun building a nuclear submarine—a move which conveniently gives it an excuse to enrich uranium to above weapons grade. An Iranian rear admiral announced the project in Iran's state-run Fars News Agency yesterday, and went out of his way to remind reporters that powering submarines is a civilian nuclear application available to all countries. The US and Israel have been worried Iran would try the sub gambit for months, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"One of the few if only civilian pretexts for weapon-grade uranium are nuclear submarines, so it was fairly predictable," one expert says, though he adds that "the gap between Iran's bluster and its capabilities … is wider than the Strait of Hormuz." But Iran is paying dearly for that bluster. Thanks to sanctions, oil exports have fallen about 40%, to just 1.5 million barrels per day, Reuters reports. Experts believe Iran is still producing 3.3 million barrels a day, and stockpiling the excess oil.
 

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