By the middle of next year, Iran may have stockpiled enough weapons-grade uranium to build a nuclear weapon, US experts say, calling for heightened sanctions on the country. In a new report, five nonproliferation experts argue that it's time for President Obama to make it "crystal clear" that the US military is willing to take action to avoid such a future, Reuters reports. "We don't think there is any secret enrichment plant making significant secret uranium enrichment right now," says one of the experts, but there's "real worry" that could change.
The US should say it's prepared for a "de facto international embargo on all investments in, and trade with, Iran" if the country fails to adhere to UN resolutions, the report says. But the Guardian points to dangers from existing sanctions: Sick Iranians are facing a shortage of vital medications ranging from chemotherapy to blood-clotting drugs. Waivers meant to prevent such shortages aren't working because they clash with banking sanctions and rules against chemicals that could be used in weapons capacities. Western officials are working on the problem, but some leading drug companies are avoiding any contact with the country.