Ahmadinejad Sends Obama a Wake-Up Call

Iran crosses another red line with 20% enrichment boost
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2010 11:28 AM CST
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, waves to the media, at the presidency in Tehran, Iran, Jan. 25, 2010.   (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

(Newser) – Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s orders to jack up Iran’s plutonium enrichment to 20% is a shot across the bow of the Obama administration, throwing serious doubts on its strategy for engaging Iran. “If this were poker, one would have to say Iran is calling Washington’s bluff,” writes Michael Adler in the Daily Beast. “Or treating US policy as if it were a bluff.”

Iran is upping enrichment to 20%, theoretically to produce medical diagnostic isotopes, but “given the geometric curve that is enrichment,” that’s “all but the last step needed” to jump to full, weapons-grade production. By taking that step, Iran is showing Washington that its current strategy—of trying engagement while moving for sanctions—isn’t going to be enough. “The Unites States may be trapped in a stillborn policy of doing too little, too late.”

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