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Iran at the Brink

By Washington Post, Washington Post - August 31, 2012

FOUR MONTHS AGO, the Obama administration radiated optimism that a deal could be struck curbing the most dangerous parts of Iran’s nuclear program. What’s followed has been a dismal summer. Not only has Iran not agreed to stop its production of higher-enriched uranium, but it has increased its stockpile by 30 percent since May, according to a new report by international inspectors. Not only has it rejected proposals from the United States and five partners that it close an underground production facility near the city of Qom, but it has doubled the number of centrifuges installed there.

Rather than negotiate with the international coalition — the last formal talks were in June — Tehran this week is hosting a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement at which it is defiantly reasserting its right to uranium enrichment, despite multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions ordering it to stop. Meanwhile, terrorist attacks by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Lebanon’s Hezbollah have targeted Israeli diplomats and tourists in half a dozen countries.

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