Non-Shocking Iran News

| Fri Sep. 25, 2009 12:46 PM EDT

I'm just catching up on the news this morning, but apparently Iran is building a second nuclear enrichment facility:

White House officials said Western intelligence agencies have known about the facility for several years and believe that Iran acknowledged its existence Monday in an attempt to head off intense criticism that they knew was coming.

"We believe that the Iranians learned that the secrecy of the facility had been compromised," a senior White House official said Friday morning. "We've been aware of this facility for several years, building up a case so that we had very strong evidence."

Officials from the United States, France and Britain rushed to brief the IAEA in Vienna on Thursday on what they knew about the facility. U.S. officials said that detailed briefing was provided in an attempt to spark an immediate investigation by the international organization.

I don't have much to say about this except to note that all our previous intelligence estimates about Iran's capabilities obviously took this second plant into account, so presumably this doesn't change our forecasts about how far away they are from enriching enough material to build a bomb.

Hard to say exactly what's next.  Hillary Clinton noted dryly today that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's recent statements "illustrate attitudes and approaches that are really at variance with almost universal principles and understanding of historical reality."  You can say that again.  He certainly seems to be doing everything he can to unite the world against him.  Quite a feat.

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