US military official says Iran is another three to five years from actually producing a “deliverable weapon”; Former president Khatami barred from traveling abroad; Khamenei: Use of nuclear arms against Islam
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  • Lt. Gen. Ronald Burgess, director of the US Defense Intelligence Agency in a Senate hearing stated that centrifuges at Iran's Natanz plant were producing low-enriched uranium and were not yet being used to produce highly-enriched uranium needed for weapons.1 He added that Iran would take another three to five years to actually produce a “deliverable weapon that is usable.” The assessment came even as Iran declared that it had produced its first significant batch of more highly-enriched uranium. Meanwhile, negotiations resumed at the UN on the possibility of tougher sanctions.

    Iran’s former president and reformist politician Mohammad Khatami was barred from leaving the country. He was to attend a nuclear disarmament conference in Japan. Khatami has been under strong pressure from the Iranian government following the disputed presidential elections of June 2009. The government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has placed severe restrictions on the opposition leadership in the aftermath of protests following that election.2

    In other developments, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated that the use of nuclear weapons was “haram,” or “prohibited by religion.” Khamenei added that the world’s “only atomic criminal [US] lies and presents itself as being against nuclear weapons proliferation …”3