Secretary-general Hassan Rohani of Iran’s National Security Council (a group affiliated with the ayatollahs rather than the reformers, for those of you keeping score) issued a statement urging the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to end its investigation and “accept Iran’s membership of the atomic club.”
His statement further explained that Iran’s nuclear program is purely aimed at civilian nuclear power, and their advanced centrifuges and the discovery of 80% enriched Uranium by IAEA inspectors* was ignored.
English translation: Iran’s nuclear program is farther along than most estimates, especially after their little deal with North Korea (and thus indirectly, Pakistan) to trade workspace for technology; they’re not confident in having a bomb testable within a year, though, so they want to institute some medium- to long-term delays for the IAEA. (Rather than the more direct obstreprious stonewalling that they would use if they just wanted to keep the IAEA busy for a few more months)
But their technology is good, so expect to see Iran enter the nuclear club (barring unforeseen circumstances, which is a hell of a “barring”) somtime between now and 2007. The ayatollahs would like that to be earlier, the reformers could work with either early or late. Iranian internal politics may have an order-1 effect on all of this.
Just remember, kids – nuclear weapons don’t kill people, people kill people. Erm. With nuclear weapons.