According to the morning paper, it was a "mild surprise" to international experts that Iran had not only defied the UN but was now installing centrifuge networks in its underground Natanz enrichment plant. The International Atomic Energy Agency reported two are completed and another two are close to completion.
This represents an effort by Iran to reach "industrial-scale" production.
I'm not sure where the surprise comes from. Iran's made it quite clear they are going to try to produce weapons-grade materials by rejecting every offer to supply them with the means to run nuclear power plants for power but not weaponry. There is only one reason they have chosen the path they have.
If that's not enough, of course, the crazies running Iran have also made it clear they wish to possess a nuclear weapon. If someone's holding a gun to your head, it's best to treat them seriously even if you think it might not be loaded.
That's something we still haven't learned about Iran or the ME in general. We treat the attempts to possess WMDs and the genocidal statements issuing from their leaders as little more than bluster. And, true, in many cases it is bluster.
Just as in many cases, the statements of Al-Qaida leaders are bluster but every once in a while, they fly airplanes into your office towers.
Bush, bless him for this one, has already stationed two aircraft carrier groups off Iran. No doubt the Israelis are turning over one contingency plan after another at this moment.
There is still time for the UN to act but I've written before, and still believe, this could be that organization's last opportunity to establish itself as anything other than a laughingstock. The tepid sanctions installed two months ago need to be severely ramped up as should support for whatever efforts are going on inside Iran to dispose of the freak show in power.