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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS UANI AND WHAT DO THEY STAND FOR?
United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), a program of the American Coalition Against Nuclear Iran, Inc., is a section 501(c)(3) organization. UANI is a non-partisan, broad-based coalition that comprises individuals and organizations from across the spectrum. UANI’s coalition of members -- including human rights and humanitarian groups, the labor movement, political advocacy and grassroots organizations, representatives of diverse ethnicities, faith communities, political and social affiliations -- are united in a commitment to prevent Iran from fulfilling its ambition to become a regional superpower possessing nuclear weapons. UANI is an issue-based coalition in which each coalition member has its own interests as well as the collective goal of advancing an Iran free of nuclear weapons. UANI is led by a board of outstanding national figures representing all sectors of our country.
WHAT IS SO BAD ABOUT A NUCLEAR IRAN?
A nuclear Iran would be a major threat to American security interests, regional stability, and world peace. Since 1979 the Iranian regime, most recently under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s leadership, has demonstrated increasingly threatening behavior and rhetoric toward the US and the West. Iran continues to defy the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations in their attempts to monitor its nuclear activities. A number of Arab states have warned that Iran’s development of nuclear weapons poses a threat to Middle East stability and could provoke a regional nuclear arms race. In short, the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran is a threat of the highest magnitude. Iran is led by radical Islamic clerics with history of hostile behavior including a willingness to wage war and to battle the United States and its allies. With a nuclear weapon, Iran would be able to project its power throughout the region, threaten key US allies as well as American troops, and share the technology or the weapons with terrorist groups that target the United States.
ISN'T IRAN’S NUCLEAR PROGRAM FOR PEACEFUL PURPOSES?
While Iran is claiming they are enriching uranium to use only for energy and not weapons, this is false and disingenuous. In January 2010, Iran initially agreed to, and then reneged on, a fuel swap deal that would have required Iran to send the majority of its uranium stockpile abroad for enrichment. At the time, this would have deprived Iran of the amount of uranium necessary to build a nuclear weapon. The international community’s rationale was that if Iran truly wanted to have a peaceful nuclear program, outsourcing enrichment would make the process easier, as the Iranian government would be provided with a set supply of enriched uranium, eliminating the need for a difficult and expensive domestic enrichment program. By rejecting this deal, Iran sought to delay action by the international community.
Additional evidence that points to the nefarious nature of Iran’s nuclear program includes Iran’s stockpile of 320 tons of uranium hexafluoride to enrich with their centrifuges, which is not enough to power one reactor, but enough fuel to potentially make as many as 100 bombs. Iran also continues work on a heavy-water nuclear reactor at Arak, which is of particular concern since the spent fuel from a heavy-water reactor is better suited for nuclear weapons than the plutonium produced by light water reactors like the one the Iranians are building at Bushehr. Iran says it will not separate the plutonium from the spent fuel and that the reactor will be used for the civilian purpose of producing medical isotopes, but Iran already has a research reactor with unused capacity that is capable of producing medical isotopes and experts have pointed out that the Arak facility is much larger than necessary for that purpose. In September 2009, Iran revealed to the IAEA the existence of a secret uranium enrichment facility (the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant) located near the city of Qom. Evidence indicates that construction began in 2006 and is being built to contain approximately 3,000 centrifuges. Iran’s refusal to disclose this information to the IAEA calls into question the regime’s true motivation for its nuclear program.
IAEA Director General, Yukiya Amano, had this to say regarding Iran’s nuclear program: “Iran has not provided the necessary cooperation to permit the IAEA to confirm that all nuclear material in Iran is for peaceful activities.” As the late Tom Lantos (D-CA) said in March of 2007, “Ahmadinejad… claims that his nuclear energy plans, his nuclear fuel cycle plans are designed purely for peaceful purposes. Now there… isn't a person who is remotely rational who believes him.”
WHEN WILL IRAN HAVE A NUCLEAR WEAPON?
In unusually blunt language, a February 2010 IAEA report suggested for the first time that Iran was actively pursuing nuclear weapons capability, corroborating suspicions long held by the U.S. and Western intelligence agencies. The report acknowledges that Iran has already honed explosives expertise relevant to a workable nuclear weapon. A May 2010 IAEA Report stated that Iran has amassed more than two tons of enriched uranium, which is enough material to construct two nuclear bombs. This is a frightening development, and it means that Iran now has a “possible breakout capacity.” According to nuclear experts, Iran is now capable of enriching its stockpile of low enriched uranium to a higher level, and could convert the material into a nuclear weapon within three to six months. The official American estimate is that Iran could produce a nuclear weapon between 2010 and 2015. Whoever you believe, the point is clear that Iran is very close to creating a nuclear weapon.
WHAT WILL UANI BE DOING ABOUT IRAN?
- Build a broad, bipartisan and inclusive coalition with leading individuals and organizations representing a broad spectrum of views;
- Educate the public about the nature of the Iranian regime, including its desire and intent to possess nuclear weapons, as well as Iran’s role as the key state sponsor of global terrorism, and a major violator of human rights at home and abroad;
- Heighten awareness nationally and internationally about the grave threat that a nuclear-armed Iran poses to the region and the world;
- Educate the public and opinion leaders about Iran’s role as the key state sponsor of global terrorism, leading executer of women and children, and major violator of human rights at home and abroad;
- Mobilize public support, utilize media outreach, and call upon elected leaders to voice a united American opposition to a nuclear Iran;
- Lay the groundwork for effective US policies in coordination with European and other allies;
- Persuade the regime in Tehran to desist from its quest for nuclear weapons; while striving not to punish the Iranian people, and;
- Promote efforts that focus on vigorous national and international, social, economic, political and diplomatic measures.
WHAT CAN I DO TO PREVENT IRAN FROM GETTING A NUCLEAR WEAPON?
At first glance, the problem of a nuclear Iran may seem too big for any one person to confront, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. You can:
- Use the UANI website action center to organize your own protest and write letters to the editors of major news publication;
- Sign up for UANI’s Eye on Iran to stay informed;
- Write letters to elected officials;
- Divest from organizations doing business in Iran;
- Donate to UANI.
HOW CAN I DONATE TO UANI?
You can make a donation online or contact UANI for additional information.
HOW DO I CONTACT UANI?
You can call UANI at 212-554-3296, fax to 212-682-1238 or send an email to