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    Entries by Editor (11)

    Tuesday
    Feb082011

    Iranium-Can we let Iran Go Nuclear ?

    Iran's nuclear program presents a threat to international stability. Yet successive American administrations-Republican and Democratic alike-have misread the intentions and actions of the Iranian regime.

    How dangerous is a nuclear Iran, even if it never detonates a weapon? What are the guiding principles of the Iranian leadership? To what lengths would the regime go to carry out its agenda? How far have Iran's leaders already gone to fund the world's most powerful terrorist organizations? And why have American leaders failed to gain the upper hand in relations with Iran during the past 30 years?

    In approximately 60 minutes, Iranium powerfully reports on the many aspects of the threat America and the world now faces using rarely-before seen footage of Iranian leaders, and interviews with 25 leading politicians, Iranian dissidents, and experts on: Middle East policy, terrorism, and nuclear proliferation.

    Iranium documents the development of Iran's nuclear threat, beginning with the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and the ideology installed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini.

    Iranium tracks Iran's use of terror as a tool of policy, beginning with the 444 day seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, through Iran's insurgent actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Iranium details the brutal nature of the Iranian regime to its own citizens, and the Iranian people's desire to rejoin the international community.

    Iranium outlines the various scenarios the greater Middle East and the Western world may face should Iran cross the nuclear threshold.

    In order for Iranium's important message to have maximum impact, we need YOUR help. Click here to find out more about how you can take action.

     

    Wednesday
    Dec162009

    Another Iranian Nuclear Negotiator Resigns

    by MEIR JAVEDANFAR in Tel Aviv

    On Tuesday December 15th, Dr Mohammad Saeedi, the deputy head of planning for the Atomic Energy Agency of Iran (AEOI) and a member of Iran's nuclear negotiation team for the past five years resigned.

    Saeedi is the second senior member of AEOI who has resigned since the reelection of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June this year. The first was Mohammad Reza Aghazadeh, who was the head of the organization.

    Although no official explanation has been provided, it is quite possible that Saeedi's resignation could be related to the infighting currently taking place within the Iranian regime.

    After Ahmadinejad's reelection, Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei started a purge in the Iranian government. Many of those who were reformists or moderate conservatives were pushed out.

    For those who survived the cull, Iran's refusal to accept President Obama's recent offer, and the impending sanctions and isolation which it will bring, could be a huge disappointment. This is especially true for Iran's nuclear negotiating team.

    Dr Saeedi would have seen how, for years, Ali Larijani, Iran's senior nuclear negotiator masterfully delayed major sanctions for Iran by negotiating with the EU and Javier Solana.

    Since Larijani's resignation in 2007, Iran's position has significantly worsened. His replacement, Saeed Jalili is far less capable in terms of diplomatic skills. Furthermore, Supreme Leader Khamenei does not want to make any compromises. If anything, Iran is now far more provocative than before. See Ahmadinejad's announcement that his government plans to build 10 new enrichment facilities, in complete defiance of UN resolutions.

    Under these circumstances, Iran's nuclear negotiation team has become all but redundant. Dr Saeedi would be forgiven for thinking his job is done.

    Saturday
    Dec052009

    Iran ramps up the Rhetoric now wanting 20 Nuclear Installations

    AP TEHRAN, Iran — Iran's vice president said Saturday his country needs 20 industrial-scale uranium enrichment facilities, a potentially dramatic expansion of its nuclear program in defiance of U.N. demands.

    Ali Akbar Salehi, who also heads the nuclear program, told the official IRNA news agency that Iran needs the sites to generate 20,000 megawatts of electricity through nuclear power plants over the next 20 years.

    The statement comes at a time of heightened Western concerns over Iran's nuclear intentions. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said Iran is considering whether to scale back cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency after it approved a resolution censuring Iran over its nuclear program.

    Tehran argues its nuclear program is peaceful and insists it has a right to enrich uranium to produce fuel for nuclear reactors to generate electricity. The United Nations has demanded Iran freeze enrichment.

    Iran and the West are deadlocked over a U.N. proposal for Iran to send much of its enriched uranium abroad. The plan is aimed at drastically reducing Iran's stockpile of enriched uranium in hopes of thwarting the country's ability to potentially make a nuclear weapon. So far, Iran has balked at the offer.

    Last week, Tehran announced it intends to build the 10 new sites — a statement that followed a strong rebuke from the Vienna-based IAEA.

    It was not clear when or whether the government will approve the construction. But Iran's decision to dramatically expand its uranium enrichment program and scale back cooperation with the IAEA is widely seen as a slap to Western efforts to curtail Iran's nuclear program.


     

     

    Thursday
    Dec032009

    Ahmadinejad taunts Israel

    Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday, Dec. 2, that Iran will enrich uranium to 20 percent. His latest show of defiance, focusing on the US and Israel, follows Tehran's announcement of plans to build another 10 enrichment plants capable of producing 300 tons of enriched uranium a year in response to the UN nuclear watchdog's censure of its second enrichment plant near Qom.

    The building of two new plants will begin in two months.

    Deliberately taunting Israel, he said in a speech from Isfahan broadcast live by state television: "The Zionist regime is nothing. Even its masters cannot do a damn thing." For Tehran the nuclear issue is "over." The Islamic republic will "not back down from its rights."

    On his visit to Isfahan, site of a nuclear fuel plant, Ahmadinejad said: "The Iranian nation will by itself make the 20 percent (nuclear) fuel (enriched uranium) and whatever it needs," after threatening: "Any finger which is about to pull the trigger will be cut off."

    The western powers would not be able to isolate Iran, he said, and dismissed the possibility of a military attack.

    Tehran has turned down the international offer for Russia to convert 70 percent of Iran's low-grade enriched uranium into fuel for medical research; France was to have neutralized its possible conversion into weapons-grade material. Now, Ahmadinejad accused the Western powers and Israel of using against Tehran what he called an Iranian proposal to trade its low-enriched uranium in return for 20 percent enriched material.

    Tension between Tehran and the world powers has heightened over this controversy.

    DEBKAfile adds: The centrifuge technology that increases the concentration of U-235 isotopes up to the 5-20 percent level can also be used to increase it to nuclear-weapons grade. It is a question of intent.

    Saturday
    Nov282009

    Iranian lawmaker: Iran could leave nuclear treaty 

    (AR) TEHRAN, Iran — Iran's parliament may consider withdrawing the country from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in response to a resolution by the U.N. nuclear watchdog censuring Tehran over its nuclear program, a hardline lawmaker said Saturday.

    Mohammad Karamirad, a senior lawmaker, said parliament may also consider blocking inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Tehran has allowed such inspections so far.

    The threats come a day after the board of the U.N. nuclear agency passed a resolution demanding Tehran immediately stop building its newly revealed nuclear facility near the holy city of Qom and freeze uranium enrichment.

    Karamirad does not speak for the government but his statements reflect hardline thinking that the government usually pursues.

    Iranian lawmakers threatened to pull the country out of the nonproliferation treaty in 2006, during another time of increased pressure by the U.N. over Tehran's nuclear program. Iran backed down, and the government has said in the past that it has no intention of withdrawing from the treaty.

    "The parliament, in its first reaction to this illegal and politically-motivated resolution, can consider the issue of withdrawing from NPT," Karamirad was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency, referring to the treaty.

    "The parliament ... (also) can block the entry of IAEA inspectors to the country," he said.

    Karamirad, a member of parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said Iran was determined to continue its nuclear activities.

    Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's chief delegate to the IAEA, also dismissed the IAEA's fresh demands, saying Saturday on state television that Iran will limit its cooperation with the U.N. agency to its treaty obligations and will not cooperate beyond that.

    "Our first reaction to this resolution is that they (IAEA) should not expect us to do what we did several times in the past few months when we cooperated beyond our obligations to remove ambiguities," Soltanieh said.

    Soltanieh stressed the resolution won't stop Iran from continuing to enrich uranium.

    He said the country's nuclear activities will not be interrupted by resolutions from the U.N. nuclear agency's board, the U.N. Security Council or even the threat of military strikes against the facilities.

    Friday's resolution — and the resulting vote of the IAEA's 35-nation decision-making board — were significant on several counts.

    Iranian officials have shrugged off the resolution's approval by 25 members of the 35-nation board, including the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany. The vote marked a rare measure of unity from the six world powers on Iran.

    Moscow and Beijing have traditionally cautioned against efforts to punish Iran for its defiance over its nuclear program, either preventing new Security Council sanctions or watering down their potency.

    The IAEA resolution criticized Iran for defying a U.N. Security Council ban on uranium enrichment — the source of both nuclear fuel and the fissile core of warheads.

    It also censured Iran for secretly building a uranium enrichment facility, known as Fordo, and demanded that it immediately suspend further construction. The resolution noted that IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei cannot confirm that Tehran's nuclear program is exclusively geared toward peaceful uses, and expressed "serious concern" that Iranian stonewalling of an IAEA probe means "the possibility of military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program" cannot be excluded.