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    Entries in president mahmoud ahmadinejad (3)


    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.




    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.


    Thousands demonstrate against Ahmadinejad in Rio

    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Thousands of demonstrators from different religions took part Sunday in a march for peace and against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro.

    Faced with mounting pressure over his country's atomic ambitions, Ahmadinejad left on a five nation tour Sunday, in a bid to boost ties with Latin America's biggest economy and a rare backer of Tehran's nuclear program.

    The Iranian president was expected to arrive in Brazil's capital, Brasilia, on Monday for a meeting with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

    The protestors included members of pro-Israel organizations, Jewish groups, anti-racism organizations, organizations for the rights of homosexuals, evangelists and even environment activists.

    One of the protestors said, "Brazil means diversity, peace, tolerance and coexistence between human beings. Ahmadinejad's arrival in this country represents the opposite of what Brazil represents."

    The demonstrators carried Brazilian and Israeli flags. One of the banners held by the protesters read in Portuguese, "The Holocaust did not exist?"