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    Entries in iranian election (4)

    Wednesday
    Dec162009

    Secret document exposes Iran's nuclear trigger

    The Times-(Catherine Philip) Confidential intelligence documents obtained by The Times show that Iran is working on testing a key final component of a nuclear bomb.

    The notes, from Iran's most sensitive military nuclear project, describe a four-year plan to test a neutron initiator, the component of a nuclear bomb that triggers an explosion. Foreign intelligence agencies date them to early 2007, four years after Iran was thought to have suspended its weapons programme.

    An Asian intelligence source last week confirmed to The Times that his country also believed that weapons work was being carried out as recently as 2007 - specifically, work on a neutron initiator.

    The technical document describes the use of a neutron source, uranium deuteride, which independent experts confirm has no possible civilian or military use other than in a nuclear weapon. Uranium deuteride is the material used in Pakistan's bomb, from where Iran obtained its blueprint.

    "Although Iran might claim that this work is for civil purposes, there is no civil application," said David Albright, a physicist and president of the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington, which has 
    analysed hundreds of pages of documents related to the Iranian programme. "This is a very strong indicator of weapons work."

    The documents have been seen by intelligence agencies from several Western countries, including Britain. A senior source at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that they had been passed to the UN's nuclear watchdog.

    A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokeswoman said yesterday: "We do not comment on intelligence, but our concerns about Iran's nuclear programme are clear. Obviously this document, if authentic, raises serious questions about Iran's intentions."

    Responding to The Times' findings, an Israeli government spokesperson said: "Israel is increasingly concerned about the state of the Iranian nuclear programme and the real intentions that may lie behind it."

    The revelation coincides with growing international concern about Iran's nuclear programme. Tehran insists that it wants to build a civilian nuclear industry to generate power, but critics suspect that the regime is intent on diverting the technology to build an atomic bomb.

    In September, Iran was forced to admit that it was constructing a secret uranium enrichment facility near the city of Qom. President Ahmadinejad then claimed that the wanted to build ten such sites. Over the weekend Manouchehr Mottaki, the Iranian Foreign Minister, said that Iran needed up to 15 nuclear power plants to meet its energy needs, despite the country's huge oil and gas reserves.

    Publication of the nuclear documents will increase pressure for tougher UN sanctions against Iran, which are due to be discussed this week. But the latest leaks in a long series of allegations against Iran will also be seized on by hawks in Israel and the US, who support a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities before the country can build its first warhead.

    Mark Fitzpatrick, senior fellow for non-proliferation at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, said: "The most shattering conclusion is that, if this was an effort that began in 2007, it could be a casus belli. If Iran is working on weapons, it means there is no diplomatic solution."

    The Times had the documents, which were originally written in Farsi, translated into English and had the translation separately verified by two Farsi speakers. While much of the language is technical, it is clear that the Iranians are intent on concealing their nuclear military work behind legitimate civilian research.

    The fallout could be explosive, especially in Washington, where it is likely to invite questions about President Obama's groundbreaking outreach to Iran.  The papers provide the first evidence which suggests that Iran has pursued weapons studies after 2003 and may actively be doing so today - if the four-year plan continued as envisaged.

    A 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate concluded that weapons work was suspended in 2003 and officials said with "moderate confidence" that it had not resumed by mid-2007. Britain, Germany and France, however, believe that weapons work had already resumed by then.

    Western intelligence sources say that by 2003 Iran had already assembled the technical know-how it needed to build a bomb, but had yet to complete the necessary testing to be sure such a device would work. Iran also lacked sufficient fissile material to fuel a bomb and still does - although it is technically capable of producing weapons-grade uranium should its leaders take the political decision to do so.

    The documents detail a plan for tests to determine whether the device works - without detonating an explosion leaving traces of uranium detectable by the outside world. If such traces were found, they would be taken as 
    irreversible evidence of Iran's intention to become a nuclear-armed power.

    Experts say that, if the 2007 date is correct, the documents are the strongest indicator yet of a continuing nuclear weapons programme in Iran. Iran has long denied a military dimension to its nuclear programme, claiming its nuclear activities are solely focused on the production of energy for civilian use.

    Mr Fitzpatrick said: "Is this the smoking gun? That's the question people should be asking. It looks like the smoking gun. This is smoking uranium."

    Sunday
    Nov292009

    Is Iran going to catch a cold?

    Iran continues its brazen path of defiance and sticks two fingers up to the West. How long can this go on for?

    The headlines are incredible:
    - Announcement today that Iran is going to start building 10 further uranium enrichment facilities-even though the rest of the world is at the end of its tether with Iran's current enrichment program?

    -The statement that Iran is going to provide funding of $20Million to support terror networks in the west and to investigate alleged U.S. and British human rights abuses and plots against Iran?

    - The confiscation of the Nobel peace prize from Shirin Ebadi, human rights lawyer involved in exposing the illegality of the recent Iranian elections.

    The days of control by Ahmadinejad and his fellow cronies, must surely be numbered. The shoots of the new Green movement in Iran are starting to take hold.

    Lets give their supporters all the help we can by standing up to this crazy Islamist regime. Check out http://twitter.com/IranVote and follow JINewsNet at www.twitter.com/jinewsnet  (or visit www.jinewsnet.com)

     

    Sunday
    Nov292009

    Iran defies world with plan for 10 new nuclear sites 

    (The Times)Iran’s government today announced plans to build 10 new uranium enrichment plants and said work would start within two months.

    Each site will be the size of the existing Natanz plant with the aim of producing between 250-300 tonnes of uranium a year.

    Iran’s state news agency IRNA says the government ordered the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran to begin construction of five uranium enrichment sites that have already been studied and propose five other sites for future construction.

    The decision was made during a Cabinet meeting headed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Sunday evening, IRNA said.

    The move comes just two days after world powers united in condemnation of Iran’s nuclear activities in a rare show of international consensus on the threat posed by Tehran’s continued nuclear defiance.

    China and Russia joined the United States, Britain, France and Germany in backing an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) resolution censuring Iran and ordering it to halt construction of a secret uranium enrichment plant near Qom.

    The Iranian announcement came on the same day the national parliament responded to the IAEA condemnation by calling on the government to prepare a plan on reducing cooperation with the UN body. Iran claims its nuclear programme is for civilian use only.

    “Because of world powers’ hasty behaviour, the government should submit its plan over reducing Iran’s cooperation level with the agency,” MPs said in a statement read out in parliament.

    Parliament can oblige the government to change the level of cooperation with the IAEA, as it did in 2006 after the Vienna-based agency voted to report Iran to the UN Security Council.

    Before the latest announcement Gordon Brown had warned that the major powers would pursue harsher sanctions against Iran if it ignored the vote.

    The IAEA resolution, the first since February 2006, passed with 25 votes and six abstentions. Only Malaysia, Venezuela and Cuba supported Iran.

    Following the vote, Russia urged Tehran to “react with full seriousness to the signal contained in the resolution ... and to ensure full co-operation with the agency.” China, which has shared Moscow’s reluctance to take a hard line with Tehran, was reportedly persuaded to support the resolution after an emergency meeting with the US National Security Advisor in Beijing last week. The last-minute trip came after Iran backtracked on a deal to remove most of its nuclear fuel stockpile abroad in return for material needed for its medical research reactor.

     

     

    Saturday
    Nov282009

    Israel, White House commend IAEA Iran censure 

    (APA)Israel has praised the 25-3 vote of the International Atomic Energy Agency board of governors today to issue its first resolution censuring Iran in more than three years.

    "Israel commends the resolution today by the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) regarding Iran," Israeli embassy spokesman Jonathan Peled said in a statement.

    "The importance of the resolution is in its determination that Iran is continuing to defy the resolutions of both the Security Council and the IAEA Board of Governors, as well as its expression of concern over the fact that Iran is building its enrichment facility in Qom in secret," Peled continued. "The demand to immediately halt the construction of this facility is of extreme importance."

    The resolution notes "with serious concern that Iran has constructed an enrichment facility at Qom in breach of its obligation to suspend all enrichment related activities." 

    It also notably suggests that Iran's failure to declare the existence of the Qom enrichment facility until September, several years after it began construction on the facility, "reduces the level of confidence in the absence of other nuclear facilities and gives rise to questions about whether there are any other nuclear facilities under construction in Iran which have not been declared to the Agency."

    Only three nations voted against the resolution  -- Cuba, Venezuela and Malaysia -- while several abstained, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, South Africa and Brazil, where Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad traveled this week. Twenty-five nations including all western ones voted for the resolution, which also won key support from Russia and China.

    The Washington Post reported yesterday that two top officials from Obama's National Security Council secretly traveled to China last month to urge Chinese support for such an Iran resolution.

    Today's vote is a vindication of a White House that has faced skepticism about whether its more conciliatory approach of trying to reengage with the world is securing concrete results.

    The resolution is "very positive in that Iran is isolating itself, and others are expressing lost patience," says the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace George Perkovich. "The Revolutionary Guards can consolidate power by internal repression and external defiance, but ultimately the contradictions grow. As Obama appears more reasonable to others, a change in Iran's governance seems less alarming, i.e. for Russians, Chinese." 

    White House spokesman Robert Gibbs hailed the IAEA resolution, noting the broad international support it won in today's vote. "Today's overwhelming vote at the IAEA's Board of Governors demonstrates the resolve and unity of the international community with regard to Iran's nuclear program," he said in a statement. "Indeed, the fact that 25 countries from all parts of the world cast their votes in favor shows the urgent need for Iran to address the growing international deficit of confidence in its intentions." 

    Gibbs also said the resolution out of Vienna is a signal that time is running out for Iran to choose a path of international cooperation, but that the U.S. still hopes Iran will choose that course.

    "The United States has recognized Iran's right to peaceful nuclear energy and remains willing to engage Iran to work toward a diplomatic solution to the concerns about its nuclear program, if - and only if - Iran chooses such a course," Gibbs continued. "Our patience and that of the international community is limited, and time is running out. If Iran refuses to meet its obligations, then it will be responsible for its own growing isolation and the consequences."

    IAEA Resolution Against Iranian Nuclear Position