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    Entries in iranian nuclear threat (7)

    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

     

     

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