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Outside noisy, inside empty

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on July 24, 2010

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused Russian President Dmitry Medvedev of turning against Tehran and joining US efforts to spread lies about its nuclear program, in the latest sign that Iran is drifting apart from a one-time key backer.

Ahmadinejad said Dmitry Medvedev entered a “propaganda drama” directed by Washington by saying last week that Iran was getting closer to being able to develop nuclear weapons.

The Iranian president has had harsh words for Moscow since it became apparent that Russia would support last month’s new United Nations sanctions against Tehran for its refusal to stop parts of its nuclear program. In the past, Iran had depended on allies Russia and China — and their veto power at the Security Council — to block tough penalties.

“Russia is a great nation and we are interested in continuing friendship between the two nations but his (Medvedev’s) remarks are part of a propaganda drama that is to be carried out by the US president against the Iranian nation,” Ahmadinejad said in a speech posted on his website Friday.

“In fact, Mr. Medvedev has kick-started this drama,” he said.

Medvedev said last week that although Iran is “an active and trusted trading partner … this does not mean we don’t care how it develops its nuclear program and what its military components look like. In this respect we expect explanations from Iran.”

On the other hand, Iran’s nuclear agency began studies Saturday to build an experimental nuclear fusion reactor, something that has yet to be achieved by any nation.

Ali Akbar Salehi, who also heads the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, told a conference on the new research program that his agency has set an initial budget of $8 million to conduct “serious” research in the area of nuclear fusion.

Asghar Sediqzadeh, the head of the new fusion research center said Iran will take two years to complete these studies and then another decade to design and build a reactor.

“The scientific phase of the project effectively began today. We have already hired 50 experts for this purpose,” he told state TV.

The UN Security Council imposed a fourth set of sanctions on Tehran in early June, but EU leaders and the United States decided shortly after to impose their own penalties against the Iranian energy sector.

EU leaders agreed at a June 17 summit to impose a ban on new investment, technical assistance and technology transfers to Iran’s huge gas and oil industry, particularly for refining and liquefied natural gas.

“These sanctions are surprisingly strong,” said Mark Fitzpatrick, director of the nonproliferation program at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. “They go much further than the UN sanctions.”

Fitzpatrick added: “For the first time Iran will face biting sanctions that will significantly impact its economy.”

The sanctions “could nevertheless give reasons to Iran to go back to the negotiating table,” he said.

“In the past, Iran has always moved once it was under pressure of the international community.”

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