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EU says up to IAEA to inspect Iranian nuclear facilities

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on January 6, 2011

The European Union’s executive said on Wednesday it was up to the U.N. nuclear watchdog to inspect Iranian atomic facilities, after Tehran invited EU envoys to tour the sites this month.

The European Commission said it had yet to reply to the invitation sent to some ambassadors, including the EU’s, accredited to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, weeks before a second round of talks between Iran and six world powers on its disputed nuclear ambitions.

Iran invited the EU as well as China, Russia and others to visit, in a move that raised questions in the West as to whether it constituted a genuine step towards more nuclear transparency or a public relations stunt meant to divide major powers and buy time for further atomic advances.

The West suspects Iran’s nuclear programme is directed at developing bombs.

The EU said inspections should be carried out by specialists from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), rather than ambassadors to the U.N. watchdog who were invited by Tehran.

“We haven’t answered the letter,” a European Commission spokesman told a regular news briefing on Wednesday, after being asked whether the EU had accepted or rejected Tehran’s offer.

“But what we want to underline is that there is a process going on and it is for the IAEA to inspect the Iranian nuclear facilities … They have people to inspect them.”

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Iran is Recruiting Foreign Nuclear Scientists

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on January 3, 2011

Iran’s Choice Remains Clear

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on December 28, 2010

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan E. Rice offers remarks regarding Iran’s nuclear program at the United Nations headquarters.

Iran violates arms embargo again and again

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on December 11, 2010

A U.N. committee has investigated two apparent violations of the Iranian arms embargo, the head of the committee told the Security Council Friday.

Tsuneo Nishida, the Japanese ambassador to the United Nations, said both violations occurred in the past three months, CNN reported.

In one case, a country reported finding 13 shipping containers of arms apparently originating in Iran, he said. In another case, a country seized a container of explosives being shipped from Iran to Syria.

The Security Council, in a 2007 resolution, banned the export of arms from Iran. U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said Nishida’s report shows Iran’s behavior is unchanged.

“Unfortunately, when it comes to Iran’s actions, not much has changed since we last met,” she said. “Iran continues to violate its obligations.”

Gary Samore, President Barack Obama’s top adviser on non-proliferation, said in a speech to the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies that the United States and its allies will ratchet up sanctions if Iran continues on its present course. He said they will “test how high Iran’s pain threshold is.”

“I’m glad to hear that they are having problems with their centrifuge machines,” he told a conference in Washington, referring to the centrifuges used to enrich uranium. “The US and its allies are trying to do everything that we can to ensure that we complicate matters for them.”

“It’s important that we take additional measures,” Mr. Samore said. “That’s a way of correcting any impression that the Iranians might have that just talking for the sake of talking is going to in any way get out of them out of the sanctions noose that is tightening around their throats.”

In a report on Stuxnet issued this week, the US Congressional Research Service said: “States appear to possess a motive to develop Stuxnet because, unlike other forms of malware, the worm is not designed to steal information, but rather to target and disrupt control systems and disable operations.”

There are some experts who believe the main Stuxnet’s target was China and not Iran but the mainstream media likes to turn the attentions to Iran.

Hillary Clinton is going crazy

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on December 10, 2010

It has long been clear that Iran’s domestic political power struggle impedes prospects for any diplomatic breakthrough on the nuclear standoff — just a year ago, a confidence-building fuel swap agreed between Western and Iranian negotiators in Vienna was shot down in Tehran by conservative and reformist rivals to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But U.S. domestic politics too may be coming into play to restrain President Barack Obama from embracing a deal reportedly being discussed with the Iranians by European negotiators.

After Saeed Jalili met in Geneva with E.U. foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, a group of prominent U.S. Senators — including John Kyl, Joe Lieberman, Kirsten Gillebrand and John McCain — wrote to President Obama urging him to reject any proposal under which Iran would maintain a uranium-enrichment capability. “It is critical that the United States and our partners make clear that, given the government of Iran’s patterns of deception and noncooperation, its government cannot be permitted to maintain any enrichment or reprocessing activities on its territory for the foreseeable future,” the Senators wrote. “We would strongly oppose any proposal for diplomatic endgame in which Iran is permitted to continue these activities in any form.”

The Senators’ letter followed a statement made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton the previous week that seemed to indicate a change in the U.S. negotiating position. She suggested that a diplomatic solution would include Iran exercising its right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes, once it had “restored the confidence of the international community” that its program had no military objective. “They can enrich uranium at some future date once they have demonstrated that they can do so in a responsible manner in accordance with international obligations,” she told a BBC interviewer.

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Iran Uranium Mines in Venezuela – CBN.com

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on December 8, 2010

Evidence that Iran is mining for uranium in Venezuela…

Iran Trains Venezuelan Security Forces

Iranian Nuclear Program: Will U.S. Concede Anything in Talks?

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on December 7, 2010

Margaret Warner talks with former State Department official Suzanne Maloney of the Brookings Institution about Iran’s nuclear program and the state of diplomatic efforts.

Iran Nuclear Update

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on December 6, 2010

Iran claims they are now fully self-sufficient relative to their nuclear (weapons) program. John Bolton gives his always-wise perspective on this developement as well as the Obama Administration’s diplomatic efforts.

Iran’s nuclear fuel cycle from A to Z is complete

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on December 5, 2010

The head of Iran’s atomic energy organization said on television Sunday that Iran had achieved the ability to produce its own yellow cake, uranium powder that is a step in the process for creating nuclear fuel.

Ali Akbar Salehi said the breakthrough, using uranium ore mined in southern Iran, signified the country’s full self-sufficiency in the production of uranium, cutting out the need for imported material.

“The enemies and ill-wishers have always tried to create despair and disappointment among our youth, academicians, engineers and our nation, but today we witness the delivery of the first batch of yellow cake which is produced inside the country,” Salehi said at a news conference broadcast on state television. “Again Iran has shown the ill-wishers and international criminals that we are standing up to pressures and resistance is the first lesson of our revolution and we would like to assure you that we will make you regret your devilish moves.”

“Today’s announcement can have this effect that we are attending the talks with power and authority and that we do not seek favors from any party.” Salehi said.

The announcement comes on the eve of talks on Iran’s nuclear program Monday in Geneva and is probably aimed at bolstering Tehran’s bargaining position. It also follows attacks Monday on two Iranian scientists, one of them Majid Shahriari, who was killed in what Iran has described as a Western or Israeli operation.

Iranian officials immediately dismissed a U.S. proposal announced last week to create an international enriched uranium fuel bank that nations could use to create nuclear energy without mastering the fuel themselves. “It is more considered as monopolization of technology and science and nuclear apartheid,” Iran’s envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Ali Asghar Soltaniyeh, said in Vienna on Thursday, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

Iran plans to eventually build nuclear weapons in violation of its treaty obligations, a charge that Tehran denies. The United Nations Security Council has repeatedly demanded that Iran stop its nuclear fuel production program.

“Iran is searching for more uranium mines across the country,” a Tehran nuclear physicist, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Times. “Therefore the fuel cycle from A to Z is complete.”

Iran rejects the inspections again

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on November 26, 2010

Nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi has said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) cannot make any demand from Iran that goes beyond the IAEA safeguards agreement including an inspection of Iran’s heavy water nuclear facility.

“Cooperation with the agency has been defined. The agency cannot make any demand beyond the safeguards agreement… (but) we are ready to cooperate if they make demands within the framework of the agency’s safeguards agreement” Salehi, director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (IAEO), told the Mehr News Agency on Thursday in response to a demand by the agency to inspect Iran’s heavy water nuclear plant.

According to the Associated Press, IAEA director Yukiya Amano in his newly released report called on Tehran to implement the additional protocol to allow for more comprehensive inspections of the nation’s nuclear program including the heavy water facilities. Iran stopped voluntary implementation of the protocol in 2007.

Salehi said the inspection of Iran’s heavy water nuclear facility is not part of the agreement, explaining that the heavy water is covered under an additional protocol to the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the implementation of the additional protocol is not compulsory.

Recently Iran has accused the two inspectors of giving “false information” about its nuclear program. But Amano told a meeting of the IAEA’s 35-nation governing board that he had full confidence in their “professionalism and impartiality.”

Apart from the two inspectors barred in June, Iran also refused access to a senior inspector in 2006 and has objected to a number of other appointments in the past.

“… Iran’s repeated objection to the designation of inspectors with experience in Iran’s nuclear fuel cycle and facilities hampers the inspection process,” Amano said, according to a copy of his speech provided to reporters outside the closed-door meeting.

He urged Iran to reconsider a decision in January 2007 to reject 38 agency inspectors.