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Frost Over the World – Has US politics become too vitriolic?

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on January 15, 2011
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Iran’s nuclear tour proposal almost collapsed

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on January 14, 2011

Iran’s proposal for a tour of its nuclear sites floundered yesterday (13 January) after China effectively rejected the invitation and Russia cautioned that such a trip could never replace UN inspections or talks between Tehran and world powers.

The European Union turned down Iran’s offer to allow selected ambassadors accredited to the UN’s nuclear watchdog to visit two nuclear installations but snub those from the United States, Britain, France and Germany.

Diplomats from Britain, France, Germany and the United States were not invited. But China, Russia and Hungary, which holds the rotating presidency of the European Union until July, were invited, leaving the EU in a quandary over what to do.

In the end, EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton rejected Tehran’s offer and claimed that the responsibility of inspection lies in the hands of the United Nations.

China, ahead of President Hu Jintao’s state visit to the United States next week, said it would be “difficult” for its ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna to go on the proposed tour.

“The Vienna representative is still in China right now, so it will be difficult for him to go to Iran,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a news briefing, without elaborating.

Without the European Union, China and possibly Russia, Tehran’s trip proposal could collapse before Istanbul talks next week between Iran and the so called P5+1 group – the five permanent members of the Security Council along with Germany.

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Iran claims nuclear technology breakthrough

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on January 8, 2011

Iran’s nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi says his country is now capable of making the fuel plates and rods used inside nuclear reactors.

Western analysts have previously said the Islamic republic did not possess such technology.

The US and other Western nations suspect that Iran is attempting to build nuclear weapons.

Tehran strongly denies the accusation, saying its nuclear programme is for peaceful civilian purposes.

Mr. Salehi told Fars news agency that Iran had completed construction of a facility in the city of Isfahan to produce the plates and rods.

“We have built an advanced manufacturing unit in the Isfahan site for the fuel plates,” Mr Salehi, who is also acting foreign minister, told Fars news agency.

“A grand transformation has taken place in the production of plates and rods. With the completion of the unit in Isfahan, we are one of the few countries which can produce fuel rods and fuel plates.”

Fuel rods are designed to contain enriched uranium and are housed inside the nuclear reactor.

Mr Salehi’s comments come ahead of the next round of talks in Istanbul between Iran and six world powers – the US, UK, China, Russia, France and Germany – over Tehran’s nuclear programme.

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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 invites EU, others to nuke sites after barring IAEA constantly

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on January 4, 2011

Iran has invited Russia, China, the European Union and its allies among the Arab and developing world to tour its nuclear sites, in an apparent move to gain support ahead of a new round of talks with six world powers.

In a letter made available Monday to The Associated Press, senior Iranian envoy Ali Asghar Soltanieh suggests the weekend of Jan. 15 and 16 for the tour and says that meetings “with high ranking officials” are envisaged.

While no reason was given for the timing of the offer, it comes just weeks before Iran and the six powers follow up on recent talks that ended with agreement on little else but to meet again.

The new round between Tehran, and the permanent U.N. Security Council members — the U.S. Russia, China, Britain, France — plus Germany, is tentatively set for Istanbul, Turkey in late January.

It is meant to explore whether there is common ground for more substantive talks on Iran’s nuclear program, viewed by the U.S, and its allies as a cover for secret plans to make nuclear arms — something Tehran denies.

As we all know there is an International Atomic Energy Agency which barred from Iran for investigations and Islamic republic probably has a show going on after barring over 40 investigators which wanted to investigate the sites that they suspect not the ones that the regime plans to demonstrate.

Islamic regime plays with world to extend the time to reach to their aims. Last month the head of Iran’s atomic energy organization said on television 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.

He 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.

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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.

United Nations Sanctions – U.S. troops are already in Iran

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on December 26, 2010

Manouchehr Mottaki replaced with Ali Akbar Salehi

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on December 13, 2010

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has fired Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and temporarily replaced him with atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi, the official IRNA news agency reported on Monday.

It gave no reasons for the surprise move, which comes as Iran is engaged in talks with world powers over its sensitive nuclear programme.

“I thank you and appreciate the work and the services you have rendered during your tenure in the foreign ministry,” Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying in a directive carried by IRNA.

“I hope your efforts receive praise by God and you will be successful in the rest of your life at the service of people of our Islamic nation,” he added.

Mottaki, a career diplomat, was appointed to the post of foreign minister in August 2005. He is currently in Senegal on an official visit.

A fluent speaker of English who is also comfortable in Urdu and Turkish, Mottaki earned a degree in social sciences from the University of Bangalore in India and a graduate degree in international relations from Tehran University in 1991.

IRNA also said that Ahmadinejad in a separate directive appointed Iran’s Salehi as the “caretaker of the foreign ministry.”

“Due to your commitment, knowledge and valued expertise … you are appointed as caretaker of the foreign ministry,” the directive read.

Salehi is one of Iran’s vice-presidents, Iran’s former IAEA chief and head of its atomic energy organization.

We believe Salehi appointing shows how close Iran is to Atomic Weapons. That’s a grave danger.  Ahmadinejad made Mottaki very angry when He shouted at Mottaki in the latest New York trip in front of public and abused him verbally.

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Iran’s Nuclear Talks doomed & More Cables are leaking about Iran

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on December 7, 2010

Talks between Iran and six world powers are going into a second day with no sign of progress on U.N. Security Council demands that Tehran curb its nuclear activities.

An official at the negotiations said the first meeting Monday gave little reason to presume that Iran would relent and address the demands. That would dash hopes of a renewed meeting in the new year.

Delegates from Iran, the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany are meeting Tuesday at a conference center in Geneva.

Tehran insists its nuclear program is only designed to provide more power for its growing population. Yet as Iran builds up its capacity, neither Israel nor the U.S. are ruling out military action if Tehran fails to heed U.N. Security Council demands.

Coping with the Islamic Republic since it came into being with the 1979 Islamic revolution has been a top priority of Washington – but also one of its most challenging battles. Less than three months before the US Embassy in Tehran was overrun by militant students, taking 52 Americans hostage for 444 days, diplomats posted their crafted a “how-to” guide to negotiating.

Some elements of the Iran analysis have in the past three decades been revised or changed in practice – if not in text, as so far, few other similar documents have been leaked. Yet the confidential cable notes the “special features” of negotiating with Iranians, and reads, “We believe the underlying cultural and psychological qualities that account for the nature of these difficulties are and will remain relatively constant.”

The cable posits that, “Perhaps the single dominant aspect of the Persian psyche is an overriding egoism” stemming from the “long Iranian history of instability and insecurity which put a premium on self-preservation.” The result, the cable says, is “an almost total Persian preoccupation with self and leaves little room for understanding points of view other than one’s own.”

More than a few Iranians might not recognize themselves in the two-page description. But among the “lessons,” the cable concludes: “Finally, one should be prepared for the threat of breakdown in negotiations at any given moment…. Given the Persian negotiator’s cultural and psychological limitations, he is going to resist the very concept of a rational (from the Western point of view) negotiating process.”

A British briefing for the US Dealing with such an “adversary” was also the purpose of British Ambassador to Tehran Geoffrey Adams, who, according to a 2007 WikiLeaks cable, traveled to Baghdad to brief Gen. David Petraeus and then-US Ambassador Ryan Crocker in advance of first-ever US talks with Iran’s ambassador to Iraq.

The Nov. 30, 2007, embassy cable reads: “In negotiations, [Ambassador Adams] advised being steady and firm, tough but not aggressive, and at the same time, seeking to engage and draw attention to mutual interests.” Iranians were “obsessed with the West and this obsession at times blinds them to their interests.”

John Limbert – who until August was the State Department’s top official on Iran – lays out 14 steps for success, but admits that a large measure of luck is also required of even the most carefully crafted policy.

“In reality, there will almost never be a eureka moment for the American negotiator,” Ambassador Limbert writes. He notes that “each side has constructed a mythology and an image of absolute evil in the other.”

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.”