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  1. #41
    Senior Member Sinbad's Avatar
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    Iran says it starts implementing nuclear deal

    TEHRAN: Iran's state TV says the country has halted its most sensitive uranium enrichment work as part of a landmark deal struck with world powers.

    The broadcast said Iran halted its 20 per cent uranium enrichment, which is just steps away from bomb-making materials, by cutting the link feeding cascades enriching uranium in Natanz.

    It said international inspectors were present Monday when Iran began implementing its obligations under the historic deal reached in Geneva Nov 24.

    They left to monitor the suspension at Fordo, another uranium enrichment site in central Iran.

    http://www.dawn.com/news/1081522/ira...g-nuclear-deal
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  2. #42
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    Canada maintains sanctions as Iran eases uranium enrichment

    Iran has halted its most sensitive nuclear operations under a preliminary deal with world powers, winning some relief from economic sanctions on Monday in a ground-breaking exchange that could ease a threat of war.

    The United States and European Union both suspended some trade and other restrictions against the OPEC oil producer after the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog confirmed that Iran had fulfilled its side of an agreement made on Nov. 24. Canada’s sanctions, however, will remain fully in place for now, Stephen Harper said Monday.

    The announcements will allow six months of negotiation on a definitive accord that the West hopes can end fears of Tehran developing nuclear weapons, and Iran wants to end sanctions that are crippling its economy.

    Iranian officials hailed a strengthening of ties that will also see their new president make a pitch to international business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, later this week: “The iceberg of sanctions against Iran is melting,” the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, told Iranian state television.

    Iran should be able to recover $4.2-billion (U.S.) in oil revenues frozen in foreign accounts over the six months of the interim deal, as well as resume trade in petrochemicals, gold and other precious metals. But EU and U.S. officials stressed that other sanctions will still be enforced during the six months of talks and that reaching a final accord will be difficult.

    Israel, which has called the interim pact a “historic mistake” and has repeatedly warned it might attack Iran to prevent it developing nuclear arms, said any final deal must end any prospect of Tehran building an atomic bomb – something Iran insists it has never had any intention of doing.

    The interim accord was the culmination of years of on-off diplomacy between Iran and six powers: the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany. It marks the first time in a decade that Tehran has limited nuclear operations that it says are aimed mainly at generating electricity, and the first time the West has eased its economic pressure on Iran.

    “This is an important first step,” said EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. “But more work will be needed to fully address the international community’s concerns regarding the exclusively peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program.”

    Ms. Ashton, who co-ordinates diplomatic contacts with Iran on behalf of the six world powers, said she expected talks on the final settlement to start in February.

    U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said those negotiations would be “even more complex” and added: “We go into it clear-eyed about the difficulties ahead.”

    A White House spokesman said the “aggressive enforcement” of the remaining sanctions would continue.

    A senior U.S. official said: “This temporary relief will not fix the Iranian economy. It will not come close.

    “Iran is not and will not be open for business until it reaches a comprehensive agreement.”

    Under the interim deal, Iran agreed to suspend enrichment of uranium to a fissile concentration of 20 per cent, a short technical step away from the level needed for nuclear weapons.

    It also has to dilute or convert its stockpile of this higher-grade uranium, and cease work on the Arak heavy-water reactor, which could provide plutonium, an alternative to uranium for bombs.

    The International Atomic Energy Agency said Monday that Tehran had begun the dilution process and that enrichment of uranium to 20 per cent had been stopped at the two facilities where such work is done.

    With a report from The Canadian Press

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...ticle16403845/

  3. #43
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    Iran's nuclear stockpile may rise for now despite deal with powers


    (Reuters) - An apparent delay in Iran's building of a nuclear conversion plant suggests its stockpile of low-enriched uranium (LEU) gas will grow for a while longer, despite Tehran's deal with world powers to curb its disputed atomic activity.

    Among other steps, Iran agreed under the six-month accord - which took effect on Monday - to limit its LEU reserve. The new plant is meant to achieve that by turning the material into oxide powder that is not suited for further processing into high-enriched - or bomb-grade - uranium.

    Diplomats and experts said the matter was of no immediate concern since Iran's commitment concerned the size of the stockpile towards the end of the deal, in late July, giving it time both to complete the facility and convert enough material.

    But one Vienna-based envoy said Iran's progress in building the conversion line would be closely watched as part of the implementation of its obligations under the accord with the United States, France, Russia, Germany, Britain and China.

    "It will be a problem if the facility is not completed in the next few months," Mark Fitzpatrick, director of the non-proliferation program at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) think-tank, said.

    While Iran this week halted its most proliferation-sensitive work, enrichment to a fissile concentration of 20 percent, it is allowed under the interim agreement to continue producing uranium refined to up to 5 percent.

    Iran says it is doing so to fuel a planned network of nuclear power plants, not to develop bombs as the West fears. Uranium must be enriched to a high degree - about 90 percent fissile purity - for a nuclear weapon.

    The powers negotiated the ground-breaking deal with Iran to buy time for talks on a final settlement that would remove the risk of a new Middle East war over Iran's nuclear aspirations.

    They focused initially on securing a halt to 20 percent enrichment as this represents a relatively short technical step from bomb-grade uranium. It would take much longer to reach that threshold from the 5 percent level.

    "Although the immediate attention is focused on removing the stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium, it is important not to forget about the much larger stockpile of 3-5 percent enriched uranium," Fitzpatrick said.

    STOCKPILE CAP

    Experts say Iran potentially has enough LEU for a few nuclear weapons if refined much further. Limiting its overall enrichment capacity is expected be one of the thorniest issues in future negotiations.

    Reflecting Western concern also about the lower-grade stockpile, the United States says Iran has undertaken to not increase it so that it is not larger in half a year's time than it is now.

    A senior U.S. administration official said Iran would "convert all of the newly enriched uranium" into oxide and that the total remaining uranium gas would be less than 7,650 kg.

    It had a stockpile of 7,154 kg in November - experts say this would be enough to yield 4-5 bombs - and is estimated to produce roughly 250 kg per month, meaning the stockpile will grow by that amount if there is no conversion to off-set it. The longer it takes to complete the plant, the more Iran will have to process to meet the target by the six-month deadline.

    The U.N. nuclear watchdog confirmed on Monday that Iran had started carrying out its part of the agreement, enabling the European Union and the United States to ease some sanctions.

    But the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also said Iran was continuing to construct the plant for converting the LEU gas, the Enriched UO2 Powder Plant (EUPP).

    That pointed to a delay from a timetable cited by the U.N. agency in a November report, which said Iran had indicated that tests of the EUPP would start in early December, "immediately after which the facility would commence operation".

    Herman Nackaerts, the head of the IAEA's non-proliferation inspectorate until mid 2013, said it appeared to be taking the Islamic Republic a "bit longer" than initially anticipated to complete the facility.

    But he added that Iran had mastered the technology for converting uranium gas into oxide, suggesting it had the know-how for building such plants.

    A diplomat familiar with the issue said he did not see the issue as posing any major risk and that "with sufficient equipment it should be reasonably easy" for Iran to complete the conversion process in time. Another diplomatic source suggested that the plant could be completed soon.

    In the longer term, Western experts say, any final deal should scale back and set strict limits on Iran's enrichment program to ensure that it would not be able to build a bomb without the outside world finding out in time.

    However, it is no longer seen as realistic to expect that Iran halts all such activity, as demanded by a series of U.N. Security Council resolutions since 2006, they say.

    "Obviously we would like, as an ideal arrangement, for Iran to have no enrichment capability and no stockpile," another U.S. official said.

    The issue to be explored was whether there was some possible capability "that would be consistent with the assurances we need that Iran is not in a position to develop a nuclear weapon without the international community having a long lead time and notice in advance."

    (Editing by Mark Heinrich)

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/...&dlvrit=992637

  4. #44
    Senior Member Mazea's Avatar
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    US rhetoric ignores Iran nuclear proposals

    By Gareth Porter

    WASHINGTON - Iran's pushback against statements by US Secretary of State John Kerry and the White House that Tehran must "dismantle" some of its nuclear program, and the resulting political uproar over it, indicates that tough US rhetoric may be adding new obstacles to the search for a comprehensive nuclear agreement.

    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an interview with CNN's Jim Sciutto on Wednesday, "We are not dismantling any centrifuges, we're not dismantling any equipment, we're simply not producing, not enriching over 5%."

    When CNN's Fareed Zakaria asked President Hassan Rouhani, "So there would be no destruction of centrifuges?" Rouhani responded, "Not under any circumstances. Not under any circumstances."

    Those statements have been interpreted by US news media, unaware of the basic technical issues in the negotiations, as indicating that Iran is refusing to negotiate seriously. In fact, Zarif has put on the table proposals for resolving the remaining enrichment issues that the Barack Obama administration has recognized as serious and realistic.

    The Obama administration evidently views the rhetorical demand for "dismantling" as a minimum necessary response to Israel's position that the Iranian nuclear program should be shut down. But such rhetoric represents a serious provocation to a Tehran government facing accusations of surrender by its own domestic critics.

    Zarif complained that the White House had been portraying the agreement "as basically a dismantling of Iran's nuclear program. That is the word they use time and again." Zarif observed that the actual agreement said nothing about "dismantling" any equipment.

    The White House issued a "Fact Sheet" November 23 with the title, "First Step Understandings Regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran's Nuclear Program" that asserted that Iran had agreed to "dismantle the technical connections required to enrich above 5%."

    That wording was not merely a slight overstatement of the text of the "Joint Plan of Action". At the Fordow facility, which had been used exclusively for enrichment above 5%, Iran had operated four centrifuge cascades to enrich at above 5% alongside 12 cascades that had never been operational because they had never been connected after being installed, as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had reported.

    The text of the agreement was quite precise about what Iran would do: "At Fordow, no further enrichment over 5% at four cascades now enriching uranium, and not increase enrichment capacity. Not feed UF6 into the other 12 cascades, which would remain in a non-operative state. No interconnections between cascades."

    So Iran was not required by the interim agreement to "dismantle" anything. What Zarif and Rouhani were even more upset about, however, is the fact that Kerry and Obama administration spokespersons have repeated that Iran will be required to "dismantle" parts of its nuclear program in the comprehensive agreement to be negotiated beginning next month.

    The use of the word "dismantle" in those statements appears to be largely rhetorical and aimed at fending off attacks by pro-Israel political figures characterizing the administration's negotiating posture as soft. But the consequence is almost certain to be a narrowing of diplomatic flexibility in the coming negotiations.

    Kerry appears to have concluded that the administration had to use the "dismantle" language after a November 24 encounter with George Stephanopoulos of NBC News.

    Stephanopoulos pushed Kerry hard on the Congressional Israeli loyalist criticisms of the interim agreement. "Lindsey Graham says unless the deal requires dismantling centrifuges, we haven't gained anything," he said.

    When Kerry boasted, "centrifuges will not be able to be installed in places that could otherwise be installed," Stephanopoulos interjected, "But not dismantled." Kerry responded, "That's the next step."

    A moment later, Kerry declared, "And while we go through these next six months, we will be negotiating the dismantling, we will be negotiating the limitations."

    After that, Kerry made "dismantle" the objective in his prepared statement. In testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee December 11, Kerry said the US had been imposing sanctions on Iran "because we knew that [the sanctions] would hopefully help Iran dismantle its nuclear program."

    White House spokesman Jay Carney dismissed Zarif's comment as "spin" on Iran's commitments under the Joint Plan of Action "for their domestic political purposes".

    He refused to say whether that agreement involved any "dismantling" by Iran, but confirmed that, "as part of that comprehensive agreement, should it be reached, Iran will be required to agree to strict limits and constraints on all aspects of its nuclear program to include the dismantlement of significant portions of its nuclear infrastructure in order to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon in the future."

    But the State Department spokesperson, Marie Harf, was much less categorical in a press briefing January 13: "We've said that in a comprehensive agreement, there will likely have to be some dismantling of some things."

    That remark suggests that the Kerry and Carney rhetoric of "dismantlement" serves to neutralize the Israel loyalists and secondarily to maximize US leverage in the approaching negotiations.

    Kerry and other US officials involved in the negotiations know that Iran does not need to destroy any centrifuges in order to resolve the problem of "breakout" to weapons grade enrichment once the stockpile of 20% enriched uranium disappears under the terms of the interim agreement.

    Zarif had proposed in his initial power point presentation in October a scheme under which Iran would convert its entire stockpile of 20% enriched uranium into an oxide form that could only be used for fuel plates for the Tehran Research Reactor.

    US officials who had previously been insistent that Iran would have to ship the stockpile out of the country were apparently convinced that there was another way to render it "unusable" for the higher-level enrichment necessary for nuclear weapons. That Iranian proposal became the central element in the interim agreement.

    But there was another part of Zarif's power point that is relevant to the remaining problem of Iran's stockpile of low-enriched uranium: Iran's planned conversion of that stockpile into the same oxide form for fuel rods for nuclear power plants as was used to solve the 20% stockpile problem.

    And that plan was accepted by the United States as a way of dealing with additional low-enriched uranium that would be produced during the six-month period.

    An element included in the Joint Plan of Action which has been ignored thus far states: "Beginning when the line for conversion of UF6 enriched up to 5% to UO2 is ready, Iran has decided to convert to oxide UF6 newly enriched up to 5% during the six-month period, as provided in the operational schedule of the conversion plant declared to the IAEA."

    The same mechanism - the conversion of all enriched uranium to oxide on an agreed time frame - could also be used to ensure that the entire stockpile of low-enriched uranium could no longer be used for "breakout" to weapons-grade enrichment without the need to destroy a single centrifuge. In fact, it would allow Iran to enrich uranium at a low level for a nuclear power programme.

    The Obama administration's rhetoric of "dismantlement", however, has created a new political reality: the US news media has accepted the idea that Iran must "dismantle" at least some of its nuclear programme to prove that it is not seeking nuclear weapons.

    CNN Anchor Chris Cuomo was shocked by the effrontery of Zarif and Rouhani. "That's supposed to be the whole underpinning of moving forward from the United States perspective," Cuomo declared, "is that they scale back, they dismantle, all this stuff we've been hearing."

    Yet another CNN anchor, Wolf Blitzer, who was an official of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee before becoming a network journalist, called Zarif's statements "stunning and truly provocative", adding that they would "give ammunition" to those in Congress pushing for a new sanctions bill that is clearly aimed at sabotaging the negotiations.

    The Obama administration may be planning to exercise more diplomatic flexibility to agree to solutions other than demanding that Iran "dismantle" large parts of its "nuclear infrastructure".

    But using such rhetoric, rather than acknowledging the technical and diplomatic realities surrounding the talks, threatens to create a political dynamic that discourages reaching a reasonable agreement and leaves them unresolved.

    Gareth Porter, an investigative historian and journalist specializing in US national security policy, received the UK-based Gellhorn Prize for journalism for 2011 for articles on the US war in Afghanistan. His new book Manufactured Crisis: the Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, will be published in February 2014.

    (Inter Press Service)

  5. #45
    Think Tank Muse's Avatar
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    Re: Iran, world powers agree nuclear deal

    Besides the technical discussions, there are political constituencies that must be handled with care, not just at home but in pronouncements that make it to the international level - I don't think we should read too much into what kind of political hay may be made of such pronouncements -- Should Europeans be unable to counter the argument that Iran have been acted in good faith and complied with the commitments it under took, will the sanctions regime become untenable? What if the US becomes unable to keep the political opposition at bay and Iran continues to abide by it's agreement, how will that effect the sanctions regime?

  6. #46
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    Re: Iran, world powers agree nuclear deal

    Wow, Iran is very very technologically advanced, didn't know that, well done Iran.

  7. #47
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    Re: Iran, world powers agree nuclear deal

    Quote Originally Posted by SavingFace View Post
    Wow, Iran is very very technologically advanced, didn't know that, well done Iran.
    Considering all the sanctions they have done exceptionally well.

  8. #48
    Senior Member Mazea's Avatar
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    Iran says nuclear talks failure would be 'disaster'

    MUNICH: Iran's foreign minister held rare private talks with his US counterpart on Sunday and said it would be a "disaster" if Tehran did not turn a provisional agreement to defuse a decade-old dispute over its nuclear programme into a permanent deal.

    In a sign of the thawing climate between the Islamic Republic and the West, Iran's Mohammad Javad Zarif said he had held bilateral talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry, as well as with other ministers from the six powers negotiating with Tehran, during a three-day security conference in Munich.

    His talks looked forward to negotiations starting in Vienna on Feb. 18 when Iran and the six powers will attempt over a period of six months to build on an interim agreement on Tehran's nuclear activities to reach a definitive deal.

    "What I can promise is that we will go to those negotiations with the political will and good faith to reach an agreement because it would be foolish for us to only bargain for six months," Zarif told the conference after his meeting with Kerry.

    "That would be a disaster for everybody - to start a process and then to abruptly end it within six months," he said.

    Zarif said Iran and the West had an historic opportunity to improve relations. "I think we need to seize it," he said.

    Iran insists its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful but Western countries have long suspected Tehran of seeking the ability to develop a nuclear weapon.

    Under a landmark preliminary deal with the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany sealed last November, Iran agreed to halt its most sensitive nuclear operations in return for winning some relief from sanctions.

    The deal has lessened the risk of Israel or the United States launching a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities to prevent Tehran acquiring a nuclear bomb.

    Sanctions

    Kerry stressed to Zarif the importance of both sides negotiating in good faith and of Iran abiding by its commitments under the November deal, a US State Department official said.

    The United States and the European Union have suspended some sanctions on Iran under the interim deal, but Kerry told Zarif the United States would continue to enforce other sanctions.

    Kerry and Zarif have met several times since the election of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate, last June paved the way for the thaw in ties with the West after years of confrontation and hostile rhetoric.

    Zarif said Iran was prepared to address important outstanding questions in the nuclear negotiations but said there was still a lack of trust on both sides, including mistrust among Iranians about the West's intentions.

    Zarif told Reuters in an interview on Saturday however that Iran was not prepared to give up research on centrifuges used to purify uranium as part of a final nuclear deal.

    Zarif held out an olive branch to Saudi Arabia, Tehran's regional rival, saying he was ready to start talks at any time with Riyadh on improving relations.

    "I believe Iran and Saudi Arabia share a common interest in a secure environment," he said. "Neither one of us will benefit from sectarian divisions, neither one of us will benefit from extremism in this region ... We can work together in order to have a safer neighbourhood. There is no need for rivalry."

    The head of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog, Yukiya Amano, said possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear programme needed to be clarified and he said his agency also wanted to clarify the issue of small amounts of polonium-210 that had been produced by the Tehran research reactor.

    "Polonium can be used for civil purposes like nuclear batteries but can also be used for a neutron source for nuclear weapons. We would like to clarify this issue too," Amano told the Munich Security Conference.

    Come clean

    Iran struck a separate cooperation pact with the International Atomic Energy Agency last November to be more open about its nuclear activities. The IAEA and Iran are due to meet again in Tehran on Feb. 8 to discuss future measures.

    Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, who is due to visit Tehran soon, urged Iran to "come clean" on its past nuclear activities, saying some intelligence agencies believed Iran had had a nuclear weapons programme until early 2003.

    US Senator Christopher Murphy, a Democrat, told the conference he did not believe the U.S. Senate would vote on a new Iran sanctions bill. President Barack Obama has threatened to veto any legislation that threatens the talks with Iran.

    But Republican US Senator John McCain was more sceptical, saying Iran had a long record of deception.

    "There are three components to nuclear weapons - warhead, delivery system and the material itself. They are continuing and cheating on the first two without any constraint whatsoever," he said.
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  9. #49
    Senior Member Mazea's Avatar
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    Flawed Iran nuclear claims won't die

    Flawed Iran nuclear claims won't die
    By Gareth Porter

    WASHINGTON - When Western intelligence agencies began in the early 1990s to intercept telexes from an Iranian university to foreign high-technology firms, intelligence analysts believed they saw the first signs of military involvement in Iran's nuclear program. That suspicion led to US intelligence assessments over the next decade that Iran was secretly pursuing nuclear weapons.

    The supposed evidence of military efforts to procure uranium enrichment equipment shown in the telexes was also the main premise of the International Atomic Energy Agency's investigation of Iran's nuclear program from 2003 through 2007.

    But the interpretation of the intercepted telexes on which later assessments were based turned out to have been a fundamental error. The analysts, eager to find evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program, had wrongly assumed that the combination of interest in technologies that could be used in a nuclear program and the apparent role of a military-related institution meant that the military was behind the procurement requests.

    In 2007-08, Iran provided hard evidence that the technologies had actually been sought by university teachers and researchers.

    The intercepted telexes that set in train the series of US intelligence assessments that Iran was working on nuclear weapons were sent from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran beginning in late 1990 and continued through 1992. The dates of the telexes, their specific procurement requests and the telex number of PHRC were all revealed in a February 2012 paper by David Albright, the executive director of the Institute for Science and International Security, and two co-authors.

    The telexes that interested intelligence agencies following them all pertained to dual-use technologies, meaning that they were consistent with work on uranium conversion and enrichment but could also be used for non-nuclear applications.

    But what raised acute suspicions on the part of intelligence analysts was the fact that those procurement requests bore the telex number of the Physics Research Center (PHRC), which was known to have contracts with the Iranian military.

    US, British, German and Israeli foreign intelligence agencies were sharing raw intelligence on Iranian efforts to procure technology for its nuclear programme, according to published sources.

    The telexes included requests for "high-vacuum" equipment, "ring" magnets, a balancing machine and cylinders of fluorine gas, all of which were viewed as useful for a program of uranium conversion and enrichment.

    The Schenck balancing machine ordered in late 1990 or early 1991 provoked interest among proliferation analysts, because it could be used to balance the rotor assembly parts on the P1 centrifuge for uranium enrichment. The "ring" magnets sought by the university were believed to be appropriate for centrifuge production.

    The request for 45 cylinders of fluorine gas was considered suspicious, because fluorine is combined with uranium to produce uranium hexafluoride, the form of uranium that used for enrichment.

    The first indirect allusion to evidence from the telexes in the news came in late 1992, when an official of the George H W Bush administration told The Washington Post that the administration had pushed for a complete cutoff of all nuclear-related technology to Iran, because of what was called "a suspicious procurement pattern".

    Then the Iranian efforts to obtain those specific technologies from major foreign suppliers were reported, without mentioning the intercepted telexes, in a Public Broadcasting System "Frontlines" documentary called "Iran and the Bomb" broadcast in April 1993, which portrayed them as clear indications of an Iranian nuclear weapons programme.

    The producer of the documentary, Herbert Krosney, described the Iranian procurement efforts in similar terms in his book Deadly Business published the same year.

    In 1996, President Bill Clinton's CIA Director John Deutch declared, "A wide variety of data indicate that Tehran has assigned civilian and military organizations to support the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons."

    For the next decade, the CIA's non-proliferation specialists continued to rely on their analysis of the telexes to buttress their assessment that Iran was developing nuclear weapons. The top-secret 2001 National Intelligence Estimate bore the title "Iran Nuclear Weapons Program: Multifaceted and Poised to Succeed, but When?"

    Former IAEA Deputy Director General for Safeguards Olli Heinonen recalled in a May 2012 article that the IAEA had obtained a "set of procurement information about the PHRC" - an obvious reference to the collection of telexes - which led him to launch an investigation in 2004 of what the IAEA later called the "Procurement activities by the former Head of PHRC".

    But after an August 2007 agreement between Iran and IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei on a timetable for the resolution of "all remaining issues", Iran provided full information on all the procurement issues the IAEA had raised.

    That information revealed that the former PHRC head, Sayyed Abbas Shahmoradi-Zavareh, who had been a professor at Sharif University at the time, had been asked by several faculty departments to help procure equipment or material for teaching and research.

    Iran produced voluminous evidence to support its explanation for each of the procurement efforts the IAEA had questioned. It showed that the high vacuum equipment had been requested by the Physics Department for student experiments in evaporation and vacuum techniques for producing thin coatings by providing instruction manuals on the experiments, internal communications and even the shipping documents on the procurement.

    The Physics Department had also requested the magnets for students to carry out "Lenz-Faraday experiments", according to the evidence provided, including the instruction manuals, the original requests for funding and the invoice for cash sales from the supplier. The balancing machine was for the Mechanical Engineering Department, as was supported by similar documentation turned over to the IAEA. IAEA inspectors had also found that the machine was indeed located at the department.

    The 45 cylinders of fluorine that Shahmoradi-Zavareh had tried to procure had been requested by the Office of Industrial Relations for research on the chemical stability of polymeric vessels, as shown by the original request letter and communications between the former PHRC head and the president of the university.

    The IAEA report on February 2008 recorded the detailed documentation provided by Iran on each of the issues, none of which was challenged by the IAEA. The report declared the issue "no longer outstanding at this stage", despite US pressure on ElBaradei to avoid closing that or any other issue in the work program, as reported in diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.

    The IAEA report showed that the primary intelligence basis for the US charge of an Iranian nuclear weapons program for more than a decade had been erroneous.

    That dramatic development in the Iran nuclear story went unnoticed in news media reporting on the IAEA report, however. By then the US government, the IAEA and the news media had raised other evidence that was more dramatic - a set of documents supposedly purloined from an Iran laptop computer associated with an alleged covert Iranian nuclear weapons program from 2001 to 2003. And the November 2007 NIE had concluded that Iran had been running such a program but had halted it in 2003.

    Despite the clear acceptance of the Iranian explanation by the IAEA, David Albright of ISIS has continued to argue that the telexes support suspicions that Iran's Defense Ministry was involved in the nuclear program.

    In his February 2012 paper, Albright discusses the procurement requests documented in the telexes as though the IAEA investigation had been left without any resolution. Albright makes no reference to the detailed documentation provided by Iran in each case or to the IAEA's determination that the issue was "no longer outstanding".

    Ten days later, the Washington Post published a news article reflecting Albright's claim that the telexes proved that the PHRC had been guiding Iran's secret uranium enrichment program during the 1990s. The writer was evidently unaware that the February 2008 IAEA report had provided convincing evidence that the intelligence analyst's interpretations had been fundamentally wrong.

    Gareth Porter, an investigative historian and journalist specializing in US national security policy, received the UK-based Gellhorn Prize for journalism for 2011 for articles on the U.S. war in Afghanistan. His new book Manufactured Crisis: the Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, will be published this month.

    (Inter Press Service)

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    Re: Iran, world powers agree nuclear deal

    UN nuclear experts back in Iran to tackle tougher issues



    TEHRAN: The United Nations atomic agency resumes talks in Tehran Saturday to tackle allegations of past Iranian weapons work and discuss more practical steps to increase the transparency of the country's nuclear drive.

    The one-day encounter between Iran and the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency will build on a framework deal agreed in November that required Tehran to take six practical steps by next Tuesday.

    With completion of those measures — including a visit to the heavy water plant at the unfinished Arak reactor — negotiations on “more difficult things” are expected to begin, IAEA chief Yukiya Amano has said.

    Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi has said that, based on the IAEA's assessment of progress, the scope of future cooperation will be decided.

    He expressed hope that “the agency's doubts have been removed.” Led by chief inspector Tero Varjoranta, the IAEA team is to meet Iranian nuclear officials, led by Iran's IAEA envoy, Reza Najafi.

    Kamalvandi said the talks could be extended if there is major progress.

    The six-step November deal was struck after two years and nearly a dozen rounds of talks.

    It is separate to the landmark nuclear agreement also reached in November with world powers that put temporary curbs on nuclear activities.

    Implementation began on December 8 when IAEA inspectors visited Arak, whose small, unfinished heavy water reactor has been hit by a series of delays.

    The site, which Iran insists is an integral part of its nuclear programme, is of international concern because Tehran could theoretically extract weapons-grade plutonium from its spent fuel if it also builds a reprocessing facility.

    But Iranian atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi said earlier this week the reactor could be modified to produce less plutonium in order to “allay the worries.”

    And he insisted that Iran did not intend to build a reprocessing plant.

    Time to address 'more difficult' issues

    Iran's nuclear activities have been in the international spotlight for the past decade over suspicions in the West and Israel that they mask military objectives, despite repeated Iranian denials.

    The IAEA is focusing on Tehran's past work to clear long-standing allegations that, prior to 2003, and possibly since, Iran's nuclear drive had “possible military dimensions.”

    Rejecting those allegations as baseless, Iran denies that is seeking now or has ever sought nuclear weapons.

    IAEA director general Amano told AFP in an exclusive interview last month that it was now the time to ask the “more difficult” questions and push Iran on those issues.

    “We started with measures that are practical and easy to implement, and then we move on to more difficult things,” said Amano.

    “We certainly wish to include issues with 'possible military dimensions' in future steps.”

    How long this takes “very much depends on Iran. It can be quick or it can be long. It really depends on their cooperation.”

    The IAEA has been asking Iran in vain for years to grant inspectors access to the Parchin military facility where it suspects Tehran may have experimented with atomic weapons development.

    The IAEA talks are running in parallel with diplomatic efforts by the so-called P5+1 group of world powers negotiating for a comprehensive accord with Iran that would once and for all resolve the impasse over its nuclear work.

    Answering the IAEA's questions are a key demand of world powers — the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France as well as Germany — in that process.

    Under an interim deal with the P5+1 agreed on November 24, Iran has stopped enriching uranium to medium levels and is converting its current stockpile into a form much more difficult to process into weapons-grade material.

    In exchange, Tehran has received limited relief from punishing sanctions imposed on it.

    Verification of those measures is delegated to the IAEA, forcing the agency to double the number of its inspectors and increase the frequency of visits to Iran's nuclear facilities.

    http://www.dawn.com/news/1085692/un-...tougher-issues

  11. #51
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    Re: Iran, world powers agree nuclear deal

    Iran 'greatly concerned' by US sanctions talk, says Zarif



    VIENNA: Talk of new US sanctions in recent months has created “a great deal of concern” in Iran on whether Washington is serious about a nuclear deal, Iran's foreign minister said Tuesday.

    “Unfortunately what we have seen in the last two months has not encouraged us to believe that everything is in order,” said Mohammad Javad Zarif, speaking from Vienna on the first day of nuclear talks.

    “I can understand the politics... in the United States... but from the general perspective of the Iranian populace what has happened in the last two months has been less than encouraging,” he said.

    Certain statements “have created a great deal of concern in Iran on whether the US is serious about wanting to reach an agreement”.

    He added: “But nevertheless, these statements aside, it is really possible to make an agreement because of a single overriding fact, and that is that we have no other option.

    “If we want to resolve this issue the only way is through negotiations,” he said, speaking from Vienna in a webcast discussion organised by Denver University's Center for Middle East Studies.

    US President Barack Obama has had to fight hard to stop sceptical members of Congress, including some from his own party, from passing additional sanctions on the Islamic republic.

    Such a move would contravene the terms of an interim nuclear deal struck in November by Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany under which Tehran scaled back its nuclear activities for six months.

    Talks began in Vienna on Tuesday between Iran and the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany on translating this deal into a lasting accord.

    Zarif said that the talks “started on the right track” on Tuesday, saying he hoped to reach a deal before the six-month deadline – which can be extended – on July 20.

    “We have a shared objective, and that is for Iran to have a nuclear programme that is exclusively peaceful,” he said.

    He said a deal was “totally achievable” but would take more than “one or two sittings”.

    “I hope by July we can finalise this deal and move it in the right direction of implementing it,” Zarif said, adding that getting an accord will take “some innovation and some forward thinking”. The talks in Vienna were due to resume on Wednesday.
    http://www.dawn.com/news/1087918/ira...alk-says-zarif

  12. #52
    Senior Member Mazea's Avatar
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    Iran's real 'nuclear' revolution

    By Pepe Escobar

    The nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) are back this Tuesday in Vienna. The stakes couldn't be higher. It will be a long and winding road. Hidden agendas on both sides badly want the talks to fail - and will spare no effort towards that goal.

    Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei could be interpreted as a stony realist, when he said that the talks will go nowhere. It's as if the Supreme Leader had read Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, a crucial book by Martha Gellhorn Prize winner Gareth Porter which is being launched today in New York. In the book, Porter thoroughly debunks the whole narrative of the Iran nuclear dossier as sold to the world by the George W Bush administration, assorted neo-cons and the Israeli Likud.

    And it gets much worse, in terms of prospects for a final deal to be reached this year. According to Porter, "the Obama administration has introduced the subject of 'possible military dimensions' into the nuclear negotiations. That means that the United States will be demanding an explanation for 'evidence' that the book shows was fabricated. That is a decision that could threaten the conclusion of a final agreement with Iran."

    Meanwhile, on Tuesday last week, millions of people hit the streets in Tehran in a massive rally celebrating the 35 years of the Islamic revolution. How come?

    For all its economic mismanagement, Iran's illiteracy rate has been reduced to near zero. Women are active, participative voters (try even raising the issue in the House of Saud's paradise). There has been remarkable scientific progress, even under harsh sanctions. Pursuing a civilian nuclear program is a matter of national consensus.

    This piece - significantly, published by al-Arabiya, which is controlled by the House of Saud - at least tries not to sound entirely as cheap Arab propaganda, making a valid point about the real threat for the Islamic revolution coming from disaffected youth across Iran.

    Yet this is not the key point. The Islamic republic won't disintegrate tomorrow. What's much more crucial is to revisit the key reasons why the revolution happened 35 years ago, and why, when it comes to Iranian geopolitical independence, it remains somewhat popular.

    That may also shed light on why the West - and especially the United States - still refuses to normalize its relations with Iran. After all, what happened 35 years ago in Iran was never properly understood in the US in the first place. In geopolitical terms, this was the real "nuclear" revolution - one of the most far-reaching developments of what Eric Hobsbawm defined as "the short 20th century".

    And perhaps this is what the Supreme Leader meant about the talks going nowhere; certainly the case as long as Washington, especially, refuses to abandon the reductionism of Iran as a bunch of fanatics.

    That Kissinger oil shock
    As early as the presidency of Harry Truman, the US supported the Shah of Iran's dictatorship, no holds barred. No wonder those days are sorely missed.

    In 1953, after the CIA coup against Mohammad Mossadegh, the Shah - who lived mostly in the French Riviera - was "invited" to rule as a CIA puppet (John F Kennedy had met him in wild parties in the French Riviera and found him to be a dangerous megalomaniac). In return for re-establishing British "rights" to Persian oil, Washington self-attributed 55% for the concessions and the Brits got the rest.

    The CIA trained the Savak - the Shah's secret police. It was the best of times. The Shah not only excelled in his role of gendarme of political/economic US interests in the Persian Gulf; as he did not share Arab hatred of Israel, Tel Aviv had access to Persian oil (that ended after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini seized power).

    The Shah ruthlessly suppressed and persecuted every political party in Iran and even massacred Kurds (Saddam Hussein was taking notes.) He started to take his own propaganda seriously, including believing in the myth of being a new King of Kings. He became the number one cheerleader of the 1973 OPEC oil shock, to which he got the green light from none other than Henry Kissinger.

    In a nutshell, this was a follow-up of the 1972 "Nixon doctrine", when it became clear the US defeat in Vietnam was all but a done deal. That's when Tricky Dicky started to promote gatekeepers all over the "free world". And no region was more crucial than the Persian Gulf.

    The Shah loved it. But he was always complaining that he didn't have enough dough to buy all those weapons the industrial-military complex was offering him. So Kissinger - a David Rockefeller errand boy - squared the circle, with the rise of oil prices by Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC.

    With this move, Kissinger instantly inflated the profits of US Big Oil - which at the time accounted for five of the Seven Sisters, and crucially boasted three that were Rockefeller-owned (Exxon, Mobil and Socal). At the same time, since Japan and then West Germany and the rest of Western Europe depended on Persian Gulf oil much more than the US did, Kissinger devised the perfect way to torpedo the devastating Japanese and German industrial and trade competition.

    You won't find any of this on Kissinger's turgidly ambitious tomes, or on any US corporate media files for that matter. But that explains much of the world born out of the "oil shock".

    Like most US puppets - talk about hubris - the Shah never understood that he was just a puppet. His corporate multinational economic model as applied to Iran had the predictable effects; much like today (even in Europe and the US), a tiny minority consuming like there's no tomorrow and a huge majority increasingly miserable, as the Shah bet on cash crops instead of an agrarian reform to guarantee the subsistence of millions of peasants - many of them illiterate, pious Shi'ites - who had been booted out of the countryside by American agribusiness, which dismissed them as a superfluous workforce.

    These miserable masses inflated Tehran and other Iranian big cities, turning into the mass base for Khomeini's revolution. And the rest is history.

    Nothing is inaccessible
    Then Jimmy Carter - that hick Hamlet - when still campaigning for the presidency against Gerald Ford in 1976, admitted in a debate that the Shah was a torturer. Two years later, as president, Carter now considered him "an island of stability" and "a friend".

    During the 1970s, it was "just" for Iran to carry out a nuclear program, among other motives to intimidate revolutionary Arab nationalism. Yet now, under an Islamic republic, a civilian nuclear program is an "existential threat".

    The Shah's banker was David Rockefeller, never tired of extolling the "patriotism" and "tolerance" of his client, not to mention his modernizing drive - everything duly parroted by US corporate media even as Amnesty International and the State Department itself had Himalayas of documents proving the Shah was one of the top torturers of modern history. What mattered is that he brought excellent dividends for then Chase Manhattan.

    One never lost money underestimating the cluelessness of US corporate media. When the Islamic revolution started, US media as a whole told the world that the Shah was undefeatable; that Khomeini and his followers were a minority of religious fanatics; and that the real motive for the revolution was that the Shah was a Great Modernizer (the Rockefeller script), rejected by those same Muslim fanatics. It's fair to say this script is still being peddled today.

    When the Shah fled Iran, the whole US media bought the fallacy of "going for a holiday". When Khomeini boarded that Air France flight from Paris and arrived in Tehran in absolute triumph, no wonder no one in the US had a clue what was going on. US media preferred to mock Khomeini's "fanaticism" - which at the time paled compared with Pope John Paul II, who considered women to be an inferior species.

    The Iranian bourgeoisie - modern, social democrat, inheriting the political line of Mossadegh - managed to drive a lot of support from progressives in Europe. At a time when Le Monde was still a very good newspaper and not the sub-American trash it is today, one just needed to read the dispatches by ace correspondent Eric Rouleau to confirm it.

    Khomeini, for his part, had the charisma (and that spectral voice on cassette tapes), supported by the only political organization tolerated by the Shah, the roughly 160,000 mullahs, who duly mobilized those wretched masses rendered useless by American agribusiness interests.

    Yet, from the beginning, Khomeini negotiated with the bourgeoisie - as when he named Mehdi Bazargan as prime minister and Bani Sadr as president (a socialist and a Western-style modernizer). Only when the Shah system was totally eradicated did Khomeini go into overdrive to purge everyone but his religious followers - recreating, on a smaller scale, the Shah's inferno, but in the name of Allah. Well, as Mao said, no revolution is a dinner party.

    As for Jimmy "Hamlet" Carter, he never officially recognized Khomeini as the Iranian leader. Washington didn't even try to talk to him. A whiff of geopolitical intelligence would have the Americans trying to share some tea when he was still exiled in Paris. But David Rockefeller and his parrot Kissinger would scream, so a cowed Carter retreated into his shell. After the Islamic revolution, Washington never returned the estimated US$60 billion the Shah, family and cronies stole from Iran.

    This catalogue of disinformation during the 1970s and 1980s is now mirrored by the disinformation of all these past few years about the Iranian nuclear program. No wonder most Americans - and plenty of Europeans - remain clueless.

    When Khomeini died - and I vividly remember every newspaper in Europe on June 5, 1989, sharing the front page between that and Deng Xiaoping ordering the Tiananmen massacre - the great philosopher Daryush Shayegan, a former professor at the University of Tehran, published a superb article in Liberation explaining the Big Picture, from the Shah's "legacy" to Khomeini.

    Shayegan wrote that both men, the Shah and the Imam, committed the same fatal mistakes and "incarnated, each their own way, two typically Iranian traits: cultural schizophrenia and the dream of grandeur". So the whole drama was about two juxtaposed Irans: Imperial Iran and "the suffering Iran of the blood of the Martyr". Both expressed an impossible dream and, "like the 12th century mystical poet Ruzbehan from Shiraz would say, the same 'dementia of the inaccessible'."

    Today, 35 years after the Islamic revolution, what Iranians seek is hardly inaccessible: the end of Western sanctions and the end of sections of the West perennially treating the country as a bunch of religious "fanatics".

    Russia, China, Turkey, Pakistan, other Asian nations, all Latin American nations, all African nations, all treat Iran as normal. Beyond the clash of "heroic flexibility" against American exceptionalism, if only the US establishment would finally get over it, and deal - realistically - with what happened in Tehran 35 years ago. Only then these talks in Vienna will go somewhere, and we may have a final nuclear deal in 2014.

    Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

    He may be reached at [email protected].

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_...01-180214.html

  13. #53
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    Re: Iran, world powers agree nuclear deal

    Is Iran's image really changing worldwide, or is it just something that will disappear?

  14. #54
    Senior Member Fassi's Avatar
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    Iran nuke talks end, next round March 17

    VIENNA: Iran and the six world powers on Thursday announced that they have agreed on a plan meant to produce a comprehensive deal that reduces concerns about Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

    Officials of both sides described their plans as ''very productive.''

    In a joint statement, they said the next round of negotiations would begin in Vienna on March 17.

    ''We've identified the issues we need to address for a comprehensive and final agreement,'' said Catherine Ashton, the EU's top diplomat who convened the talks between Iran and the six powers the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany .

    ''It won't be easy, but we've gotten off to a good start,'' she said in a statement later read in Farsi by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

    Expectations of major progress from the three days of talks in Vienna were modest because the two sides have widely differing demands.

    The six want Tehran to agree to significant cuts in its nuclear program to reduce concerns it could be turned quickly to weapons use.

    Iran is opposed, saying it has no interest in such weapons, but the six powers say that Iran must come to an agreement if it wants a full end to sanctions crippling its economy.

    https://www.dawn.com/news/1088313/ir...round-march-17

  15. #55
    Senior Member Mazea's Avatar
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    Iran, world powers seek to intensify nuclear talks

    VIENNA: Iran and world powers kicked off a new round of nuclear talks Tuesday hoping to make enough progress to move up a gear and start drafting a historic final deal next month.

    Threatening to drive a wedge between the powers, however, is the crisis surrounding Ukraine, which has led to the biggest standoff between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War.

    Iran and the five UN Security Council permanent members plus Germany want to transform a deal struck in November into a permanent agreement by the time this temporary accord lapses on July 20.

    Doing so is a tall order, however, requiring both sides to tackle thorny issues that will severely test their willingness and ability to give ground to the limit.

    So far the mood music has been good, with the powers' chief negotiator, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, hailing the last monthly round in mid-March as “substantive and useful”.

    Likewise Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told Iranian media afterwards that “there are signs that an understanding is possible that respects the rights of the Iranian nation.”

    A senior US official involved in the talks said Friday she was “absolutely convinced” a deal could be reached and that both sides were “looking toward beginning drafting (a deal) in May”.

    But “the real issue is not about whether you can write the words on paper, do the drafting. It's about the choices that Iran has to make, and some of them are very difficult.”

    Under the November deal, which took effect on January 20, Iran froze certain nuclear activities for six months in exchange for minor relief from sanctions hurting its economy.

    As part of the deal, Iran was given greater access to civilian aircraft parts and on Monday Washington said that Boeing had been issued with a temporary licence to do business with the Islamic republic.

    Now the powers want Iran to reduce permanently, or at least long-term, the scope of its programme in order to make any dash to make the bomb extremely difficult and easily detectable.

    Iran in return wants all sanctions lifted.

    The deal may involve Iran slashing the number of centrifuges — machines “enriching” nuclear material — changing the design of a new reactor at Arak and giving UN inspectors more oversight.


    One issue is proving to be particular tricky — that of Iran's desire to research and develop newer and faster centrifuges, something which November's deal allowed them to continue, one diplomat said.

    Hardliners
    Any deal that gives too much away risks losing Iranian President Hassan Rouhani — who since taking office last year has sought to improve ties with the West -- or the supreme leader.

    But leaving too much — or indeed any — of Iran's nuclear infrastructure intact would also be a hard sell to sceptical US lawmakers and to Israel, the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear power.

    So far, the six powers have shown a united front but Moscow's annexation of Crimea last month have sent relations between Russia and the West into a tailspin.

    Following the latest unrest in the east, with pro-Russian activists declaring independence, the White House on Monday warned Moscow against efforts to “destabilise Ukraine”.

    The Kremlin swatted the accusations aside, warning Tuesday the pro-Western government in Kiev against any use of force and saying there was a “risk of unleashing civil war”.

    Moscow and Iran are said to be negotiating a oil-for-goods deal that would undermine Washington's sanctions efforts, a strategy it credits with getting Iran to talks in the first place.

    Russia's chief negotiator, Sergei Ryabkov, fired a warning shot last month, saying Moscow might alter its position on the Iran talks if pushed too far.

    “We would not like to use these talks as an element of a stakes-raising game,” Ryabkov said. “But if we are forced, here we will take the path of counter-measures.”

    http://www.dawn.com/authors/119/afp

  16. #56
    Senior Member KingKong's Avatar
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    Iran has cut higher-enriched uranium stock 'by half'

    Iran has neutralised half of its higher-enriched uranium stockpile, as per a deal agreed earlier this year, the world's nuclear watchdog says.

    The International Atomic Energy Agency has been checking Iran's adherence to the deal, struck with six world powers.

    The powers want Iran to scale back its enrichment of uranium, which they fear could be used to make a nuclear bomb.

    Iran says its nuclear work is peaceful. It agreed to the deal in exchange for the easing of some sanctions.

    Iran has diluted half of its higher-grade enriched uranium stockpile, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a confidential report.

    This will be seen as a positive sign by the West as it lengthens the time Iran would need to make a nuclear bomb, says the BBC's Bethany Bell in Vienna.

    Diplomats confirmed the conclusion of the report with the BBC. The full report is due to be published next week.

    The report also said that progress in commissioning a nuclear conversion plant, part of the interim agreement, had been delayed, Reuters reported.

    The IAEA, which has inspectors in Iran, issues monthly updates on whether Iran is complying with the interim deal with the six world powers.

    The temporary agreement was signed in January, and ends in July.

    Iran and the six powers involved - the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany - are keen to start drafting the terms of a new deal by May, but correspondents say they are still some way apart.

    The world powers want Iran to agree to permanently reduce the scope of its enrichment programme and to give UN inspectors more oversight.

    Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has backed talks with world powers but warned Tehran will never give up its nuclear programme.

    So far, the six world powers have been united in their negotiations but Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine last month has caused tension between Moscow and the West.

    Russia and Iran are said to be negotiating an oil-for-goods deal thought to be worth up to $20bn (£12bn), which the US says would undermine the nuclear talks.


  17. #57
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    WHEN Iran comes in from the cold

    When Iran Comes In from the Cold...

    "So long as some sort of nuclear deal is still feasible, it is necessary to consider the strategic implications of an Iran on the path towards rejoining the community of nations."
    Jeffrey PayneSchuyler Moore

    July 25, 2014


    With nuclear talks extended for another four months, the P5+1 and Iran have been given a fresh chance to reach an agreement on the Iranian nuclear program. For the past six months, there have been few signs of consensus forming around a deal even as each represented nation expresses their desire to reach one, and reports from the negotiations indicate that the participating nations have major differences to reconcile before any agreement can be reached. It is possible that the extended talks will only result in further extensions or even a complete withdrawal from negotiations, but so long as some sort of nuclear deal is still feasible, it is necessary to consider the strategic implications of an Iran on the path towards rejoining the community of nations. Specifically, while any type of nuclear deal would create initial diplomatic and security complications for the United States within the Middle East and Central Asia, the long-term effects of such a deal would favor its national interests.

    Long-Term Possibilities in Central Asia


    Any nuclear deal is only the beginning of Iran rejoining the global community. It is no secret that sanctions have severely hampered the Iranian regime, and part of its calculations for joining negotiations is that in doing so, the sanctions regime will be lessened. An agreement would initiate this process, but it would be slow and incremental at best; however, in the event that sanctions are lessened, the impact throughout Central Asia would be sizable. Last year, China began actively promoting its concept for a ‘New Silk Road Economic Belt,’ which would develop trade and infrastructure from Central Asia to the Mediterranean by building a network of railways and various energy source pipelines through strategically located countries throughout Central Asia. This continental economic belt is a priority strategic concept for China, and China will have to link Iran to its chain of investment in order to reach the Mediterranean. In fact, given the terrain and cultures the belt flows through, Iran is likely the most important location within China’s plan. China already has begun investing heavily in Central Asian nations (it recently announced a $30 billion investment in Kazakhstan alone), but substantial development, including access to Iran’s energy deposits and modernization of its energy infrastructure, requires the weakening or even the outright removal of the sanctions regime. Iran is important for China, which explains why China is one of the most vocal proponents of a comprehensive nuclear deal.

    Beyond China’s plans for Iran and Central Asia, a change in the international status of Iran would have a massive impact on the surrounding region; with the sanctions regime up for discussion, the volume of trade between Iran and Central Asian nations is posed to increase dramatically and provide a boost for the economies of all the states involved. Iran would provide Central Asia with crucial access to sea trade routes, which would further expand their markets and give countries like Afghanistan a chance to stand on their own two feet post-U.S. withdrawal (though that would require a great deal of repair in the bilateral relationship between Iran and Afghanistan). Iran has occasionally tried to influence its neighbors with Iranian religious doctrine and its foreign-policy agenda, but its efforts have largely been rebuffed because of Central Asia’s generally positive relations with the West and its overall pragmatic outlook on economic development. The economic opportunities provided by Iran in this scenario would allow the Central Asian republics to have greater diversity in their foreign trade and be less dependent upon Russia and China. Greater economic activity throughout the region could help stabilize nation-states and mitigate the impact of transnational threats like the drug trade, terrorism and human trafficking.

    Initial Complexities in the Middle East


    While there is great potential of increased economic integration between Iran and its eastern neighbors in the event of a nuclear deal, Iran’s western neighbors, particularly the majority of members in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), are suspicious of the potential for Iran to rejoin the community of nations. Since its foundation, the Islamic Republic of Iran has competed with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) for regional influence. Along with KSA, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait have all opposed Iranian influence spreading into the Gulf region and the Levant. Moves towards greater international integration would likely invigorate the Iranian economy and, in the eyes of its regional opponents, strengthen its ability to influence regional states in the Middle East. An economically revived Iran could increase its support for Hezbollah in Lebanon, for the Assad regime (if it retains power) in Syria, and a Shi’a-led government in Iraq.

    Israel’s staunch opposition to a rising Iran adds further contention to these disputes within the Middle East. Iran’s past inflammatory rhetoric against Israel and threats against Israeli territory is a continuous complication to removing the sanctions regime. Israel is a vocal opponent of any type of nuclear deal, and it is likely that tensions will remain between the two nations regardless of whether Iran gets reintegrated into the international community.

    China is also a central player in Iran’s future within the Middle East. China’s economic belt, which is already being initiated in Central Asia, would flow through Iran to the Mediterranean and south from Iran into the Gulf States. China already relies heavily on Middle Eastern fossil fuels to fuel its economy, and the primary reason for its continental belt is to avoid the complications of maritime trade routes and securing overland access to energy. Under the current conditions, KSA is China’s largest supplier of oil. Qatar is the largest provider of liquefied natural gas. China’s oil companies invest heavily in Iraq’s oil deposits. While this overland route would provide China relief from maritime apprehensions, it would also position China in the midst of a whole host of regional disputes. Its reliance on Iran as a key link in the belt will create automatic tensions with some Middle Eastern regimes. The belt’s path towards the Mediterranean creates another link between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon—a development to which Israel and many GCC states will object. Using Iran as a base for connecting the overland route with the GCC states will position China in the midst of a regional dispute. In short, China will face major unforeseen costs for this strategic endeavor.

    In the short term, the United States will have to address the regional fallout from any developments with Iran, particularly stemming from the reactions of Israel and KSA. However, the United States has strong relationships with the GCC states, and Israel is a treaty ally. The United States’ relationships will be tested, but any potential developments in and emerging from the nuclear talks will be drawn out and provide time for the United States to leverage its relationships and diminish fears.

    Conclusions

    The effects of a potential nuclear deal with Iran largely coincide with the interests of the United States. Moving towards integrating Iran into the community of nations (of which a nuclear deal is but the first step) would contribute to economic development in Central Asia, and such a prospect is a key policy objective of the United States. Progress on the question of Iran would create problems throughout the Middle East, but the status quo is hardly stable. For the United States, it would have to invest in its relationships and ensure that Iran follow strict rules regarding its integration into the global economy. A nuclear deal also opens the door for China to pursue its grand strategic vision for Asia. Some fear that such a development will spread the influence of China, but its influence is already well established in Central Asia and is not likely to solidify in the Middle East. In the meantime, the United States would find China becoming embroiled within Asia’s disputes and investing in ways to create stability, both of which would be positive outcomes.

    Finally, two points must be emphasized. The first is a simple recognition that the changes described within this piece can only emerge in the event that some type of nuclear deal is agreed upon. The United States will not accept a nuclear Iran, and if the negotiations result in an agreement, then the United States achieves a major objective. Second, the United States will not disappear from the regional scene in any scenario. It will retain its regional bases, exert power through the Fifth Fleet, and rely upon its diplomatic corps. The options discussed here position the United States on firmer footing, while assisting in the broader development of continental Asia.



    Jeffrey Payne is Manager of Academic Affairs at the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies in Washington, DC. Schuyler Moore is an Academic Intern at the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies in Washington, DC and a rising senior at Harvard University

  18. #58
    Senior Member Mazea's Avatar
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    IAEA investigators: Audit reveals US, not Iran the problem

    Over a period of 20 years, hundreds of weapons-grade nuclear “pits” were stolen from the US by high ranking government officials and handed out “like candy bars” as bribes, for making terror weapons and generating billions in revenue used to rig American elections.

    Weapons from these demolished the World Trade Center on 9/11, according to the classified Department of Energy report and make up Israel’s entire nuclear arsenal.

    THE AUDIT

    Now, facts gleaned during an ongoing highly classified audit of these crimes threatening the entire globe are being leaked to the public.
    All information within this article is fully confirmed by multiple sources including IAEA investigators, members of the US Department of Energy/IAEA audit team and sources within US military intelligence.

    IAEA INVOLVEMENT

    Investigators for the International Atomic Energy Agency, tasked with, among other things, guaranteeing Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful, initially came forward with a startling story about the illegal diversion of weapons grade nuclear material by the United States.

    The IAEA, a UN agency that investigates issues of nuclear proliferation around the world, despite newspaper reports to the contrary, has found egregious threats far greater than anything the public is told Iran may or may not pose. In an interview with an IAEA investigator and nuclear physicist, a timeline that ties Israel and the US, not only to 9/11 as an “inside job” but other global threats as well, is established.

    VANUNU

    Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, kidnapped and imprisoned in Israel for decades, had told the world about Israel’s supposedly secret nuclear program.
    Now, for the first time, we have access to information covering the time period after Vanunu fled Israel, information tying Israel to nuclear weapons theft, to nuclear proliferation and to nuclear terrorism.

    Vanunu, while working at Israel’s nuclear weapons production facility, got “laid off” due to the shutdown of Dimona in the 1986/88 time
    period. No PU (plutonium) to process, no work. The Dimona reactor had stopped producing nuclear material above 20% grade as the result of an accident tied to overuse and poor design of cooling and other systems.

    Dimona was and is a “death trap.”

    IAEA sources tell us that Israel’s nuclear arsenal at the time, because of low quality “unmatchable” pits, low production levels and an aging inventory, was a few years from non-existence. Normal deterioration would, by 9/11/2001 leave Israel “nuclear weapons free” unless something could be done to correct that problem.

    STEALING AMERICAN NUKES

    The W-54 warhead has a large, high quality oblong plutonium pit. 400 of these weapons were made for use in nuclear artillery and other weapons with design variations allowing vastly different output from the same basic design.

    At the end of the Cold War, these weapons were, as a result of a combination of obsolescence and treaty, retired from service. Our IAEA sources reports:

    “The W-54's were placed in military cold storage after 1986 and they were retired in 1993 by Bush 41. They were then written off the books during the Clinton era 1994-2000 and allegedly disposed of by converting them into MOX (multiple oxide as used in Fukushima) fuel at the Savanna River complex. The Savanna River recycling plant had and still has serious security and safety concerns for decades.

    ‘Someone’ or ‘some people’ at a very high level simply did a paper work switch and shipped the non-destroyed pits out the back door. The thefts started under Clinton and ended under Bush 2. Cheney controlling it under Bush 1 and 2 and Richardson (a “rabid Zionist”) at DOE under Clinton.”

    In order to pull off the largest theft of WMDs in world history, they had to put there people in place first. Wayne Madsen's article and the murder of former CIA agent Roland Carnaby by Houston Police working with the Mossad put too much heat on “them” so they had to lay low.

    Our source at the IAEA states that he believes “Barky” (President Barak Obama’s nickname) allegedly stepped in after sacking Rahm Emanuel for obvious security breaches as documented by counter intel.

    According to our source, Rahm Emanuel, no surprise to anyone, was acting as an Israeli operative and using his position in the White House to cover up discrepancies in America’s nuclear inventory and to derail any audit and/or subsequent investigation.

    This was made easy for Rahm Emanuel because the problem is that DOE (Department of Energy) is civilian run and DOD is military run. The compartmentalization of the two services for security reasons simply helps in allowing the material to disappear that much easier, and in the process, for the theft of nuclear weapons from the US to be surprisingly simple.

    “IS THAT A NUKE IN YOUR POCKET...”

    According to sources at both the Department of Energy and IAEA, there is no accurate count or any record of where American weapons-grade nuclear materials is. From the IAEA:

    “There is no independent cross auditing of the two services. The military can
    simply write off warheads without explanation to any other agency and
    once they are written off by the military and transferred to DOE they
    don’t have to account for them to the military.

    There is no independent nuclear accounting agency for this stuff that reports directly to congress. They don’t audit these things like banks do. They just review the paper work and rubber stamp its approval. The paperwork is nowhere near reality. So it’s very easy to illegally transfer these to third parties, so long as they are dismantled pits only.”

    ISRAEL LOBBY CONVINCES WHITE HOUSE NUKE “PITS” ARE “USELESS”

    Israel’s virtual stranglehold on the Pentagon during the Bush 2 administration had serious consequences on US nuclear policy. At a time when American nuclear scientists and defense strategists were moving toward mini and micro nukes, inexpensive and simple to produce using decommissioned nuclear weapons, Israeli operatives who virtually “ran” the Pentagon under Bush 2, pushed through orders to “discard” much of America’s plutonium inventory, only to “redirect” it leaving virtually no trail, other than tracking done by John O’Neill, Roland Carnaby and John Wheeler III, all of whom met mysterious violent deaths. From the IAEA:

    “The stupid generals did not know that they were perfectly good for making mini and micro nukes. The knowledge of how to make a mini nuke was so compartmentalized that no one in power new.

    The statements made by Condoleezza Rice after 911 about how small a nuke could be was the result. Most of that testimony to congress is still classified.”

    INSIDE THE AUDIT

    When America finally awakened, up to a third of its nuclear arsenal was unaccounted for with 350 W 54 “nuclear pits” simply missing, presumed stolen.
    In an interview with a member of the audit team tasked with locating the missing nukes, including those used on 9/11, a team member told us:

    “My work on the ‘counter intel project’ (independent outside audit) was
    limited to pit counting and matching only. (metallurgy) I was not
    allowed to know anything else officially. That I got thru third parties
    that I was working with, who got the full audit report, and what they did with it, I was never told.

    All I know is that I was interviewed, questioned and had to sign a sworn legal statement on my work for ‘G-2’ and I was advised of my security agreements on non-disclosure of classified information.

    That is all that I am legally allowed to tell you.”
    Our source went on to provide context material, telling us why these missing nuclear pits were so dangerous and the potential consequences of pervasive high level corruption within America government.

    “There were over 1 to 2 thousand pits manufactured using the original
    W-54 pit molds and implosion design. They made more of this design than
    any other nuclear weapon implosion system.

    The simplicity of the implosion system made it very cheap and easy to copy. All you need is the pit. Even after reprocessing it would still work at lower yields. No fancy electronics or exotic and hard to copy shape charges needed. It is the simplest nuclear warhead design to make.

    Anyone with a really good automotive machine shop can copy the casing and implosion system. RDX or plastic explosive can be used for the compression charges. The compression pistons are made of tungsten alloy.

    The pit geometry and size is the only part that is classified. Under Rumsfeld, Richardson, ETC, and company they were written off the books and passed out to our ‘friends’ (including enough to make up the entire Israeli nuclear arsenal) like candy bars for good behavior and UN votes.”
    9/11From a White House and Pentagon aide on the staff of Paul Wolfowitz:

    “Once the Israelis got the nuclear pits they double crossed us. No one ever thought that they would be so ruthless to do what they did in using them to destroy the World Trade Center on 9/11.

    The problem is the chemical finger print of left over PU-239 fallout
    proves that it was made in the USA at Hanford. You can’t hide this.

    A simple chemical mass spectrometry test will reveal it. That’s the problem. Half of Washington has known for a decade that 9/11 was an ‘inside job’ done with stolen American weapons”

    CONCLUSION

    In 2003, the original Department of Energy 9/11 report was released to the White House, select members of the Department of Defense, senior Pentagon staffers and select Federal Judges.
    These judges were tasked with “killing” an civil or criminal cases filed related to 9/11.

    More than two dozen senior members of Congress were briefed also. For over a decade this cabal, most of whom are still in military, government or judicial posts of some kind, continue to facilitate this betrayal.


    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/08...n-the-problem/
    The Following User Says Thank You to Mazea For This Useful Post: Neo


  19. #59
    Senior Member ArshadK's Avatar
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    Pakistan Pakistan

    US to hold new nuclear talks with Iran in Geneva

    American and Iranian officials will resume negotiations in Geneva this week as they seek to hammer out a full nuclear deal ahead of a November deadline, US officials said Wednesday.

    The US team led by Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns and Under Secretary Wendy Sherman will meet with Iranian officials on Thursday and Friday in the Swiss city, the State Department said in a surprise late-night statement.

    Global powers and Iran agreed in late July to extend a deadline to reach a comprehensive and complex deal on curbing Tehran´s nuclear ambitions until November 24.

    The negotiations being led by a group known as the P5+1 had been expected to resume on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly later this month in New York.

    "Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns, Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy R. Sherman, and Senior Advisor Jacob J. Sullivan will meet with Iranian officials in Geneva on September 4-5," the State Department said in its announcement.

    "These bilateral consultations will take place in the context of the P5+1 nuclear negotiations led by EU High Representative Cathy Ashton," it added.

    Earlier this week, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he had "good discussions" with Ashton and Tehran was committed to an accord over its contested nuclear program.

    Quoted by the Belga state news agency, Zarif said he was "fairly optimistic" after talks in Brussels on Monday with Ashton that Iran and the five permanent UN Security Council members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- plus Germany could reach a deal by the November deadline.

    The West suspects Iran wants to acquire nuclear weapons but Tehran insists the program is purely for peaceful purposes.

    In exchange for accepting curbs on its nuclear activities, Iran wants a vast array of US, EU and UN sanctions to be lifted.

    But any deal will have to be approved by the Islamic leadership in Tehran as well as by the US Congress, where many lawmakers are seeking to impose even greater sanctions on Iran. (AFP)

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-15...Iran-in-Geneva

  20. #60
    Banned alihamza's Avatar
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    Pakistan UK

    Re: Iran, world powers agree nuclear deal

    Iran nuclear talks to resume but 'breakthrough unlikely'



    Talks between Iran and the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China on Iran's disputed nuclear programme are due to resume in New York.

    But officials say that a breakthrough in the negotiations is unlikely.

    US and Iranian diplomats have met ahead of the talks and Iran's foreign minister and the EU foreign policy chief will meet on Thursday.

    World powers suspect Iran is seeking a weapon but it insists that it is enriching uranium for peaceful reasons.

    It says the enriched uranium will be used in nuclear power stations and for medical purposes.





    Last month Iranian President Hassan Rouhani criticised a new move by the US to impose sanctions on 25 Iranian firms and individuals.

    'Far apart'
    Diplomats from the six countries will begin informal discussions on Thursday before they gather with the Iranian delegation on Friday.

    The negotiations - on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly - are expected to last until at least 26 September.





    The US says that "more movement" is required from Iran if a long-term agreement is to be secured.

    Senior US negotiator Wendy Sherman said that "we remain far apart on other core issues, including the size and scope of Iran's uranium enrichment capacity".

    One diplomat told Reuters: "Things remain blocked. New York will be vital to see if we can break the impasse."

    Correspondents say that expectations that President Barack Obama and President Rouhani will exchange even a handshake - let alone meet one another over the next few days - are not high.

    That is a far cry from a year ago when the two leaders came close to ending the decades-long moratorium on face-to-face meetings.

    Meanwhile Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz urged the EU - which has worked as an interlocutor for the six powers - not to make a "bad deal" with Iran.

    He said that EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton may be in a rush to complete a deal before she steps down at the end of this year.

    "We are deeply concerned... We feel the negotiations are going in the wrong direction," he said.

    The last round of talks aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear programme in exchange for ending sanctions began in February, but Iran and the six countries involved failed to reach a deal by the 20 July deadline.

    Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States make up the P5+1.

    Iran and the P5+1 have agreed to extend negotiations until 24 November.



    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29248244

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