Iran says nuclear talks with US futile 9MSN News, February 8, 2013
American proposals for direct talks with Iran are pointless while
Washington is “holding a gun” to the country through sanctions, Iran’s
supreme leader says, quashing a possible breakthrough in contacts with
the West over the nuclear standoff.
The message from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say in all
major decisions in Iran, has been reiterated by Iranian President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during a news conference in Cairo.
Their dismissal of one-on-one dialogue raises the stakes when wider
negotiations between Iran and world powers, including the United
States, resume this
Contrast, then, the Iranian nuclear posture with that of the U.S. and
Israel – the two supposedly threatened parties.
Israel has perhaps as many as 200 nuclear weapons. It is unknown
precisely just how many bombs Israel possesses because it refuses to
sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty (which Iran has done), or allow in
international inspectors (which Iran continues to do).
Meanwhile, the U.S. – the only nation to actually deploy nuclear
weapons in combat – is currently in the midst of upgrading its arsenal
of 5,113 nuclear warheads. With conservative estimates approaching
$400 billion, the Washington Post reports, it will be the “costliest
overhaul in its history.”
And yet, it is Iran that poses the nuclear threat?
The Iran Nuclear Threat: Phantom Menace
By Ben Schreiner
Global Research, February 01, 2013 They say you can’t kill that which
has never lived. It’s useful advice when analyzing the persistence of
the so-called “Iranian nuclear threat.”
According to a report in McClatchy, “Israeli intelligence officials
now estimate that Iran won’t be able to build a nuclear weapon before
2015 or 2016.”
Recall that just this past September Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu was theatrically warning that Iran would achieve nuclear
weapons capability by “next spring, at most by next summer.”
Of course, Netanyahu has made a career out of warning that Iran is
about to go nuclear – claiming as early as 1992 that Iran was 3 to 5
years away from being able to produce a bomb
As one Israeli official justifiably lamented to McClatchy, “Did we cry
wolf too early?” Yes – early and often, to be precise. Read more »
The IAEA Says It Has Inspectors At Iran’s Fordo Nuclear Site And There Has Been No Explosionhttp://www.businessinsider.com/massive-explosion-reported-at-irans-fordow-nuclear-facility-2013-1 Robert Johnson | Jan. 30, 2013,Conflicting reports of a recent explosion at Iran’s Fordo nuclear facility appear to have been put to rest.
(This is an updated post)
Reza Kahlili originally reported for WND on the “blast”: “The blast shook facilities within a radius of three miles. Security forces have enforced a no-traffic radius of 15 miles, and the Tehran- Qom highway was shut down for several hours after the blast.”
Kahlili’s report said the Fordo nuclear facility was severely damaged in an explosion and up to 240 workers trapped inside.
Jay Carney then told reporters in a press conference, that the White House had no information on the report: ”We [the U.S.] have no information to confirm the allegations in the report and we do not believe the report is credible. We don’t believe those are credible reports.”
Iran’s official news agency, said the same thing, with the IRNA, promptly denying the explosion, claiming the news was simply the result of the Western media-fueled “propoganda machine.”
That might have ended the story there, but The Times of London’s Israel correspondent Sheera Frenkel also confirmed the incident through her own independent sources: Read more »
Top British Paper: Massive explosion believed to have damaged nuclear facility in Iran -Sources http://enenews.com/top-uk-paper-massive-explosion-believed-damaged-nuclear-facility-iran-sources
January 28th, 2013
Title: ‘Blast’ at Iranian nuclear facility
Source: The Times of London* (via The Australian)
Author: Sheera Frenkel
Date: January 29, 2013
A MASSIVE explosion is believed to have damaged Iran’s Fordow nuclear facility, which is being used to enrich uranium, Israeli intelligence officials say.
Sources in Tel Aviv said yesterday they thought the explosion happened last week. The Israeli government is investigating reports that it led to extensive structural damage and that 200 workers had been trapped inside.
Israel believes the Iranians have not evacuated the surrounding area. It is unclear whether that is because no harmful substances have been released, or because Tehran is trying to avoid sparking panic among residents. [...]
One Israeli official said: “We are still in the preliminary stages of understanding what happened and how significant it is.” He did not know, he added, whether the explosion was “sabotage or accident”, and refused to comment on reports Israeli aircraft were seen near the facility at the time of the explosion. [...]
*Wikipedia: By June 2012 The Times’ average daily circulation had fallen to 400,120 copies, compared to The Daily Telegraph’s 573,674, with the two retaining respectively the second-highest and highest circulations among British “quality” newspapers.
- Bloomberg: Iran Rejects Report of Blast at Nuclear Site as Propaganda
- Telegraph: Mystery over ‘explosion’ at Iran’s Fordow nuclear site
IAEA says no indications of blast at Iran nuclear site, SMH, 31 Jan 13, The UN atomic agency said on Wednesday that it had no indications that an explosion took place at an Iranian nuclear facility, as reported by Israeli and US media.
“We understand that Iran has denied that there has been an incident at Fordo. This is consistent with our observations,” said Gill Tudor, spokeswoman for the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The reports cited the conservative American news website WND, which said an explosion at the Fordo facility on January 21 had caused major damage and trapped workers.
Iran denied any such blast took place, with a senior lawmaker calling the rumours “Western propaganda” aimed at influencing upcoming talks with world powers on Iran’s nuclear programme…….http://www.smh.com.au/world/iaea-says-no-indications-of-blast-at-iran-nuclear-site-20130130-2dle8.html#ixzz2JbPAQz5z
Not for nothing have the major news organizations ignored Kahlili’s Fordow report. Beyond his questionable credibility, there is no supporting evidence. If a large explosion did occur at Fordow a week ago, why have no satellite photos appeared of dozens of vehicles on the site involved in rescue operations? And if there are 240 workers trapped underground, how come no worried relatives have expressed concern on one of the social networks? Iran may have a repressive regime, but tens of millions of citizens are connected to the Internet and are experts at evading the regime’s attempts to monitor and filter their communications. Something would have come out by now.
Who spread reports of an ‘explosion’ at Iran’s Fordow nuclear plant and why?
According to the report, the explosion in Fordow seriously damaged many of the centrifuges in the plant and trapped underground 240 employees who have yet to be rescued. But if this is true, why have the major news networks dismissed it?
Haaretz, By Anshel Pfeffer | Jan.27, 2013 The Internet has been abuzz over the last couple of days with an uncorroborated report regarding a huge explosion in the underground uranium enrichment plant at Fordow in Iran. According to the report, the explosion seriously damaged many of the centrifuges in the plant and trapped underground 240 employees who have yet to be rescued.
If this is true, it will be the most serious sabotage caused yet to the Iranian nuclear program. If this is true.
The main problem with the report is that no supporting evidence has appeared so far from any reliable sources to corroborate it, nor has a statements been released from an official source in Iran or any other country. All the main Western news organizations with contacts and sources in the intelligence community have steered well away from the story. (In Israel, only the tabloid Yedioth Ahronoth, which splashed the story on the front page of its Sunday edition, took notice of the story.)
Perhaps it’s the identity of the report’s author which leads to the disbelief: Reza Kahlili, an Iranian exile with an interesting past who is well known to many reporters covering intelligence and Iranian affairs. He published the report on the explosion, which apparently took place on Monday, the eve of the Israeli elections, on World News Daily, a veteran website with close contacts to the far-right in the United States. Kahlili himself is a frequent speaker at events organized by right-wing organizations and those that support the right in Israel. It’s not hard to realize why. In an interview he gave Haaretz two years ago, upon the publication of his book “A Time To Betray”, Kalili set out a worldview on Iran that was surprisingly similar to that of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He also compared the regime in Tehran to that of the Nazis, and called upon Israel to bomb Iran’s nuclear installations…… Read more »
Devil Is in the Details for Iran Nuclear Deal Anti War.com by Jasmin Ramsey, January 26,2013 After a year of fruitless negotiations that are expected to resume soon, Iranian and U.S. experts are urging both sides to show more flexibility and make more concessions on its nuclear programme.
A letter written this month by seven former Iranian parliamentarians now living in exile urges Iran and the P5+1 – the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany – to pursue a “win-win outcome” by incorporating four points into an agreement.
The letter states that Iran should be able to enrich uranium up to five percent for peaceful purposes; Iran should be given fuel for its medical and scientific research reactors if it halts its enrichment of 20 percent uranium and allows the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to control its existing stockpile; Iran should implement the Additional Protocol as a “confidence-building measure”; and Iran should be provided with a timetable for the lifting of sanctions if it halts its 20 percent uranium enrichment.
“The proposal reminds us that there is in fact a reasonable solution to this confrontation, one that satisfies each side’s core interests and removes any need for war,” Stephen Walt, a Harvard international relations professor, told IPS. “The only question is whether leaders in Washington and Tehran will be smart and far-sighted enough to seize it.”…… http://original.antiwar.com/ramsey/2013/01/25/devil-is-in-the-details-for-iran-nuclear-deal/
So far, I have not been able to find corroborating information on this. Please check out the comments below this item – some good points to alert us to the possibility that this is a hoax. And note the video below the blogs – reminder of the effect of the radio program “War of the Worlds” – which panicked people many decades ago. - C.M.
Report: Explosion Destroys Key Iran Nuclear Site http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/122646/report-explosion-destroys-key-iran-nuclear-site A source is reporting much of the underground Fordo site has been hit By Adam Chandler|January 25, 2013 A few major sites that linked to WND story have removed it. I take that as a pretty good indication that this story cannot be confirmed.
According to World News Daily, a massive explosion is said to have destroyed most of Iran’s nuclear facility at Fordo.
An explosion deep within Iran’s Fordow nuclear facility has destroyed much of the installation and trapped about 240 personnel deep underground, according to a former intelligence officer of the Islamic regime.
The previously secret nuclear site has become a center for Iran’s nuclear activity because of the 2,700 centrifuges enriching uranium to the 20-percent level. A further enrichment to weapons grade would take only weeks, experts say.
The explosion is said to have taken place on Monday. The nuclear site is a high profile target given that it’s completely underground and recently reached nuclear capacity. Just earlier today, it was reported that the Iran could quadruple enrichment at the Fordo site.
While I am extremely skeptical of this report’s veracity until I hear more, this is potentially a massive development. More to come.
Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant: Contamination Risks Worry Iranian Villagers, Arab Neighbors By Yeganeh Torbati
DUBAI, Jan 23 (Reuters) - For the Iranian government, the Bushehr nuclear power plant is proof to a world worried about Tehran’s intentions that its atomic programme is aimed only at securing a modern, clean energy source for its people.
But for villagers living next to the facility, as well as Arab capitals nearby, the plant poses a potential danger that is less geopolitical and more immediate: the risk of contamination.
“We are extremely worried about our health and the health of our families,” residents of the coastal villages of Heleylah and Bandargah wrote in a statement published on a blog in 2010.
“According to international standards, the distance between a nuclear power plant and the nearest residence must be at least one kilometre … but the distance between the village of Heleylah and this power plant is just six metres!”
Thousands of people live in the two villages 18 km (11 miles) south of the Gulf city of Bushehr, many of them making their living as service workers at the plant.
Residents living near Iran’s nuclear-related sites told Reuters in interviews by phone and over the Internet that the government stifles debate on the pros and cons of the programme and where its sites should be located, and has not addressed their questions about what would happen in an emergency.
Iran’s Arab neighbours are also nervous. Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates all occupy coastline across from Bushehr, and the plant is closer to five Arab Gulf capitals than it is to Tehran…… http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/23/bushehr-nuclear-power-plant-contamination-iran_n_2533383.html
Iran: Religious decree against nuclear weapons is binding TEHRAN, IRAN http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57564199/iran-religious-decree-against-nuclear-weapons-is-binding/ 15 Jan 13,
Iran sought Tuesday to spell out in its clearest terms yet that it is not seeking nuclear weapons, highlighting a religious decree issued by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that bans nuclear weapons. Read more »
Evacuation of large Iranian city near nuclear site raises eyebrows, legalinsurrection, by Bryan Jacoutot , January 4, 2013 An edict was An edict was issued on Wednesday by Iranian authorities ordering Isfahan’s 1.5 million residents to leave the city because pollution in the area “has reached emergency levels.”
Skeptical of Iran’s explanation for the evacuation, some believe it to have been prompted by more than just your average pollution. (h/t Uncle Samuel)… “Mass evacuations suggest a far more serious problem,” Rubin explained. “There are two possibilities here: There is a radiation leak and the regime is lying or there is really bad pollution and no one believes the regime’s explanations.”….. http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/01/evacuation-of-large-iranian-city-near-nuclear-site-raises-eyebrows/
Big nuclear powers not really motivated towards a diplomatic solution regarding Iran’s nuclear program
‘No real determination in P5+1 to resolve Iran nuclear issue’
An Iranian lawmaker says the P5+1 — Britain, China, France, Russia,
and the United States plus Germany — lacks the determination to
resolve Iran’s nuclear issue. Read more »
Iran may open military site to UN nuclear watchdog
27 Dec 12,
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
TEHRAN, Iran – An Iranian official is saying the country may open a
controversial military site to inspectors of the United Nations
A Thursday report by independent Mardomsalari daily quotes Deputy
Foreign Minister Hasan Qashqavi as saying the inspectors from the
International Atomic Energy Agency may visit Parchin military site “if
the foreign threats weaken”. He did not elaborate.
As high government officials rarely speak out on such sensitive
issues, Qashqavi’s remarks were seen as echoing the views of Iran’s
Earlier this month IAEA inspectors on a trip to Tehran failed to visit
Parchin, where they believe Iran has carried out some nuclear
Iran says Parchin is only a conventional military site and denies the
West’s claims its nuclear program has a military dimension.
The international community should affirm Iran’s “right to enrich uranium” in exchange for an Iranian commitment to “limit enrichment convincingly short of weapons-grade potential, as confirmed by verifiable inspections,” he said.
U.S. Bishops Call for Nuclear Negotiations With Iran http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/u.s.-bishops-call-for-nuclear-negotiations-with-iran/ Bishop Richard Pates, chairman of USCCB’s justice and peace committee, voices ‘deep concern’ over the current ‘dangerous situation.’ 20 Dec 12, ASHINGTON — The U.S. bishops’ leader on international peace issues said that dialogue is the path to a peaceful resolution of nuclear concerns between the United States and Iran.
“Bold steps must be considered to counter this unfortunate and continually rising tide of aggressive posturing between our own nation and Iran,” said Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, Iowa. In a Dec. 18 letter to Thomas Donilon, national security advisor to the Obama administration, he explained that a “peaceful resolution will require direct, sustained negotiations over a considerable period of time.”
The bishop, who chairs the Committee on International Justice and Peace for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, voiced “deep concern” over the “dangerous situation facing our nation, the international community and Iran.”
Speaking on behalf of his committee, he urged the U.S. to immediately begin direct negotiations with the nation in order to avoid further escalation. “Initiating such talks should be done without preconditions and might include extending to Iran some relief from current international sanctions,” he said. Read more »
proliferation has proven to be historically rare, with the number of nuclear weapons states expanding only slightly from five in 1964 to nine in 2006 following North Korea’s nuclear test.
Ironically, the Middle East itself offers further evidence that nuclear proliferation is not inevitable. …….. Israel acquired nuclear weapons in the late 1960s and over four decades later still remains the only nuclear power in the region
One Of The Biggest Arguments For Stopping Iran’s Nuclear Research Is Just Plain Wrong
Christopher Hobbs and Matthew Moran, The Guardian | Dec. 19, 2012, Much of 2012 has seen a steady rise in tensions with regard to Iran’s nuclear programme and its possible military dimensions. Iran has continued to increase its stockpile of 20%-enriched uranium, moving closer to Israel’s red line for military action
Successive rounds of negotiations between Tehran, the P5+1 and the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) have failed to yield tangible results and economic sanctions are now crippling the Iranian economy. Yet the country’s nuclear programme marches on, stoking fears that Iran may indeed be seeking to cross the nuclear weapons threshold.
The regime in Tehran has consistently stressed Iran’s opposition to the acquisition of nuclear weapons, primarily on religious grounds – Supreme Leader Khamenei’s fatwa prohibiting the use of nuclear weapons is held up as evidence of this position.
However, there is widespread agreement that Iran’s nuclear activities extend well beyond what is necessary to meet their civil nuclear needs.
Inevitably, Iran’s nuclear defiance has provided ammunition for the war-mongerers advocating a pre-emptive attack on Iran. Prominent commentators such as Matthew Kroenig, claim that, at the very least, a nuclear-armed Iran would prompt a ‘proliferation cascade’ in the Middle East.
If Iran acquires nuclear weapons – whatever form that scenario may take — its regional rivals will follow suit. The argument here is seductive; it is easier to assume the worst than to hope for the best. The problem is, we find that the counter-argument is more compelling……. Read more »
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