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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Iranian Islamic leader stresses fatwa against all nuclear weapons

antinuke-worldSmflag-IranLeader nuclear fatwa addresses entire world: Analyst http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/06/11/366530/leader-nfatwa-directed-at-entire-world/ The fatwa by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei against the development of nuclear weapons is addressed to all world countries, an analyst tells Press TV.

“I wish the world leaders and the mass media would pay more attention and engage in more dialogue about the importance of this religious fatwa that prohibits production and use of nuclear weapons,” Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi told Press TV in aninterview.

On February 22, 2012, Ayatollah Khamenei said the Islamic Republic considers the pursuit and possession of nuclear weapons “a grave sin” from every logical, religious and theoretical standpoint.

Elahi said nuclear weapons seriously threaten the “destiny of humanity and democracy,” adding, “The wisdom of this message [of Ayatollah Khamenei] is that all of us work together to bring dialogue instead of deception and destruction…; to end violence and terrorism and extremism instead of bringing more threat.”

Elahi stated that nuclear weapons must be prohibited so that they would never fall into the hands of terrorist groups like al-Qaeda who “would not hesitate to use” them against humanity.

“So we need to learn the lesson from our faith traditions and also moral principles to pay more attention to this message,” he said.

Iran has repeatedly called for turning the Middle East into a region free of nuclear weapons. Israel is widely believed to be the only possessor of nuclear arms in the Middle East, with an estimated stockpile of 200-400 nuclear warheads. In its Yearbook 2012, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said Israel possesses at least 80 “highly operational” nuclear warheads.

The Israeli regime, which rejects all international nuclear regulatory agreements, maintains a policy of deliberate ambiguity over its nuclear activities and refuses to allow its nuclear facilities to come under international regulatory inspections.

June 12, 2014 Posted by | Iran, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Iran has sharply reduced enriched uranium – IAEA report

diplomacy-not-bombsflag-IranIAEA Confirms: Iran Sharply Reducing Uranium Stockpile http://news.antiwar.com/2014/05/23/iaea-confirms-iran-sharply-reducing-uranium-stockpile/  20 Percent Enriched Uranium Almost Used Up by Jason Ditz, May 23, 2014 Many of the contents of the IAEA report on Iran were already leaked the day before it came out, and the good news of Iran abiding by the P5+1 interim nuclear deal was as expected. There’s more to the report, however. One of the biggest pieces of data in the report shows Iran’s stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium, the highest level they made, has sharply fallen as the nation continues to convert it into fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor.

Though 20 percent is far short of the level needed for nuclear weapons, it was repeatedly pushed by the US as a “threat,” and Iran stopped enriching at that level at the start of the nuclear deal. Only about 40 kg are left to be converted to fuel rods, a trivial amount. The Tehran Research Reactor, built by the US in 1967, provides materially all of the medical isotopes in Iran. The aging facility will eventually be replaced with a modern one using unenriched uranium, but in the meantime Iran has created what seems to be all of the fuel rods it can use for the conceivable lifespan of the facility.

Iran is now only enriching to 3.5 percent, the level used in the Bushehr Power Plant. Iran is in talks with Russia to build more power plants in the nation, with a deal for as many as 8 reported to be close.

May 26, 2014 Posted by | Iran, politics international, Uranium | 1 Comment

US Catholic bishops and Iranian ayatollahs discuss nuclear weapons

diplomacy-not-bombsUS bishops and Iranian ayatollahs hold talks on nuclear arms http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2014/05/15/us-bishops-and-iranian-ayatollahs-hold-talks-on-nuclear-arms/ By  on Thursday, 15 May 2014 It has been revealed that a small group of US Catholic bishops have met with Iranian ayatollahs to discuss nuclear weapons and the role of faith leaders in influencing political moves on the issue of Iran’s nuclear programme. Quietly, a small group of U.S. Catholic bishops and Iranian ayatollahs began in March what they intend to be an ongoing dialogue on nuclear weapons and the role of faith leaders in influencing political moves on the issue of Iran’s nuclear program. Continue reading

May 16, 2014 Posted by | Iran, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Long standing issues complicate nuclear negotiations with Iran

diplomacy not bombs 1The phantom at the Iran nuclear talks: weaponisation, Guardian, Julian Borger 15 May 14,  How far should Iran go to resolve concerns over past weapons research to reach a comprehensive deal? ………. there is another issue waiting in the wings – the past. The general western intelligence consensus is that Iran had an organised weaponisation programme exploring how to build a warhead up to 2003, and that if research continued it was in a more dispersed manner………

even if Iran started working on weapons in the wake of the Iran-Iraq war (in which it saw the West as backing Saddam’s use of chemical weapons against Iran) but was now prepared to give up any such aspirations, it might still refuse to contemplate a confession. It would be a huge embarrassment in view of the Supreme Leader’s fatwa against nuclear weapons. Tehran could also see pressure for such a confession as a trick designed to justify a military attack. The question then for the West is whether to allow those fears stand in the way of deal that would constraint Iran’s future programme.

The mood music being put out by diplomats in Vienna suggests that the issue will not be a deal breaker for now. One solution, set out in a detailled report produced by the International Crisis Group, is for the problem to be kicked down the road. A comprehensive deal clinched in the next few months would commit Iran to resolving the issue satisfactorily with the IAEA. It would not let Iran off the hook but neither would it jeopardise non-proliferation gains that could be achievable now. http://www.theguardian.com/world/julian-borger-global-security-blog/2014/may/15/iran-nuclear-talks-weapons

May 16, 2014 Posted by | Iran, politics international | 1 Comment

Cause for optimism in Iran nuclear deal with the West

diplomacy-not-bombsOptimism Grows for a Comprehensive Iran Nuclear Deal Several Core Elements of Agreement Have Emerged WSJ, By  JAY SOLOMON And 
LAURENCE NORMAN May 12, 2014
 WASHINGTON—Several core elements of agreement between Iran and the West have emerged in recent weeks, heightening optimism that a comprehensive deal can be reached by the July 20 deadline, according to U.S., Iranian and European officials involved in the diplomacy.

Still significant differences remain that could scuttle a deal or force negotiators to extend talks, officials briefed on the talks said.

“People are less pessimistic than they have been in the past—certainly,” one European official said. “There are certain areas where some kind of consensus” is emerging. “But in certain areas, there is still a huge gulf.” One of the key areas of agreement is the future of an Iranian plan to convert its heavy-water reactor in the city of Arak to produce significantly less weapons-grade plutonium, according to various officials.

Iran also has begun to more substantively address evidence presented in parallel talks with the U.N’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, that it conducted research and testing to develop atomic bombs, the officials said.

However, the U.S. and Europe are demanding significant progress in accounting for past work as part of the agreement. Iran, which has denied it ever sought nuclear weapons, is being pressed to agree in coming days to provide answers on several other aspects of its past work.

Negotiators will begin drafting terms of a final agreement on the future of Tehran’s nuclear program this week in Vienna. A deal would end a decadelong standoff between Tehran and the West and put into place greater assurances that Iran won’t be able to build a bomb, in return for a major easing of Western sanctions……..

The meetings in Vienna will mark the fourth round of high-level talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany—known as the P5+1—since the two sides reached an interim agreement last November.The interim deal resulted in Tehran freezing parts of its nuclear program in return for an easing of some Western sanctions. It will expire on July 20 but could be extended by six months if both sides agree they need more time.

The main area of disagreement continues to be the scope of Iran’s uranium-enrichment facilities, which could be used to produce weapons-grade fuel for a bomb, according to U.S. and European officials. Tehran currently has 19,000 centrifuges used to enrich uranium and has plans to build 30,000 more.

The Obama administration, conversely, is demanding Tehran scale back its capacity to as little as 5,000 operating machines to ensure Iran can’t quickly “break out” and rush to build a nuclear bomb in less than six months.

Iran and the P5+1 are seeking to develop a formula that limits both the number and quality of centrifuges as well as stockpiles of fissile materials to guard against the capability to quickly build a bomb.

But Iran’s theocratic leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has repeatedly stated in recent weeks that he won’t accept a significant scaling back of his country’s nuclear capabilities.

U.S. and European officials said they were unsure whether Mr. Khamenei’s position on the centrifuges is a tactical move ahead of the drafting sessions this week in Vienna, or if he has set a red line for his negotiators……..http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303851804579558162293087156

May 13, 2014 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Hawkish orders from Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

flag-IranNuclear talks in jeopardy: Khamenei orders Rev Guards to mass-produce missiles – regardless  DEBKAfile Special Report May 11, 2014, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei threw a large spanner in the works of nuclear diplomacy Sunday, May 11. Less than a week before the next round of talks with the six powers, he said: “The Revolutionary Guards should definitely… not be satisfied with the present level [of missile production]. They should mass produce.”  
Referring to Western concerns that Iran is designing missiles able to carry nuclear warheads, Khamenei said: “They [the West] expect us to limit our missile program while they constantly threaten Iran with military action. So this is a stupid, idiotic expectation.”
Khamenei spoke during a visit to the aeronautics fair organized by the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), which are responsible for Iran’s missile and nuclear programs………

In the last DEBKA Weekly, published Friday, May 9, exclusive Iranian sources revealed another reason for the supreme leader’s pugnacity. The radical Revolutionary Guards chiefs have made it clear that they will never give up on a nuclear weapon. The closer the negotiations come to a deal, the nearer Tehran approaches a military coup that would oust President Rouhani and reduce the supreme leader to a figurehead.
Khamenei read the writing on the wall and, finding himself between a rock and a hard place, decided that he had better stand firm on any further concessions – even this meant sacrificing nuclear diplomacy and its rewards. http://www.debka.com/article/23908/Nuclear-talks-in-jeopardy-Khamenei-orders-Rev-Guards-to-mass-produce-missiles—regardless

May 12, 2014 Posted by | Iran, politics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

President Rouhani calls for more clarity in the nuclear debate

RouhaniIranian president calls for more open, better-informed nuclear debate https://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/23426769/iranian-president-calls-for-more-open-better-informed-nuclear-debate/ May 11, 2014, By Michelle Moghtader and Mehrdad Balali DUBAI (Reuters) - President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday he wanted Iran to do a better job of explaining its nuclear programme to prevent “evil-minded” people misleading world opinion, two days before Tehran resumes talks with world powers on its disputed atomic activity.

Iran and the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia will reconvene in Vienna to try to iron out differences over how to end a long standoff over suspicions that Tehran has sought the means to develop nuclear weapons.

Western powers have long demanded greater openness from Iran to address those concerns and head off the risk of a downward spiral towards a new Middle East war, with Israel threatening to attack its arch-foe if diplomacy does not rein it in.

“What we can offer the world is greater transparency,” Rouhani, a relative moderate who replaced a conservative hardliner who antagonised the West – said in a speech at a ceremony celebrating Iran’s scientific achievements.

In his remarks, Rouhani reiterated that Iran was not seeking nuclear weapons and would never halt its atomic programme, which was for peaceful purposes. He also repeated a denial of Western charges that Iran has carried out any secret nuclear bomb work.But along with achieving scientific progress, Rouhani added, Iran ought to develop its abilities in the legal, political and information realms to prevent “the enemy” making problems for its nuclear developments.

“If one engages in a technological endeavour but is not doing good legal and political work, then the enemy might come up with a fictional excuse to cause trouble for you,” he said.

The Islamic Republic’s leaders normally use the term “the enemy” to refer to the United States and Israel.

“If you don’t have good public relations and are not able to communicate well, then you might find other evil-minded people misleading world public opinion,” Rouhani said.

“So our effort today is to even out our efforts on multiple levels … We don’t want to retreat one step from our pursuit of technology, but we want to take a step forward on the political front.”

His comments appeared to be a criticism of hostile statements from within the hardline conservative establishment, including his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who called U.N. resolutions against Iran on the nuclear dispute a “worthless piece of paper”………..
“RIGHT DIRECTION”

Ahmadinejad’s strident rhetoric during his eight years in office on issues like the Holocaust and Israel served to shore up international resolve to curb Iran’s nuclear programme.

Iran in January halted its most sensitive nuclear operations under a preliminary deal with world powers, winning some relief from painful economic sanctions that have damaged its oil-dependent economy by forcing a sharp reduction in crude exports.

Rouhani said Iran if it so chose could resume enrichment of uranium gas to a fissile purity of 20 percent – its most sensitive nuclear activity because it is a relatively short technical step away from the level required for nuclear weapons.

“We wanted to tell the world that our activities are moving in the right direction: If we say we can enrich to 3.5 percent, we can do it. If necessary we will do (it to) 20 percent,” he said.

Iran agreed under its Nov. 24 deal to shelve enrichment to 20 percent. It has since diluted some of its 20 percent-enriched stockpile to a lower concentration and converted some into an oxide less suited to processing into bomb-grade material.

Iran has justified its 20 percent enrichment drive by saying it was meant to replenish the fuel supply of a Tehran medical research reactor. But Western officials are sceptical, saying Iran had refined far more than it required for such a purpose.

While Iran stopped 20 percent enrichment in January, it is allowed under the November pact to keep producing uranium refined to up to 5 percent, the level required for fuelling civilian nuclear power stations.

May 12, 2014 Posted by | Iran, politics, politics international | Leave a comment

Explosion near Iran’s nuclear facility

exclamation-SmHuge blast reported near secret Iran nuclear site; City of Qazvin closed  WorldTribune.com, 8 May 14, NICOSIA — Iran has been rocked by huge explosion near a nuclear facility.The Iranian media have reported an explosion in the northern Iranian city of Qazvin. The blast, reported on May 6, was said to have taken place near a secret nuclear enrichment facility in Abyek.

“The explosion took place in a storage facility,” Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency, which reported at least 50 injured, said.

Officials said nobody was killed in the explosion. But they acknowledged a huge fire that was sweeping the industrial city, about 130 kilometers north of Teheran “Firefighters are trying to prevent the spread of the fire at a car oil storage facility,” Qazvin civil defense director Ali Ahani said.

Iranian opposition sources said scores of people were killed in the blast. They said Iranian Army and security forces closed much of Qazvin,
with a population of 1.1 million.

“It is not certain whether Abyek was the target,” an opposition source said. “But this incident will hamper access to the facility in the short-term.”

The opposition said Iran’s nuclear facilities have been repeatedly
targeted by Israel and the West……..http://www.worldtribune.com/2014/05/07/report-50-injured-blast-iran-nuke-site-storage-facility/

May 9, 2014 Posted by | incidents, Iran | Leave a comment

Iran’s President Rouhani up against hard-liners, over nuclear talks

RouhaniHassan Rouhani faces growing criticism in Iran over nuclear talks,  in Tehran, theguardian.com, Sunday 4 May 2014

Rightwing activists claim negotiators are ignoring national interests and that west has not shown the same honesty as Iran The Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, is facing growing criticism from a broad array of political hardliners and rightwing opponents who say his government is being duped by the US in an over-hasty attempt to clinch a nuclear deal with the west and end economic sanctions.

At a meeting at the former American embassy building in central Tehran on Saturday, a newly formed group of MPs and rightwing activists calling itself “We’re Worried” claimed Iran‘s negotiating team was ignoring national interests in the nuclear talks, which resume on 13 May in Vienna.

“The whole nation believes the main intention of the United States is to fully halt the Iranian nuclear programme,” said Fatemeh Alia, a central committee member of the hardline Islamic Revolution Resistance Front, previously allied to the former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad…….

The US and Britain have expressed guarded confidence that a final nuclear deal with Iran can be reached by the deadline of 20 July, describing the talks as “very substantive”.

Rouhani and his chief negotiator, Mohammad Javad Zarif, have echoed those sentiments. “Iran is optimistic about the results of the talks and has taken great steps to reach a comprehensive deal and aims to achieve a win-win result,” Rouhani told Iranian television last week.

Rouhani hit back angrily at his critics. “Through lies and hype some people are trying to derail the government from its path, and this is against national interests and the leader’s order … Iran does not compromise on the people’s interests,” he said………http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/04/hassan-rouhani-iran-nuclear-talks

May 5, 2014 Posted by | Iran, politics international | 1 Comment

Iranian public ready to back a fair nuclear deal

flag-IranIran FM says people would support fair nuclear deal, The Daily Star, Lebanon News,
April 27, 2014 TEHRAN: Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Sunday that the majority of Iranians would support a comprehensive nuclear deal that “respects Iran’s rights and the demands of the people.”

“That would be the only agreement that myself and President (Hassan) Rouhani will agree (to),” Zarif said during a joint news conference in Tehran with his Austrian counterpart Sebastian Kurz.

When asked whether hardliners could derail the nuclear talks, Zarif said: ” Iran is not a monolith … we will have those who will not favour an agreement, but at the end of the day what will count is the view of the majority of the Iranian people.”

In November, Iran clinched a deal with world powers under which it froze some nuclear activities in return for limited relief from crippling international sanctions.

Tehran has been engaged in negotiations with the P5+1 — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, plus Germany — aimed at reaching a lasting accord on its nuclear ambitions……. http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2014/Apr-27/254561-iran-fm-says-people-would-support-fair-nuclear-deal.ashx#ixzz30DTTdBDN

April 28, 2014 Posted by | Iran, politics, politics international | Leave a comment

Quiet optimism over deal between Iran and the West

diplomacy-not-bombsIran nuclear talks: Quiet optimism over deal between Islamic State and the West on weapons programme The INdependent 24 April 14 All sides in the effort to resolve the stand-off between the West and Iran over its alleged nuclear weapons ambitions have agreed to hold a new round of expert-level negotiations in New York beginning 5 May amid tentative indications that so far, at flag-Iranleast, positive progress is being made. Keeping its side of an interim bargain struck last November and implemented in January, the Joint Plan of Action, the White House has this month released $1bn-worth of Iranian assets in two instalments, the last on 15 April. And last week the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that Iran has so far fulfilled its part of what was agreed, dramatically reducing its stockpile of 20 per cent enriched uranium.

While significant hurdles remain before a final and comprehensive deal can be reached ahead of an informal deadline of 20 July, quiet optimism is gathering around the talks. That assessment stands in sharp contrast with almost every other foreign affairs dossier currently on President Barack Obama’s desk, be it concerning Syria, Russia, Ukraine or the faltering Middle East peace process.

The talks in New York, to be held at the UN on the fringes of a Non-Proliferation Treaty meeting, will be followed up by high-level talks between foreign ministers of Iran as well as the so-called P5+1 – China, France, Russia, the UK, and the US, plus Germany – in Vienna on 13 May.

If the negotiations are still on track it is in spite of loud opposition from hard-line critics of the putative deal both in Iran, on Capitol Hill and, as ever, from inside Israel. Yet those at the negotiating table, including the Iranians, have so far seemed determined to ignore those pressures.

“There is the political will to get an answer,” Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, remarked during a visit to Abu Dhabi last week. “The domestic audience will be satisfied if we have a good deal. Of course some people will never be satisfied but that is fine because we have a pluralistic society.” He crucially has the support of the Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, as well as the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei……..

Meanwhile, in Washington the White House continues to resist calls from some in Congress to stall the release of Iranian assets that had been frozen by sanctions as well as Israeli exhortations to take a stronger line with Tehran. Further encouragement has been drawn by an Iranian concession announced last week radically to reduce the amount of plutonium that could be made at a new heavy-water reactor at Arak. There had been fears that its scientists could switch to plutonium from enriched uranium to build a bomb.

“I’m actually starting to believe that an agreement is possible,” David Petraeus, the former CIA director, told an audience at Harvard University this month. He went on: “It could be that it’s possible before this particular six-month deadline expires,” referring to the target of concluding an agreement by 20 July…….http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/iran-nuclear-talks-quiet-optimism-over-deal-between-islamic-state-and-the-west-on-weapons-programme-9275504.html

April 25, 2014 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Iran reduces capacity at Arak nuclear recator

flag-IranArak nuclear reactor resolved says Iran http://www.skynews.com.au/world/article.aspx?id=969168 April 20, 2014 Iran and six world powers have resolved their differences over the country’s plutonium-producing Arak reactor, Iranian nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi says.

The reactor, which has yet to be completed, has been a main point of contention at the ongoing talks aimed at ending the stand-off over Tehran’s nuclear program.

The governments of Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany – the so-called P5+1 – have expressed concern that Iran could use the plutonium produced at the facility in the western city of Arak to build nuclear weapons.

‘We have suggested that we will produce only one-fifth of the originally planned plutonium, and this was welcomed by the P5+1,’ said Salehi.

The world powers have called for Arak’s closure or for technical changes so that it no longer turns out plutonium.

Salehi said Arak would not be shuttered because Iran needs it to produce medical isotopes for civilian use, but that reducing its plutonium production capacity alleviates negotiators’ concerns.

The heavy water reactor uses natural uranium as its fuel and will generate plutonium as a by-product.

Iran and the sextet agreed in an interim deal in November on a limited suspension of sanctions in return for some nuclear concessions from Tehran, including suspending construction of the Arak reactor and scaling back uranium enrichment.

Under the broader agreement that both sides are aiming to conclude by July, Iran is expected to accept additional nuclear curbs while the world powers have promised to permanently lift all sanctions and to help Iran build new reactors.

Tehran insists that it has no plans to build nuclear weapons.

Iran and the P5+1 will hold expert-level nuclear talks May 5-9 in New York, said Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, according to Press TV.

April 21, 2014 Posted by | - plutonium, Iran, politics international | 1 Comment

Vital to carry through with diplomacy between Iran and the West

diplomacy-not-bombsflag-IranWhy we must give Iran nuclear deal a chance, Global Public SquareBy Tyler Cullis and Jamal Abdi, Special to CNN 18 April 14 Editor’s note: Tyler Cullis is a policy associate at the National Iranian American Council. Jamal Abdi is policy director at NIAC. The views expressed are the authors’ own.

The United States could be on the verge of securing a historic agreement over Iran’s nuclear program, one that verifiably limits it and opens the door to further cooperation between the two countries. Yet with a diplomatic victory on the horizon, the rhetoric of those who have long opposed any diplomatic resolution is reaching dizzying heights of disingenuousness.

During a recent Senate hearing, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) hit out at reports that negotiations with Iran may produce a deal that “only” extends Iran’s nuclear breakout timeline to 6 to 12 months.

“I don’t think we did everything that we’ve done to only get a six to twelve month lead time,” Menendez lamented as he grilled Secretary of State John Kerry over the progress of the talks………

The Israeli government appears to believe that threatening possible military strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities is the solution. But here’s the kicker: some estimates suggest that an Israeli strike on Iran would delay Iran’s breakout timeline by…six to twelve months – the same as the negotiated approach. The problem, of course, is that unlike a diplomatic solution, which would trade sanctions relief for verifiable limits on Iran’s nuclear program, an Israeli (or U.S.) military strike would have the opposite effect, and could prompt Iran to kick out inspectors and make a dash for a nuclear deterrent.

All this suggests an understanding of the potential timelines under these scenarios points to one conclusion – the White House is taking the best approach, one that extends the breakout timeline and has the best potential for securing an intrusive inspections regime to ensure Iranian compliance.

Opponents of diplomacy would do well to reflect on the reality that as the United States has tried to leverage sanctions against Iran, Tehran has responded by ramping up the production of centrifuges. As a result, the U.S. has long been in need of a new direction in its policy toward Iran.

Tentatively, but unmistakably, the Obama Administration has pursued a new approach – one that has brought us the first freeze on Iran’s nuclear program in a decade and which reports suggests have led to significant concessions on Iran’s Arak reactor.

If such a deal is not good enough for some in Congress or Israel’s government, then they must be prepared to speak up and offer viable alternatives. In the meantime, they should avoid undermining one of the most promising prospects for limiting Iran’s nuclear program in years. http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2014/04/18/why-we-must-give-iran-nuclear-deal-a-chance/

April 19, 2014 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

IAEA says Iran has made drastic cuts in its stock of highly enriched uranium

flag-IranIran slashes nuclear stock, says UN http://www.skynews.com.au/world/article.aspx?id=968784  April 18, 2014 Iran has cut its stock of highly-enriched uranium by 75 per cent, a new report by the UN’s nuclear watchdog has revealed.

The monthly update by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) showed Tehran remained in compliance with a November interim deal made with world powers, drawn up as part of efforts to find a lasting solution to Iran’s controversial nuclear drive.

Under the agreement, Iran pledged to ‘dilute’ half of its highly-enriched uranium by mid-April, with the rest to be converted by mid-July.

The IAEA report also said that progress on a plant in Tehran that will be used for the conversion of low-enriched uranium had been delayed, but that Iran had said this will not prevent it from fulfilling its part of the deal by the July 20 deadline.

Diplomats who saw the document told AFP everything was in order.

The international community was ‘keeping an eye’ on progress at the conversion plant in Tehran, one of the diplomats added.

Under the November deal, Iran agreed to freeze parts of its nuclear activities, including limiting enrichment. Enriching uranium can be part of a peaceful atomic drive but can also produce weapons-grade material for a bomb.

Tehran has consistently said its nuclear program is for civilian purposes only, while the West believes it has a military dimension.

Iran and six world powers – the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — will next meet on May 13 in a bid to draw up a lasting accord and end the decade-old standoff over Iran’s nuclear program.

April 18, 2014 Posted by | Iran, politics international, Uranium | 1 Comment

Iran’s Bushehr nuclear plant an earthquake-prone timebomb

flag-IranOlivier Guitta: Iran’s other nuclear timebomb http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/03/31/olivier-guitta-irans-other-nuclear-timebomb/ Olivier Guitta, National Post | March 31, 2014 While the international community has been focusing on a potential Israeli strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, another much larger issue looms, and should be tackled very urgently. But interestingly, except for a few concerned neighbours in the Gulf, nobody is really looking at the possible implications of a potential earthquake in Bushehr, where Iran’s oldest and main nuclear plant is located.

reactor-Bushehr,-Iran

Bushehr, a city of over a million people in southeast Iran, sits in one of the most active seismic regions in the world, at the intersection of three tectonic plates. Building a nuclear plant in this area should have been a no-no, but construction started in 1975 with the help of Germany. It was stopped in 1979, right before the Revolution that unseated the Shah. It was resumed in 1996 with Russian assistance. The project took over 15 years to complete because of the very difficult technical issues of merging German and Russian technology. After Russia provided necessary nuclear fuel, the plant went operational in July 2013.

The safety issues concerning the plant are numerous: It is built with a 40-year-old design that has shown its limitations; the emergency coolant system is also 30 years old; it is running on two different technologies; according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the staff is not properly trained to face any kind of accident. In February, 2011, a broken water pump caused small metallic pieces to infiltrate the reactor cooling system, forcing the unloading of the fuel rods.

April 1, 2014 Posted by | Iran, safety | Leave a comment

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