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Iran bluff and bluster over nuke plants

Iran nuke plans largely bluster, experts say By ALI AKBAR DAREINI and JASON KEYSER (AP) – TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s announcement of plans to build 10 more uranium enrichment facilities is largely bluster after a strong rebuke from the U.N.’s nuclear agency, analysts said Monday. Nonetheless, the defiance is fueling calls among Western allies for new punitive sanctions to freeze Iran’s nuclear program.U.S. and European officials were swift to condemn the plans, warning that Iran risked sinking ever deeper into isolation.

Iran responded that it felt forced to move forward with the plans after the International Atomic Energy Agency passed a resolution Friday demanding that it halt all enrichment activities.Iran’s bold announcement Sunday appears to be largely impossible to achieve as long as sanctions continue to throw up roadblocks and force Iran to turn to black markets and smuggling for nuclear equipment, said nuclear expert David Albright.

“They can’t build those plants. There’s no way,” he said. “They have sanctions to overcome, they have technical problems. They have to buy things overseas … and increasingly it’s all illegal.”A more worrisome escalation in the standoff would be if Iran reduced its cooperation with the IAEA, as some Iranian officials have threatened to do if the West continues its pressure. The U.N. inspectors and monitoring are the world’s only eyes on Tehran’s program. The head of Iran’s nuclear agency on Monday ruled out an even more drastic move, saying Tehran does not intend to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The Associated Press: Iran nuke plans largely bluster, experts say

December 1, 2009 - Posted by | 1, Iran, weapons and war | , ,

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