Archive for the ‘enrichment’ Category

Israel Scared, Wants U.S. More Engagement on Iran

November 20, 2008

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the U.S. and Europe should put aside differences with China and Russia over human rights and missile-defense issues to focus on working together to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attends the opening of ... 
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran November 19, 2008.REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl (IRAN)

“The triad of nuclear proliferation, radical Muslim terror, and rogue states, epitomized in the Iran case, can be defeated only through a paradigm shift in international relationships,” Barak said in an interview at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv late yesterday. 

By Gwen Ackerman and Calev Ben-David, Bloomberg

Barak said criticism of Russia’s actions in Chechnya and China’s human rights record are hurting efforts to put up a united front against Iran. He also said that U.S. plans to deploy missiles in Eastern Europe — which the Americans say are aimed at countering Iran and which Moscow perceives as a threat — also aren’t helpful.

“The other issues are not as urgent,” he said.

The U.S. and its European Union allies, who accuse Iran of using its nuclear energy program as a cover for developing a weapon, are pressing for a fourth round of United Nations sanctions. Iran has rejected UN demands to halt its work on enriching uranium, which can be used to fuel a power station or form the core of a bomb.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, left, Israeli Prime Minister ...
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, left, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, right, and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, center, attend the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, Nov. 16, 2008.(AP Photo/Gali Tibbon, Pool)

“The time for sanctions is still there, but it is short,” said Barak, 66, who heads Israel’s Labor Party and is the country’s former prime minister. “The way I see to make it effective is to cut through the psychological obstacles about cooperating with Russia and China and open a new discourse.”

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Obama: What To Do About Iran Nukes?

November 12, 2008

After years of suspense and suspicion, Iran still denies it is trying to make a nuclear bomb. Analysts foresee the Iranians’ success in a few years at most, but they disagree widely over a likely timetable.

By BARRY SCHWEID, AP Diplomatic Writer

President-elect Obama says Iranian efforts to develop nuclear weapons are unacceptable. At a postelection news conference, Obama said, “We have to mount an international effort to prevent that from happening.”

An Iranian flag flutters next to a ground-to-ground Sajil missile ...
An Iranian flag flutters next to a ground-to-ground Sajil missile before being launched at an undisclosed location. Iran has test fired a new generation of ground-to-ground missile, the semi-official Fars news agency quoted the defence minister as saying.(AFP/null)

Senior diplomats from the United States, Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany are meeting Thursday in Paris to discuss efforts to stop Iran’s nuclear program with sanctions, but Russian and Chinese reluctance has stymied efforts for a unified stance.

In dealing with Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Obama faces questions that include whether to keep a U.S. military threat on the table, whether to temper or increase economic sanctions on Tehran and whether to offer economic and diplomatic concessions to Iran, directly or indirectly, in exchange for a verifiable suspension of suspicious nuclear activity.

Anthony H. Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington said in a report this month that Iran now has a technology base to make nuclear weapons, limited only by its current level of uranium enrichment.

“The worst case for a nuclear device is 2009, but it could well be 2011-2015 before Iran gets there,” Cordesman said in an interview Tuesday. He added: “The critical issue is when Iran could have an effective nuclear-armed missile force. That could easily take two to three years longer.”

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Sources: US nears removing NKorea from terror list

October 10, 2008

By MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – The Bush administration is nearing a decision to remove North Korea from a terrorism blacklist and may do so as early as Friday in a bid to salvage faltering nuclear disarmament talks, The Associated Press has learned.

U.S. officials said Thursday that no final decision had been made but diplomats briefed on the matter told the AP that they believe an announcement that North Korea will be tentatively taken off the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism is imminent.

The delisting depends on North Korea agreeing to a plan to verify an account of its nuclear activity that it submitted over the summer, the diplomats said. North Korea would be put back on the list if it doesn’t comply with the plan and abandon nuclear arms, they said.

The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of an expected announcement, which would follow meetings last week in Pyongyang between North Korean officials and U.S. envoy Christopher Hill as well as days of intense debate in Washington.

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Incentives package prepared for Iran

March 18, 2008

By Nicholas Kralev
The Washington Times
March 18, 2008

The United States and four other veto-wielding states on the U.N. Security Council are preparing a package of incentives aimed at Iran’s newly elected parliament in hopes of ending the country’s uranium-enrichment program — the main impediment to improved ties between Iran and the West.

A cleric casts his ballot in Iran's parliamentary election at ...
cleric casts his ballot in Iran’s parliamentary election at a polling station in the city of Qom, 120 km (75 miles) south of Tehran March 14, 2008.(Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters)

The proposal includes economic, technological and security benefits, spare parts for Iran’s aging fleet of Boeing aircraft and help developing a civilian nuclear energy program, U.S. and European officials said yesterday.

The effort resembles a 2006 offer that Tehran rejected, prompting a series of U.N. sanctions.
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (C) attends a ceremony ... 
Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (C) attends a ceremony to mark the Iranian New Year holiday, called Norouz, in Tehran March 17, 2008. Iran’s New Year starts on March 20 this year.
REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah (IRAN)

This time, officials said, they will be more specific about the timing of the incentives. They also expressed hope it will persuade new members of parliament after elections Friday.

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