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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘IAEA’

IAEA: Dramatic Increase of Uranium Production in Iran

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will soon issue a report showing that Iranian nuclear centrifuges are dramatically increasing their production, according to a report by the AFP.

The watchdog group says Iran has completed the installation of 2,700 new centrifuges at its Fordo plant, which is buried deep in a mountain range and is considered impenetrable by air assault.

US President Barack Obama has said sanctions are having a strong impact on Iran.  Israel has asked the US to institute “red line” standards, the infraction of which by Iran would lead to a US military response.  The Obama administration said it would not institute such measures.

Aerial photos have shown Iran conducting clean ups of the areas around nuclear plants to eliminate evidence of their activities.

Head of the Iranian Nuclear Agency: I Misled Foreign Intelligence

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Iran’s Vice President Fereydoun Abbasi Davani, who heads the Iranian delegation taking part in the 56th session of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, told the newspaper Al-Hayat: “We sometimes gave false information to protect our nuclear sites and our interests. This inevitably misled other intelligence agencies.”

It appears that Iran has been regularly giving false information to the IAEA, assuming that it had been infiltrated by intelligence agencies interested in Iran’s nuclear program.

The Iranian VP blamed these infiltrators for two explosions that took down the electric supply to two nuclear plants.

“The IAEA says it gets its information from the intelligence services belonging to the member states, and we monitor and followed up seven years ago activities of the British foreign intelligence service, which gathered information for people, which then exposed [Iranian nuclear scientists] to assassination at the hands of Zionist intelligence agents. Some of the information provided by the agency related to these events. For our part, we sometimes gave false information to protect our nuclear sites and our interests. This inevitably misled other intelligence agencies,” Davani told Al-Hayat.

Shaul Chorev, director of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, announced that Israel would not attend a conference on the creation of a nuclear-free Middle East which will take place in Finland. AFP reports that the conference is scheduled for later this year or early in 2013, and it is backed by the U.S.

Chorev told the IAEA meeting in Vienna that a nuclear-free Middle East “will be possible only after the establishment of peace and trust among the states of the area, as a result of a local initiative, not of external coercion.”

“Such a process can only be launched when peaceful relations exist for a reasonable period of time in the region,” Chorev said. “Regrettably, the realities in the Middle East are far from being conducive.”

Meanwhile, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization chief Fereydoun Abbasi says he has asked the International Atomic Energy Agency to provide Iran with information about Israel’s nuclear installations, the Tehran Times reported.

“I told [IAEA director Yukiya] Amano to allow (Iran) to defend its achievements on an equal footing (with Israel) in view of the situation in the region and the danger that exists for Iran,” Fereydoun Abbasi told reporters after a meeting with the IAEA director in Vienna on Monday.

Growing U.S.-Israel Tension Over Iran

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

JERUSALEM – Barring any scheduling changes during the forthcoming UN General Assembly gathering, President Obama will not formally meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York. This follows Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s rejection of Netanyahu’s demand that the U.S. and its Western allies deliver a red line ultimatum to the Iranian regime regarding their escalating nuclear weapons program.

For the past several months, American and Israeli politicians have told the international media that the U.S. and Israel were in complete agreement about thwarting the Iranians from building a nuclear bomb but differed on a deadline when a possible preemptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities would be necessary.

The seeming confidence gap between the U.S and Israel comes against the backdrop of a series of detailed reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and various media sources in Europe highlighting Israel’s growing concerns about the nature and accelerated pace of Iran’s nuclear program. Israel’s apprehension about suspicious movements of key elements of the program into underground sites was justified, according to the IAEA findings.

In related news, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has severed his country’s diplomatic ties with Iran. Harper expressed his disapproval of Iran’s dangerous intentions toward Israel, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s vitriolic rhetoric against the Jewish state and the lack of productive negotiations on the explosive nuclear issue between the West and Iran – as noted in the IAEA reports.

For her part, Clinton was reportedly caught off guard by Harper’s harsh assessment of Iran’s intentions toward Israel.

Harper’s close personal and political relationship with Netanyahu apparently differs from the rapport between Netanyahu and Obama. A high-ranking Israeli government source told Yediot Aharonot, “There is an ongoing debate among Obama’s reelection campaign team about whether a meeting with Netanyahu should take place in New York. They fear a bad meeting could result in a bad photo-op that could affect the U.S. elections. There is a very serious trust issue between the U.S. administration and Netanyahu.”

Despite the ominous reports from the IAEA and Harper’s actions, a number of high-ranking American military commanders, as well as senior British and German politicians, have traveled to Israel during the past week to warn Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak against launching a unilateral attack on Iran’s suspected nuclear development and weapons sites.

But Netanyahu and Barak are deeply concerned about long-term White House and State Department policies about existential threats against Israel, policies that date back to George W. Bush’s administration. In 2007 President Bush refused to attack a secret Syrian nuclear weapons development site despite irrefutable evidence of its existence presented to the White House by then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. (Details about the spectacular March 2007 Israeli raid on the Syrian site were revealed in this week’s New Yorker magazine.)

Respected Israeli media commentator Dan Margalit rebuked Clinton and the White House for sidestepping Israel’s continuing concerns about the Iranian nuclear program. “The only thing that currently fuels the American administration is the November elections. The administration prefers to keep things quiet with regard to negotiations with Iran and not [be] involved with military muscle flexing,” Margalit said.

Britain’s Sunday Times of London speculated that Netanyahu, Barak and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz are working on an unconventional attack scenario that would destroy Iran’s military capabilities while sparing IDF forces and Israeli citizens from massive casualties. The newspaper said that the IDF was capable of launching a lightning annihilation of Iran’s nuclear weapons by employing a devastating electro-magnetic pulse against key Iranian targets that would permanently eliminate all electronic devices and circuits.

It is believed that the Israeli government, through diplomatic channels, recently passed along a message to senior members of the Lebanese government that the IDF would also target electrical power grids in Beirut and beyond if Hizbullah, the Iranian proxy militia, attacked the Israeli home front with missiles.

Report: Iran Moving Along on Ability to Build Nuclear Weapons

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Iran has moved further along in its ability to build nuclear weapons, according to some diplomats.

The diplomats say intelligence provided to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the nuclear monitor of the United Nations, shows that Iran has advanced its work on calculating the destructive power of an atomic warhead through a series of computer models that it ran sometime within the past three years, The Associated Press reported.

The information comes from Israel, the United States and at least two other Western countries, according to the diplomats.

Iran denies it is working on a nuclear weapon.

The IAEA would not comment, but four of the six diplomats who spoke to the AP on the issue said an oblique passage in its August report on Iran saying that “the agency has obtained more information which further corroborates’’ its suspicions alludes to the new intelligence.

The information, if credible, could provide added fuel for the Israeli officials who want a preemptive military strike on Iran.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for “red lines” to be set for Iran, and said sanctions have not worked.

“Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel,” Netanyahu said Tuesday at a meeting with his Bulgarian counterpart, Boyko Borisov.

He added, “Every day that passes, Iran gets closer and closer to nuclear bombs. If Iran knows that there is no red line, if Iran knows that there’s no deadline, what will it do? Exactly what it’s doing: It’s continuing without any interference towards obtaining nuclear weapons capability and from there nuclear bombs.”

Should Israel bet the farm on U.S. promises?

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Recently, Israel’s security cabinet met for 10 hours to discuss, among other things, Iran. Details of  the meeting were secret, but

It is likely that among the issues discussed were the “red lines” that Israel would like the United States to establish as a way of deterring Iran from moving ahead. While Netanyahu has not publicly declared what he thinks those red lines should be, Uzi Arad, the former head of the National Security Council, said that they could include a declaration that any uranium enrichment beyond 20 percent would be a direct trigger for military action.

Arad, in an Israel Radio interview, said other possible red lines could be the discovery of additional uranium enrichment plants – like the once secret facilities at Natanz and Fordow – or the interference with the work of International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors.

In addition, Arad said that the US has not yet spoken in “categorical terms” making crystal clear its determination to stop the Iranian nuclear march.

An example of this, he said, would be clearer presidential declarations to the effect that the US will not tolerate or allow a nuclear Iran, and will use all means to prevent it.

Other “categorical” expressions of this determination, Arad said, could be congressional authorization now of the use of force if diplomacy fails to convince the Iranians to halt, and a clear statement that the military objective of any US action would not be to “buy time,” but rather to prevent Iran from ever being able to build a nuclear bomb.

There is also this, from an AP report:

After tense exchanges with the Americans, Israeli political and defense officials said Tuesday that the sides are now working closely together in hopes of getting their positions in sync. Clearer American assurances on what pressure it is prepared to use against Iran, including possible military action, would reduce the need for Israel to act alone, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were discussing a security matter.

I hope that this does not represent the thinking of Israeli policymakers. It is imperative to deal with reality as it is, not as we would wish it to be. And reality is 1) that only military action or acredible threat thereof will stop Iran from developing deliverable nuclear bombs, and 2) that an Obama administration, or even a Romney administration, is highly unlikely to provide this.

A strategy of stopping Iran by getting the US to promise to enforce red lines is only a promise; and nations — the US is not alone in this — do not keep promises when doing so is not determined to be in their interest.

Here is an example. In 2004, the US was very interested that Israel carry out its proposed withdrawal from the Gaza strip. President Bush wrote a letter to then-PM Ariel Sharon promising that:

In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli population centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949…

Israeli officials insisted that there was also an informal agreement that this would be understood as allowing construction in settlements located in areas that Israel intended to keep in any proposed agreement with the Palestinians.

By 2008, even the Bush Administration was backing away:

National security adviser Stephen J. Hadley, at a news briefing in January [2008], suggested that Bush’s 2004 letter was aimed at helping Sharon win domestic approval for the Gaza withdrawal. “The president obviously still stands by that letter of April of 2004, but you need to look at it, obviously, in the context of which it was issued,” he said.

The Obama Administration finished the job in 2009:

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rejected Israeli assertions that the Bush administration had reached a binding agreement with Israel on Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

“We have the negotiating record, that is the official record that was turned over to the Obama administration by the outgoing Bush administration,” Clinton said Friday at a joint press conference with her Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu.

“There is no memorialization of any informal or oral agreement” concerning the settlements, she said.

Since coming to office in January, President Barack Obama has repeatedly called on Israel to halt all settlement activity in Palestinian areas, a demand rejected by the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Israelis say they received commitments from the previous US administration of President George W. Bush permitting some growth in existing settlements.

They say the US position was laid out in a 2004 letter from Bush to then Israeli premier Ariel Sharon.

Clinton rejected that claim, saying any such US stance was informal and “did not become part of the official position of the United States government.”

Is this the kind of promise-keeping that a nation can bet its existence on? I don’t think so.

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Satellite Images Show Crews Hiding Evidence at Iran Nuclear Site

Friday, June 1st, 2012

New satellite images show possible recent nuclear activity at the Parchin facility in Iran as well as attempts to hide evidence of past activity.

A May 25 image of the facility east of Tehran revealed “ground-scraping activity” and the presence of bulldozers, according to diplomats quoted by international news services who attended a closed-door briefing by United Nations nuclear agency officials on Wednesday.

On Thursday, the Institute for Science and International Security posted a similar image on its website. Its image showed that two buildings that previously had been located on the site were razed, according to reports.

Last March, according to the International Atomic Energy Association, the nuclear watchdog of the U.N., satellite images showed crews and vehicles cleaning up radioactive evidence of a test nuclear explosion.

The United States, China, France, Russia, Germany and Great Britain jointly called on Iran to grant inspectors access to the site. An IAEA report last year said that construction developments at Parchin are “strong indicators of possible weapon development.” Iran has dismissed the charges against Parchin as “childish” and “ridiculous,” Reuters reported.

This most recent image is believed to be further evidence that Iran is “sanitizing” the site of any incriminating evidence before possibly allowing IAEA inspectors into the complex.

At Wednesday’s briefing, IAEA deputy director Gen. Herman Nackaerts presented the satellite images indicating that at least two small buildings had been removed.

Nackaerts did not elaborate on what he believed was happening at the site, apart from reiterating that the agency needed to go there to clarify the issue, diplomats told reporters.

IAEA Inspectors Uncovered Higher Grade Iranian Enriched Uranium

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Evidence found in an underground bunker in Iran could signal the country’s having moved one step closer toward the uranium threshold needed to make nuclear arms, International Atomic Energy Agency diplomats said today.

IAEA inspectors found traces of uranium enriched up to 27 percent at Iran’s Fordo enrichment plant, the Associated Press reported.

While still well below the 90-percent needed for a nuclear weapon’s fissile core, the figure is Iran’s highest-known enrichment grade yet. It also is well above the Islamic Republic’s main stockpile, which can only be used for fuel at around 3.5 percent.

The diplomats stressed this did not necessarily mean that Iran was pushing ahead toward weapons-grade level material. One possible explanation, they explained, was that the centrifuges that produce enriched uranium initially over-enriched at the start of the process as technicians adjusted their output.

Calls to Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s chief delegate to the IAEA, were rejected and the switchboard operator at the Iranian mission said he was not available. IAEA media officials said the agency had no comment.

Iran started enriching to 20 percent last year, mostly at Fordo, saying it needed the material to fuel a research reactor and for medical purposes.

IAEA Expert Killed in Road Accident in Iran

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

An International Atomic Energy Agency expert lost his life in a road accident in Iran on Tuesday, the Iranian Mehr News Agency reported.

According to the report, a car carrying two IAEA experts veered off the road and overturned.

One of the experts, who had South Korean nationality, died in the incident that occurred at about 12:00 a.m. local time Tuesday, near the Khondab complex in Markazi Province, which is located in western Iran.

Iran offered condolences to the family and colleagues of the expert at the IAEA.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/iaea-expert-killed-in-road-accident-in-iran-2/2012/05/09/

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