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Posted: 2/25/2009 1:59:36 PM EDT
Israel appears to be seeking help in the mission, but they'll get none from anywhere.  They'll have to go it alone, and all major players are on-board with the attempt-Bibi, Livni, Lieberman and Barak.  They will do what they feel is necessary but they'll be lonely in the actions.

HH
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Barak: Time running out on stopping Iranian nuke program

By JPOST.COM STAFF AND AP

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1235410714118&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Wednesday evening that the Iranian announcement that it had increased the number of centrifuges enriching uranium at the Bushehr plant to 6,000 constitute a stage in the creation of a substantial existential threat to Israel, adding that time was running out on stopping Iran becoming a nuclear power.

Iran tests nuclear power plant for first time

"Israel's policy is clear: We are not ruling out any option regarding the Iranian nuclear [program]," he said. "We mean it."

"We recommend that others don't rule out any option either," continued Barak in an address at the Inter-Disciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, with a possible hint to US President Barack Obama's administration. "A dialogue with Iran should be defined and limited in time."

"Time is running out. Clear and decisive sanctions against the Iranian regime alongside readiness to consider necessary action in case the sanctions don't work are necessary," Barak said. He added that Russia had a crucial role in pressuring Iran, and that sanctions without Russia's participation would be meaningless.

Earlier Wednesday, the Islamic Republic's nuclear chief announced the centrifuge increase, marking Teheran's latest defiance of UN demands to halt its nuclear program.

Vice President Gholam Reza Aghazadeh said Iran will continue to install more centrifuges and enrich uranium to produce nuclear fuel for future Iranian power plants.



In November 2008, Iran said it had 5,000 centrifuges running at the plant in the central city of Natanz. Uranium enriched to a low level is used to make nuclear fuel. Further enrichment makes it suitable for nuclear weapons.

Also Wednesday, Iranian and Russian nuclear officials tested the first nuclear power plant built in Iran - a move likely to raise concerns among the US and its Western allies worried over Iranian nuclear ambitions.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said the testing reflected the "Iranians are showing again that they are making progress in their nuclear race."

"This should be understood as very bad news for the whole of the international community," Palmor said, calling for "immediate and very determined steps in order to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power."

The pilot operations at the 1,000-megawatt light-water reactor in the southern Iranian port of Bushehr - built with Russian assistance under a $1 billion contract - have long been delayed over construction and supply glitches.

It's unclear when the reactor could be switched on. Test runs normally occur a few months before a reactor's start-up.

The plant is to run on enriched uranium, which has worried the West because spent fuel could later be turned into plutonium, potential material for nuclear warheads. Iran has denied it is pursuing nuclear weapons and says its uranium enrichment program is exclusively aimed at generating electricity.

At the Bushehr plant, Iranian nuclear spokesman Mohsen Shirazi said virtual fuel - consisting of lead and meant to imitate enriched uranium because of its similar consistency - was being loaded into the reactor.

Russian nuclear agency chief Sergei Kiriyenko inspected the process with his Iranian counterpart, Vice President Gholam Reza Aghazadeh.

Aghazadeh, who also heads the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said the test was going well and the virtual fuel was loaded "in a proper way."

"Today was one of the most important days for the Iranian nation," said Aghazadeh. "We are approaching full exploitation of this plant."

Kiriyenko said work remains to be done to "speed up the launching of the site" but that the Russian-Iranian team was "approaching the final stage" before the plant becomes operational.

"This [test] is one of the major elements of an extensive project," he said. "After the virtual fueling, we will check to see how the reactor will operate."

US concerns over Bushehr softened somewhat after Iran agreed to return spent fuel from the reactor to Russia - a measure aimed to ensure it doesn't extract plutonium to make atomic bombs.

Bushehr also will use enriched uranium imported from Russia, rather than domestically produced fuel. Fuel deliveries began in 2007.

The Bushehr reactor was initially to start in 2008 and some 700 Iranian engineers were trained in Russia over four years to operate the plant.

Shirazi told a group of reporters invited to Bushehr during Wednesday's testing that no electricity would be produced that day.

Bushehr dates backs to 1974, when Iran signed an agreement to build the reactor with the German company Siemens, which withdrew from the project after 1979 Islamic revolution toppled the pro-Western Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. In 1992, Iran signed an agreement with Russia to complete the project and work began on it in 1995.

Russia says there is no evidence that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons and has joined China in weakening Western-backed sanctions in the UN Security Council, arguing that punishing Teheran too harshly for its nuclear activities would be counterproductive.

The UN Security Council has passed three sets of sanctions against Iran over uranium enrichment and is considering

Teheran also plans to build a 360-megawatt nuclear power plant in Darkhovin, in the southwestern Khuzestan province that would use locally produced enriched uranium.
Link Posted: 2/25/2009 2:08:20 PM EDT
[#1]
Barak will do NOTHING, he will talk though
Link Posted: 2/25/2009 2:09:44 PM EDT
[#2]
Quoted:
Barak will do NOTHING, he will talk though


It's not his call...he can only support the decision.

HH

Link Posted: 2/25/2009 2:18:56 PM EDT
[#3]
An attack on Iran could be a nice complement to the "Summer of Rage".
Link Posted: 2/25/2009 2:21:57 PM EDT
[#4]
Iran plans to have 50,000 centrifuges at Natanz in 5 years
20:27 | 25/ 02/ 2009
 
TEHRAN, February 25 (RIA Novosti) - Iran's nuclear chief said on Wednesday the Islamic Republic had 6,000 operating centrifuges at a uranium enrichment facility at Natanz and was planning to install a total of 50,000 over the next five years.

"We have 6,000 working centrifuges at present and we are planning to increase their number next year," Vice President Gholamreza Aghazadeh, who is also the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, said.

He reiterated that the Islamic Republic would continue pursuing nuclear technology to generate electricity, despite international demands to halt its controversial nuclear program.

"We have a plan for the next five years. It envisions the installation of 50,000 centrifuges over this period," he said.

"It is time for the West and the U.S. to acknowledge and accept the fact that Iran is a nuclear power. Even if they refuse to do so, Iran will remain a nuclear power," Aghazadeh added.

Iran is under three sets of relatively mild UN Security Council sanctions over its nuclear program. Western powers led by the United States, along with Israel, accuse Tehran of attempting to develop nuclear weapons.

Iran insists it plans to use enriched uranium fuel produced at Natanz in its first domestically-built nuclear power plant, in the town of Darkhovin, which is scheduled to become operational in 2016.

Meanwhile, the head of Russia's state nuclear power corporation Rosatom Sergei Kiriyenko announced earlier on Wednesday that Russia had completed the construction of Iran's first nuclear power plant at Bushehr and was due to start a series of pre-launch tests at the facility.

The announcement triggered an immediate response from Israel's Foreign Ministry, which said the completion of Iran's first nuclear power plant was "bad news" for the whole world.

The plant in south Iran, which Russia undertook to finish as part of a 1998 contract, was originally scheduled to go on line at the end of 2006, but the date has been pushed back several times.

http://en.rian.ru/world/20090225/120306698.html
Link Posted: 2/25/2009 2:29:37 PM EDT
[#5]
I'm thinking Israel may fail at stopping Iran, but they probably will try anyway.

Now that Olmert is history, the support for action from the 4 top players would indicate that the attempt will occur.

This could get crazy pretty soon.

HH
Link Posted: 2/25/2009 2:44:19 PM EDT
[#6]
The "Summer of Radiation"  would be a better description I think.
Link Posted: 2/25/2009 2:48:49 PM EDT
[#7]
Quoted:
The "Summer of Radiation"  would be a better description I think.



Nice!
Link Posted: 2/25/2009 2:51:19 PM EDT
[#8]
Quoted:
The "Summer of Radiation"  would be a better description I think.


Well played!

HH

Link Posted: 2/25/2009 3:26:24 PM EDT
[#9]
Link Posted: 2/25/2009 3:38:48 PM EDT
[#10]
Quoted:
Gonna get real interesting, real soon. I think those who bet against Israel making an attempt do not realize the seriousness with which they view allowing the bomb in the hands of the ayatollahs (and should view it IMO). I would not be completely amazed if they used tactical nukes when they go after Iran...and I DO think they will go after them.


I have to agree.  I don't see how conventional weapons will make much of a dent in Iran's program.

Once this coalition gets figured out, well...all we can do is watch and listen.  Something will give sooner or later.

HH

Link Posted: 2/26/2009 3:34:50 AM EDT
[#11]
Quoted:
Gonna get real interesting, real soon. I think those who bet against Israel making an attempt do not realize the seriousness with which they view allowing the bomb in the hands of the ayatollahs (and should view it IMO). I would not be completely amazed if they used tactical nukes when they go after Iran...and I DO think they will go after them.


I VEHEMENTLY disagree.  You forgot about the 4th branch of government's influence.  The court of the media/public opinion would CRUCIFY Israel and her allies (*cough*USA*cough*) for use of ANY NUCLEAR DEVICE unless used in a purely defensive situation or as a retaliation of an equal attack.  

It is a moot point anyway, as recent advancements in conventional munitions (M.O.A.B., for example) provide the same amount of bang with FAR less fallout (pun intended).  Israel has the air superiority to employ such devices.  One of our yummy fuel-air mixed cocktails and any hard target will have a hangover that will leave 'em shot at & missed, then shit on & hit.

 -   Example of one such weapon - The M.O.A.B.

 -   This thing is so big, the poor schmuch at Al-Zazera thought it was a tactical nuke.  LOL!!!

Using tactical nukes in 2009 sounds like some cool stuff, but in honesty, they would do more harm than good––environmentally, politically and especially strategically (as any support or indifference towards Israel's actions turns immediately to ill-will).  Today, if tac-nukes fly, I'd expect the big boys to be soon behind.

Link Posted: 2/26/2009 10:48:14 AM EDT
[#12]
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