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Posted: 8/26/2006 10:30:56 AM EDT
Iran nuclear project forges ahead

The Iranian president said his message was one of peace

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has inaugurated a new phase of a heavy water reactor project despite Western fears about its nuclear programme.
He said Iran posed no threat to other states, not even its "enemy" Israel.

Heavy water made at Arak will be used to cool a reactor being built that will create a plutonium by-product that could be used to make atomic warheads.

Observers say Iran's move aims to send a signal of defiance days ahead of a UN deadline to halt uranium enrichment.

The US says Tehran is trying to build a nuclear weapon, while Iran says it is building a reactor to supply the country with nuclear power.

After inaugurating the heavy water plant, he again said Iran would never abandon its nuclear programme, but that nuclear weapons were not its goal.

"Basically, there is no talk of nuclear weapons," he said. "There is no discussion of nuclear weapons. We are not a threat to anybody, even the Zionist regime which is a definite enemy of the people of the region."


ARAK PROJECT
Located at Khondab, some 190km (120 miles) southwest of Tehran
New plant now produces up to 16t of heavy water per year - Iran wants to produce up to 80t a year
Western diplomats say producing heavy water itself does not violate non-proliferation treaties
Water to be used to cool a new research reactor currently under construction
Reactor will produce plutonium by-product that could be used to make atomic warheads
Reactor expected to be completed by 2009
Source: News agencies and Iranian government


The ceremony comes amid mounting international pressure for Iran to suspend its nuclear programme.

Earlier this week, Iran had offered "serious talks" in response to a package of incentives offered if, by 31 August, it halted uranium enrichment - another possible route to nuclear weapons.

However, the US said suspension of research was required first, echoing French comments. China and Russia said earlier that talks were the only way forward.

Iran could face sanctions if it does not suspend its nuclear programme.

'Bone of contention'

BBC regional analyst Pam O'Toole says the heavy water reactor project at Arak has long been a bone of contention between Iran and some Western governments.

Arak was one of two Iranian nuclear facilities whose existence was revealed by an exiled Iranian opposition group four years ago. At that stage Iran had failed to declare its existence to the UN's nuclear watchdog, the IAEA.

The IAEA later called on Iran to reconsider construction of its heavy water reactor project.



http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5288286.stm
Link Posted: 8/26/2006 10:35:50 AM EDT
[#1]
No one has shown the nuts it's going to take to stop him.  Russia won't vote for sanctions, so unless someone gets really tough they'll get their nukes eventually.  Talk, talk, talk...yap, yap, yap.

That's all we do and nothing will be done.  Many Americans are sick of war and I don't see GW having the backbone he used to have.  Unless Israel takes them out, it's game over at some point.

HH
Link Posted: 8/26/2006 10:48:20 AM EDT
[#2]
Greeaaat....we will impose sanctions on Iran.  That'll work, it'll show them just how tough and serious we are.  

HH
----------------------------

US: We will independently impose sanctions on Iran

(VIDEO) US worriedly watches as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inaugurated heavy-water reactor and prepares to implement measures after UN Security Council ultimatum expires this upcoming Thursday. Los Angeles Times: If Russia and China thwart international sanctions, US will build independent coalition to impose sanctions

Yitzhak Benhorrin Published:  08.26.06, 18:54  

WASHINGTON-VIDEO: Even after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inaugurated the Iranian heavy-water reactor Saturday, the US will have a hard time convincing Russia and China to support sanctions in the Security Council. Official sources in Bush's cabinet said to newspaper Los Angeles Times that if these efforts fail, the US will try to build an independent coalition to impose sanctions on Tehran.

According to the newspaper's headline report, the countries that will participate in a coalition against Iran will freeze assets and will impose sanctions on commerce with Iran. This upcoming Thursday the ultimatum put forth by the UN to Tehran to halt uranium enrichment within the framework of UN Resolution 1696 will expire.

The US believes that Japan and the European trio - Germany, France, and Britain – will provide the base for international rallying outside the Security Council in the case that Russia and China block the sanctions.

Iran Going Nuclear

Iran achieves significant nuclear goal / Dana Zimmerman

Senior US government officials are currently on vacation. President Bush is with his parents in Maine and even Secretary of State Rice is on vacation. US Permanent Representative to the UN, John Bolton is still working and said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times that the US intends to present a resolution to the Security Council for the punishment of Iran immediately after the UN ultimatum expires on Thursday.

The most immediate sanctions will be directed at the Iranian administration, and will not, at this stage, hurt the Iranian people. The American proposal will include a prohibition on the Iranian leadership from traveling outside their country, and a freezing of Iranian leadership's assets outside of Iran. This comes on the heels of attempted sanctions on Iraq, which hurt the Iranian people, but not Saddam Hussein.

Bolton sounded optimistic in his interview saying that Russia and China will agree to impose sanctions after they see the suggested version. Bolton clarified that if Russia and China don't agree to sanctions in the Security Council, American diplomacy is already in action to achieve sanctions outside the framework of the UN.

The Los Angeles Times writes that according to US terrorism laws, the US can impose its own sanctions on Iran, and can, for instance, stop ships carrying missiles and material connected to nuclear production on their way to Iran.

"You don't need Security Council authority to impose sanctions, just as we have," Bolton said. "We will continue to enhance Proliferation Security Initiatives to cut off flows of materials and technology that are useful to Iran's ballistic missile program and nuclear programs. We will be constraining financial transactions under existing terrorism laws."

Bolton clarified in the interview that the US would focus efforts to pressure Japanese and European banks to stop doing business with Iran. This is a hint that the US Treasury Department is holding talks with other countries, which Bolton refused to identify. The Treasury Department reported that they are already seeing the fruits of this effort, including a decision by Switzerland's Union Bank to cut off relations with Iran.
Link Posted: 8/26/2006 10:51:39 AM EDT
[#3]

Quoted:
Greeaaat....we will impose sanctions on Iran.  That'll work, it'll show them just how tough and serious we are.  

HH



Maybe George forgot the US has had total and legally enforced sanctions in place with Iran since 1979…

ANdy
Link Posted: 8/26/2006 10:56:50 AM EDT
[#4]
They named the reactor "ARAK"?  I guess the Iranians got both.
Link Posted: 8/26/2006 11:07:23 AM EDT
[#5]

Quoted:
Greeaaat....we will impose sanctions on Iran.  That'll work, it'll show them just how tough and serious we are.  


Isreal is our proxy in the ME.
Link Posted: 8/26/2006 11:08:49 AM EDT
[#6]
It's all too apparent now that nothing is going to stop the Iranians from building and running their reactor and building or procuring nuclear weapons.  Fine, but let's make them aware that great power brings great responsibilities.  Just like a gun owner, they have to be held accountable for the use and misuse of that reactor and any weapons it produces, even if they "unknowiingly" fall into the hands of others such as Hezbollah or Hamas.

Let them be aware that  there are nuclear weapons pointed at their cities and if their weapons are misused in any way, they'll be harshly punished.  And by harshly I mean the total destruction of at least one major city.  Same goes for Syria if they play a role in moving such a weapon into the hands of terrorists.

Maybe such great power will sober them a bit and they'll go through the renaissance they should have gone through 1000 years ago.  I doubt it, but one can always hope.
Link Posted: 8/26/2006 11:10:27 AM EDT
[#7]
The UN, once again, sounds like its going to be about as effective the League of Nations.
Link Posted: 8/26/2006 11:14:14 AM EDT
[#8]

Quoted:
It's all too apparent now that nothing is going to stop the Iranians from building and running their reactor and building or procuring nuclear weapons.  Fine, but let's make them aware that great power brings great responsibilities.  Just like a gun owner, they have to be held accountable for the use and misuse of that reactor and any weapons it produces, even if they "unknowiingly" fall into the hands of others such as Hezbollah or Hamas.

Let them be aware that  there are nuclear weapons pointed at their cities and if their weapons are misused in any way, they'll be harshly punished.  And by harshly I mean the total destruction of at least one major city.  Same goes for Syria if they play a role in moving such a weapon into the hands of terrorists.

Maybe such great power will sober them a bit and they'll go through the renaissance they should have gone through 1000 years ago.  I doubt it, but one can always hope.


To be fair, many Persians are interested in good realtions w/ the West.  It's the same as everywhere else - 1 group causes problems for the whole.  The Iranian people have a chance to change things & go in a better direction, away from the crazy-making Islamofascism, or, they can take the whole ship down.  Isreal has never been willing to let a threat loom over its future.  I'm fairly confident they will do something even as the rest of the world sits, fiddles, & jaw-jacks about "peace".
Link Posted: 8/26/2006 11:31:07 AM EDT
[#9]
This anoucement is really not that big of a deal.

There is no urgency to bomb the heavy water plant now. The heavy water runs no proliferation risk. Only the heavy water reactor itself does. It is the reactor that produces plutonium... not the heavy water plant.

The heavy water reactor will not be finished until 2009.

The heavy water reactor requires about 50 tons of heavy water to be operational. Iran's heavy water plant currently has a capacity of 16 tons of heavy water production a year. Ths plant will have to produce and store heavy water for several years before they will have enough to even run the reactor.... that is why they are starting the heavy water production now. They hope to have enough to run the reactor by 2009.

We have plenty of time to bomb it. Might as well let diplomacy play out first.
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