Dismiss Notice
Welcome to IDF- Indian Defence Forum , register for free to join this friendly community of defence enthusiastic from around the world. Make your opinion heard and appreciated.

Iran Nuclear Conflicts, News & updates

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by Hembo, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii Major SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Messages:
    3,754
    Likes Received:
    932
    A news agency covering Iran's parliament has quoted a prominent lawmaker saying Tehran doesn't need any more 20 percent enriched uranium, a key point in negotiations between the Islamic Republic and the West.

    The comments, published online Wednesday by ICANA, come from Hossein Naqvi Hosseini. He was quoted as saying the nuclear reactor in Tehran "has been supplied and currently no need is felt for production of 20 percent enriched uranium.'' He did not say whether Iran will stop 20 percent enrichment.

    Hosseini is not a spokesman for the Iranian government, nor a member of the country's nuclear negotiation team.

    However, he is a prominent lawmaker. His comments come as the West wants Iran to stop production of that enriched uranium.

    Western powers fear Iran's nuclear program could be used to build an atomic bomb. Iran says its program is peaceful.

    Iran lawmaker: No need for more 20% uranium - The Times of India
     
  2. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii Major SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Messages:
    3,754
    Likes Received:
    932
    Re: Iran Nuclear Conflicts, News & updates

    With nuclear talks between Iran and western powers gathering steam, the Obama administration will likely face an uphill battle to convince Congress to back any deal rolling back its tough sanctions regime.

    For years, US lawmakers have carefully crafted legislation aimed at reining in Iran's suspect nuclear program and moves to provide even some sanctions relief are likely to be met with suspicion on Capitol Hill.

    Even as the nations leading the talks with Tehran -- the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany -- met for the first time with the new Iranian leadership in Geneva last week, US lawmakers issued warnings to the negotiators to be on their guard.

    Details of what Iranian officials proposed during an hour-long power point presentation in English behind closed doors remain confidential, but the talks were hailed as "serious and substantive" and the broad contours are not hard to discern.

    The six powers want the Islamic republic to halt enrichment of uranium to 20 percent, which brings it to weapons grade, and dismantle its weapons-related infrastructure, in return for relief from crippling economic sanctions imposed by the US, UN and European powers.

    But enmity and suspicion between Iran and the US stretch back decades to the Islamic revolution and the 444-day siege of the US embassy in Tehran in 1980. And any deal could be a hard sell to hardliners in both nations.

    US chief negotiator, Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman, has already been debriefing lawmakers by phone and is set to testify at a series of classified briefings before she returns to Geneva for the next talks on November 7 and 8.

    "I don't think the issue's convincing the American people, I think it's convincing the people in Congress who want to pass sanctions no matter what," said Alireza Nader, senior policy analyst at the RAND Corporation think tank.

    Indeed, draft legislation for new US sanctions targeting the automobile sector and Iran's foreign reserves is awaiting a vote in the Senate, after being adopted in July by the House of Representatives.

    President Barack Obama has some authority to ease some US sanctions hitting the petroleum and banking sectors, mostly those slapped on third countries doing business with Iran.

    And the New York Times reported last week the White House may be considering unblocking some $10 million in frozen Iranian assets in the United States to give the Rouhani leadership some access to badly needed foreign exchange reserves.

    But Joel Rubin, director of policy at the Ploughshares Fund, a non-government organization working for a nuclear-arms free world, warned that if Congress continues to press sanctions it may become "a spoiler" to the delicate diplomatic maneuvering under way.

    "Congress has done a very good service to help create a pressure component to the overall strategy on Iran," Rubin told AFP.

    "The danger is Congress will continue to do what it does in promoting additional measures, that would actually complicate the environment."

    He argued that while the world's toughest sanctions regime had brought the new Iranian leadership of President Hassan Rouhani to the table, it had failed to halt Iran's nuclear drive, which the West suspects masks a bid for a nuclear bomb.

    Iran is now believed to have something between 18,000 to 19,000 centrifuges, key to the enrichment operation, while its new heavy water reactor at Arak may come online in 2014.

    "Demands for Iran to completely dismantle it's nuclear program are very unreasonable and could sabotage negotiations," Nader told AFP, referring to some of the louder voices in Congress as well as allies such as Israel.

    "The Iranian nuclear program is a reality. They have a relatively big infrastructure, they've mastered the technology.

    "I think at this point we have to make sure that they don't move towards a weapons capability, rather than getting rid of the program completely."

    Daryl Kimball, executive director for the non-partisan Arms Control Association, agreed, saying that "from a non-proliferation standpoint" zero enrichment would be the ideal, but it is "clearly a non-starter."

    "If the P5+1 were to insist upon zero enrichment and the dismantling of its core facilities, it's more than likely that the Iranians will simply just walk away," Kimball told AFP.

    He argued the choice was now "between limiting Iran's nuclear program and having tougher IAEA safeguards... or having Iran continue to improve its program, unconstrained uranium enrichment and the increasing likelihood that there's a military conflict over Iran's nuclear program."

    "This maybe our last best opportunity to secure an agreement that bars against a nuclear armed Iran. If we lose this opportunity, both sides will lose out," he added.

    Any US-Iran nuclear deal faces hard sell in Congress

    Amid growing unease in Israel at the prospect of a U.S.-Iranian rapprochement, Israeli leaders are reported considering military strikes against long-range missiles controlled by the Tehran-backed Hezbollah to threaten the Jewish state's cities and strategic centers.

    Israeli Home Front Minister Gilad Erdan claims Hezbollah has "more than 200,000 missiles capable of hitting any house in Israel" -- many more than the 45,000 cited a few weeks ago along the border with Syria, and across south Lebanon.

    Erdan's claim should be viewed against the backdrop of the government of hard-line Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, which is convinced that Tehran is hoodwinking U.S. President Barack Obama while pursuing nuclear weapons that threaten the Jewish state's very survival.

    While Obama seems determined to do all he can to achieve a diplomatic breakthrough with Tehran that could dramatically change the strategic calculus in the Middle East, Israeli analyst Yoel Guzansky says Netanyahu is "afraid the deal will become a slippery slope" for Israel's security.

    It should also be viewed through the prism of the 40th anniversary of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, in which the Jewish state was taken by surprise and nearly crushed.

    For some time, Israel's media have been lavishing great attention on the military's preparations for a conflict with Iran and its faithful Arab ally, Hezbollah, with stories on military training, weapons development, civil defense preparations and the awesome scale of the combined missile threat from Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Palestinian militants.

    Great attention has been shown to recent long-range air force exercises, a thinly veiled warning to Tehran since it's that kind of operation that would be required if Israel launches threatened unilateral strikes against Iran's nuclear program.

    Guzansky, an expert on Iran with Israel's Institute for National Security Studies, says despite the bluster, even the hawkish Netanyahu is unlikely to unleash any assault on Iran on his own.

    Indeed, his generals reportedly blocked an apparent move in that direction a few months ago because Israel doesn't have the firepower to knock out Iran's nuclear infrastructure without U.S. support and because such an attack would likely trigger a regional conflagration with uncontrollable consequences.

    So, Erdan's doom-laden scenario is arguably over the top. It's more likely that Hezbollah's arsenal amounts to the lower estimate of 45,000 missiles and rockets, including a few hundred capable of hitting anywhere in Israel, rather than 200,000 -- a number more likely to reflect the total number of missiles and rockets held by all Israel's adversaries together.

    Any pre-emptive attack on Hezbollah's missile arsenal would likely knock out hundreds of weapons but probably not prevent a missile onslaught beyond anything Israel has ever endured.

    In the first 36 hours of Israel's 2006 war with Hezbollah, the Israeli air force, armed with accurate intelligence, destroyed virtually all of Hezbollah's long-range weapons in the Bekaa.

    Even so, Hezbollah was able to bombard Israel on an unprecedented scale throughout the 34-day conflict, with nearly 4,000 missiles, mostly short-range systems.

    Meantime, it has absorbed the lessons of that war.

    "According to our worst-case scenario, Israel could find itself under attack from thousands of rockets that could last three weeks," Erdan said last week.

    Israeli Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, Israel's chief of staff, warned of a war on many fronts, and declared Hezbollah a major threat. It's widely seen as a tool of the Tehran regime, which if the Islamic Republic was to be attacked would be its instrument of reprisal and revenge.

    "The accuracy of their missiles will increase dramatically," Gantz warned. "And if Hezbollah chose to strike a pinpoint target, almost anywhere in Israel, it could do it."

    Add to this the threat of Hezbollah getting chemical weapons from its Syrian allies, and the idea of pre-emptive Israeli strikes -- a tactic much favored by the Jewish state, most notably in 1967 -- doesn't sound so outlandish.

    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Israel_worried_about_US-Iran_deal_mulls_hitting_Hezbollah_999.html
     
  3. layman

    layman Colonel STAR MEMBER

    Joined:
    May 1, 2012
    Messages:
    10,406
    Likes Received:
    2,317
    Country Flag:
    United States
    If the impasse is broken then there has to be a proper mechanism put forth to gradually negotiate a drawback of sanctions and monitor the progress. Only diplomatic channels are get results in this case.
     
  4. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii Major SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Messages:
    3,754
    Likes Received:
    932
    An influential Iranian lawmaker says his country has halted the production of enriched uranium up to 20 percent, a level that experts say is only a few technical steps from what is needed to produce a nuclear weapon.

    The remarks by the lawmaker, Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, who is the deputy head of the national security and foreign policy committee in Parliament, were published on the Parliament's official Web site, Icana, on Tuesday, media reports.

    Hosseini said Iran had enough enriched uranium to produce fuel for a nuclear test reactor in Tehran, which produces medical isotopes, according to the report.

    "The issue of suspending or halting enrichment is meaningless because no production is taking place at the moment," the report quoted Hosseini.

    Hosseini added that Iran was not interested in shipping its stockpile of uranium enriched up to 20 percent abroad as part of a nuclear deal, pursuant to some past proposals.

    "This would mean we would put it at the disposal of others and have to beg for it later," he was quoted as saying.

    Alternatively, Hosseini suggested turning the stockpile of enriched uranium into fuel plates, under monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency, according to the report.

    The United States and its European allies suspect Iran is working towards a nuclear weapons capability, and have levied sanctions on Iran's energy, banking and shipping sectors that have battered the Iranian economy and caused a currency crisis.
    Read more: Iran halts 20% uranium enrichment - News - World - The Voice of Russia: News, Breaking news, Politics, Economics, Business, Russia, International current events, Expert opinion, podcasts, Video
     
  5. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii Major SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Messages:
    3,754
    Likes Received:
    932
    The White House will host a meeting of aides to Senate committee leaders on Thursday seeking to press them to hold off on introducing new sanctions on Iran, a Senate aide said.

    The White House will press for a delay in action on a sanctions bill that the Senate Banking Committee had been expected to introduce last month.

    While Congress has sought harsher sanctions on Iran, President Barack Obama's administration wants time to give negotiations including the six nuclear powers over Iran's nuclear program a chance.

    The nuclear powers will next meet early next month in Geneva.
    Read more: White House to push Senate to delay new Iran sanctions - News - Politics - The Voice of Russia: News, Breaking news, Politics, Economics, Business, Russia, International current events, Expert opinion, podcasts, Video
     
  6. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii Major SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Messages:
    3,754
    Likes Received:
    932
    Six to nine months of cooperation between Iran and International Atomic Energy Agency, aided by talks between the 3+3 group, is enough to settle the Iranian nuclear issue and have sanctions relaxed, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

    RT: We’re joined on RT now by Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov from the fringes of the APEC summit here in Bali. Mr. Lavrov, thank you very much for your time, thank you for joining us here on RT. I’ll delve straight in, if it’s okay, and start to talk about Syria. You said on Monday that the Geneva-2 peace talks on Syria could be held as early as the beginning of November. But I’d just like to talk to you about some quotes attributed to President Bashar al-Assad over the weekend in Der Spiegel news magazine in Germany. He is quoted as saying that he doesn’t necessarily believe a solution can be negotiated with some elements of the opposition, the extremist elements, saying: “By my definition, a political opposition isn’t armed.” I was just wondering – is that a sign that he is going to need more persuading to come around the table?

    Sergey Lavrov: Well, first, I believe the possible dates for the conference were announced by the Secretary-General of the United Nations during the General Assembly opening week. He consulted with us, the Americans, other members of the Permanent Five and he suggested to target mid-November. We would be ready to announce any day because our information is that the government is going to send a delegation and the main thing now is to make sure that the opposition participates and that the opposition is representative — not just one group of people who live outside Syria. We would like the opposition to represent the entire spectrum of the opponents of the regime, including the opposition which is active inside Syria, like the National Coordinating Committee, like the Supreme Council of Kurds. And this would be important for the conference to be really representative as the Security Council Resolution 2118 adopted on the occasion of Syria joining the Chemical Weapons Convention said. Because apart from the chemical disarmament, the resolution spoke about the need to convene the conference and to make sure that the full spectrum of Syrian society is represented. Therefore, the conference would be successful if the opposition manages to bring all those who would like change in Syria, to negotiate with the delegation from the government.

    As to the interviews which President Assad has been giving very generously in the past weeks, I do believe that a situation which we have to handle in Syria is assessed more and more in the same manner by us, by the Americans, by the Europeans, by the countries of the region.

    The situation is really deteriorating. The armed groups of the opposition are becoming split more and more. Recently there was news that some 13 field commanders said that they would not be taking orders from the Free Syrian Army and from the National Coalition, which is the political wing of the Free Syrian Army, as far as I understand. And they would create what they called a movement to introduce the Sharia law in Syria, and not only in Syria but in the adjacent areas. And then 40 more groups said they would be creating an Islamic Front. These people are moving closer to Al-Qaeda than to the Free Syrian Army, which is being portrayed as the secular armed opposition. So, the trend is in favor of the jihadists, radicals, among those who fight on the ground.

    And it is not only our conviction — it is the conviction of the Americans — that we cannot and must not talk to these people. We can only talk to those who opt for the sovereign, territorially integral, secular, multiethnic and multi-confessional Syria. And therefore — I come back to the beginning of my answer — it is of crucial importance to have the right mix of opposition groups represented at the conference. But, as the G8 leaders said in Lough Erne at the summit in June, we call all of them, all eight of them plus the European Union. They called upon the government and the opposition to join forces to fight the terrorists and extremists in Syria. I think it is a very important message which must not be overlooked.

    RT: Last week, Russian media quoted anonymous diplomatic sources as saying that chemical attacks on the suburbs of Damascus on August 21 were carried out by a Saudi Arabia-backed group. These were anonymous quotes. I was wondering, does Moscow have evidence to back this up?

    SL: I read those reports. We have been looking into the problem of chemical weapons use in Syria for many months now, starting from March probably, when on March 19 there was an incident reported in the vicinity of Aleppo and the Syrian government asked the United Nations to investigate this specific incident. The United Nations, under the pressure of our European friends, refused to send the team just to investigate this incident; they demanded as a precondition access anywhere, everywhere to anyone in Syria and this demand looked very much like the regime under which Saddam Hussein was put when the United Nations was looking for the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. And the Syrians said: “Look, we would be ready to negotiate further sites to be visited, but this one is urgent, people died and it happened only a few days ago, why don’t you send your experts?” No way.

    Then the Syrians asked us and we did send our experts who took these samples in full accordance with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons rules; we ensured the uninterrupted custody of the samples as they were delivered to an OPCW-certified laboratory and they were analyzed in Moscow and the results are available to the Security Council. We made them available, I think, in late June or in July and we are convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that this was the incident, the provocation staged by the opposition. The gas, which was a type of sarin, was homemade, the rocket was homemade, and some other facts established during this analysis point in the same direction.

    And we also have good reasons to believe that the August 21 incident was staged by the same group of people; the gas which was discovered and analyzed by the UN experts is very much of the same substance as the one used on March 19 except that the one which was used in August is much more concentrated, and some other facts which you can get from the inspectors’ report and from other sources readily available on the Internet and elsewhere, convince us that it was a provocation staged by the opposition.

    We do know that there’s so much evidence shown on the Internet and elsewhere indicating that some foreign countries or some representatives of foreign countries had something to do with it. We cannot say for certain and we don’t want to accuse anyone unnecessarily and undeservedly, but since this evidence has been [circulating] quite widely, when the Security Council agreed on Resolution 2118 on chemical weapons in Syria, it included by consensus a special clause which says that we are categorically against any attempts to give chemical weapons or their components to non-state actors, that this is prohibited, and then the Security Council also by consensus called upon all member states, in particular on the neighbors of Syria, not to allow the use of their territory for the purposes of producing or delivering the chemical weapons or their components to the Syrian opposition. It’s a very important message and I do believe that this reflects that the seriousness with which members of the Security Council, all of them, take those reports which we are discussing.

    RT: Going back to the idea of it being a provocation, it’s your firm belief that that is the case. Why do you think you’ve struggled to convince the international community that that is the case?

    SL: I think quite a number of people have been biased from the very beginning. They have been obsessed with the projection of this situation as another manifestation of the Arab Spring, as the fight for democracy, for a better life, against the tyrants, against the dictators and so on and so forth. And as the actual situation on the ground, as the real life was producing more and more facts that this is, to a large extent and more and more so, about radicals trying to get hold of this huge region, the people who already committed themselves to a different interpretation, they had difficulty admitting that they were wrong. But the truth and this understanding of the danger these radicals present to Syria and the North African region in general, it’s being understood more and more. And this was very obvious when we met with John Kerry and we basically said so at the press conference in New York and at the press conference here in Indonesia a couple of days ago.

    RT: The process has begun, OPCW have begun the process of dismantling Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal. You believe there’ve been a number of provocations already. Do you think there could be more? Is there a fear that the radical extremists could try and undermine this entire process?

    SL: I do believe that this is a very possible scenario and we would like to avoid it at any cost. Actually, the incident on August 21 happened when the UN inspectors eventually arrived in Syria and started doing their job. They were first subject to some sniper fire, and the culprits have not been found. And then there was this provocation under their noses. Just mere logic says that the government had no interest, had no advantage in doing this. That’s why, again, I come back to Resolution 2118. Given that sad experience, we agreed by consensus to write into this resolution that it is not only the government which must fully cooperate with the OPCW and the United Nations to finalize the program of disarmament. It’s also all other Syrian groups, the opposition, all of them, who would be responsible if something happens to the inspectors because of their provocations and who would also be responsible if they use again chemical weapons. Whoever uses chemical weapons would come to the Security Council to respond.

    RT: Let’s move away from Syria but stay in the region, because America conducted a couple of commando raids in Africa over the course of the weekend in Libya and Somalia as part of their War on Terror. Do you believe that such actions are making the region safer?

    SL: I think that whatever you do, you must be covered by international law. The international law regarding counterterrorism is not yet complete. There are some 13 sectoral conventions on terrorist attacks on the high seas, nuclear terrorism and so on, and so forth. There is a draft of the comprehensive global convention on counterterrorism, which has being negotiated for more than 10 years, I think, because of basically one problem: some people believe that some of those who use terror as the means to achieve their political goals can't be called terrorists because they are freedom fighters. This is a contradiction, which is rooted deeply in recent history. Several decades ago, “freedom fighters” was a term coined to describe the mujahedeen in Afghanistan and in some other countries. And then these freedom fighters turned into an organization which we now call Al-Qaeda, which boomeranged on 9/11. So my point is: first, you cannot have good terrorists and bad terrorists.

    Second, you cannot strengthen the law by violating the law. If you say that your national law allows you to do something, it is fine as long as you do this inside your own territory. As long as you go international, you really have to be sure that there is an international law which you respect and which you follow. There is a lacuna in international law in quite a number of things, including situations when a known terrorist is fleeing all over the world and people hunt him. But again, the international law provides — at least the existing international law — in such cases provides for operatives of a country who is hunting to get in touch with law enforcement agencies of the country on whose territory the guy is, and then to agree and implement certain procedures. We would be very much in favor of making sure that we all fight terrorism in accordance with our national law, if it is our territory, and in accordance with international law, which, I admit, must be further developed.

    RT: The alleged targets in these raids over the weekend were the mastermind behind the 1998 US embassy attacks in Africa and allegedly the man, or one of the men, behind the attack in the Westgate shopping center in Kenya, they were the individuals apparently being targeted. Is the US action here, of targeting these individuals, is this an example of what President Vladimir Putin has recently described as American exceptionalism?

    SL: Well, I would not say that this is exactly an example of American exceptionalism, though the Americans do not deny that they want to be exceptional, they say they are exceptional. It doesn’t always help in a dialogue with people. You know, we, I wouldn’t go into the description of whether this is manifestation of exceptionalism or arrogance of power, whatever. We discussed with the United States similar cases when a couple of Russian citizens, one named Bout and another, Yaroshenko, were basically kidnapped, one from Thailand and another one from Liberia. First, they were approached by FBI agents posing as members of some drug cartel, and they were basically provoked into discussing an offer which they did not solicit. But the agents were persuading them to agree, to provide their services, airplanes, something else. And then they were arrested and brought to the United States in violation of the law of Thailand and in violation of the law of Liberia. They were given sentences, 20 and 25 years respectively, just for criminal intent, not for actual deeds. And this criminal intent, by the opinion of many lawyers, was not sufficiently proved in a US court of law. And we believe that this is not the way you handle international relations, it’s not the way you fight criminals, even before you prove that they are criminals, before they can testify to any court of law.

    RT: Can we move on and talk about Iran? Following the UN General Assembly in New York, there seems to be cautious optimism about Tehran’s new approach, perhaps not from the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who said that he fears that the United States is in the process or on the path to being duped by Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani. I just wondered what you made of Netanyahu’s assessment of that situation.

    SL: Certainly, we welcomed the mood which was prevailing on Iran during the General Assembly general debate – the statement of President Rouhani, the meetings with Minister Zarif who attended the meeting of the 3+3 group on the Iranian nuclear issue. Both President Rouhani and Minister Zarif said that they would like to resolve this issue and resolve it fast. They were saying 6-9 months would be enough if everyone cooperates. I agree. The main thing is for Iran is to cooperate because Iran knows the questions which have been raised by the International Atomic Energy Agency supported by the Security Council. These questions have to be clarified fully, and we are gratified that Iran scheduled a meeting with IAEA experts exactly on this subject. They have to answer, I think, a half-dozen or so questions, which have been with us for many years. Then Iran also agreed to have another round of negotiations, to resume the negotiations with the 3+3 group, which would also take place later this month. And Iran has a legitimate right to know the endgame, as they said. And the endgame, as far as we are concerned, as President Putin repeatedly stated, should be recognition of the Iranian right to the benefits of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, including the right to enrich uranium for fuel purposes only, provided Iran closes all the issues with the IAEA and puts its entire nuclear program under full and strict control of the agency. It's a very elaborate and exhaustive statement, and I think if other members of the 3+3 group reiterate this position, then it would be easy for us and Iranians to set a road map, a step-by-step approach when Iran takes a step expected from it by the international community and the international community relieves sanctions to some extent. And then, as we progress on this action-for-action basis, we must arrive to a point where everyone would be satisfied that Iranian nuclear program is entirely peaceful. And then Iran should be out of any sanctions, both the sanctions imposed by the Security Council but also unilateral sanctions. As for the statements regarding the Iranians playing another game and trying to dupe people, I haven't seen any confirmation by any intelligence – be it Russian, be it European, be it the United States, be it Mossad, which would categorically say that the Iranian leadership has taken a political decision to have a military nuclear program. No intelligence agency on earth was able so far to make this conclusion. And we spoke to our American colleagues just recently. They agreed that Iran hasn't taken a political decision to go military in its nuclear program, and therefore we all must avoid statements, which would just antagonize the parties to these negotiations and concentrate on a chance which we certainly have now.

    RT: What about Israel’s suspicions, let’s say, of Tehran? Is there a concern that Israel’s position could influence Washington and perhaps jeopardize the resumption of the nuclear talks?

    SL: No, I don’t think so. I think the Israeli position is motivated by, you know, conviction that the Iranian nuclear bomb would be absolutely, existentially unacceptable for Israel, but it is unacceptable for anyone. We are categorically against any new military nuclear powers to appear on this earth, be it Iran, be it North Korea, be it anyone. But to make sure that this is not the case, we have to resolve this type of situations by negotiations and not by threats and not by military strikes. Because as you put all your emphasis on resolving this by force, there would be more and more countries who would say: you see, Iran didn’t have a bomb and yet it was bombed. So let’s think how we can take care of our own security. And then the risks to proliferation of nuclear technologies and chemical weapons and biological weapons will be multiplied. So any threats of use of force to resolve issues like this are absolutely counterproductive from the point of view of our common goal to strengthen the non-proliferation regime.

    RT: Let’s change tack and talk about the Greenpeace activists who’ve been arrested by Russian authorities. Moscow’s saying its actions are in full compliance with international law, yet the Dutch government is launching a legal campaign to try and get the people being held freed. I was just wondering what the very latest on that situation was, if you can bring us up to date with the very latest.

    SL: The very latest from the Netherlands unfortunately is not about Greenpeace but about unacceptable treatment of a Russian diplomat whose apartment was forcefully opened and who was apprehended by police for several hours in gross violation of any diplomatic conventions, Vienna Conventions and the rest, without any explanations. Well, the explanation was given that somebody told the police that he and his wife were maltreating the kids, two and four-year-old kids, which is absolutely unacceptable apart from any diplomatic privileges. The police have no right to enter an apartment of a diplomat. And we expect our Dutch friends to issue an explanation, to issue an apology, and to punish those who violated the Vienna Convention. This happened in The Hague, the seat of the international Court of Justice, and this is absolutely absurd. On the Greenpeace issue, we have been hearing about the activities of this vessel, Arctic Sunrise, for many years. They have been engaging in provocations all over the world. In all cases they were punished, one way or another; they were paying large fines in some countries – and we have been warning our Dutch colleagues in advance that they should really take a close look at what this vessel under the Dutch flag is going to do in the Arctic waters dangerously close to the platform which was working in the Pechora Sea. Well, the legal procedures are under way, the Dutch initiated an arbitrage procedure, so let's rely on the legal procedures.

    RT: Going back to the situation with the Russian diplomat in the Netherlands. Has Russia considered a response to this?

    SL: We must today, not later, get an explanation from the Dutch government, an apology – it’s absolutely unavoidable. And then we need to know what disciplinary measures would be taken in regard to these police officers. And then, when we get a reaction on this demand, then we will see how we will handle the relations further.

    RT: The final subject I want to talk to you about is Afghanistan, because drug trafficking from Afghanistan is an increasing problem for Russia. I was just wondering what Moscow has planned for when NATO take troops withdraw, with that NATO withdrawal imminent, what Moscow’s plans are to try and counter this problem?

    SL: Well, this has been discussed for a couple of years already in the expectation of this withdrawal of ISAF, but this was discussed not just inside Moscow but with our allies in the Collective Security Treaty Organization and also in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization which uniquely comprises, either as members or as observers, Afghanistan and all its neighbors. And there is a special program in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on fighting drug trafficking from Afghanistan. The Collective Security Treaty Organization is also engaged very closely. It conducts regularly the operation called Canal to intercept drug caravans on the outer perimeter of Afghan borders. Certainly, it would be much more efficient not to fight symptoms but to fight the root cause, which involves destroying drug production inside Afghanistan, drug laboratories, heroin laboratories especially. And we have been proposing as the Collective Security Treaty Organization to NATO as the backbone of ISAF to establish cooperative arrangement in real time: NATO reports to us what kind of caravans are moving so that on the outer perimeter of Afghan borders it would be easier to intercept them. NATO consistently for the last eight years, I think, is avoiding entering into this type of relationship. My hunch is they are doing this for ideological purposes, not being willing to see the Collective Security Treaty Organization as an equal in this partnership, which is a pity, because for wrongly understood prestige we are losing the efficiency in the fight against drug industry.

    RT: Are you hopeful for the future of Afghanistan? I mean, there’s the presidential election next year, the NATO troop withdrawal – I mean, do you feel that the security situation is set to improve in Afghanistan?

    SL: There are so many unknowns. ISAF withdrawal is explained by the fact that by that time, by the end of next year, the Afghan security forces, the Afghan army would be in a position to take control of law and order in the country. So far, the trend is the opposite. And the closer the date of withdrawal is, the more evidence we have that Afghan security forces are not going to be ready. There are serious problems in the security sector, there are problems with the Taliban who do not want to get into the national dialogue with the government, who only want to talk to the Americans, which is unacceptable to the government for obvious reasons. And as this procrastinates, as the game is being played with the Taliban bypassing the Afghan government, we are getting closer to the situation when the Taliban would not be even interested in discussing a government of national unity; they would be only interested in taking power 100 percent, which would be an invitation for another war in Afghanistan. So we certainly hope that all Afghan groups, political, ethnic, religious – Pashtuns, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Hazara – can get together, including the reasonable leaders of the Taliban, and start discussing the future of their country. It's high time to do this. And presidential elections, of course, are a landmark which should be taken into account. It's up to the Afghans to decide exactly when they want to have this campaign. But unless we have an inclusive process, I'm not very optimistic about any political solution to the situation in Afghanistan. And of course, a related matter is the fact that while withdrawing from Afghanistan the contingents of ISAF, the Americans and some other NATO countries are planning a residual presence. The information is that some nine quite fortified military bases are being constructed inside Afghanistan. We are asking questions about what is the purpose for this remaining presence, and we are told that this is for training purposes and just for some sting operations in case of necessity. It's still not very transparent. And we discuss this with our American colleagues regularly, we have a special channel to discuss Afghan matters, and we want to get full clarity about the purpose of this presence, because in combination with the attempts which they undertake every now and then with one or another Central Asian country to negotiate presence there, it raises a question as to what is the reason for this, because the ISAF is being withdrawn under the explanation that the mission has been accomplished. First, I don't think anyone believes that the mission has been accomplished. Second, if it has been accomplished, then why do you want residual presence? And if this presence is projected outside Afghanistan, then certainly we would like to know what it’s about. Is it Central Asia? Is it Iran? Members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and of the Collective Security Treaty Organization would like to know everything, you know, without any exception, because this is a region next door to us. Russia, China, Central Asian countries, Iran... We certainly believe that cooperation with international community to resolve the problems of this region is very important, and we are open for this. But the international community – in this case, our Western colleagues – must be transparent on what they are planning to do in this region. They come there, and we would like to know with what plans.

    http://rt.com/politics/official-word/iran-cooperation-interview-lavrov-904/
     
  7. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii Major SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Messages:
    3,754
    Likes Received:
    932
    The European Parliament has proposed to establish an EU mission in Tehran. This proposal is documented in a resolution adopted on Thursday at the plenary session in Strasbourg.

    "The European Union should use the open window of opportunity to formulate its own policies towards Iran. The EU needs a comprehensive policy and right approach to future relations with Iran," - said Tarja Cronberg of the Green League Party. Tarja Cornberg had earlier made corresponding amendment to the draft resolution on the annual report of the EU on foreign policy, which was later adopted by the EU Council.
    Read more: The European Parliament wants to establish an EU mission in Tehran - News - Society - Russian Radio
     
  8. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii Major SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Messages:
    3,754
    Likes Received:
    932
    Experts from Iran and six world powers will meet in Vienna on October 30-31 to prepare the next round of high-level talks on the contested Iranian nuclear program with hopes of a breakthrough rising thanks to a diplomatic opening from Tehran.

    Western diplomats say the meeting, scheduled to take place a week before the next round of negotiations in Geneva in November, could be instrumental in defining the contours of any preliminary agreement on Iran's uranium enrichment campaign.

    After years of diplomatic paralysis and increasingly confrontational rhetoric, the June election of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate, has opened windows to a deal that would head off the risk of a new Middle East war.
    Read more: Iran, powers to have expert-level nuclear talks in Vienna October 30-31 - News - World - The Voice of Russia: News, Breaking news, Politics, Economics, Business, Russia, International current events, Expert opinion, podcasts, Video
     
  9. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii Major SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Messages:
    3,754
    Likes Received:
    932
    The United States may have to resort to military force "if diplomacy fails", said former Vice President ******** Cheney, commenting on US-Iran relations and Iran's nuclear issue.

    "I have trouble seeing how we’re going to achieve our objective short of that," Cheney said, answering the question whether a strike on Iran is "inevitable".

    "And I doubt very much that the diplomacy will be effective if there’s not the prospect that, if diplomacy fails, that we will, in fact, resort to military force", he added in an interview on ABC’s"This Week".

    ******** Cheney also said he did not have confidence in the Barack Obama administration to negotiate a nuclear settlement with Iran: "I don’t have a lot of confidence in the administration to be able to negotiate an agreement. I think sanctions offer some prospect of bringing the Iranians around."

    "I’ve talked to my friends in that part of the region. I still know them, a lot of them, and they’re very fearful that the whole Iranian exercise is going to go the same way as the Syrian exercise; that is, that there will be bold talk from the administration", he explains.

    "But in the final analysis, nothing effective will be done about the Iranian program," Cheney adds.

    Cheney also pointed out that US influence in the Middle East have been diminished: "I think that presence and that capability and that influence has been significantly diminished as we have withdrawn from the region. We’ve cut the number of forces we have in the region."

    "I think our friends no longer count on us, no longer trust us and our adversaries don’t fear us. That was sort of the cornerstone and the basis of the US ability and influence," he concludes.

    http://voiceofrussia.com/2013_10_28...tary-force-against-Iran-********-Cheney-6222/
     
  10. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii Major SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Messages:
    3,754
    Likes Received:
    932
    The Tehran municipality has removed anti-American posters from the streets of the capital which questioned US honesty in nuclear talks with Iran, media reported on Sunday.

    The move comes as President Hassan Rouhani, a reputed moderate, has made fresh overtures to the West, including direct talks between US and Iranian officials, and ahead of the 34th anniversary of the US embassy seizure in Tehran.

    A municipal spokesman said the posters were put up across Tehran without any official authorisation.

    "In an arbitrary act and without the knowledge and confirmation of the municipality, one of the advertising agencies had put up these posters," spokesman Hadi Ayyazi was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.

    AFP photographers said that some posters could still be seen across Tehran.

    One of them, bearing the words "American honesty," shows US and Iranian negotiators sitting at a table and facing each other, the American wearing a jacket and tie but with army pants and boots underneath.

    Ehsan Mohammad-Hassani, head of the Oj adverting agency, which produced the posters, told the Fars news agency they did not reflect hostility towards US-Iranian nuclear talks.

    "The American Honesty posters do not have any objection against Iran-America negotiations," he was quoted as saying.

    Rouhani, a moderate cleric who has pledged to improve ties with the West, held a historic 15-minute telephone conversation with US President Barack Obama last month, the first direct contact between leaders of the two countries in more than three decades.

    The call came as Rouhani was winding up a visit to New York where he attended the UN General Assembly.

    Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has backed Rouhani's overtures but criticised some aspects of the UN visit as "inappropriate."

    Iranians are also split over whether it is still appropriate to chant "Death to America" -- one of the main slogans of the 1979 revolution -- at official ceremonies.

    November 4 is the anniversary of the seizure of the US embassy in Tehran, during which Islamist students captured and held 52 US diplomats hostage for 444 days.

    The crisis triggered the severance of all diplomatic relations between the two countries and contributed to decades of mutual hostility.

    Iran and so-called P5+1 -- the United States, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany-- resumed nuclear talks in mid-October and will meet again on November 7 and 8 in Geneva to try and resolve the dispute over Iran's nuclear programme.

    Israel and the West have long accused Tehran of pursuing a nuclear weapon in the guise of a civilian programme, charges adamantly denied by Iran, which insists its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful.

    Iran pulls down anti-US posters in capital
     
  11. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii Major SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Messages:
    3,754
    Likes Received:
    932
    A prominent Iranian lawmaker said on Sunday Iran would never agree to shut down its Fordo underground nuclear enrichment facility as demanded by world powers, Mehr news agency reported.

    "It is possible that they set some conditions such as shutting down Fordo, which definitely will not happen," Mehr quoted Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of the parliament's foreign policy committee, as saying.

    Fordo, with nearly 3,000 centrifuges and dug deep into a mountain near the holy city of Qom, some 150 kilometres (90 miles) south of Tehran, is at the heart of international concerns over Iran's nuclear drive.

    The site, whose existence was revealed in 2009, began in late 2011 to enrich uranium to purities of 20 percent, a few technical steps away from the 90-percent level needed for a nuclear weapon.

    Iran says it is enriching to this level to provide fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor, which produces medical isotopes, and denies seeking or ever having sought nuclear weapons.

    Closing Fordo or limiting enrichment activities has been a key demand by six world powers -- permanent UN Security Council members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany -- in negotiations with Iran over its controversial nuclear programme.

    In return, the powers are offering to ease some sanctions against the Islamic republic, such as those imposed on trade in gold and on the petrochemical sector.

    Iran and the P5+1 resumed talks mid-October in Geneva during which Tehran presented a new proposal that its chief nuclear negotiator Abbass Araqchi said could settle the dispute "within a year".

    Experts from both sides are to meet at the end of this week in Vienna to prepare for the next round of talks, in Geneva on November 7-8.

    Israel and to a lesser degree the US have refused to rule out military action against Iran should it continue its nuclear enrichment programme.

    However, Boroujerdi warned against any military action, saying Iran was prepared to deter any foreign attack.

    "We have created the conditions for America and the Zionist regime in a way that they will never think of attacking our nuclear sites. Our missiles are a deterrent ... but Fordo is one of our red lines," he said, without elaborating.

    Some experts warn that Iran next year may reach "critical capacity" -- the point at which it could, in theory, process enough weapons-grade uranium for a bomb before being detected.

    But since becoming president in August, Hassan Rouhani, seen as a relative moderate, has raised hopes that the long-running crisis can be resolved and threats of military action silenced for good.

    Iran MP says Fordo nuclear site a 'red line'
     
  12. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii Major SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Messages:
    3,754
    Likes Received:
    932
    The next round of talks between Iran and the IAEA is scheduled for November 11th in Tehran.

    “The latest meeting between the IAEA and Iranian officials in Vienna was constructive,”-said Iran's permanent representative to the IAEA Reza Najafi on Tuesday.

    According to Najafi, Iran expects to open a new chapter as far as relation’s with the IAEA is concerned, and has therefore has made some new proposals. The proposals have been thoroughly discussed and the meeting was quite productive, said Najafi.

    The details of the meeting and the new proposals by Iran are yet to be revealed as both sides decided to keep silent over it at this time.
    Iran and IAEA members to meet in Tehran on November 11 to continue nuclear talks - News - Politics - Russian Radio
     
  13. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii Major SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Messages:
    3,754
    Likes Received:
    932
    Iran has never ceased 20-percent uranium enrichment, Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, said in a statement posted on the Iranian Parliament’s website on Wednesday.

    "The enrichment of uranium to 20 percent and the production of nuclear fuel has always been conducted within the national borders. That process has never been suspended," the statement said.

    Earlier, head of the parliamentary committee on national security Hossein Naqavi Hosseini claimed that 20-percent uranium enrichment had been halted, saying that it was up to Tehran to decide whether to resume enrichment to higher than 5-percent levels.

    A halt to uranium enrichment is one of the key issues at the P5+1 talks on the Iranian nuclear issue. The West urges Tehran to make its nuclear program to be more transparent. Iran insists that its nuclear program pursues exclusively peaceful purposes
    Read more: Iran never ceased to enrich uranium - Salehi - News - World - The Voice of Russia: News, Breaking news, Politics, Economics, Business, Russia, International current events, Expert opinion, podcasts, Video
     
  14. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii Major SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Messages:
    3,754
    Likes Received:
    932
    Iran's nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi said the a fuel production line for its sole nuclear power plant will go on stream within three months, media reported on Tuesday.

    "The production line of enriched uranium dioxide (UO2) for the provision of fuel to the Bushehr power plant will be fully operational within next three months", said Salehi during a visit to the nuclear site in central city of Isfahan, state news agency IRNA reported.

    Under a contract with Russia, Moscow agreed to provide fuel for 10 years, with Tehran committed to returning the spent fuel, guaranteeing that ic can not use it for other purposes, such as military ones.

    Salehi did not specify a date after which Iran could use locally produced fuel instead of that provided by Russia.
    Iran has informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) about the production of the new fuel at the Isfahan nuclear site.

    Bushehr nuclear power plant, which produces 1,000 megawatts of electricity, came into service until 2011 after several delays blamed on technical problems. In September,Tehran took control of the Bushehr plant.

    Iran could build a new 1,000 megawatt reactor in Bushehr with the help of Russia in Bushehr. Iran has said it wants to produce 20,000 megawatts of electricity from nuclear power, which would necessitate building 20 such reactors.

    Salehi said Iran is currently producing in Isfahan 20 percent enriched uranium fuel for a research and medical reactor in Tehran and for the Arak heavy water reactor now under construction.

    Western powers and Israel suspect that Iran's declared peaceful programme of uranium enrichment masks a covert weapons drive, a charge vehemently denied by the Iran.

    Iran started a new round of negotiations with the so-called P5+1 group of the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia and Germany in mid-October, trying to find a solution to a decade-long standoff on its nuclear programme.
    Read more: Iran to launch Bushehr fuel line in 3 months - Salehi - News - World - The Voice of Russia: News, Breaking news, Politics, Economics, Business, Russia, International current events, Expert opinion, podcasts, Video
     
  15. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii Major SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Messages:
    3,754
    Likes Received:
    932
    Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said on Wednesday that four people accused of sabotaging one of the country's sensitive nuclear sites were only thieves, Mehr news agency reported.

    "These four people were not saboteurs. They cut the fences and entered the area to collect scrap iron and steel and sell it on the market," Mehr quoted Alavi as saying.

    "In fact, they were thieves not nuclear saboteurs," said Alavi, adding they were "villagers who had done this before".

    Alavi did not specify at which nuclear site the arrests were made.

    Iran's nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi said earlier this month that four people suspected of attempting to sabotage one of Iran's nuclear plants were arrested.

    On Wednesday he said: "If the intelligence ministry... says they are thieves, then we accept it, but what an interesting thief who dug under the concrete wall and tried to enter the site."

    Tehran is at loggerheads with world powers over its disputed nuclear programme, which the West and Israel suspect is aimed at making a atomic bomb despite the Islamic republic's repeated denials.

    In August last year, saboteurs blew up power lines supplying Iran's underground uranium enrichment plant at Fordo outside the central city of Qom.

    In 2010, a cyber-attack hit Iran's nuclear facilities. The Stuxnet virus was tailored specifically to target uranium enrichment facilities.

    In recent years, Iran has detained a number of alleged US or Israeli agents accused of spying on, or attempting to sabotage, its nuclear programme.

    Several Iranian nuclear engineers have also been killed in what Tehran says were assassinations by foreign intelligence services.

    Iran never stopped 20 percent uranium enrichment: Salehi
    Tehran (AFP) Oct 30, 2013 - Iran's nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi said Tehran has never stopped 20 percent uranium enrichment, denying earlier claims of a temporarily halt, parliament's website reported Wednesday.

    "Twenty percent uranium and nuclear plates are being produced inside the country and there has never been a halt in the production trend," Salehi was quoted as saying.

    "Nuclear plates for Tehran reactor are produced inside the country, and the needed fuel assembly is allocated for the reactor each month," said Salehi.

    Earlier this month, conservative MP Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, spokesman for the foreign affairs committee, said Iran was temporarily halting enrichment to the 20 percent level.

    But committee chairman Allaeddine Boroujerdi denied that on Saturday and Naqavi Hosseini later said he had been misquoted.

    The enrichment programme is at the core of Iran's dispute with world powers, who suspect it masks a drive for atomic weapons despite repeated denials by the Islamic republic.

    Tehran insists that 20 percent enrichment is only used for the production of the fuel needed for the research and medical reactor of Tehran.

    Enriching uranium to 20 percent purity is a few technical steps short of producing weapons-grade fissile material.

    Iran insists it will not bow to pressure to end enrichment despite repeated demands by the UN Security Council and several rounds of sanctions.

    Demands that it be suspended were again put forward earlier this year in talks between Iran and the P5+1 group -- the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany, and Iran rejected them.

    Iran is seeking the lifting of the sanctions, which have damaged its struggling economy, while world powers are seeking to ensure that Tehran is not able to develop nuclear weapons.

    Iran says nuclear site 'saboteurs' were thieves
     

Share This Page