Iran Developing Second Uranium Enrichment Plant Capable Of Making Nuclear Bomb 9/25/2009 9:51 AM ET
(RTTNews) - International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed Friday reports that the Iranian government has disclosed to the UN nuclear watchdog the existence of a second uranium enrichment plant.
The news, alarming the international community, comes a day after a historic UN Security Council meeting unanimously adopted a resolution calling on states to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, promote disarmament and reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism.
IAEA spokesman Marc Vidricaire told reporters that Monday, Iran informed in a letter sent to the Vienna-based UN agency chief Mohammed ElBaradei that "a new pilot fuel enrichment plant is under construction in the country."
Details about the location of the facility, the status of its operations, or the type and number of centrifuges it was running, were not revealed in the letter, but said additional information would be provided "in an appropriate and due time."
Iran reportedly admitted to the site after finding out that Western intelligence agencies knew about the project.
The new facility, located on a military base near the holy city of Qom, south of Tehran, is big enough to house 3,000 centrifuges, the diplomat said, quoting intelligence reports.
That is sufficient to manufacture bomb-making material, but not enough to power a nuclear reactor, he added.
The IAEA has sought from Tehran specific information and access to the nuclear facility as soon as possible.
Tehran, which boasts of its increasing nuclear capacity from time to time, claimed Tuesday that it has developed a "new generation" of high capacity centrifuges for enriching uranium and is testing them.
Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran's nuclear energy agency, told a press conference that its Natanz enrichment plant can enrich uranium with "more than five times the output capacity" of the earlier standard centrifuges.
Iran is facing the threat of a fifth round of sanctions from the Security Council to pressure it to stop uranium enrichment. The Islamic nation denies accusations that it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons, and insists that uranium enrichment is meant for peaceful purposes.
Ending more than a year of deadlock on Iran's talks with the international community, the Islamic republic and six world powers are set to discuss on October 1 a package of proposals put forward by Tehran.
It is not clear whether Iran agreed to talks on its disputed nuclear program or the discussions will be confined to global nuclear disarmament.
Iran Fires Short-Range Missiles in ‘Deterrent’ Tests (Update2)
By Ladane Nasseri
Sept. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Iran fired short-range missiles as part of a military maneuver and said it will give a “crushing” response to any armed aggression.
Iran “successfully tested a multimissile launching system,” state-run Press TV reported. “A number of missiles including the homemade Fateh and Tondar” models were launched both simultaneously and consecutively, the report said.
The exercises may increase tension over the Persian Gulf country’s nuclear program. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps said yesterday it would conduct the war games to maintain the “deterrent capacity” of the armed forces.
The military plans to test medium-range missiles, such as the Shahab 2 missile, later today as well as improved long-range Shahab ones tomorrow, General Hossein Salami, head of the air force, told Press TV.
“The message is that of security,” Salami said. “We will respond to any military action in a crushing manner.”
Today’s exercise, called Prophet IV, will assess “recent technical developments and tactical progress” in surface-to- surface missiles, Salami said, according to a report on the Guards’ official Web site.
The maneuver is also aimed at “practicing management of long-term preventive and defensive operations,” he said.
“The range of our missiles is in no way a threat for the neighboring countries,” Salami said. “It is a message for certain greedy nations that seek to create fear, to show that we are able to give a swift and suitable answer to our enemies.”
Iran two days ago confirmed the development of a second uranium enrichment facility in the country, a move condemned by the U.S., U.K. and France.
The enrichment activity is at the center of western concerns about Iran’s nuclear program. The process isolates a uranium isotope needed to generate fuel for a nuclear power reactor, though in higher concentrations it can be used to make a weapon.
Iran will continue to enrich uranium at a low level of 5 percent concentration or less, said Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the country’s Atomic Energy Organization, according to a report on the Iranian Labour News Agency. Iran also said yesterday that it will allow the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency to inspect the enrichment facility, located outside Tehran on the road to the holy city of Qom.
Iranian officials have rejected criticism for failing to mention the plant’s existence until two days ago, arguing that it’s only required under IAEA regulations to inform the agency 180 days prior to introducing nuclear material in the site. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Sept. 25 the facility is “18 months away from operation.”
At a Sept. 25 news conference concluding the G-20 summit, U.S. President Barack Obama said that diplomacy was his preferred option to halt Iran’s nuclear program, though he didn’t rule out military action. Top Israeli officials also said last week that use of force against Iran remains an option.
Iranian officials are set to meet Oct. 1 in Geneva with representatives of the five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany. The group is seeking to determine whether Iran is willing to limit its nuclear activities, which several western nations claim are aimed at developing weapons.
Obama said yesterday he remains open to “a serious, meaningful dialogue” with Iran.
The country first must “cooperate fully” with international arms inspectors and “take actions to demonstrate its peaceful intentions,” the president said in his weekly radio and Internet address.
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/ylhwq/index.htm Special Report: Iran Nuclear Crisis
India raises nuclear stakes
By James Lamont in New Delhi and James Blitz in London
Published: September 27 2009 22:30 | Last updated: September 27 2009 22:30
India can now build nuclear weapons with the same destructive power as those in the arsenals of the world’s major nuclear powers, according to New Delhi’s senior atomic officials.
They said India had built weapons with yields of up to 200 kilotons, which would be considered a “proper strategic deterrent” by the global community. A nuclear weapon above 50 kilotons is considered high yield. India’s enhanced capability gives it a considerable edge over Pakistan, its nuclear-armed arch-rival.
Read this news on FT.com - http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d63f3a70-ab90-11de-9be4-00144feabdc0.html?nclick_check=1
New Sanctions Against Iran Seem More Likely
http://www.rttnews.com/Content/TopStories.aspx?Id=1077094&Category=Top%20Stories&SimRec=1&Node=B1 Iran Developing Second Uranium Enrichment Plant Capable Of Making Nuclear Bomb
U.S., Allies Seek New Ways to Sanction Iran http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125417342102747375.html?mod=rss_whats_news_us
Iran's missiles are ‘ready to destroy Israel’ http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article6851981.ece
Iran May Quit Nuclear Treaty If Geneva Talks Fail (Update1)
By Ali Sheikholeslami
Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Iran may end its participation in the global nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty if talks this week fail to resolve the international dispute over the country’s atomic development, a member of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee said.
The West has always had a “carrots and sticks” approach to Iran, said lawmaker Mohammad Karami-Rad, who urged the powers to “end their excuses and negotiate on significant issues,” the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported. “If Iran remains under Zionist pressures and U.S. bullying and if the 5+1 talks fail, the parliament will take clear stands, such as quitting the NPT,” he said, referring to Israel and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany