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Since the collapse of the European effort to persuade Iran to renounce uranium enrichment, it has become a trope in British statements that if left unchecked, Iran’s nuclear programme will trigger a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Even the Chief of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) reportedly believes this. ››read more
Editor's note: Peter Jenkins was Britain’s permanent representative to the IAEA, 2001–06
Exclusive: A decade after the infamous “Downing Street Memo” and its “fixed” intelligence for invading Iraq, the pressure is on again to make the case – whatever the facts – for a new war with Iran. Will the UK’s MI6 and the CIA bend again or hold firm, ask ex-intelligence analysts Annie Machon and Ray McGovern. ››read more
Editor's note: Annie Machon is a former intelligence officer in the UK’s MI5 Security Service (the U.S. counterpart is the FBI), and Ray McGovern is a former U.S. Army Intelligence officer and CIA analyst.
The coverage of the initial IAEA account of the cylinder in its report last November has been followed by a steady drip of reports about Iran refusing to allow the agency's inspectors to visit the site at Parchin and satellite photos showing what are said to be Iranian efforts to "sanitize" the site.
But unknown to consumers of corporate news, the story of the Parchin bomb test cylinder has been quietly unraveling. A former IAEA expert on nuclear weapons has criticized the story as technically implausible; the account itself turns out to be marked by a central internal contradiction, and even satellite images published to the IAEA account have been found by experts to contradict it. ››read more
Jeffrey Goldberg’s current cover story in The Atlantic, “The Point of No Return,” achieved massive distribution across a broad spectrum of old and new media in the United States. Some observers – including Glenn Greenwald in “How Propagandists Function” – noted how well the methodology and message of Goldberg’s piece serves the Israeli government’s efforts to push U.S. military action against Iran. ››read more
Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada has renewed his country's support for the Tehran nuclear declaration as a solution to Iran's nuclear issue, Press TV reported. ››read more
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu just gave his official explanation to the Israeli people for the deaths on the Mavi Marmara. And guess whose fault it was. (Are you ready for this?) Iran!... It's an easy leap for minds trapped in a sense of powerlessness and victimhood that "is nothing less than pathological." That's how Henry Siegman, former head of the American Jewish Congress, described the twisted logic... ››read more
Obama mysteriously has ceased leading on the Iran issue and is instead showing himself willing to be led. Thus have the pragmatic hawks (with the war hawks waiting in the wings) defeated the Realists and the liberal internationalists. Obama stabbed Turkey and Brazil in the back after asking them to risk their face for him. Obama is giving Iran the impression that he is indecisive. All of this backtracking for the sake of a sanctions regime that is highly unlikely actually to change Iran’s behavior, contrary to the express hopes of Secretary Gates. Obama’s current Iran policy cannot be explained in the terms of US-Iranian relations. It must be driven by something else. The Israel lobbies and dealings with the Netanyahu government are the likeliest candidates in explaining the abandonment of a Realist approach. ››read more
Iran's permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali Asghar Soltanieh will on Monday meet the agency's head, Yukiya Amano to formally appraise him about the trilateral nuclear swap deal that Tehran has signed with Turkey and Brazil. Iran's state-run Press TV quoted a statement by Iran's Supreme National Security Council as saying that Tehran has informed the IAEA of its readiness to notify the agency about the May 17 nuclear fuel swap declaration. ››read more
Lula said Iran was "demonized" by the powers. When the country shows willingness to negotiate, developed countries shut the doors, he said. "The truth is that Iran, which was said to be a demon, decided to sit at the negotiating table. I want to see if others are going to accomplish what they wanted Iran to do." The president also criticized certain Brazilian media organisations, which said the nuclear issue should not be dealt with by Brazil. "But who said it was an issue for the United States? " Lula asked. ››read more
Led by Turkey and Brazil, non-permanent Council members (whom the U.S. and the other veto-holders rarely consult on Iran policy) could stop a sanctions move in its tracks. Can President Lula and Prime Minister Erdogan convince a country like Japan, which has more reason than most countries to want to abolish nukes, to vote against useless sanctions and instead give the new diplomatic initiative time to work? Might other council members (Lebanon, Mexico, Austria, Gabon, Bosnia, Nigeria) be persuaded that a new round of sanctions will do nothing to stop Iran's enrichment, but will undermine the new initiative that might do just that? ››read more
Secretary of State Clinton said a draft resolution on sanctions was submitted to the United Nations "with the cooperation of both Russia and China." But China later also declared support for the deal worked out by Brazil and Turkey to swap nuclear fuel with Iran to avoid sanctions. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said his government believes the efforts by Brazil and Turkey will "aid the process of peacefully resolving the Iran nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiations." ››read more
Moscow - Russia has warned the United States and the European Union against adopting individual sanctions that go beyond a UN Security Council resolution planned in the dispute over Iran's nuclear programme, the Ria Novosti news agency reported Wednesday.
Shying away from a pledge of no first use, it in fact allows for certain contingencies in which nuclear weapons would be used in conventional theater. Second, it uses the threat of nuclear terrorism as a justification for indefinite postponement of a general disarmament. Third, instead of “rebuilding” the nonproliferation regime, the doctrine’s explicit nuclear bullying of proliferation-prone countries actually increases their insecurity and perceived need for nuclear deterrence, thus achieving the opposite result of its intended purposes. ››read more
Instead of dismissing Iran's counter-proposal, the Obama administration should seriously examine the advantages of a nuclear swap, with the International Atomic Energy Agency assuming control of Iran's low-enriched uranium, but on Iranian soil, until the fuel rods are delivered. This would involve a substantial amount of of Iran's accumulated low-enriched uranium, the material the West fears may be reprocessed for bomb-making material. This deal breaks Russia's monopoly of nuclear trade with Iran and opens a new window for U.S.-Iran nuclear cooperation. ››read more
Yukiya Amano, the new director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has raised hopes that a "confidence-building" plan for a swap of nuclear material between Iran and a third party could still be salvaged. At the same time, Amano used his opening speech to the Vienna meeting of the agency's board of governors on Monday to reaffirm that Iran hadn't provided "the necessary cooperation" to confirm all such material in Iran is for peaceful activities. ››read more
China today insisted there is still room for talks to resolve the standoff over Iran's nuclear program. The comments by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang came after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Moscow is ready to consider new sanctions against Iran for its refusal to comply with international demands to halt uranium enrichment. ››read more
The Japanese (officials) proposed during the visit that Iran start interaction with Japan for purchasing the 20% enriched fuel, considering Iran's good will. ››read more
Japan has nuclear technology but does not possess any nuclear weapons and Iran will follow the same path in its nuclear program. ››read more
Iran is ready to simultaneously exchange the fuel required for the Tehran research reactor with its low-enriched uranium within Iranian territory if the I.A.E.A. lacks the ability to fulfill its duties. ››read more