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Thread: Iran Moves Closer to Nuke Weapon Capacity

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    Iran Moves Closer to Nuke Weapon Capacity

    Iran Moves Closer to Nuke Weapon Capacity - CBS News

    Iran moved closer to being able to produce nuclear warheads Monday with formal notification that it will enrich uranium to higher levels, even while insisting that the move was meant only to provide fuel for its research reactor.

    Iranian envoy Ali Asghar Soltanieh told The Associated Press that he informed the International Atomic Energy Agency of the decision to enrich at least some of its low-enriched uranium stockpile to 20 percent, considered the threshold value for highly enriched uranium.

    Soltanieh, who represents Iran at the Vienna-based IAEA, also said that the U.N. agency's inspectors now overseeing enrichment to low levels would be able to stay on site to fully monitor the process. And he blamed world powers for Iran's decision, asserting that it was their fault that a plan that foresaw Russian and French involvement in supplying the research reactor had failed.

    "Until now, we have not received any response to our positive logical and technical proposal," he said. "We cannot leave hospitals and patients desperately waiting for radio isotopes" being produced at the Tehran reactor and used in cancer treatment, he added.

    Western powers blame Iran for rejecting an internationally endorsed plan to take Iranian low enriched uranium, further enriching it and return it in the form of fuel rods for the reactor - and in broader terms for turning down other overtures meant to diminish concerns about its nuclear agenda.

    At a news conference with French Defense Minister Herve Morin, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates praised President Barack Obama's attempts to engage the Islamic Republic diplomatically and chided Tehran for not reciprocating.

    "No U.S. president has reached out more sincerely, and frankly taken more political risk, in an effort to try to create an opening for engagement for Iran," he said. "All these initiatives have been rejected."

    Israel, Iran's most implacable foe, said Iran's enrichment plans are "additional proof of the fact that Iran is ridiculing the entire world."

    "The right response is to impose decisive and permanent sanctions on Iran," said Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had already announced Sunday that his country would significantly enrich at least some of the country's stockpile of uranium. Still, Monday's notification to the IAEA was important as formal confirmation of the plan, particularly because of the rash of conflicting signals sent in recent months by Iranian officials on the issue.

    Although material for the fissile core of a nuclear warhead must be enriched to a level of 90 percent or more, just getting its stockpile to the 20 percent mark would be a major step for the country's nuclear program. While enriching to 20 percent would take about one year, using up to 2,000 centrifuges at Tehran's underground Natanz facility, any next step - moving from 20 to 90 percent - would take only half a year and between 500-1,000 centrifuges.

    Achieving the 20-percent level "would be going most of the rest of the way to weapon-grade uranium," said David Albright, whose Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security tracks suspected proliferators.

    While Iran would be able to enrich up to 20 percent, it is not considered technically sophisticated enough to turn that material into fuel rods for the Tehran reactor. A senior official from a member nation of the 35-country IAEA board said that issue cast Iran's stated reason for higher enrichment into doubt.

    Legal constraints could tie Iran's hands as well. The senior official said he believed Tehran was obligated to notify the agency 60 days in advance of starting to enrich to higher levels.

    The Iranian move came just days after Ahmadinejad appeared to move close to endorsing the original deal, which foresaw Tehran exporting the bulk of its low-enriched uranium to Russia for further enrichment and then conversion for fuel rods for the research reactor.
    Last edited by The Prof; 02-08-10 at 09:29 PM.

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    Re: Iran Moves Closer to Nuke Weapon Capacity

    Some comments:

    1. To be played so poorly by such a punk.

    2. It's like we have NO PRESIDENT at all.

    3. Gates is right, no one has ever reached out further, tried harder, got rejected more rudely.

    4. Sanctions are non starters so long as Putin and Hu won't cooperate.

    5. Where's our reward for all the reaching out?

    6. When's Obama gonna engage that personal diplomacy he used to talk so much about?

    7. How could anyone have ever supported all this Neville Chamberlain nonsense?

    8. Outside of his ESCALATION of Afghanistan, Obama has NO foreign policy.

    9. The reaching out has been all reached out, what more can he extend?

    10. International climate accords are kaput.

    11. The no-nukes poetry is pretty but not practicable.

    12. Trade relations with China chill.

    13. What else is there, what IS his foreign policy?

    14. When it comes to Iran he is utterly answerless.

    15. He's actually emboldened Ahmedinejad, with all the bowing and apologizing, affirming Iran's right to nuclear power, not standing up boldly for the people who are protesting and dying on the streets of Tehran, stating publicly over and over his belief that reaching out and meeting with the leaders of Iran could effect change as if the regime weren't rogue but reasonable and responsible in return.

    16. He's been the very embodiment of effete.

    17. He likewise has no domestic policy.

    18. His troika of priorities 2009---health care, cap and trade, financial regulatory reform---are routinely outta reach.

    19. He's replaced them with a far tinier trio, all ad libbed AFTER MASSACHUSETTS.

    20. His jobs bill which, for political reasons, he can't call what it is, another STIMULUS.

    21. His bank tax, also product of post-MA.

    22. And finally, his debt commission, already VOTED DOWN in the Senate.

    23. The point---very little remains even conceivable to the once overtly ambitious Obama.

    24. And 2/3 of that which remains on the president's cracked little salad plate---his bank tax and his debt commission---aint goin nowhere

    25. Iran is very, very dangerous.

    26. Obama is completely impotent.

    The Prof

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    Re: Iran Moves Closer to Nuke Weapon Capacity

    ... nuclear power is a natural acquisition in the technological development of human societies. Wanting to stop Iran from achieving it is like trying to stop evolution.

    Unless they are a protectorate, any sufficiently prosperous society will eventually achieve nuclear capability.
    Last edited by Morality Games; 02-08-10 at 09:46 PM.
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    Re: Iran Moves Closer to Nuke Weapon Capacity

    Iran might, just might, already have a nuke. They may have bought one... there are quite a few that have gone missing from former-Soviet inventory.

    They have a missle that might be capable of getting a satellite into orbit. That missle might be capable of hitting CONUS.

    Feb 11 just might turn out to be more "intresting" than many of us would care for. Know what EMP is?

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    Re: Iran Moves Closer to Nuke Weapon Capacity

    Who cares if Iran has a nuke or not? "Mutually assured destruction" has worked for 60 years. The United States still has an overwhelming tactical advantage in any scenario.

    If it comes down to disrupting international commerce or letting Iran get a nuke, I say let them have a nuke.
    If you notice something good in yourself, give credit to God, not to yourself, but be certain the evil you commit is always your own and yours to acknowledge.

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    Re: Iran Moves Closer to Nuke Weapon Capacity

    Quote Originally Posted by Morality Games View Post
    ... nuclear power is a natural acquisition in the technological development of human societies. Wanting to stop Iran from achieving it is like trying to stop evolution.
    not a winning platform

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    Re: Iran Moves Closer to Nuke Weapon Capacity

    Quote Originally Posted by Morality Games View Post
    Who cares if Iran has a nuke or not? "Mutually assured destruction" has worked for 60 years. The United States still has an overwhelming tactical advantage in any scenario.

    If it comes down to disrupting international commerce or letting Iran get a nuke, I say let them have a nuke.
    MAD don't deter suicide bombers

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    Re: Iran Moves Closer to Nuke Weapon Capacity

    This is why terrorism scares me: I live in Los Angeles and we have a giant target sign painted on us. I mean, really, why not nuke Los Angeles?

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    Re: Iran Moves Closer to Nuke Weapon Capacity

    Quote Originally Posted by The Prof View Post
    not a winning platform
    The only way to permanently stop Iran from achieving nuclear capability is to defeat them in a war and occupy them, which would years, cost lots of money, and require millions of draftees to be effective.

    Sanctions would hurt the West as much as Iran, making them unsustainable and therefore nothing more than a delay. Military strikes would amount to the same. Iran will still get nuclear power if either of these strategies is pursued.
    If you notice something good in yourself, give credit to God, not to yourself, but be certain the evil you commit is always your own and yours to acknowledge.

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    Re: Iran Moves Closer to Nuke Weapon Capacity

    not responsible policy

    you run on that, you won't get 20%

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