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Shammu
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« Reply #210 on: October 23, 2008, 03:34:29 AM »

Hijacked Iranian Ship Contained 'Dirty Bomb' for Israel
 
by Hana Levi Julian

(IsraelNN.com) Web blogs all over the Internet are continuing to buzz about an Iranian ship that was hijacked last August by Somali pirates and which Russian sources warned contained a dirty bomb intended for Israel.

The hijacking passed largely unnoticed in the mainstream media, save a brief mention in the news on August 22 that reported that three vessels – Iranian, Japanese and German – and their 57 crew members were hijacked by pirates in the Gulf of Aden near Somalia. Several pirates died after they forced open part of the cargo. (This was posted on CU forum though DW)

The waterway connects the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. Somalia, host to the longest coastline in Africa (1,880 miles), is an international piracy and terrorist hotspot. Foreign vessels are often seized by pirates in the area, who hold the ships and their crews for ransom.

According to its manifest, the MV Iran Devant had departed Nanjing, China on July 28 and was headed to Rotterdam to deliver 42,500 tons of iron ore and "industrial products" to an unidentified "German client."  But the Iranian bulk carrier with 29 crew members, owned and operated by the U.S.-sanctioned Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), was apparently transporting cargo considerably more significant than the average contraband.

The 40 pirates, armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) brought the ship to Eyl, a fishing village in northeastern Somalia, according to numerous bloggers. There a larger contingent of pirates took control of the vessel – 50 on board and 50 patrolling on the beach.

Initial attempts to inspect the ship's seven cargo containers failed. The pirates could not break into the holds and the crew swore they did not have access codes to the locks. The captain and engineer of the vessel evaded answering questions about the contents of the holds, despite threats by the pirates to blow up the ship. They first said the containers held crude oil, but then changed the story to say there were "minerals" in the holds.

When at last the pirates succeeded in opening one of the containers, they allegedly discovered packets of what they later reported to be "a powdery fine sandy soil." The pirates who had any exposure to the powder were reportedly struck down by illness and within days began to exhibit strange symptoms, including skin burns and hair loss. Sixteen of them died.  Andrew Mwangura, director of the East African Seafarers' Assistance Program, was quoted by the South Africa Sunday Times in a September 28 interview, "There is something very wrong about that ship."

The vessel was released by the pirates on October 10, announced the IRISL public relations office, "after seven weeks of negotiations with Somali pirates." All 29 members of the crew were reported safe. Iran criticized world powers for its indifference toward the lack of security in international waters. IRISL, which is run by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, added in its statement that the vessel was sailing towards international waters and it is not clear where the ship has gone since the report.

Russian Intelligence: Ship Was a Dirty Bomb Sent to Israel

U.S. and Israeli intelligence officials maintained a tight-lipped silence on the alleged incident. However, Russian intelligence sources reportedly said the ship was "an enormous floating dirty bomb, intending to detonate after exiting the Suez Canal at the eastern end of the Mediterranean and in proximity to the coastal cities of Israel.

"The entire cargo of radioactive sand," said the Russian sources, " [was] obtained by Iran from China (the latter buys desperately needed oil from the former) and sealed in containers which, when the charges on the ship are set off after the crew took to the boats, will be blasted high into the air where prevailing winds will push the highly dangerous and radioactive cloud ashore."

Several military web blogs have noted that had the ship's crew succeeded in reaching Israel's coastal waters with their deadly cargo, it would have been quite easy to escape the vessel in small boats and then detonate explosives on the vessel. The radioactive powder, which would have been blown into the air, would have been carried by the wind straight to Israel.

'Logically Not Reliable, But Nothing Impossible in the Middle East'

Dr. Ephraim Kam, deputy director of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), told Israel National News that the entire incident could easily have been a fiction -- or not. "Nothing is impossible in this region," said Kam, an IDF Colonel (res.) and former deputy director of the Research Division in the IDF's Military Intelligence, "but logically [the report] doesn't seem to be very reliable."

The reason, he said, is that such an attack on Israel would cost the Iranians dearly -- and he said they know it.

"First of all, because it could fail, and this would be the worst thing for them.  I think that if at all, the timing is very bad for them, while they are trying to acquire their own nuclear weapons, when there is international pressure on them on that issue… It could give Israel the best excuse to attack their nuclear facilities.

"Also, if such an operation is successful, the outcome could be an Israeli strategic attack against the Iranians, which could be very costly for the Islamic Republic.  Since the Iranians believe that Israel does have a nuclear arsenal, they have to take into account that Israel would respond by nuclear attack," he pointed out.

"If it is true, this incident could give Israel the best pretext to attack an Iranian nuclear site," said Kam. "Rationally, I tend to think it is no more than a good story."

Israeli government officials could not be reached for comment.

Hijacked Iranian Ship Contained 'Dirty Bomb' for Israel
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« Reply #211 on: October 23, 2008, 03:38:11 AM »


Aside from that tidbit, I have to say, out of all the ships that traverse those waters, the pirates managed to pick a "HOT" one to seize.

Personally, I'm calling this what it is........ The hand of God intervening to protect Israel. God is not ready for Israel to be attacked yet.
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« Reply #212 on: October 23, 2008, 01:08:47 PM »

I think we alls aw this coming a year ago.

Israel & US has ignored Iran's taunts. Perhaps Iran is starting to get the idea that Israel won't be goaded into a fight. I'm thinking Iran's getting frustrated and might actually attack since it's becoming apparent to them that Israel or US won't attack them.

But wait, till my next post, from Iran about a dirty bomb.


I agree.  ImaNutJob has been goading, taunting and daring us and Israel for quite some time now with no results.  He is just itching to get something started and I for one am expecting something very soon.

Aside from that tidbit, I have to say, out of all the ships that traverse those waters, the pirates managed to pick a "HOT" one to seize.

Personally, I'm calling this what it is........ The hand of God intervening to protect Israel. God is not ready for Israel to be attacked yet.


Indeed.  There are NO coincidences with God.
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« Reply #213 on: October 23, 2008, 01:42:50 PM »

Aside from that tidbit, I have to say, out of all the ships that traverse those waters, the pirates managed to pick a "HOT" one to seize.

Personally, I'm calling this what it is........ The hand of God intervening to protect Israel. God is not ready for Israel to be attacked yet.


Yep, and think about it from this angle. The pirates are islamists also ... a house divided ...


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« Reply #214 on: October 23, 2008, 05:17:01 PM »


US intelligence: Iran will be able to build first nuclear bomb by February 2009

US intelligence’s amended estimate, that Iran will be ready to build its first bomb just one month after the next US president is sworn in, is disclosed by DEBKAfile’s Washington sources as having been relayed as a guideline to the Middle East teams of both presidential candidates, Senators John McCain and Barack Obama.

The information prompted the assertion by Democratic vice presidential nominee Joseph Biden in Seattle Sunday, Oct. 19: “It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy.”

McCain retorted Tuesday, Oct. 21: “America does not need a president that needs to be tested. I’ve been tested. I was aboard the Enterprise off the coast of Cuba. I’ve been there.”)

DEBKAfile’s military sources cite the new US timeline: By late January, 2009, Iran will have accumulated enough low-grade enriched uranium (up to 5%) for its “break-out” to weapons grade (90%) material within a short time. For this, the Iranians have achieved the necessary technology. In February, they can move on to start building their first nuclear bomb.

US intelligence believes Tehran has the personnel, plans and diagrams for a bomb and has been running experiments to this end for the past two years. The UN International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna last week asked Tehran to clarify recent complex experiments they conducted in detonating nuclear materials for a weapon, but received no answer.

The same US evaluation adds that the Iranian leadership is holding off its go-ahead to start building the bomb until the last minute so as to ward off international pressure to stop at the red line.

This development together with the galloping global economic crisis will force the incoming US president to go straight into decision-making without pause on Day One in the Oval Office. He will have to determine which urgent measures can serve best for keeping a nuclear bomb out of the Islamic republic’s hands - diplomatic or military – and how to proceed if those measures fail.

His knowledge of the challenge colored Sen. Biden’s additional words in Seattle: “Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”

Israel’s political and military leaders also face a tough dilemma that can no longer be put off of whether to strike Iran’s nuclear installations militarily in the next three months between US presidencies before the last window closes, or take a chance on coordination with the next president.

Waiting for the “international community” to do the job of stopping Iran, as urged by governments headed by Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert - and strongly advocated Tzipi Livni, foreign minister and would-be prime minister - has been a washout. Iran stands defiantly on the threshold of a nuclear weapon.
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« Reply #215 on: October 28, 2008, 01:13:36 PM »

Iran opens naval base at Straight of Hormuz
Oct. 28, 2008
Associated Press , THE JERUSALEM POST

Iran has inaugurated a new naval base on the eastern part of the strategic waterway at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, state radio said.

Tuesday's report quoted Iran's naval chief, Adm. Habibollah Sayyari. He said the base on the Strait of Hormuz creates a new line of defense.

Sayyari said if necessary, the base could allow Iran to block entry of any "enemy" into the Persian Gulf.

The base is in the port town of Jask, about 1,050 miles (1,700 kilometers) south of Teheran.

Iran opens naval base at Straight of Hormuz
~~~~~~~~~~~

Iran opens naval base at Straight of Hormuz

The Associated Press
Tuesday, October 28, 2008

TEHRAN, Iran: Iran's state radio says the country has inaugurated a new naval base on the eastern part of the strategic waterway at the mouth of the Persian Gulf.

Tuesday's report quotes Iran's naval chief, Adm. Habibollah Sayyari. He says the base on the Strait of Hormuz creates a new line of defense.

Sayyari says if necessary the base could allow Iran to block entry of any "enemy" into the Persian Gulf.

The base is in the port town of Jask, about 1,050 miles (1,700 kilometers) south of Tehran.

Iran has warned that it would close the narrow strait if the U.S. attacks it over Tehran's disputed nuclear program. About 40 percent of the world's oil passes through the strait.


Iran opens naval base at Straight of Hormuz 
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« Reply #216 on: October 31, 2008, 10:26:28 PM »

Iranian Nuke Scientist: Weekend Quake was a Nuclear Test


A weekend 5.0 Richter earthquake in Iran was actually a nuclear bomb test, says an Iranian nuclear scientist claiming to be working on the project.

The report is an Israel Insider exclusive.

This past Saturday night, southern Iran experienced what was reported as a significant earthquake - a seismic event measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale. Its epicenter was just north of the strategic Straits of Hormuz, which separates Iran from Abu Dhabi and Oman and which is the gateway to the Persian Gulf.

The report quotes an Iranian nuclear scientist who claims to be working in uranium enrichment for the project, and who said that the "quake" was acutally an undergound nuclear bomb test.

Israel Insider adds that the test/quake was actually the second in a series. Nine days ago, a 4.8 Richter scale event occurred, with its epicenter only five kilometers away from the weekend tremor.

The Israel Insider source reports that two nuclear rockets are currently ready - and are intended for use against Israel in the coming months.

If the report is correct, it would belie previous speculation that Iran would not begin nuclear testing until it had more nuclear-bomb production capability.

The geographical location of the test has several advantages. It is exposed to significant seismic activity, which could serve to mask nuclear tests; it is believed to be close to Iran's nuclear development facility; delivery and transport of material and personnel can be effected easily through the Hormuz Strait; and Iranian enemies would hesitate to bomb the area because that would threaten the flow of a substantial percentage of the world's oil.

Reuters reports Thursday morning that Iran has begun building a line of naval bases along its southern coast and up to the Straits of Hormuz.

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« Reply #217 on: November 03, 2008, 11:40:53 PM »

Inside Iran: Signs of the Apocalypse
By George Thomas
CBN News Sr. Reporter
October 31, 2008

There is video on this website.


QOM, Iran - Whether it is his belief that Israel should be wiped off the map, denials of the Holocaust, obsession with going nuclear, or support for radical Islamic terrorist groups, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a man on a divine mission.

To understand him and that mission, you have to travel to a small dusty village called Jamkaran that is tucked into a corner of Iran's holy city of Qom.

On a recent Tuesday afternoon, CBN News made that journey, heading south from Iran's capital of Tehran. Some 95 miles and a couple of wrong turns later, we arrived at the Jamkaran mosque on the outskirts of Qom.

Behind the Jamkaran mosque, there is a well. And according to many Shiite Muslims, out of this well will one day emerge their version of an Islamic savior.

They call him the Mahdi, or the 12th Imam. Ron Cantrell has written a book about him.

"The Mahdi is a personage that is expected to come on the scene, by Islam, as a messiah figure. He is slotted to come at the end of time, according to their writings -- very much like how we think of the return of Jesus," said Cantrell.

Cantrell said the Mahdi, a descendent of the Prophet Mohammed, vanished in the middle of the 9th century. No one knows what he really looks like.

"The 12th Imam disappeared around the age of 9," said Cantrell, "with a promise that he would return and bring Islam to its total fruition, as the world's last standing religion."

Enter Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Since becoming the president of Iran in August 2005, Ahmadinejad has emerged as the Mahdi's most influential follower.

"He has stated that his mandate is to pave the way for the coming of this Islamic messiah," Cantrell explained.

In almost all his speeches, the president begs Allah to hasten the return of the Mahdi.

During one speech, he is talking to soldiers at a military parade in Tehran, which was also attended by CBN News.

"Oh, Allah, please facilitate Imam Mahdi's early return and make us one of his supporters," said Ahmadinejad.

He said something similar last September, just before ending a speech at the United Nations in New York.

"Oh mighty lord, I pray to you to hasten the emergence of your last repository, the promised one, that perfect and pure human being, the one that will fill this world with justice and peace," Ahmadinejad prayed.

A few days later in Iran, Ahmadinejad told a group of religious leaders that, during his UN speech, he felt a bright light around him.

His reactions were captured on video and later posted on a conservative Iranian Web site. "I felt it myself. I felt that the atmosphere suddenly changed, and for those 27 or 28 minutes, all the leaders of the world did not blink. When I say they didn't move an eyelid, I'm not exaggerating. They were looking as if a hand was holding them there, and had just opened their eyes to the message of the Islamic Republic," Ahmadinejad recalled.

Ahmadinejad is reportedly tied to a radical Islamic society in Iran that believes man can hasten the appearance of the Mahdi by creating chaos in the world.

Ahmadinejad has stated that this chaos must take place before the Mahdi can come on the scene.

Some wonder if Ahmadinejad believes these are the end times. And, whether his calls for the destruction of Israel and nuclear pursuits are ways to accelerate the divine timetable.

"With him, it is a win-win situation," Cantrell said. "If we attack him, he wins because chaos happens. If we don't attack him, he gets to create the chaos, which he has said he is willing to do."

In Shiite Muslim belief, the Madhi's second coming will be marked by apocalyptic times. Wars, famines, and floods will ravage the Earth -- followed by Judgment Day and a battle between good and evil.

On this Tuesday, as the sun dips behind the mountains that surround Jamkaran, the faithful -- many of whom voted for Ahmadinejad -- arrive by the thousands from across Iran to pray for the Mahdi's return.

Ezatallah Alimoradi, a follower of the Mahdi, said, "I feel so refreshed in my spirit when I come here to Jamkaran."

"This day belongs to the Mahdi," said another follower, Akram Alsadat Emmami, "and I've come to share my heart with him."

The night begins with a visit to the sacred well. CBN News was given a rare opportunity to film people praying there. The opening of the well is covered by a green-like metal box to prevent people from jumping in.

Most of the time here is spent praying and kissing the metal box. Others scribble prayer requests to the Mahdi on pieces of paper that are then dropped into the well.

One man asks the Mahdi to forgive his sins. "If you ask in the right way, your prayers will be answered," he explained.

Another seeks healing for family members. "I don't come here just to pray for myself," he said. "I also ask the Mahdi to take care of my family and their needs."

Many, like one young boy with a flashlight, believe the Mahdi is actually hiding at the bottom of the well, reading those prayer requests.

"I was looking into the well with my flashlight," the boy said, "hoping to see the Mahdi -- but not tonight."

Shia tradition teaches that if you come to Jamkaran 40 weeks in a row, you will "see" the Mahdi.

A woman said, "I have not had the privilege to see him yet, but I've had many dreams about him. In one of my dreams, I saw a big bright light in the sky and this figure standing over me."

The next few hours are spent praying inside the Jamkaran mosque.

At the Jamkaran mosque, I've been told that, as a non-Muslim, I am not allowed to go inside. The truth is, though, every day tens of thousands of men and women come through the mosque to say their prayers -- and also to pray that one day soon the Mahdi would return.

Nadal, a follower of the Mahdi, said, "And because we believe that he is going to come back soon, we can believe in heaven and hell and we can believe in the life after death."

Ahmadinejad's government reportedly gave $20 million to help renovate the Jamkaran mosque. There are rumors that he is planning to build a railway line connecting Tehran and Jamkaran, to ferry the faithful.

And apparently, Ahmadinejad has also drawn up plans for the road that the Mahdi will take when he returns.

"That will actually serve as the red carpet rolled out in Iran for the Mahdi to appear," Cantrell said.

And if all this wasn't mystical enough, there is also the belief that when the Mahdi comes back, he will be accompanied by Jesus Christ, who is referred to as the prophet Isa.

"The Mahdi will take Jesus to Mecca," Cantrell explained. "They will circumambulate the Kabah together. The Mahdi will teach Jesus to pray, at which time Jesus will then replace the Gospel with the Koran, and then all of us -- as Christians -- wherever you are on the face of the Earth, will convert to Islam because Islam will be deemed the one lasting pure religion."

As the West drifts closer to a potential showdown over Iran's nuclear program, followers of the Mahdi are getting ready for Judgment Day.

And many of them are convinced that President Ahmadinjead, who is considered by some as Allah's shadow on Earth, will fulfill his divine mission to prepare the world for the coming of the Islamic savior.

Inside Iran: Signs of the Apocalypse
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« Reply #218 on: November 04, 2008, 01:23:42 AM »

Aside from that tidbit, I have to say, out of all the ships that traverse those waters, the pirates managed to pick a "HOT" one to seize.

Personally, I'm calling this what it is........ The hand of God intervening to protect Israel. God is not ready for Israel to be attacked yet.


Brother Bob,

I had the identical thoughts while reading the story. However, we know that much of the world WILL attack Israel sometime soon. That was an interesting gang of players from a Biblical perspective. GOD'S TIME is coming in more than one way. CHRIST will provide undeniable PROOF to Israel and the entire world at the same time that HE IS GOD. HE already did that before, AT, and AFTER the CROSS - but most of Israel and the world REJECTED HIM! JUST THINK - we could be in those Heavenly Hosts following CHRIST into battle.
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« Reply #219 on: November 04, 2008, 03:55:22 PM »

Report warns of covert Iranian bid to expand nuke program

Islamic Republic secretly tested more uranium enrichment methods, according to intelligence assessment obtained by AP; American official says effort may eventually be used to produce nuclear weapons

Associated Press
10.30.08
Israel News

Iran has recently tested ways of recovering highly enriched uranium from waste reactor fuel in a covert bid to expand its nuclear program, according to an intelligence assessment made available to The Associated Press.

The intelligence, provided by a member of the 145-nation International Atomic Energy Agency, also says a report will soon be submitted to the Iranian leadership for a decision on whether to go ahead with the project.

The alleged tests loosely replicate Saddam Hussein's attempts to build the bomb nearly two decades ago. But experts question the conclusion by those providing the intelligence that Tehran, too, is trying to reprocess the fuel to make a nuclear weapon.

They note that the spent fuel at issue as the source of the enriched uranium is not enough to yield the approximately 30 kilograms of weapons-grade material needed for one simple warhead.

Still, they say that the alleged experiment appears plausible – if not as a fast track to weapons capability then as an incremental step that could move it further along that path.

The laboratories and the Tehran Nuclear Research Center, where the research reactor is located, have figured in numerous experiments that have raised the suspicion level about Iran, including plutonium separation attempts that Iran owned up to only after it was pressed by IAEA experts probing its nuclear past.

'Iran trying to get nose in tent'

If the information is accurate then Iran is "trying to get their nose in the tent" of reprocessing material potentially suitable for a warhead, said David Albright, whose Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security tracks suspect secret proliferators.

"On the surface it may have nothing to do with making a bomb, but in the end that's what it could be about."

For the US and others, Iran is a top proliferation concern because of suspicions it had at least drafted concepts of nuclear weapons programs during nearly two decades of covert atomic activities discovered six years ago.

Tehran denies past, present or future nuclear arms ambitions. But it is stonewalling IAEA attempts to probe alleged past weapons program experiments and continues to expand its uranium enrichment program.

Iran has shrugged off UN Security Council sanctions prompted by fears that through enrichment, it may want to produce the fissile core of nuclear warheads instead of the fuel the Islamic Republic says it needs for a future civilian program. Those fears are stoked by Iran's refusal to consider foreign nuclear fuel deliveries.

"It's the idea that Iran wants to slowly develop nuclear weapons capability under the tent and it does it slowly so that people will accept it," said Albright. "It's (a matter of) keeping your head down, moving slowly and deliberately and winning at each step."

Report warns of covert Iranian bid to expand nuke program
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« Reply #220 on: November 12, 2008, 09:55:02 PM »

Iranian Paper Shut Down for Obama Cover

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

 A Tehran news weekly was shut down by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last week after featuring President-elect Barack Obama on its front cover and asking the question, "Why doesn't Iran have an Obama?"

The news magazine Shahrvand-e Emrouz [Today’s Citizen] went too far for the hardline president, who quickly had Iran's Press Supervisory Board ban the publication, the Times of London reported.

The closure of the propular reformist weekly suggests that Ahmadinejad is determined to silence his critics as he prepares for elections next June that could hand him a second-four year term.

The Iranian media has blamed numerous problems in recent weeks on Ahmadinejad. His expansionary budget is blamed for rampant inflation, oil prices have plummeted, aides have admitted that he suffers from strain and exhaustion, and an embarrassing forgery scandal claimed the scalp of his interior minister last week, the Times reported.

This week, however, Ahmadinejad collected support from some newspapers for his message of congratulations to Obama, which several newspaper commentaries on Tuesday presented an important opportunity.

Ahmadinejad's message, sent last Thursday, was the first time an Iranian leader has offered such wishes to the winner of a U.S. presidential election since the two countries broke off relations after the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the hostage crisis at the U.S. Embassy.

Most recently, the two nations have been deeply at odds over Iran's nuclear program and what Washington says is Iran's support for Shiite militias in Iraq -- a charge that Iran denies.

The state-owned Khorshid newspaper said Ahmadinejad's message "shattered America's incorrect view" that the Iranian president is not open to the world.

The independent Etemaad newspaper said, "The message could create an important opportunity for both sides."

Another independent newspaper, Etemad-e Melli, reported that Ahmadinejad's press adviser, Ali Akbar Javanfekr, expected Obama to give "a deserving answer to the message as soon as possible."

The American president-elect on Friday confirmed having received Ahmadinejad's letter and said he would review it and "respond appropriately."

In his first news conference since last week's election, Obama declined to say Friday what proposals he might pursue in connection with Iran, but called the country's alleged efforts to develop nuclear weapons unacceptable.

"We have to mount an international effort to prevent that from happening," Obama said.

Iran says its nuclear program is intended only for peaceful purposes such as energy production.

Ahmadinejad's outreach to the United States' next president did have some critics at home among hard-line newspapers and lawmakers who said it made Iran appear weak.

Iranian Paper Shut Down for Obama Cover
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« Reply #221 on: November 15, 2008, 12:44:55 AM »

Iran accuses Israel of abusing U.N. interfaith meeting
Friday, November 14, 2008
By Patrick Worsnip

Iran's U.N. envoy on Thursday accused Israel of abusing a Saudi-sponsored U.N. interfaith conference for political purposes and suggested the Jewish state had no right to take part.

Speaking on the second day of the meeting, which earlier heard U.S. President George W. Bush call for worldwide religious freedom, Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee did not name Israel, but left no doubt what country he had in mind.

"The representative of a regime (whose) short history is marked with ... aggression, occupation, assassination, state terrorism and torture against the Palestinian people, under the pretext of a false interpretation of a divine religion, has tried to abuse this meeting for its narrow political purposes," he said.

Khazaee was referring to Israeli President Shimon Peres, who took the rare opportunity of being in the same room as Saudi King Abdullah on Wednesday to praise a Saudi peace initiative that he said brought hope to the Middle East.

"The participation of such a regime not only has no benefit to our common purpose, but, as proved in this very meeting, will give them a chance to try to disrupt the current process to divert our attention from our mandate" to improve dialogue between different religions, Khazaee said.

Iran believes the Jewish state has no right to exist and opposes peace talks. Israel considers Iran a threat to its existence and, along with the United States and other countries, accuses it of developing nuclear weapons. Tehran denies the charge.

Khazaee's speech stood out at the two-day meeting of the U.N. General Assembly, convened at the request of the Saudi monarch, not only because of its accusatory language, but because it failed to praise Abdullah.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal reacted coolly to Peres' remarks. "The disappointing side of President Peres' comment is that he chose parts of the Arab peace plan and left other parts untouched," he told reporters.

Earlier Bush, in what was almost certainly his last U.N. address, proclaimed religious freedom as the foundation of a healthy society and defended the U.S. record in protecting Muslims caught up in foreign conflicts.

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

The U.N. meeting, attended by leaders and diplomats from some 75 countries, was opened by King Abdullah, who on Wednesday denounced terrorism as the enemy of all religions.

In a closing statement, participants "affirmed their rejection of the use of religion to justify the killing of innocent people and actions of terrorism, violence and coercion." U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a news conference that was "a strong message to the world."

Bush, a Methodist who said faith sustained him through his presidency, which ends in January, praised Abdullah for initiating the meeting but also implicitly criticized countries that restrict religious practice. Saudi Arabia forbids public non-Muslim worship.

Noting that the United States had been founded by people fleeing religious persecution, Bush said that "Freedom is God's gift to every man, woman, and child -- and that freedom includes the right of all people to worship as they see fit."

He was speaking a short way from the site of New York's former World Trade Centre, destroyed in 2001 by planes piloted by Islamist al Qaeda militants. Some Muslim critics have called his subsequent "war on terror" a crusade against Islam.

"Our nation has helped defend the religious liberty of others, from liberating the (World War Two) concentration camps of Europe to protecting Muslims in places like Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq," Bush said.

"Religious freedom is the foundation of a healthy and hopeful society. We're not afraid to stand with religious dissidents and believers who practice their faith even where it is unwelcome."

Iran accuses Israel of abusing U.N. interfaith meeting
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« Reply #222 on: November 15, 2008, 12:51:09 AM »


Hmmmmmmm, I wonder if Iran is looking in a mirror?? And those who live in Glass Houses shouldn't be throwing stones.

This is so amazing, do they think the rest of the world is kept in the dark like their own people. They must, to think the rest of the world doesn't know that they are the people they are describing. It continues to amaze me the number of people who will spout things as the truth, knowing full good and well that it's not. You also see this a lot from the liberals, and the left.
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« Reply #223 on: November 20, 2008, 12:45:41 AM »

Iran increases stockpile of uranium

By Daniel Dombey in Washington and James Blitz in London

November 19 2008

Iran is forging ahead with its nuclear programme, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog reported on Wednesday, deepening the dilemma facing US president-elect Barack Obama over his campaign promise to engage with Tehran.

The latest report by the International Atomic Energy Agency reveals that Iran is rapidly increasing its stockpile of enriched uranium, which could be rendered into weapons-grade material should Tehran decide to develop a nuclear device.

The agency says that, as of this month, Tehran had amassed 630kg of low enriched uranium hexafluoride, up from 480kg in late August. Analysts say Iran is enriching uranium at such a pace that, by early next year, it could reach break-out capacity – one step away from producing enough fissile material for a crude nuclear bomb.

“They are moving forward, they are not making diplomatic overtures, they are accumulating low enriched uranium,” said Cliff Kupchan, an analyst at the Eurasia Group, a risk consultancy in Washington. “These guys are committed to their nuclear programme: if we didn’t know that, they just told us again.”

The IAEA report also says there has been a breakdown of communication between the agency and Iran over alleged research on an atomic weapon. “The Iranians are making good progress on enrichment but there is absolute stone-walling on past military activities,” said Mark Fitzpatrick of the International institute for Strategic Studies. “It’s very disappointing.”

The progress chalked up by Iran increases the difficulties for Mr Obama, who campaigned on promises of talking to America’s enemies, although during the election he scaled down his initial vow to meet Iran’s leaders to a more general commitment to consider doing so if it advanced US interests.

“Obama faces a real dilemma,” said the Eurasia Group’s Mr Kupchan. “He must decide whether to pursue diplomacy quickly in light of rapid Iranian progress or whether to wait in the hope of a more moderate Iranian leadership after Iran’s June presidential election.”

European diplomats have responded favourably to Mr Obama’s suggestion of US engagement with Iran, although they are keen to avoid unilateral US actions that would rip up the approach fashioned by the permanent five members of the UN Security Council and Germany.

IAEA officials said relations between the organisation and Iran had deteriorated so much there had been no contact between them for over two months, UN officials said on Wednesday.

”We had gridlock before but then at least we were talking to each other. Now it’s worse. There is no communication whatsoever, no progress regarding possible military dimensions in their programme,” a senior UN official said.

Ahead of Wednesday’s report, Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, the Iranian president, signalled that his country would press ahead with its nuclear program.

In a speech broadcast on TV, he said the US and its major allies wanted to deprive Iran of “honor and independence” by pressuring the country into halting its uranium enrichment work.

“Now the great powers are disappointed, as they have not the least bit of hope to break the Iranian people down,” he said. “If great powers seek to take over Iran’s rights, Iranian people will slap them so hard that they won’t find their way back home.”

Iran increases stockpile of uranium
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« Reply #224 on: November 20, 2008, 08:50:06 PM »

 Iran said to have enough nuclear fuel for one weapon
By William J. Broad and David E. Sanger
Thursday, November 20, 2008

Iran has now produced roughly enough nuclear material to make, with added purification, a single atom bomb, according to nuclear experts analyzing the latest report from global atomic inspectors.

The figures detailing Iran's progress were contained in a routine update on Wednesday from the International Atomic Energy Agency, which has been conducting inspections of the country's main nuclear plant at Natanz. The report concluded that as of early this month, Iran had made 630 kilograms, or about 1,390 pounds, of low-enriched uranium.

Several experts said that was enough for a bomb, but they cautioned that the milestone was mostly symbolic, because Iran would have to take additional steps. Not only would it have to breach its international agreements and kick out the inspectors, but it would also have to further purify the fuel and put it into a warhead design — a technical advance that Western experts are unsure Iran has yet achieved.

"They clearly have enough material for a bomb," said Richard Garwin, a top nuclear physicist who helped invent the hydrogen bomb and has advised Washington for decades. "They know how to do the enrichment. Whether they know how to design a bomb, well, that's another matter."

Iran insists that it wants only to fuel reactors for nuclear power. But many Western nations, led by the United States, suspect that its real goal is to gain the ability to make nuclear weapons.

While some Iranian officials have threatened to bar inspectors in the past, the country has made no such moves, and many experts inside the Bush administration and the IAEA believe it will avoid the risk of attempting "nuclear breakout" until it possessed a larger uranium supply.

Even so, for President-elect Barack Obama, the report underscores the magnitude of the problem that he will inherit Jan. 20: an Iranian nuclear program that has not only solved many technical problems of uranium enrichment, but that can also now credibly claim to possess enough material to make a weapon if negotiations with Europe and the United States break down.

American intelligence agencies have said Iran could make a bomb between 2009 and 2015. A national intelligence estimate made public late last year concluded that around the end of 2003, after long effort, Iran had halted work on an actual weapon. But enriching uranium, and obtaining enough material to build a weapon, is considered the most difficult part of the process.

Siegfried Hecker of Stanford University and a former director of the Los Alamos weapons laboratory said the growing size of the Iranian stockpile "underscored that they are marching down the path to developing the nuclear weapons option."

In the report to its board, the atomic agency said Iran's main enrichment plant was now feeding uranium into about 3,800 centrifuges — machines that spin incredibly fast to enrich the element into nuclear fuel. That count is the same as in the agency's last quarterly report, in September. Iran began installing the centrifuges in early 2007. But the new report's total of 630 kilograms — an increase of about 150 — shows that Iran has been making progress in accumulating material to make nuclear fuel.

That uranium has been enriched to the low levels needed to fuel a nuclear reactor. To further purify it to the highly enriched state needed to fuel a nuclear warhead, Iran would have to reconfigure its centrifuges and do a couple months of additional processing, nuclear experts said.

"They have a weapon's worth," Thomas Cochran, a senior scientist in the nuclear program of the Natural Resources Defense Council, a private group in Washington that tracks atomic arsenals, said in an interview.

He said the amount was suitable for a relatively advanced implosion-type weapon like the one dropped on Nagasaki. Its core, he added, would be about the size of a grapefruit. He said a cruder design would require about twice as much weapon-grade fuel.

"It's a virtual milestone," Cochran said of Iran's stockpile. It is not an imminent threat, he added, because the further technical work to make fuel for a bomb would tip off inspectors, the United States and other powers about "where they're going."

The agency's report made no mention of the possible military implications of the size of Iran's stockpile. And some experts said the milestone was still months away. In an analysis of the IAEA report, the Institute for Science and International Security, a private group in Washington, estimated that Iran had not yet reached the mark but would "within a few months." It added that other analysts estimated it might take as much as a year.

Whatever the exact date, it added, "Iran is progressing" toward the ability to quickly make enough weapon-grade uranium for a warhead.

Peter Zimmerman, a physicist and former United States government arms scientist, cautioned that the Iranian stockpile fell slightly short of what international officials conservatively estimate as the minimum threatening amount of nuclear fuel. "They're very close," he said of the Iranians in an interview. "If it isn't tomorrow, it's soon," probably a matter of months.

In its report, the IAEA, which is based in Vienna, said Iran was working hard to roughly double its number of operating centrifuges.

A senior European diplomat close to the agency said Iran might have 6,000 centrifuges enriching uranium by the end of the year. The report also said Iran had said it intended to start installing another group of 3,000 centrifuges early next year.

The atomic energy agency said Iran was continuing to evade questions about its suspected work on nuclear warheads. In a separate report released Wednesday, the agency said, as expected, that it had found ambiguous traces of uranium at a suspected Syrian reactor site bombed by Israel last year.

"While it cannot be excluded that the building in question was intended for non-nuclear use," the report said, the building's features "along with the connectivity of the site to adequate pumping capacity of cooling water, are similar to what may be found in connection with a reactor site." Syria has said the uranium came from Israeli bombs.

Iran said to have enough nuclear fuel for one weapon 
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