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Aug 21st, 2010

Israel: Fueling Up Iran Reactor ‘Totally Unacceptable’

Despite sanctions, Iran starts up nuclear plant that U.S. once hoped to block


Iran fuels up first nuclear power plant (NBC Nightly News, Aug. 21, 2010) — In a significant step to becoming a nuclear nation, engineers loaded fuel into the Islamic republic’s first plant despite U.N. sanctions. NBC’s Lester Holt reports. (00:21)

The Associated Press and Reuters via
Aug. 21, 2010

BUSHEHR, Iran — Israel on Saturday denounced Iran’s fueling up of its first nuclear power plant as “totally unacceptable” and called for more international pressure to force Tehran to cease any uranium enrichment.

Israel, widely assumed to be the only Middle East country to have nuclear weapons, has said a nuclear-armed Iran would be a threat to its existence, raising concerns Israel could attack Iran’s nuclear sites. …

The United States, Israel and some other Western countries fear Iran’s nuclear is aimed at produce atomic weapons.

Washington does not oppose Iran’s stated aim of producing nuclear energy but is concerned that if Iran masters the enrichment cycle it would have a pathway to weapons production under the convenient cover of a peaceful energy program. Iran denies such an intention, saying it wants nuclear power solely for energy production. …

The Russian-built Bushehr nuclear power plant will be internationally supervised, including a pledge by Russia to safeguard it against materials being diverted for any possible use in creating nuclear weapons. Iran’s agreement to allow the oversight was a rare compromise by the Islamic state over its atomic program.

Western powers have cautiously accepted the deal as a way to keep spent nuclear fuel from crossing over to any military use. They say it illustrates their primary struggle: To block Iran’s drive to create material that could be used for nuclear weapons and not its pursuit of peaceful nuclear power.

Iran has long declared it has a right like other nations to produce nuclear energy. …

Iran has some of the world’s biggest oil reserves, but lacks refinery capacity to meet domestic demand and must repurchase fuel on international markets. Nuclear power is seen as both a goal to meet power needs and an important technological achievement for the Islamic government. …

After years of delays in completing the plant, Moscow now claims that the project is essential to persuading Iran to cooperate with international efforts to ensure it does not develop the bomb. …

The uranium fuel Russia has supplied for Bushehr is well below the more than 90 percent enrichment needed for a nuclear warhead. Iran is already producing its own uranium enriched to the Bushehr level — about 3.5 percent. It also has started a pilot program of enriching uranium to 20 percent, which officials say is needed for a medical research reactor. …

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reiterated Friday that Tehran was ready to resume negotiations with the six major powers trying to curb Iran’s enrichment work — the five permanent Security Council members plus Germany.

Ahmadinejad, however, insisted Iran would reject calls to completely halt uranium enrichment, a key U.N. demand. The president had earlier said the talks could start in September, but in an interview with Japan’s biggest newspaper, The Yomiuri Shimbun, he said the talks could start as early as this month. …


Related report

U.S. assures Israel nuclear Iran not imminent


8/22/10 Update

Report: Iran plans to unveil defense project (CNN, Aug. 22, 2010) — The Iranian defense minister has said the country’s military plans to unveil an important project Sunday, state media said. The semiofficial Mehr News Agency has reported that the Iranian armed forces would test-fire new missiles today. … Full story

An Iranian flag flutters at an undisclosed location in Iran next to a surface-to-surface Qiam-1 (Rising) missile, Aug. 20, 2010. (Photo: AFP / Getty Images)
An Iranian flag flutters at an undisclosed location in Iran next to a new liquid fuel surface-to-surface Qiam-1 missile with advanced guidance systems, test-fired on Friday, Aug. 20, 2010. (Photo credit: AFP / Getty Images)


Iran Unveils ‘Ambassador of Death’ Bomber

Image: Iranian Karrar drone aircraft
This photo released by the Iranian Defense Ministry, reportedly shows a launch of the Karrar drone aircraft, which Iran says is the country’s first domestically-built, long-range, unmanned bomber aircraft. (Photo credit: Vahid Reza Alaei / AP)

The Associated Press and Reuters via
Aug. 22, 2010

TEHRAN, Iran — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Sunday inaugurated the country’s first domestically built long-range unmanned bomber aircraft, calling it an “ambassador of death” to Iran’s enemies.

Speaking to a group of officials, Ahmadinejad said, “The jet, as well as being an ambassador of death for the enemies of humanity, has a main message of peace and friendship.”

The goal of the aircraft is to “keep the enemy paralyzed in its bases,” he said, adding that the jet is for deterrence and defensive purposes.

The president championed the country’s military self-sufficiency program and said it will continue “until the enemies of humanity lose hope of ever attacking the Iranian nation.”

The 4-meter-long unmanned plane, dubbed the Karrar, or striker, in Farsi, was inaugurated on the national day for the country’s defense industry in a ceremony aired live on state TV. …

In a speech at the unveiling ceremony, Ahmadinejad said Iran should seek the ability to make pre-emptive strikes against a perceived threat, although he said it would never strike first. …

Nuclear fears

The ceremony came a day after Iran began to fuel its first nuclear power reactor, with the help of Russia, amid international concerns over the possibility of a military dimension to its nuclear program.

Iran insists it is interested only in generating electricity.

Referring to Israel’s occasional threats against Iran’s nuclear facilities, Ahmadinejad called any attack unlikely, but he said if Israel did attack, the reaction would be overwhelming.

“The scope of Iran’s reaction will include the entire earth,” said Ahmadinejad. “We also tell you — the West — that all options are on the table.”

Ahmadinejad appeared to be consciously echoing the terminology used by the U.S. and Israel in their statements not ruling out a military option against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

On Friday, Iran also test-fired a new liquid fuel surface-to-surface missile, the Qiam-1, with advanced guidance systems.

Since 1992, Iran has also produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles, torpedoes and a fighter plane. It frequently makes announcements about advances in military technology that cannot be independently verified.

Iran launched an arms development program during its 1980-88 war with Iraq to compensate for a U.S. weapons embargo.


8/23/10 Update

Iran Says It Will Mass Produce Assault Boats

Image: Ahmad Vahidi
Iranian Defense Minister Gen. Ahmad Vahidi, center, speaks in front of a Zolfaghar assault boat as it is displayed at the Defense Ministry Naval Industries Complex in Tehran on Monday, August 23, 2010. (Photo credit: Yalda Moayyeri / AP)

Aug. 23, 2010

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s military has opened production lines for two new types of assault boats, state television reported Monday.

The announcement came a day after Iran said it had developed an unmanned bomber aircraft that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the “ambassador of death” to Iran’s enemies.

Both announcements drew a U.S. warning that Iran’s weapons advancements were being met by increased military cooperation between Washington and its Arab allies in the region.

One of the vessels unveiled Monday, known as the Zolfaghar, is armed with missiles, state TV reported. The second is called the Seraj, or Light, and is a high-speed patrol boat with a fiberglass body.

Defense Minister Gen. Ahmad Vahidi said the new vessels “will add remarkable powers to Iran’s navy.” …

Full story


Related reports on this site

What if Israel Bombed Iran? // Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (© Andre Penner / AP)

Iran Preps to Fire Up Nuke Plant (Oct. 25, 2010)

Iran Claims Israel Plans Attack on Nuclear Sites (June 27, 2010)

McCain: ‘Pull Trigger’ on Iran (April 15, 2010)

Israel Dragging US into Iran War? (March 21, 2010)

Iran Ramps Up Nuclear Program (Feb. 22, 2010)

Iran Now a ‘Nuclear State’ (Feb. 11, 2010)

Iran, North Korea Threat Level Rises (Dec. 13, 2009)

Obama Demands Access to Nuke Site (Sept. 26, 2009)

Psychological Profile of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (June 11, 2009)

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threat assessment


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — August 21, 2009

Tom Ridge Terror Threat Claim


The Nexus of Politics and Terror (MSNBC “Countdown,” Aug. 21, 2009) — Countdown tracks the questionable stories the Bush administration fabricated as an opportunity to raise terror alerts for their own political gain starting in May 2002. (16:36)

One year ago today, I reported that former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge claimed in a new book that he was pressured by other members of President George W. Bush’s Cabinet to raise the nation’s terror alert level just before the 2004 presidential election.


FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — August 21, 2008

Starting the day's walk at the Benton County Courts Facility in Foley, Aug. 22, 2008.

On the Campaign Trail: Day 38

Two years ago today, on the 38th day of my 2008 campaign against U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, I announced the August 22 kick-off of a second walking tour, this time a 50-mile campaign swing from Foley in the east to Paynesville on the western boundary of the Sixth Congressional District. In line with my campaign focus on national security, I also featured a Newsweek interview with Gen. David Petraeus, in which the former U.S. commander in Iraq explained why vigilance was still needed in Iraq and why Afghanistan in some ways posed an even greater security dilemma for the United States.

5 Responses to “Iran Starts Up Nuclear Plant”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » $1,000 Bounty for Dead Americans Says:

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  3. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Iran Unveils New Missile System Says:

    […] Iran unveils ‘Ambassador of Death’ bomber — This photo released by the Iranian Defense Ministry in August 2010 reportedly shows a launch of the Karrar drone aircraft, which Iran says is the country’s first domestically-built, long-range, unmanned bomber aircraft. […]

  4. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Iran Now a ‘Nuclear State’ Says:

    […] Iran Starts Up Nuclear Plant (Aug. 21, 2010) […]

  5. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Iran Claims Israel Plans Attack Says:

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