View Full Version : Iran To Restart Nuclear Work

07-28-2005, 08:41 AM
Iran to restart nuclear work
Notes advance in missile program


By Ali Akbar Dareini, Associated Press | July 28, 2005

The Shahab-3 missile -- able to fly up to 1,200 miles, according to Iran, putting the entire Arabian Peninsula and even parts of Greece and Egypt within its range -- is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. Iran, however, insists its controversial nuclear program does not aim to develop weapons.

The developments come as new hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad prepares to take office Aug. 6. Some Europeans worry that he will take a tougher line in negotiations about Iran's nuclear program. Ahmadinejad has said Iran will not pursue atomic weapons, but will not submit to international pressure to abandon its nuclear program.

Iran has decided to resume parts of the program it froze under an agreement with the Europeans, outgoing President Mohammad Khatami said yesterday.

The process to be resumed is the conversion of raw uranium into gas, Khatami said. He said Iran would not resume the next stage, enrichment of the gas. Enrichment turns the gas into material that can be used either to produce weapons or as fuel for a nuclear reactor to produce energy.

In November, Iran suspended uranium enrichment-related activities to avoid possible UN sanctions and to build trust in negotiations with Europeans, who are trying to impose limits to ensure Iran cannot produce weapons.

Iran has repeatedly said the suspension is voluntary and temporary. In May, it agreed to continue the suspension in return for a comprehensive plan by Europeans by early August, including economic incentives. Khatami said that once that plan is produced, it will restart work at the Isfahan conversion facility that reprocesses uranium into gas, whether or not the Europeans consent.

Iran has said it does not want to make atomic weapons, despite US claims to the contrary, but defends its right to pursue a nuclear program for peaceful purposes.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani said Iran has taken an ''important step forward," successfully testing a solid-fuel engine for the Shahab-3 and developing technology to produce solid fuel domestically.

Solid fuel makes missiles more durable and dramatically increases their accuracy. Missiles using liquid fuel are short-lived.

Israeli officials would not immediately comment. But retired Major General Isaac Ben-Israel of the Israeli Air Force, a weapons specialist now on the faculty of Tel Aviv University, said, ''It doesn't matter what kind of fuel they use. What matters is how lethal the warhead is."

© Copyright 2005 Globe Newspaper Company.

07-28-2005, 07:18 PM
Iran claims a missile breakthrough



Iran's defense minister tells The Associated Press that his country has the technology to build solid-fuel missiles.

The development is considered a major breakthrough that increases the accuracy of medium-range missiles hitting targets.

The defense minister says Iran has made an "important step forward" in gaining the ability to fire solid-fuel ballistic missiles. Solid fuel not only increases a missile's accuracy, it makes it more durable than a liquid-fueled weapon.

Iran's Shahab-Three missile has a range of more than 12-hundred miles, putting it within striking distance of Israel and US forces in the Middle East.

While Iran has not conducted a flight test on a solid-fuel medium-range missile, it says it did test a solid-fuel motor for the weapon.

07-28-2005, 07:22 PM
Everybody keep their eyes on this... if Israel strikes Iran, then that may very well be the beginning of WWIII.

07-28-2005, 07:31 PM
Iran slams Chirac's comments on Tehran's nuclear program


By Haaretz Service and News Agencies

A senior Iranian cleric this weekend slammed French President Jacques Chirac for comments he made on Iran's nuclear program in a Friday interview to Haaretz.

"The possibility that Iran will equip itself with nuclear weaponry is unacceptable to France, its partners and the entire world," Chirac told Haaretz. When asked on the possibility of imposing sanctions on the Islamic Republic if it chooses to ignore international demands, he went beyond his previous statements in the firmness of his response.

"We are demanding of Iran concrete guarantees that its nuclear program will be restricted to peaceful and civilian purposes," he said. "If this does not prove to be the case, it will of course be necessary to transfer the handling [of the Iranian problem] to the UN Security Council."

Military actions, however, "are not a solution, whatever the problem," the French President said.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said in reaction that he could not tell how accurate the interview was since "it was made to an Israeli daily."

But Asefi said that European countries "should not use threatening language against Iran, because it is useless."

Furthermore, the Iranian national news agency, IRNA, published an analysis article stating that Chirac led to the deterioration of the relations between Tehran, London and Berlin. The comments given to Haaretz, the article said, were "the first time Chirac warned Tehran of the possibility of imposing sanctions. So far, the European trio (Paris, London and Berlin) resisted American pressure to pass the Iranian question to the Security Council."

"Less than two weeks after the swearing in of Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad," the analysis read, "the relations between Tehran and its key partners in the negotiations on the future of the Iranian nuclear program have crossed the 'turbulence area.'"

Quoting Ahmadinejad, IRNA wrote that "just as much as we hate weapons of mass destruction, we hate it when people try to deny our legitimate right to use nuclear technologies for peaceful ends."

Former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani told worshippers at Friday prayers at Tehran University: "We will never abandon our obvious right, otherwise it will be a stain of shame on our history."

07-28-2005, 07:34 PM
A French kiss


By Adar Primor

When Jacques Chirac showers us with love and praise, what are his intentions? The interview the French president gave Haaretz on the eve of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's visit to Paris included expressions of exceptional warmth. Observers and informed sources offer several interpretations for what is hiding behind Chirac's "admiration" for his "great friend" - Israel:

l Bilateral relations and the peace process. In 2002 Chirac's France decided to sever the dependence of bilateral relations on progress in the peace process. Since then - as Sharon's visit and Chirac's words prove - the practical development in these relations reflect a significant warming, the likes of which have not been seen since the Israeli-French "honeymoon" ended in 1967: there is growing cooperation on the political, economic, cultural and civilian business levels and even on the security and intelligence levels.

This cooperation became even closer following the developments in the peace process and with them the desire to hug the "disengaging" Sharon, for the sake of the success of the withdrawal from Gaza and so that this will not be the last withdrawal.

l Anti-Semitism. Chirac, the first French president to recognize his country's responsibility for the Vichy regime's crimes, has decided to root out the anti-Semitic scourge. The president's actions, say Israeli diplomats, go beyond those of all his colleagues in the European Union. The French Interior Ministry's report, published on Monday, provides proof of his determination: In the first half of 2005 there was a 48-percent decline in the number of anti-Semitic incidents (and a 67-percent drop in violent anti-Semitic incidents) compared to the parallel period last year.

l Terror. "Nothing can justify terror," declared Chirac in the interview. The French president refuses to view Palestinian terror as the legitimate activity of a freedom movement. Analysts say that Chirac stiffened his position following the attacks in London. "Europe is waking up," said one Israeli source.

l Hamas. While British diplomats met recently with Hamas representatives, Chirac stated that "Hamas is a terrorist organization that cannot be an interlocutor in the international community." Some say this unequivocal statement surprised even the Quai d'Oorsay

l The Middle East. The distinct warning voiced by Chirac concerning Iran's nuclear program and the possibility of international sanctions against Iran surprised Jerusalem and sent shock waves to Tehran. The question of the influence of Iran's president-elect, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is a mystery to the French, who can no longer hang their hopes on the moderate image of Mohammed Khatami. Chirac's warning reflects deep French concern regarding the changes in the Iranian leadership.

France also played a major role in the latest developments in Lebanon: When Chirac says, "Syria must develop and take the changed environment into consideration," he is demanding that Syrian President Bashar Assad institute democracy, reforms, openness and a full withdrawal from Lebanon that will allow the Lebanese to run there own country with total independence.

Sharon's visit, it has been decided, will be "a visit of agreements," although this conceals disagreements, some of them fundamental:

l The terrorist pretext. Even if "nothing can justify terror," Chirac, like British Prime Minister Tony Blair, hints that the Middle East conflict is one of the factors that nurture terror. The French believe that on the day Israeli-Palestinian peace is established, one of the major pretexts for the terrorists will disappear.

l Hezbollah. Chirac demands the disarming of this organization, but refuses to include it in the European Union's list of terrorist organizations. He views the politicization of Hezbollah as a solution and feels that any other move will undermine the stability of the Lebanese government.

l Hamas' legitimacy. In private conversations it can be deduced from the French that Chirac's unwavering position will not last for long. Hamas' establishment in the territories - and most certainly its victory in the Palestinian parliamentary elections - will start it along Hezbollah's current path.

The French stress, time and again, that "Israel's existence and legitimacy are indispensable" to them. While there is no doubt that they are aiming for excellent relations, it is still clear that the separation between improved relations and the progress of the peace process is artificial. The fact is a return to "the golden age," like the period before 1967, is not an option for them. Not now. For that the peace process will have to be complete.

In the meantime, Chirac wants to bring the warming relations out of the closet and show everyone how much closer Israel and France are at seeing eye-to-eye on Middle East issues. Sharon will respond in kind: Their mutual interests are more important to him than his natural restraint from anything that smacks of "Europe."