End Times Watch 71
Questions About Military Aspects Of Iran Nukes
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End Times Watch 71 - UN: Questions about military
aspects of Iran nukes - William J. Kole –
End times watch - Iran is stonewalling the U.N. nuclear
watchdog on "possible military dimensions" to its suspect nuclear program,
officials said Friday, urging the regime to clarify the mysterious role of a
foreign explosives expert and shed light on other issues.
A senior Iranian envoy angrily denounced the assessment as
"fabrication," insisting his country has gone out of its way to be transparent
In its latest report, the International Atomic Energy
Agency said it has pressed the Islamic Republic to clarify its uranium
enrichment activities and reassure the world that it's not trying to build an
Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful and geared
solely toward generating electricity. The United States and important allies
contend the country is covertly trying to build an atomic weapon. End times
Before six-power talks on Iran on Sept. 2 — and a key
meeting of the IAEA's 35-nation board a week after that — the IAEA acknowledged
that Iran has been producing nuclear fuel at a slower rate and has allowed U.N.
inspectors broader access to its main nuclear complex in the southern city of
Natanz and to a reactor in Arak.
But the Vienna-based agency delivered a blunt assessment:
"Iran has not suspended its enrichment-related activities." End times watch.
"There remain a number of outstanding issues which give
rise to concerns and which need to be clarified to exclude the existence of
possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program," said the text, a copy
of which was obtained by The Associated Press. End times watch.
It said the IAEA "does not consider that Iran has
adequately addressed the substance of the issues, having focused instead on the
style and form ... and providing limited answers and simple denials."
The report contained a reference to a "foreign national
with explosives expertise" who apparently assisted the Iranian nuclear program.
It did not identify the expert by name or nationality, and officials — pressed
by the AP for details — would not elaborate.
Iran's chief representative to the IAEA, Ali Asghar
Soltanieh, told the AP he found the report "very frustrating," and angrily
suggested that U.S. intelligence was working to undermine Iran's credibility.
End times watch.
"America alleges that Iran has a Manhattan Project" to
build a bomb, Soltanieh said. "This is ridiculous. This game is enough. It
should be over. ... We have tried to take a very logical and pragmatic
"All these things are fabrications. We have been too
transparent and cooperative with the agency," he added.
"We are very concerned that they are not addressing the
concerns of the international community," U.S. State Department spokesman Ian
Kelly said Friday in Washington.
"They say they want to have the right to a civilian nuclear
energy program, but they also have the obligation to show the world that that is
indeed what they intend to do," he said.
The report raised the specter of harsher international
sanctions against Iran for not answering lingering questions about its nuclear
activities. End times watch.
President Barack Obama has given Iran something of an
ultimatum: Stop enriching uranium — which, if done at a high level, can produce
fissile material for the core of a nuclear weapon — or face harsher penalties.
In exchange, it could get trade benefits from the six countries engaged in the
talks: the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia. End times
This week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Iran that
if it doesn't respond, it could face stronger sanctions in the energy and
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, meanwhile, suggested
unspecified "severe" new sanctions against Iran if it continues its nuclear
Despite the pressure, senior U.N. officials said Friday
that Iran has been feeding uranium ore into some of its 8,300 centrifuges at a
reduced rate, suggesting that sanctions already in place may be hampering its
As of Aug. 12, only about 4,600 of those centrifuges were
actively enriching uranium, compared with about 4,900 in June — the last time
the IAEA issued a report on Iran's nuclear activities — officials said.
Since then, they said, Iran has installed roughly 1,000
more centrifuges, but it appeared that many were idle.
"We need further explanations," said a Western diplomat,
declining to be identified because he was not authorized to publicly discuss the
The U.N. Security Council has imposed sanctions against
Iran three times since 2006 for its refusal to freeze uranium enrichment. The
sanctions grew from fears that Iran is using the pretext of building a peaceful
nuclear energy program as a guise to eventually make weapons-grade enriched
The country has also been placed on an international watch
list to help limit the importation of nuclear materials, which could make it
difficult to procure enough uranium oxide to feed its enrichment program.
The IAEA also chided Syria for not fully cooperating on
efforts to clear up questions about whether it was trying to build a nuclear
complex at a desert site bombed by Israel in 2007. End times watch.
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