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Ed Webb

Iran cutting sensitive nuclear stocks, much work remains: IAEA | Reuters - 0 views

  • Among measures Iran is taking since the interim agreement took effect on January 20 is the dilution of its stock of higher-enriched uranium to a fissile concentration less suitable for any attempt to fuel an atomic bomb.

    Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), indicated that Iran had made sufficient progress in this regard to receive a scheduled March 1 installment of $450 million out of a total of $4.2 billion in previously blocked overseas funds.

  • Separately, the IAEA is investigating suspicions - largely believed to be based on intelligence provided by Western states and Israel - that Iran has researched how to construct an atomic bomb, a charge Tehran denies. Iran says it is Israel's assumed nuclear arsenal that threatens Middle East peace.

  • Amano said 17 IAEA member states had so far expressed interest in contributing extra-budgetary funds to help finance the IAEA's extra workload in monitoring the implementation of the Geneva agreement in Iran, but that more was needed. "We are still short of some €1.6 million ($2.21 million)," Amano said.

    The U.N. agency said in January it needed about 5.5 million euros from member states to pay for its increased activities in Iran. This would cover more inspectors sent to Iran and the purchase of specialized surveillance-related equipment.

Ed Webb

New Iran envoy says hopes disputes with IAEA can be resolved | Reuters - 0 views

  • Iran will cooperate with the U.N. nuclear agency to find ways to "overcome existing issues once and for all", Tehran's new envoy said on Thursday, hinting at a more flexible approach under relatively moderate President Hassan Rouhani.
  • repeated Iran's stance that it would not cede what it calls its legitimate right to a peaceful nuclear energy program.
  • "Based on its rights and obligations recognized under the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty), Iran is ready to faithfully engage and remove any ambiguity on its nuclear activities,"
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  • Western states see a meeting set for September 27 in Vienna as a litmus test of any substantive Iranian shift
  • Rouhani, who has vowed that Iran will be more transparent and less confrontational in talks both with the IAEA and the big powers, said this week that time for resolving Iran's nuclear dispute with the West was limited.

    He said he would meet foreign ministers of some of the six powers - Russia, China, France, Britain, the United States and Germany - when he attends the U.N. General Assembly in New York this month.

  • A senior adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is expected to meet Rouhani on Friday, told reporters Moscow hopes that new talks between Iran and the six powers will be held very soon and that both sides need to be flexible. Russia has much warmer ties with the Islamic Republic than Western states do.

    "It is important that Iran display the necessary flexibility and readiness to meet the international community's demands," Yuri Ushakov said. "The six nations, in turn, should also demonstrate a creative approach and be ready to respond adequately to the positive steps that we expect from Iran."

Ed Webb

Ahmadinejad and the 9/11 attacks - Americas - Al Jazeera English - 1 views

  • About 46 per cent of the world's people believe that al-Qaeda launched the 9/11 attacks, while 15 per cent think the US government was behind the assault, and seven per cent blame Israel, according to a
    2008 world public opinion study carried out by the Program on International Policy (PIPA) Attitudes at the University of Maryland, which interviewed 16,063 people worldwide.

    But Ahmadinejad views himself as a leader in the Arab and Muslim worlds. And, in these regions, surveys show significant sectors of the population believe that the US and Israel launched the 9/11 attacks to meet their own geopolitical goals.

    In Jordan, 31 per cent of those polled by PIPA believe Israel was behind the attacks, while only 11 per cent blame it on al-Qaeda. Likewise, 43 per cent of Egyptians blame Israel, and 12 per cent
    think the US was responsible, while only 16 per cent think al-Qaeda brought down the towers.

    A 2006 poll from Scrippsnews says 36 per cent of Americans consider it "very likely" or "somewhat likely" that US government officials either allowed the attacks to be carried or launched the attacks
    themselves.

  • Ahmadinejad is speaking to a significant global constituency. There is little evidence to suggest that they include "the majority of the American people, as well as most nations and politicians around the world", as the Iranian leader said in his UN speech. But the 9/11 "conspiracy theories" are not a fringe phenomenon either.
Ed Webb

AP Interview: Ahmadinejad says future is Iran's - Yahoo! News - 0 views

  • "The United States' administrations ... must recognize that Iran is a big power,"
  • "We are not afraid of nuclear weapons. The point is that if we had in fact wanted to build a nuclear bomb, we are brave enough to say that we want it. But we never do that. We are saying that the arsenal of nuclear bombs (worldwide) have to be destroyed as well,"
  • His answers were translated from Farsi by an Iranian translator, but Ahmadinejad appeared to be following the questions in English and occasionally corrected his interpreter
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  • Ahmadinejad said that Iran's course is set and the rest of the world needs to accept it
  • Ahmadinejad said Iran wants answers to a number of questions it has presented to the six powers.

    They include whether the group wants "to create the circumstances for further friendship or for further confrontation," whether the six are fully committed to implementing the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and "what the group's opinion is regarding the atomic bombs that the Zionist regime holds," he said, a reference to Israel, which refuses to confirm it possesses a nuclear arsenal.

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    We should spend a minute or two discussing Mr Ahmadinejad's comments and how the US and others might sensibly react (if at all).
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