Iran

Iran agrees nuclear deal with Brazil and Turkey

By Jessica Elgot, May 17, 2010

Iran has agreed to ship low enriched uranium to Turkey, but has said it will still continue to enrich uranium to up to 20 per cent.

After talks with Brazil and Turkey, Iran has agreed to exchange Iran’s stocks of enriched uranium in exchange for nuclear fuel rods, for use in scientific research.

Although nuclear weapons need uranium enriched to 90 per cent, the deal deprives Iran of its current stocks of enriched uranium, which could be used in future bomb production. Fuel rods cannot be processed any further than their current state.

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Ahmedinejad accuses US, Israel of planning Iran nuclear attack

By Jessica Elgot, May 4, 2010

British delegates walked out of a speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad at the United Nations, in which he attacked the US and Israel’s nuclear programmes at a session on nuclear proliferation.

The US Department of Defence used the same meeting to call for transparency about nuclear arms – revealing it has 5,113 nuclear weapons currently in its arsenal.

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Clinton: We support Israel against Syria, Iran

By Jessica Elgot, April 30, 2010

The US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has restated the US’s firm commitment to Israel’s security and has warned Iran and Syria against supplying weapons to Gaza and Hizbollah.

In a speech to the American Jewish Committee, Mrs Clinton underlined her commitment to peace in the region, and condemned the transfer of weapons from Syria to terrorists in Gaza and to Hizbollah in Lebanon.

Israel is becoming increasingly concerned over the possible transfer of Scud missiles to Hizbollah, which would allow terrorists to hit Israeli targets more easily.

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William Hague: I have Iran in my sights

April 29, 2010

William Hague is in no doubt about the most urgent issue to face him if he finds himself in the Foreign Office next month.

"It's the Iranian nuclear programme," he says. "We have consistently been the party arguing for tough sanctions and a strong European approach over the last few years, and are very frustrated that this hasn't emerged strongly enough."

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Analysis: On Iran, at least, Bibi and Obama agree

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 15, 2010

Commentators have been competing with each other to come up with the best superlative to describe the apparent crisis in Israel-American relations, but it has gone almost unnoticed that on one very significant issue, President Barack Obama seems to be closer now to Israel's position that the Bush administration.

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Murdered Iranian protester Neda's fiance slammed for Israel visit

By Jessica Elgot, March 26, 2010

The fiancé of Neda Agha-Soltan, killed during the Iranian protests last year, has been strongly criticised by Iranians for meeting Israel’s President Shimon Peres.

Neda became the symbol of the resistance in Iran after she was killed during last June’s protests against President Ahmadinejad’s regime.

Her fiancé Caspian Makan, who claims he was tortured by the Iranian police after Neda’s death, has met President Peres in Israel.

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US gets its allies into line over Iran

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 18, 2010

If the frequency of high-level talks between Israel and the US is anything to go by, we seem to be in for a very tense period in the region. This week it was the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, in Israel for talks with the heads of the defence establishment. Next week it is going to be Vice President Joe Biden.

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Ahmadinejad: We could produce nuclear bombs

By Jessica Elgot, February 11, 2010

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has announced that his country now has the capacity to enrich uranium to 80 per cent, enough to produce nuclear weapons.

In a speech to hundreds of Iranians in Tehran’s central square, marking the 31st anniversary of the Islamic revolution, Mr Ahmadinejad said: “If we wanted to manufacture a bomb, we would announce it ... our nation has the courage to explicitly say it and build it and not fear you."

Iran has managed to produce uranium enriched to 20 per cent just two days after they announced they were beginning the process.

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China the key to controlling Iran

By Tim Marshall, February 11, 2010

China’s moment has arrived. Conventional wisdom says that whichever way Russia votes at the UN Security Council, China follows. Those days are over. As we head for sanctions against Iran “within weeks, not months”, according to US Defence Secretary Robert Gates, China will choose its own path.

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Netanyahu calls for 'crippling' Iran sanctions

By Jessica Elgot, February 9, 2010

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has called for “crippling sanctions” against Iran in a meeting with European ambassadors in Israel.

His call to EU leaders comes as Tehran announced it would begin enriching uranium to 20 per cent, rather than the 3.5 per cent it is currently producing.

The technology used to enrich uranium to this level is very similar to that needed to make a nuclear bomb, about 80 to 90 per cent.

Mr Netanyahu said: "Iran is racing forward to produce nuclear weapons, in brazen defiance of international law.

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