Iran

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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Iran: 'We will build 10 more nuclear plants by 2011'

By Jessica Elgot, February 8, 2010

Iran is planning to build 10 more uranium enrichment plants by March 2011, the country’s Head of Atomic Energy has said.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad revealed that the Atomic Energy Organisation has been instructed to produce higher-grade fuel for the Tehran nuclear reactor.

But he also insisted that talks were still ongoing with the West over a possible uranium enrichment outsourcing to France and Russia.

The organisation’s head, Ali Akbar Salehi, said it plans to build 10 new plants over the next Iranian year, which begins on March 21.

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No peace? Blame the EU and the UN

By Stephen Pollard, February 8, 2010

The cliché about the annual Herzliya conference is that anyone who is anyone in discussions about Israel’s security is there. But that’s not quite true. Rather, everyone is there — from the most senior Israeli politicians, soldiers and advisers to students, foreign experts and even grubby hacks.

Most years there tends to be a theme on everyone’s lips. This year, there were two.

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Iran 'is set to go nuclear by 2012'

By Stephen Pollard, February 4, 2010

A senior adviser to the US and Israeli governments has warned that Iran is capable of developing a stockpile of nuclear weapons by as early as 2012.

According to the adviser, who is regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on Iranian defence strategy: “All the evidence is that Iran wants to have enough bombs to be able to threaten Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states.”

Unless its current progress is impeded, Iran’s nuclear capacity will increase to a level which will force a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

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Analysis: Germany gets tough on Iran

By Meir Javedanfar, January 28, 2010

Until recently, when it came to taking a hard line against Iran, Germany was seen as less enthusiastic than other major European powers such as France and the UK.

Lately the German government seems to have shifted its position. This week, Chancellor Angela Merkel promised to back tougher sanctions and the German giant Siemens stated that it will cut future trade with Tehran.

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Analysis: Death of Iranian nuclear scientist will be costly

By Meir Javedanfar, January 14, 2010

The assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Masoud Ali Mohammadi, who was killed on Tuesday when a motorcycle bomb was detonated outside his home, does not bode well for the Iranian government.

If his assassins were from foreign intelligence agencies or opposition groups, it would mean that the security of Iran’s nuclear programme has been seriously compromised — so much so that foreign operatives feel confident enough to eliminate their targets in broad daylight.

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Iran official resigns over Israel email

By James Martin, January 4, 2010

One of Iran’s top sports officials has resigned after his emailed New Year’s greetings to members of world football’s governing body was mistakenly forwarded to Israel’s football federation.

Mohammad Mansour Azimzadeh Ardebili sent the message through the sport’s governing body, FIFA. It was intended to go to all FIFA members except Israel, but was reportedly forwarded to the Israel Football Association, too.

Ardebili was a spokesman for the Iranian Football Federation (FFI).

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Analysis: A revolution in Iran? Don’t get too excited

By Miriam Shaviv, December 30, 2009

For many Western pundits, the demonstrations against the Iranian regime on Sunday signalled the beginning of another revolution. This was Iran’s “Berlin Wall moment”, The Times enthused; the start of a “bloody endgame”.

Long-time observers noted that it took more than a year to unseat the Shah after demonstrations began in January 1978, and that the current regime seems determined to retain its grip on power through extreme violence, mass arrests and even rape. While the regime is clearly in deep domestic trouble, it could take months and even years to resolve.

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How Iran's secret A-plant was exposed

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 17, 2009

Israel’s military intelligence chief, Major General Amos Yadlin, has confirmed that Iran owned up to its secret nuclear facility in Qom only because it discovered that Western intelligence services were already aware of its existence.

According to other intelligence sources, several months ago, Iran captured a spy operated by MI6 and discovered that Western intelligence services knew about Qom.

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