Iran

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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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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