Iran

China will oppose Goldstone Report at UN

By Jessica Elgot, October 22, 2009

China has confirmed it will oppose any discussion of the Goldstone Report at the meeting of the UN Security Council and attempt to block the report being used for war crimes trials.

The Chinese statement came during a visit of members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee to Beijing.

Committee chairman MK Tzachi Hanegbi had previously criticised the Chinese government for voting in favour of the report at the UN Human Rights Council meeting.

The report passed with 25 votes in favour and six opposed. Britain failed to vote.

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Analysis: Iran deal is victory for Obama...for now

By Meir Javedanfar, October 21, 2009

After three days of intensive negotiations with the US, France and Russia, Iran has agreed to a draft deal on the status of its nuclear programme. Although the exact details of the deal are not yet clear, it appears that Iran is to export most of its Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) to Russia.

This deal is a victory for Barack Obama, as he has managed to convince Iran to give up what many believe is somewhere between 75 – 80 per cent of its LEU. That means for now, it will be impossible for Iran to make a nuclear bomb, as the LEU it needs will no longer be in the country.

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Iran nuclear plan tentatively agreed

By Jessica Elgot, October 21, 2009

Iran has agreed a draft proposal from US, Russian and French negotiators in Vienna to export three-quarters of the country’s enriched uranium.

Under the new deal, 75 per cent of Iran’s low enriched urainium will be shipped out of the country and enriched elsewhere. The uranium would be treated enough to be used by Iran for medical research but not enough to make weapons.

The talks in Vienna, which were meant to conclude on Monday have dragged out for almost three days. Now the representatives in Vienna have until Friday to get the deal approved by their respective governments.

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Iran nuclear talks stall in Vienna

By Jessica Elgot, October 19, 2009

New talks over Iran’s uranium enrichment programme have begun in Vienna, but diplomats are pessimistic about Iran keeping its promise to export 75 per cent of its uranium stock.

Today’s talks among the US, Russia, France and Iran were intended to discuss the technical process of moving the enriched uranium to Russia and France.

But now Iran has reportedly retracted its agreement, and is refusing to allow so much of its uranium stock to be exported to the two countries.

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Analysis: UK sanctions on Iran are welcome

By Emanuele Ottolenghi, October 15, 2009

The new sanctions that Britain slapped on Iran this week are a welcome first step for renewed pressure on the Islamic republic.

The government did not wait for the UN to arouse from its slumber or its EU colleagues to find a suitable time — in between the Lisbon Treaty distraction and the apres-Solana lottery — to agree on which sanctions they would apply if Barack Obama fails to engage Iran (don’t hold your breath!).

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US approves bill to allow Iran sanctions

By Jessica Elgot, October 15, 2009

The US House of Representatives has passed a bill to allow sanctions against Iran.

The Iran Sanctions Enabling Act passed by a huge majority vote of 414-6.

The act will allow the state and local governments to pull funding from companies that make more than $20 million by investing in Iran’s energy sector, including petrol, natural gas and nuclear power.

It will also protect any fund manager who divests from the companies from being sued by them.

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Ahmadinejad: More Jewish roots surface

By Jessica Elgot, October 5, 2009

Claims have resurfaced about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s possible Jewish heritage.

A close-up of Mr Ahmadinejad holding up his identity card has been released, showing that the Iranian President’s previous name was Saburjian.

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Iran nuclear deal agreed in Geneva

By Jessica Elgot, October 2, 2009

Iran will open its controversial enrichment plant to UN inspectors within two weeks and has agreed to export much of the uranium it has already enriched, the country’s chief nuclear negotiator told six countries meeting in Geneva.

The plans, tentatively agreed by Iran's Saeed Jalili, signify a temporary let up in a possible Iranian nuclear crisis, but representatives of the countries involved in the talks, including Britain and the US, warned that details were yet to be finalised.

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Is Iran hiding more nuclear facilities?

By Meir Javedanfar, October 1, 2009

The recent exposure of the secret uranium enrichment facility at Qom may have come as a shock to the populations of Western countries. However, it was not a surprise to Western intelligence agencies. For years, the CIA, MI6 and the French secret service, DGSE, were monitoring its construction and progress, until their governments finally decided to declare its existence last week.

So are there more secret locations? Although we cannot be sure, the consensus amongst analysts is that there are. This is based on a number of factors.

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Attack on Iran: the clock is ticking 'until Pesach'

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 1, 2009

As on every Yom Kippur for the past 35 years, Israeli newspapers, television and radio channels this week were full of interviews, features and special projects, picking at the unhealed wound of the terrible war that took a nation and its military idols by surprise.

But while the Yom Kippur War remains a trauma to this day, Israel’s current strategic predicament is much more reminiscent of the Six-Day War.

Then as now, the political leadership remains uncertain whether the looming threat — this time, from Iran — is indeed an existential one.

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