Nuclear weapons

Danny Ayalon: nuclear Iran could lead to another Hiroshima

By Jennifer Lipman, November 17, 2010

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister has warned that Iran must be stopped from becoming a nuclear power in order to “prevent another Hiroshima."

Danny Ayalon, who is on a four-day official visit to Japan, made the comments after visiting the memorial for victims of the 1945 Hiroshima bomb.

An estimated 140,000 people were killed by the Hiroshima bomb, the first time that an atomic weapon was used.

Mr Ayalon wrote on his Facebook page: “If we want to prevent another Hiroshima the international community needs immediately to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.”


Ahmadinejad: welcome to Iran's western axis

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 21, 2010

There was a farcical ending to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit last week to Lebanon.

Hours before his departure on Thursday, he had one last meeting, at the Iranian embassy in Beirut. His local ally, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, emerged from his hideout bringing him, as a tribute, a rifle supposedly taken from an Israeli soldier during the Second Lebanon War. But it was a sham. The rifle was an AK-47 Kalashnikov - not a weapon used by Israeli forces.


Analysis: The best bet for Israel is still sabotage, not an air attack

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 26, 2010

The much-heralded "switching on" of the Iranian nuclear reactor in Bushehr does not mean that an Israeli or American military attack is any nearer.

Despite some alarmist warnings, especially by former American ambassador the United Nations, John Bolton, this is not any sort of "point of no return". With close inspection by the IAEA and the Russian government, the light-water reactor won't give the Iranians the much-sought-after key to the nuclear power clubhouse.


Analysis: The West is downplaying Iran's reactor at its peril

By Emanuele Ottolenghi, August 26, 2010

Last week's feeding of fuel into Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor came as a surprise. For years, Russia dragged its feet and found recurrent excuses to delay the completion of the Bushehr project. The ceremony marking the start of the reactor last Saturday indicates the last obstacle has now been removed.

Why Russia decided to proceed is open to debate - though one can surmise that Moscow wished to register its discontent with the autonomous sanctions that the US, Europe and other Western countries recently adopted against Iran's energy sector.


Mordechai Vanunu leaves jail

By Jennifer Lipman, August 9, 2010

Nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu has been released from jail after serving a three month sentence.

The Israeli, 55, was first jailed in 1986 for disclosing confidential information about Israel’s nuclear operation to the British media.

He was released in 2004 but last year was arrested again for breaching the conditions of his parole. It was his second sentence for this.

Mr Vananu’s release had been conditional on him not travelling abroad, speaking to the media or having any contact with foreign nationals.


Peres denies South Africa nuclear offer

May 27, 2010

The author of a new book on the relationship between Israel and South Africa has accused Israeli President Shimon Peres of evading the question of whether he offered to sell nuclear weapons to the apartheid regime in the 1970s.

"If Peres denies he made such an offer, perhaps he would like to explain exactly what he did discuss at these meetings," said American academic Sasha Polakow-Suransky, author of The Unspoken Alliance: Israel's secret alliance with apartheid South Africa, published this week in the US.


Peres denies offering South Africa nuclear weapons

By Jennifer Lipman, May 24, 2010

The Israeli president has slammed The Guardian newspaper for its claim that Israel offered to sell South Africa nuclear weapons in the 1970s.

Shimon Peres said the allegations had no basis in reality and demanded a correction after the newspaper accused Israel of holding secret negotiations with South Africa's defence minister, PW Botha, in March 1975.

The newspaper said an American academic had uncovered secret documents showing that as Israel’s defence minister, Mr Peres had offered three sizes of warheads to the apartheid regime.


Israeli whistleblower jailed

By Jennifer Lipman, May 24, 2010

Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu is back in prison after violating parole conditions.

Mr Vanunu, 55, was jailed in 1986 for disclosing confidential information about Israel’s nuclear operation to the British media.

The former technician at the Negev Nuclear Research Centre served 18 years of his sentence and was released in 2004, on condition he did not travel abroad, speak to the media or have contact with foreign nationals.


Analysis: New nuclear deal is an Iranian triumph

By Emanuele Ottolenghi, May 21, 2010

Brazil's President Ignazio Lula da Silva and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan have emerged as big global players after delivering a compromise over Iran's nuclear fuel following intensive diplomatic talks in Tehran.

Though not all its details are known yet, it is safe to conclude that this deal is even worse than the one it aimed to "improve" - namely, the uranium transfer deal that Iran first agreed to and then rejected last autumn.


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.