Nuclear weapons

Fears escalate over weapons flow from Iran

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 5, 2009

A missile trial by Hamas last week and a successful seizure of a ship laden with rockets bound for Hizbollah on Wednesday show that the illegal shipments of arms from Iran to terror groups are continuing at full throttle.

On Tuesday, commander of the IDF Intelligence Branch, Major General Amos Yadlin, told a session of the Knesset Foreign and Defence Affairs Committee that Hamas had staged a trial firing of a missile capable of hitting targets 60km away. This would put Tel Aviv and Ben Gurion Airport within Hamas’s range.

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Gaddafi: Give Palestinians nuclear weapons

By Jessica Elgot, October 26, 2009

The president of Libya Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has argued that the Syrians, Palestinians, Egyptians and Saudi should be allowed nuclear weapons to defend themselves from Israel.

Col. Gaddafi told Sky News that if the Arab countries are not allowed to have nuclear weapons, then Israel should be similarly banned. Israel has never confirmed the existence of a nuclear arsenal.

He said: "Even the Palestinians should have nuclear weapons because their counterparts, or their opponents, have nuclear capabilities."

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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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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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Geneva: No breakthrough in Iran negotiations

October 1, 2009

British and US diplomats are among those meeting in Geneva to put more pressure on Iran to halt its uranium enrichment.

Representatives from the UK, US, France, Germany, Russia and China met in a hotel on the shores of Lake Geneva with Saeed Jalili, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator.

They are said to have insisted Iran name a date for a UN inspections of the nuclear plant in Qom, and have offered to freeze sanctions if Iranian uranium enrichment comes to a halt.

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Israel may go it alone on Iran strike

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 26, 2009

While the American intelligence community is tearing itself apart in public over the question of whether Iran has accumulated sufficient uranium for a nuclear weapon, a quiet debate is going on behind the scenes in Israel.

Most Israeli intelligence analysts believe Iran is a few months away from the point of no return.

If pro-Israel president George Bush decided not to attack Iran, it is hard to see Barack Obama with his new policy of engaging Iran and the Muslim world ordering a strike. That leaves Israel with an awful dilemma — can it go it alone?

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Iran buys anti-aircraft missiles from Russia

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 19, 2009

The reported sale of advanced anti-aircraft missiles to Tehran has made the need to deal with Iran’s nuclear programme more urgent than ever.

A senior source in Russia’s Federal Bureau of Military-Technological Cooperation confirmed to the Interfax news agency on Wednesday that his country had signed a contract to sell the S-300PMU missile system to Iran in 2007. The official said that the system had not yet been supplied.

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Israel: Iranian bomb just months away

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 12, 2009

Israel warned the Obama administration this week that the window of opportunity for dealing diplomatically with the Iranian nuclear threat has closed.

At the Israeli cabinet meeting on Sunday, Major General Amos Yadlin, commander of the IDF’s Intelligence Branch, said: “Iran has crossed the technological threshold. It is one strategic decision away from becoming a nuclear-enabled military power.” He indicated that Iran can now build a bomb in a matter of months.

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Analysis: There is one positive

By Emanuele Ottolenghi, March 12, 2009

How close is Iran to developing nuclear weapons?

According to Amos Yadlin, Iran has crossed another threshold on the road to nuclear capability, after the recent International Atomic Energy Agency report that Iran has accumulated a much larger stockpile of low-enriched uranium than previously documented.

This means that although Iran is still some distance from building a nuclear weapon, it now has the tools to do it.

The bad news is thus that Iran could soon have a nuclear weapon — a transformational event that could dramatically change the region and precipitate a conflict.

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Analysis: Is the nuclear threat imminent?

By Meir Javedanfar, March 5, 2009

The apparently contradictory statements from US Admiral Mike Mullen — who said Iran was not yet close to a nuclear bomb — and from US Defence Secretary Robert Gates — who seemed to imply quite the opposite — created both concern and confusion in the United States.

The Obama administration is fully aware that a nuclear-armed Iran is against its interests. However, although the statements appear inconsistent, upon closer inspection we can see that they are both accurate.

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