September 28, 2008

U.N. tells Iran: Stop enrichment

The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a new resolution Saturday reaffirming previous sanctions on Iran for refusing to halt its uranium enrichment program and offering Tehren incentives to do so.

The brief document reaffirmed the three earlier Security Council sanctions resolutions, which imposed progressively tougher sanctions on Iran for refusing to halt its uranium enrichment program. [via msnbc.com]

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June 02, 2008

IAEA meets to discuss Iran's alleged nuclear weapons work

The UN atomic watchdog sits down Monday for a week-long meeting during which it will discuss what its inspectors term "alarming" indications that Iran may have been working to build a nuclear bomb until just a few years ago.

The 35-member board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency holds its regular summer board meeting until Friday.

Topping the agenda will be the latest report by IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei on the agency's long-running investigation into Tehran's controversial nuclear drive.

Iran insists its atomic program is entirely peaceful, but western countries, and the United States in particular, are convinced the Islamic republic is covertly seeking to build a nuclear bomb.

In the sternly-worded report, the IAEA expressed "serious concern" that Iran is hiding information about alleged weaponization work, as well as defying UN demands to suspend uranium enrichment.

According to intelligence gathered by 10 different countries, Iran may have been looking into high explosives of the sort used in implosion-type nuclear bombs, and exploring modifications to missiles consistent with making them capable of delivering a nuclear weapon.

Iran has repeatedly dismissed the intelligence as fake and fabricated.

Nevertheless, in the report, the IAEA insisted that "substantive explanations are required from Iran." [via Yahoo! News

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July 19, 2007

National lab worker accused of stealing secrets

Federal prosecutors on Thursday accused a low-level contract worker at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory - birthplace of the nuclear bomb - with stealing highly classified information about how to make enriched uranium, a key ingredient in nuclear weapons.

The suspect was allegedly caught trying to sell it to someone he thought was representing another country, someone who turned out to be an undercover FBI agent. Federal officials will not say which country the agent was pretending to represent. [via MSNBC]

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June 11, 2007

U.K. Stops Iranian Nuclear Smuggling Effort

British officials have stopped an Iranian effort to purchase weapon-grade uranium from international smugglers, the London Observer reported yesterday.

Over 20 months, British intelligence services monitored a group of British citizens who successfully acquired the uranium from the Russian black market, according to the Observer. The smugglers planned to sell the material to Iran through a middleman in Sudan, investigators said.

Authorities disrupted the plot in early 2006 before the uranium was delivered. [via Nuclear Threat Initiative]

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June 05, 2007

IAEA Understanding of Iran's Nuclear Program Has "Deteriorated"

Top U.N. nuclear inspector Mohamed ElBaradei set the stage today for the Security Council to impose another round of sanctions against Iran. In a report distributed to the council and the International Atomic Energy Agency's governing board, he complained that the agency's understanding of Iran's nuclear program has “deteriorated”

For a good analysis of this, read Jeffery Lewis' comments.

ISIS has posted the May 23, 2007 IAEA report Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions of Security Council Resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran on their website.

It is available for download here.

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May 11, 2007

Iran Turns Away IAEA Inspectors

Iran turned away international nuclear officials last month when they tried to conduct a surprise inspection of Iranian uranium enrichment centrifuges, Agence France-Presse reported today.

The International Atomic Energy Agency personnel were denied access April 21 to a room containing the centrifuges despite an earlier Iranian promise to cooperate with unannounced visits, diplomats said. [via Nuclear Threat Initiative]

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April 10, 2007

Industrial Scale wonk

Jeffery Lewis over at armscontrolwonk has a great post on this whole 'industrial scale' noise from Iran. It is worth the read to blast through some of the mindless noise that is filling the news. Read it here

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April 09, 2007

Iranian Nuclear Threat?

Newsweek's Michael Hirsh asked David Albright about Ahmadinejad's announcement and his assessment of Iran's nuclear program. [via MSNBC.com ]

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Iran announces "industrial" nuclear fuel work

Iran announced on Monday it had begun industrial-scale nuclear fuel production in a fresh snub to the U.N. Security Council, which has imposed two rounds of sanctions on it for refusing to halt such work.

The announcement marks a shift from experimental atomic fuel work involving a few hundred centrifuges used for enriching uranium to a process that will involve thousands of machines. [via Yahoo!]

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February 27, 2007

Iran won't halt atomic work

Iran said on Tuesday it would never suspend uranium enrichment as demanded by the West, a day after world powers agreed to work on a new U.N. resolution to pressure Tehran to back down over its nuclear program. "Suspending uranium enrichment is an illegal and illegitimate demand ... and it will never happen," Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying.

The United Nations imposed limited sanctions on Iran's nuclear program in December and Tehran faces possible further steps for ignoring a February 21 deadline to halt enrichment, which the West says Iran is using so it can make atomic bombs. [via Yahoo! News

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February 21, 2007

Iran and IAEA face off

Despite the threat of sanctions and a looming deadline, the Iranian president again scoffed Wednesday at a U.N. Security Council demand that the Islamic republic halt its uranium-enrichment program.

On December 23, the 15-member Security Council unanimously approved a resolution imposing sanctions on Iran. Russia and China, two veto-wielding members of the Security Council, voted in favor of the resolution despite previously expressing their aversion to imposing sanctions.

Under Resolution 1737, the council requested that International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei report within 60 days on whether Iran has suspended its nuclear activities.

It was initially reported that the deadline expired Wednesday -- 60 days after the December 23 resolution passed -- but an IAEA official told CNN the deadline is Friday. ElBaradei is scheduled to deliver his report Thursday, the official said.

ElBaradei said in Monday's Financial Times that he expected to report that Iran had not complied with the resolution. However, ElBaradei noted, the Security Council will not take any action until he reports to the IAEA board of governors next month. [via CNN.com]

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February 09, 2007

IAEA cuts aid to Iran

The U.N. nuclear watchdog agency on Friday suspended nearly half of the technical aid it now provides Iran, in line with U.N. sanctions slapped on the Islamic republic for its refusal to suspend its uranium enrichment program.

As IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei issued the report to his agency's 35-nation board, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator abruptly canceled planned meetings both with ElBaradei in Vienna and with senior European leaders in Munich, on the sidelines of a security conference in the German city. [via CNN.com

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January 26, 2007

U.N. says Iran plans nuclear development

Iran plans to start installing thousands of centrifuges in an underground facility next month, U.N. officials said Friday, paving the way to large-scale uranium enrichment, a potential way of making nuclear weapons.

Iran ultimately plans to expand its enrichment program to 54,000 centrifuges, which spin uranium gas into enriched material to produce nuclear fuel. That would give it the capacity to produce dozens of nuclear warheads a year, if it chose to develop weapons.

Diplomats briefed on the IAEA's latest findings said earlier this month the Iranians recently finished all pre-assembly work at their Natanz facility, which is underground as protection against attack. And senior Iranian officials have repeatedly said recently that large-scale installation work at Natanz would begin soon. [via Yahoo! News]

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