Nuclear Iran, Reloaded

In the Reloaded version of my blog, I'll write about Iran, its nuclear program, its culture, and most importantly, myself.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Another use for US-backed MeK

It seems that MeK members have become useful one more time.

Well, as far as your Haji (dash-mashti slang for 'I') is concerned, MeK is recognized as a terrorist organization in the United States. But, they are free to hold press conferences, collect donation money in the streets, have offices, etc.. Furthermore, they are protected in their camp in Iraq and are still armed. And yet, it is Iran that supports terrorism. (This is a very interesting twist, isn't it?)

PS. I was googling 'MeK' and I came accross this website:

Its mission seems to be to reveal the real nature of the Mojahedin-e-Khalq cult. It's got a very interesting/informative video archive too. One of the things I learnt was that Iran welcomes the returning MeK members and helps them to reunite with their families.

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

The source of the new intelligence report on Iran's Nuclear Program

THE AUSTRALIAN claims that the original source of the new NIE report on Iran's nuclear program is Ali Reza Ashgari, an Iranian general, who fled Iran to Turkey last February. This report, despite its minor inconsistencies with the realities on the ground, is a very interesting read.
By minor inconsistencies, I am referring to this sentence:
He [Ali Reza Ashgari] confirmed the regime had been building two nuclear plants in southern Iran, one in Arak and the other in Bushehr, and that both had been using centrifuges to enrich uranium.
There are no centrifuges in Arak or Bushehr. They are in Natanz.
Besides, I think the name of this person is mistyped; The correct name is probably Ali Reza Asghari (rather than Ashgari).

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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Seymour Hersh on the recent NIE

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Iran's nuclear file must now return from UN Security Council to IAEA

CASMII's recent Press Release:
The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran, issued on December 3, refutes the US and Israeli accusations that Iran has a covert nuclear weapons programme. The statement vindicates Iran’s claim that the decision by the Governors Board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to report its nuclear file to the UN Security Council in February 2006 and the subsequent Security Council resolutions and sanctions against Iran lack legitimacy.
The NIE report had been held for nearly one year in an effort by Vice President Cheney's office to force the intelligence community to remove some of the dissenting judgments on Iran's nuclear program.

Representing the views of 16 US intelligence agencies, the NIE on Iran sharply reverses its 2005 version that claimed Iran was developing nuclear weapons. The report assesses that Iran's alleged military nuclear work ended in 2003, but fails to provide any evidence that such activity ever existed. If proof for this assessment had been found, it was the obligation of the US to provide it to the IAEA for on-the-ground verification.
A senior IAEA official said today: "despite repeated smear campaigns, the IAEA has stood its ground and concluded time and again that 'there was no evidence of an undeclared nuclear weapons program in Iran'"
The IAEA on 15 November 2007 essentially cleared Iran of all outstanding ambiguities regarding its past nuclear programme. The agency confirmed that in multiple areas of concern, the information provided by Iran has been consistent with the information obtained independently by the IAEA.
Earlier, on 7 September 2007, the IAEA director general, Dr. ElBaradei, told the New York Times, “we have not come to see any undeclared activities ... We have not seen any weaponization of their program, nor have we received any information to that effect”. He has for several years urged skeptics in Western capitals to help the IAEA by sharing any possible proof in their possession of suspicious nuclear activity in Iran. Judging from the IAEA's many reports, Iran's accusers have failed to demonstrate to the agency that they have superior information. The new claim about a pre-2003 weapons program is no exception.
In the light of the new National Intelligence Estimate on Iran and the IAEA's own assurances, it is now clear that the decision by the Governors’ Board of the IAEA in February 2006 to report Iran’s file to the UN Security Council was without justification. Furthermore, in order to incriminate Iran, the US and its allies exerted massive pressure on other voting board members at the time. David Mulford, the US Ambassador to India warned the Government of India in January 2006 that there would be no US-India nuclear deal if India did not vote against Iran at the IAEA.
On February 15th, 2007, Stephen Rademaker, the then-US Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Non-Proliferation, admitted publicly that the US coerced India to vote against Iran. Therefore, sending Iran's file to the UN Security Council and the subsequent adoption of Resolutions 1696 and 1737 had no legitimacy.
The Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII) calls for the immediate return of Iran’s nuclear file from the UN Security Council to the jurisdiction of the IAEA under the rules of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT). All UN sanctions imposed on Iran must accordingly be lifted. In addition, CASMII reiterates its long-standing call for immediate negotiations without pre-conditions between the US and Iran on all points of dispute.
For more information or to contact CASMII please visit here.

Monday, December 03, 2007

NIC report

National Intelligence Council (NIC) has recently published a report (PDF) entitled "Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities". This report has found its place in the media under two different sets of titles, depending on the political orientation of the author:

There are those who want to put Bush at fault and say "Report contradicts Bush on Iran nuclear program". And there are those who want to justify Bush's stance on Iran and say: "US: Iran halted weapons program in 2003".

But what is more important is that none of them discuss the content of that report.

The first key judgment of the report is that:
We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program.
And in another paragraph it says:

A growing amount of intelligence indicates Iran was engaged in covert uranium conversion and uranium enrichment activity, but we judge that these efforts probably were halted in response to the fall 2003 halt, and that these efforts probably had not beenrestarted through at least mid-2007.
And the last paragraph of the report reads as:
We assess with high confidence that Iran has the scientific, technical and industrial capacity eventually to produce nuclear weapons if it decides to do so.
Based on such important information in the report, I am going to ask a couple of questions, the answers to which, I presume, are obvious:

1. If Iran did have a nuclear weapons' program up until 2003, and NIC is so confident about its existence (not focusing on its discontinuance), how come IAEA isn't aware of it?

2. If IAEA is aware of such past program (assuming that this claim is not like those that were discredited by IAEA), but is unable to investigate, then it should probably be because of Iran's non-cooperation. Then how come such issue is not even mentioned in the list of questions (about outstanding issues) IAEA has asked Iran? (see PDF version of the latest IAEA report)

3. If Iran "has the scientific, technical and industrial capacity eventually to produce nuclear weapons", then Iran can start a clandestine program , as soon as tomorrow, somewhere in the central salt desert, or inside Alborz mountains in the north, or underneath the Urumia lake in the west. What is the point of asking Iran to halt its uranium enrichment program for its "not yet completed" nuclear reactors?

PS. Dave at the glittering eye has also written about this report: link

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