The U.N. nuclear lapdog ElBaradei tries to reassure us; from AFP: Iran nuclear plant still in early stages: UN atomic chief.
Iran is still in the early stages of creating a plant to enrich uranium, the chief of the UN atomic watchdog said on Thursday, adding that fears over its nuclear programme arose over what the uranium would be used for.
"Iran is still at an early stage of building a plant to enrich unranium... There is no fear caused by Iran's uranium enrichment (in itself), but fears arise from the purpose of this enrichment," the International Atomic Energy Agency's Mohamed ElBaradei told reporters.
"Iran is pressing ahead with building the Natanz reactor to have 54,000 centrifuges to enrich uranium. Now it is still at the hundreds stage," he said in what appeared to be a downplaying of Iran's progress.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced this week that the Islamic republic's controversial uranium enrichment work had reached an "industrial scale."
But Russia, which is building Iran's first nuclear power plant, as well as other nations have cast doubts on the accuracy of his statement. ...
Uranium enrichment is the key sticking point in the standoff between Iran and the West, because as well as producing nuclear fuel the process in highly extended form can also make the fissile core for an atomic bomb.
Iran says its nuclear drive is solely aimed at generating energy and that it does not aspire to nuclear weapons.
Yeah right. Here are a some recent examples of Iran's "peacefulness." From CNN: Iraqi insurgents being trained in Iran, U.S. says
Iraqi insurgents are being trained in Iran to assemble weapons and Iranian-made weapons are still turning up in Iraq, the U.S. military said Wednesday.
The statement comes two months after the United States said it had asked Tehran to stop the flow of weapons into Iraq.
Coalition forces found a cache of Iranian rockets and grenade launchers in Baghdad on Tuesday, spokesman U.S. Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said Wednesday. ...
Caldwell showed reporters photographs on Wednesday that he said were found in the weapons cache. In February, Caldwell said the United States had asked Iran to stop the transfer of weapons. ...
He accused the Quds Force of supplying Iraqi insurgents with armor-piercing roadside bombs, called explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs. Caldwell said extremists are getting training on how to "assemble and employ EFPs."
"We know that they are being in fact manufactured and smuggled into this country, and we know that training does go on in Iran for people to learn how to assemble them and how to employ them," Caldwell said. "We know that training has gone on as recently as this past month from detainees' debriefs."
He said Shiite extremists are being trained inside Iran and said the use of such weapons requires "very skilled training." Much of the violence in Iraq is blamed on fighting between Shiite and Sunni insurgents. An overwhelming number of Iranians are Shiite.
Here is a list of articles indicating that Iran is not waging "peace" against us in Iraq:
US troops attacked by Iranian military last year (The Jerusalem Post, March 25, 2007)
Iran's influence grows in Iraq, region (Chicago Tribune, March 7, 2007)
Iraqi extremists trained in Iran: US intelligence (AFP, February 28, 2007)
Military: more evidence of Iran-made explosives (Seattle Times, February 27, 2007)
U.S.: Large Cache of Weapons Discovered in Iraq Traceable to Iran (AP via FOX News, February 26, 2007)
Iraqi insurgents using Austrian rifles from Iran (The Telegraph, February 13, 2007)
Iran involvement suspected in Karbala compound attack (CNN, January 31, 2007)
Donkeys harboring weapons stopped at Iran-Iraq border (Army Times, November 2, 2006)
Barbero: Iran training Shiite insurgents (AP via Army Times, August 24, 2006)
Casey cites Iran hand in attacks by Iraqi Shiites (The Washington Times, June 23, 2006)
Rumsfeld accuses Iran of troublemaking in Iraq (AP via Army Times, March 7, 2006)
EXCLUSIVE: Iraq Weapons -- Made in Iran? (ABC News, March 6, 2006)
Rumsfeld: Iraq bombs 'clearly from Iran' (CNN, August 10, 2005)
And finally MEMRI reminds us of the kind of government confronting us: Thiefís Hand Amputated in Public in Iran; Official Cleric Calls for Reinstating Islamic Punishments. (via Little Green Footballs)
The reformist website Rooz reported on April 5, 2007 that the Friday prayer leader of Shiraz, a city in the heart of Iran, had called for more public punishments, as prescribed by "hodud," Islamic penal law.
After a convicted thiefís hand was amputated in public in Kermanshah, Ayatollah Mohiyeddin Shirazi, an appointee of the supreme leader of Iran, criticized the halting of public punishments, and added, "Those who say that practices like amputating hands belong to the past are themselves part of the past." He also claimed that imprisonment had no effect "on educating criminals and reducing crime."
At a meeting with judges from Fars province, Shirazi argued that public punishments are more effective that imprisonment: "Prison and imprisoning individuals do not have an effect on educating criminals and reducing crime. They also add to corruption." He also called for using criminals convicted for drug-related charges as forced labor.
Kermanshah judiciary head Allahyar Malekshahi promised more amputations in the future and said that citizens had requested the public amputation.
According to Rooz, following the punishment Malekshahi told IRNA that the punishment had been approved by Iranís Supreme Court.
Posted by Forkum at April 12, 2007 04:32 PM