Thursday, August 11, 2005

Iran in nuclear sanctions warning

BBC news report today says Iran warns the US and EU it would be a "grave mistake" to refer its nuclear programme to the UN.
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Pakistan fires new cruise missile

Pakistan says it has fired its first cruise missile capable of carrying nuclear and conventional warheads.

The Babur missile has a range of 500km (310miles), a military spokesman said.

The launch comes days after Pakistan and neighbouring rival India agreed to give each other advance notice of future nuclear missile tests.

India had not been informed about Thursday's test because the agreement did not cover the type of missile fired on Thursday, the spokesman said.

Pakistan has joined a select group of countries which have the capability to design and develop cruise missiles
Pakistan military statement

The agreement "does not cover pre-notification of cruise missile tests," Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammed Naeem Khan told Associated Press.

There was no immediate reaction to the test from Delhi.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Iran removes UN's nuclear seals

Excerpt from a report by the BBC today:

Iran says work will begin in sealed-off areas of the Isfahan plant
Iran has started to break the remaining UN seals placed on its nuclear plant at Isfahan, enabling it to operate fully.
"The removal of seals has begun with the presence of International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors," Iranian official Mohammad Saeedi said.

The move comes as members of the UN's nuclear watchdog hold urgent private talks on Iran's decision to re-start uranium conversion activities.

The IAEA wants to persuade Iran to resume a voluntary suspension.

The organisation's spokeswoman, Melissa Fleming, confirmed the breaking of the seals. "Once the removal is completed we will confirm this to the [IAEA] board," she said.

The IAEA has installed equipment to monitor activities at the plant.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Iran 'resumes nuclear programme'

From the BBC today - Iran 'resumes nuclear programme'

Iran says it has resumed work at its uranium conversion facility near the city of Isfahan.

Mohammad Saeedi, deputy head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, made the announcement at the Isfahan plant.

He said work at the plant where uranium conversion has taken place in the past had resumed under the supervision of the UN's nuclear watchdog.

The US and EU have warned that such a move will lead to Iran being referred to the UN Security Council.

This could lead to the imposition of Security Council sanctions.

Iran maintains its right to carry out nuclear activity for peaceful purposes, and has rejected recent European proposals for its nuclear programme, designed to give guarantees that it is not pursuing nuclear weapons.

Nuclear work at the Isfahan plant had been suspended since November 2004.

A reporter for the Reuters news agency witnessed what she says was the resumption of uranium conversion. The reporter describes two workers at the Isfahan plant lifting a barrel full of uranium yellow cake, opening its lid and feeding it into the processing line.

The reporter says that the plant had earlier been surrounded by dozens of anti-aircraft batteries.

Emergency meeting

Earlier on Monday inspectors from the UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, arrived at the Isfahan plant to install surveillance equipment and oversee removal of seals.

The IAEA board is due to hold an emergency meeting of the IAEA board on Tuesday. It was called by European Union states following deadlock in the talks they have been conducting with Tehran.

The Iranian government on Monday replaced its chief negotiator, Hassan Rohani, with Ali Larijani, a conservative former head of state broadcasting who is known to have close ties with Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei.

The appointment was made by the conservative president, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, two days after he was sworn in. It is being seen as a hardening of Iran's position.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Some Bombs Used in Iraq Are Made in Iran, U.S. Says

By ERIC SCHMITT in today's New York Times:

"Many of the new, more sophisticated roadside bombs are specially designed to destroy armored vehicles, experts say."

Quotation of the Day

Via today's NYT:

"Let no one be in any doubt. The rules of the game are changing."
PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR, on plans for new measures in Britain's antiterrorism policy.