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Iran can make nuclear weapons - but won’t, says top politician

Side Note: Iran really isn’t a very militarily aggressive nation, they have a history of defensive wars. Their being uninterested in developing nuclear weapons for the past two decades as the USA waged war on, well, pretty much all of their neighbors says a lot about Iran. So even if they had nuclear weapons - it wouldn’t pose much of a threat to anyone. Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons on the other hand, well that I do find troublesome.

Statement is first time an Iranian politician has admitted country has capability to produce nuclear arms

Damien Pearse 

Iran has the technological capability to produce nuclear weapons but will never do so, a prominent politician in the Islamic republic has said.

The statement by Gholamreza Mesbahi Moghadam is the first time an Iranian politician has publicly stated that the country has the knowledge and skills to produce a nuclear weapon.

Moghadam, whose views do not represent the government’s policy, said Iran could easily create the highly enriched uranium that is used to build atomic bombs, but it was not Tehran’s policy to go down that route.

Moghadam told the parliament’s news website, “Iran has the scientific and technological capability to produce [a] nuclear weapon, but will never choose this path.”

The US and its allies believe Iran is using its civilian nuclear programme as a cover to develop nuclear weapons; a charge it denies.

Israel said Mghadam’s claim supported its view that Iran’s nuclear programme had a military dimension. An Israeli official repeated demands that Iran must stop enriching uranium, remove all military-grade enriched material from the country, and dismantle its Fordo nuclear research site.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has repeatedly insisted that his country is not seeking nuclear weapons, saying that holding such arms is a sin and “useless, harmful and dangerous”.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that if Iran one day decides to build nuclear weapons, it will do so openly and without fear.

Iran says it is enriching uranium to about 3.5% to produce nuclear fuel for its future reactors, and to around 20% to fuel a research reactor that produces medical isotopes to treat cancer. Uranium has to be enriched to more than 90% to be used for a nuclear weapon.

The UN nuclear agency has confirmed that centrifuges at the Fordo site near Iran’s holy city of Qom are producing uranium enriched to 20%. It says uranium enriched to that level can more quickly be turned into weapons-grade material.

"There is a possibility for Iran to easily achieve more than 90% enrichment," quoted Moghadam as saying.

Filed under News Iran Nuclear Ahmadinejad

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1 of Japan’s damaged reactors has high radiation, no water, renewing doubts about stability

TOKYO — One of Japan’s crippled nuclear reactors still has fatally high radiation levels and hardly any water to cool it, according to an internal examination Tuesday that renews doubts about the plant’s stability.

A tool equipped with a tiny video camera, a thermometer, a dosimeter and a water gauge was used to assess damage inside the No. 2 reactor’s containment chamber for the second time since the tsunami swept into the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant a year ago. The probe done in January failed to find the water surface and provided only images showing steam, unidentified parts and rusty metal surfaces scarred by exposure to radiation, heat and humidity.

The data collected from the probes showed the damage from the disaster was so severe, the plant operator will have to develop special equipment and technology to tolerate the harsh environment and decommission the plant, a process expected to last decades.


Filed under News Fukushima Japan Dai-ichi Radiation Tech Technology Nuclear Power Reactor

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Obama warns nuclear terrorism still a major threat

Obama in Korea, via AFP

US President Barack Obama warned on Monday that nuclear terrorism remained one of the world’s biggest threats, as he called for greater urgency in safeguarding the world’s atomic stockpiles.

In a speech hours before the opening of a nuclear security summit in South Korea, Obama said major progress had been made over the past two years to make it harder for terrorists to get hold of material for atomic weapons.

“But we’re under no illusions. We know that nuclear material — enough for many weapons — is still being stored without adequate protection,” he said.

“We know that terrorists and criminal gangs are still trying to get their hands on it, as well as the radioactive material for a dirty bomb… the danger of nuclear terrorism remains one of the greatest threats to global security.”

Obama urged the leaders or top officials from 53 nations who had gathered in Seoul for the two-day summit to “keep at it”, and take concrete actions to secure nuclear materials.

Obama said he expected many nations to announce they had fulfilled pledges made at the inaugural nuclear summit in Washington two years ago, and for other countries to make new commitments on securing or removing material.

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Filed under Propaganda Nuclear Nuke Obama US President Lies News Geopolitics

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