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Iranian Freedom Fighters UNITE

Monday, November 12, 2007

Iran Gives International Atomic Energy Agency Blueprints Linked to Possible Nuclear Weapons Program : Tuesday , November 13, 2007

VIENNA, Austria — After years of stonewalling, Iran has given the U.N. nuclear agency blueprints showing how to mold uranium metal into the shape of warheads, diplomats said Tuesday, in an apparent concession meant to stave off the threat of new U.N. sanctions.
But the diplomats said Tehran has failed to meet other requests made by the International Atomic Energy Agency in its attempts to end nearly two decades of nuclear secrecy on the part of the Islamic Republic. The diplomats spoke to The Associated Press as IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei put the finishing touches on his latest report to his agency's 35-nation board of governors, for consideration next week. The report, expected Wednesday or Thursday, is likely to show substantial but not full compliance by Iran with its pledges to come clean on past activities — and confirm at the same time that Tehran continues enriching uranium in defiance of the U.N. Security Council. Those findings will likely lead to new calls by the United States, France and Britain for a third round of U.N. sanctions. But China and Russia, the other permanent Council members, may emphasize progress made,and demand more time for Iran before fresh U.N. penalties are imposed. The agency has been seeking possession of the blueprints since 2005, when it stumbled upon them among a batch of other documents during its examination of suspect Iranian nuclear activities. While agency inspectors had been allowed to examine them in the country, Tehran had up to now refused to let the IAEA have a copy for closer perusal. Diplomats accredited to the agency, who demanded anonymity for divulging confidential information, said the drawings were hand-carried by Mohammad Saeedi, deputy director of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization and handed over last week in Vienna to Oli Heinonen, an ElBaradei deputy in charge of the Iran investigations. Iran maintains it was given the papers without asking for them during its black market purchases of nuclear equipment decades ago that now serve as the backbone of its program to enrich uranium — a process that can generate power or create the fissile core of nuclear warheads. Iran's refusal to suspend enrichment has been the main trigger for both existing U.N. sanctions and the threat of new ones. Both the IAEA and other experts have categorized the instructions outlined in the blueprints as having no value outside of a nuclear weapons program. While ElBaradei's report is likely to mention the Iranian concession on the drawings and other progress made in clearing up ambiguities in Iran's nuclear activities, it was unclear whether it would also detail examples of what the diplomats said was continued Iranian stonewalling. Senior IAEA officials were refused interviews with at least two top Iranian nuclear officials suspected of possible involvement in a weapons program, they said. One was the leader of a physics laboratory at Lavizan, outside Tehran, which was razed before the agency had a chance to investigate activities there. The other was in charge of developing Iran's centrifuges, used to enrich uranium. Additionally, agency experts were denied access to a workshop testing and developing a more advanced kind of centrifuge than Iran is now using for its enrichment program, they said. The agency traditionally refuses to comment on the report — which is confidential and meant only for circulation among board member nations — particularly before it is released to those countries.
A senior diplomat familiar with agency thinking said the IAEA "got what it needed" in terms of access to officials and nuclear sites, although he declined to specifically say whether all requests were honored by Iran. He also provided a different take on what two other diplomats said was a rebuff by Iran of attempts by ElBaradei to meet with Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The two said ElBaradei had suggested the meeting and he was turned away in part because he was seeking faster Iranian responses to questions posed by his experts as well saying he wanted to discuss a "double time-out" — shorthand for Iran suspending further enrichment activities in exchange for a pledge to freeze, or perhaps even roll back U.N.sanctions. Iran, which says it has a right to enrich to generate power, has repeatedly said it will not mothball its program. But the senior diplomat said it was the Iranians who asked ElBaradei to come, "offering something in return," but then said the time was inopportune after the IAEA chief asked to meet with Khamenei instead of lower-ranked officials.

British PM Open To Military Role In Iran
Britain, France and Germany should side with the United States : by UPI News
LONDON, ENGAND -- (UPI and OfficialWire) -- 11/11/07 -- British Prime Minister Gordon Brown says his country might participate if military action is taken against Iran's nuclear program. In a Sky News interview, the Labor Party leader was asked if Britain would join a U.S.-led military intervention. "People are genuinely worried about the nuclear ambitions of Iran. Nothing should be ruled out," Brown said. "Iran is breaking commitments made freely under the Non-Proliferation Treaty." Brown made it clear in his first visit as prime minister to Washington earlier this year he wasn't as close to President George Bush as his predecessor Tony Blair, but suggested in the interview that Britain, France and Germany should side with the United States. "It is to the advantage of everyone that France and Germany and the European Union are also moving more closely with America," Brown said. Brown is scheduled to make his first foreign policy statement in London at the Lord Mayor's banquet Monday.

Brown Signals Tougher Sanctions on Iran's Oil and Gas
November 13, 2007 The Independent Colin Brown, Deputy Political Editor

Tougher sanctions on Iran's oil and gas fields were proposed by Gordon Brown as part of international efforts to persuade Tehran to abandon its alleged attempts to acquire a nuclear bomb. Energy companies would be banned from exploiting reserves for use by Iran if the sanctions outlined by the Prime Minister in a wide-ranging foreign affairs speech last night are endorsed by the EU or the UN. Those measures could be coupled with tougher economic sanctions by international banks if a report due shortly from the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) shows that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's regime continues to defy the international community over the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
Mapping out his strategy of "hard-headed internationalism" for Britain's future foreign policy, Mr Brown marked a shift from Tony Blair's readiness to act as foremost ally of the US and favoured confidant of President George W Bush. He signalled that in future Britain would work more closely with EU partners and through the UN. Mr Brown made it clear that Britain believes tougher sanctions – rather than the threats of military action – against Iran are starting to work, although his senior officials insisted that "nothing is ruled out". Speaking at the Lord Mayor's Banquet in white tie and tails – an outfit he refused to wear when he was Chancellor – the Prime Minister also called for a standby civilian force including members of the police and judiciary to be created to deal with international crises such as Rwanda and Darfur. Turning his attention to Pakistan, he reiterated the call for General Musharraf to step down as chief of the army and to press ahead with elections in January. A senior Downing Street source warned that it would be virtually impossible to hold free and fair elections with restrictions still in place. Action against Pakistan could include suspending its membership of the Commonwealth, which was discussed last night at a preparatory meeting of Commonwealth ministers. But any final decisions will be left to the full Commonwealth heads of government meeting later this month. On Iran, Mr Brown answered defence chiefs who have warned that bellicose mutterings could prove counter-productive. He proposed internationally-agreed access to an enrichment bond or nuclear fuel bank to help non-nuclear states such as Iran to acquire the new sources of energy they need. His plan closely follows the proposal put forward during the controversial state visit to Britain by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who suggested Switzerland, as a neutral country, could hold the fuel bank. His officials said this offered an incentive to the Iranian leadership to abandon their weapons-grade nuclear enrichment programme. A fuel bank would avoid Iran having to process nuclear material and would make it more difficult for the Iranian President to argue that his country's enrichment process was for peaceful nuclear power. Mr Brown said: "This offer should be made only as long as these countries renounce nuclear weapons and meet internationally-enforced non-proliferation standards. "Iran has a choice – confrontation with the international community leading to a tightening of sanctions or, if it changes its approach and ends support for terrorism, a transformed relationship with the world." The IAEA will report shortly to the UN and officials said that, if it proved Iran was continuing to defy the international community, Britain would push for tougher sanctions both in the UN and by the EU. It could mean that with Russia backing Iran, the sanctions would have to be imposed through the EU alone. However, the core of Mr Brown's speech addressed controversial remarks by the foreign minister, Lord Malloch-Brown, that Mr Brown and Mr Bush would "no longer be joined at the hip". Without mentioning Lord Malloch-Brown by name, Mr Brown said he would have "no truck with anti-Americanism" and stressed that the US remained Britain's "most important bilateral relationship". But he said Britain had to be guided by "hard-headed internationalism – internationalist because global challenges need global solutions and nations must co-operate across borders, often with hard-headed intervention ... hard-headed because we will not shirk from the difficult long-term decisions." He added: "Today, a nation's self-interest will be found not in isolation but in co-operation to overcome shared challenges – we must bring to life these shared interests and shared values by practical proposals to create the architecture." The major challenges threatening destabilisation included terrorism, rogue states, pandemics, and mass migration, he said. Mr Brown made only a passing reference to the conflict in Afghanistan, in spite of reports that he is planning an initiative to pay farmers to give up cultivating poppies.

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