MOSCOW, December 26/ 2007 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's foreign minister said on Wednesday that Moscow saw no economic necessity for Iran to continue its controversial program to enrich uranium. Iran's nuclear program has been at the center of an international dispute, with Western countries suspecting Tehran of covering up a weapons program and Iran saying it needs nuclear fuel for energy.
"We are attempting to persuade the Iranians that the freezing of this program would be beneficial for Iran in as much as it would lead to immediate negotiations with the six [international negotiators], including the United States," Sergei Lavrov said.
Russia, which is helping the Iranians build the country's first nuclear power plant in Bushehr, southern Iran, announced the start of nuclear fuel deliveries to the plant on December 17.
If Iran were to agree to freeze its uranium enrichment program, then, said Lavrov, subsequent negotiations with the Iran Six - Russia, the U.S. China, Britain, France and Germany - would help lift, "once and for all, the suspicions that the Iranian nuclear program possesses any other kind of component than a peaceful one." The U.S. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), published on December 3, stated that Tehran had put a stop to weapons production in 2003, although it was continuing to enrich uranium. The report contradicted a previous U.S. intelligence assessment in 2005, which said that the Islamic Republic was actively pursuing a nuclear bomb. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Tuesday that Iran had turned down demands by the U.S. to halt its uranium enrichment program as a precondition for direct negotiations with Washington. Lavrov said Russia was fulfilling its obligations to build the $1-billion Bushehr nuclear power plant. "In the course of the project, certain problems have arisen. But these problems were of a technical and financial nature, not a political one. They have now been settled," he said. The completion of Bushehr, being built under a 1995 contract, came under threat in February when Russia cited payment delays. Iran denied any funding problems and accused Russia of deliberately stalling on the project in response to pressure from Western powers. Lavrov also commented that the Bushehr project was being carried out under the complete control of the UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). "Our Iranian partners know that in the case of even the smallest deviation from the principle of 100% IAEA control, we will put a halt to our cooperation. But nothing of the sort is happening. The sides are fulfilling their obligations, and the project will be realized," he said.
Lavrov added that the international community was unanimous on its ultimate goal with regard to Iran, which is to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and reach an agreement that would recognize Iran's right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy. When asked if the U.S. had set itself the aim of achieving regime change in Iran, Lavrov answered that this was an "incidental goal." "We are being assured [by the U.S.] that they have no hidden goals. However, we would like to be convinced of this in practice. It is important to recognize the positive shift Iran has made in its cooperation with the IAEA." He also said that Russia would be firmly against any U.S. attempt to use the issue of the Iranian nuclear program to secure regime change in Iran.
AND HERE IS YOUR ANSWERE MR. BL***Y LAVROV
Iran to continue uranium enrichment despite Russian fuel supplies : Tuesday, December 25, 2007 6:53:00 AM CET : Atomic Energy; Mohammad al-Hosseini; TEHRAN, December 24 (RIA Novosti) - Iran will carry on with uranium enrichment operations despite nuclear fuel supplies from Russia, a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Monday....
Sunni, Shia March Together in Baghdad for Peace : Sunday, 23 December 2007
BAGHDAD — Approximately 1,000 Iraqi citizens, of both Shia and Sunni religions, joined together on the sectarian fault line in Rawaniyah, the Karkh District of Baghdad, to march with one another in what they called a “Peace March”, Dec. 19. It was an Iraqi initiative to ease sectarian tensions, solely driven by Iraqi Neighborhood Council (NAC) and District Advisory Council (DAC) leaders and Sheiks from both religious sects in the area, said Capt. Marcus Melton, commander of Pale Horse Troop, 4th Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, attached to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).With Iraqi Army and Iraqi policemen maintaining the security on the streets and within the crowd during the event, they were able to successfully complete the march for united peace among all Iraqis. Drums beat, children ran, silly string littered the air and one man nearly wept. It was an exciting, yet emotional day for the Iraqis who participated.
A local Sheik came over a loud speaker during the march to talk with his local comrades. He expressed his joy for their wanted peace, but nearly wept in the thought of those who have lost their lives in the battle for sectarian dominance. Many families, friends and sons have lost their lives during this time. “But dominance by one religious group is just a mindset, filed in the heads of the Iraqis”, said Melton, a native of Atlanta, Ga. This area is relatively calm today, but in January of this year violence raged through the streets, especially on Haifa.“The mindset that Shias stay on this side of the fence and Sunnis stay on the other carried over from the violence which once plagued the area,” Melton said. “There is only a street, Sheik Murah Street, which separates these men. To the west of this street is a Shia neighborhood. To the east is a Sunni neighborhood.“So it’s a sectarian line dividing the two,” he said. “They are working really hard within themselves to kind of get over this (sectarian mindset).”If they continue their quest for peace among all, Melton said the area will stabilize and move things forward in several areas.
“If the neighborhoods come together and start really working together at the NAC and DAC levels without sectarian issues, the government will become much more efficient and more self-sustaining,” Melton said. “Same thing on the security front in terms of the Iraqi Army and the Iraqi Police being trusted by the community and being able to secure the community--both of which are positive things for us, which will allow us to transition out of a more direct role into more of an over-watch role.”Melton, who is in his second tour in Baghdad, said “I know they are moving forward and making progress. Certainly they have issues and problems and growing pains, but they have made a tremendous amount of progress.”One Iraqi boy, Omar, 11, said because of the continued peace in his homeland, he came to celebrate with his fellow Iraqis.
Awass, with the Iraqi flag draped over his body, carried himself with much enthusiasm and excitement in his journey in Karkh.He said the flag—one he is very proud to display— describes his great country. “Red is for the blood shed. White is for our handshake. Green is for their land, and Black is for their oil,” he said.“We thank our God, our families and our friends that our neighborhood is safe and free of Violence,” an Iraqi man who participated in the march said.
They marched for their peace, for their friends and for their brothers, said the Sheik. “Today we march for us being brothers forever.”
(Story by Sgt. James P. Hunter, 101st Airborne Division Public Affairs)
In Other Recent Developments Here:
BAGHDAD — Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldiers arrested an alleged terrorist technical advisor and an improvised explosive device cell leader during two raids in the Doura neighborhoods in the Rashid District, Dec. 17.
BAGHDAD — Coalition forces captured two suspected Special Groups leaders and detained three other suspects during operations to disrupt criminal element networks early this morning in the Al Mashru area, south of Baghdad, and the Kadhimiyah area, west of Baghdad.
Never Mind the Bomb, Beware of IslamofascismBy Amil Imani MichNews.com Dec 24, 2007
The National Intelligence Estimate regarding Iran’s bomb project has stirred a great deal of controversy. Some say that there is now reason to abandon the war posturing and start negotiating a live-and-let-live deal with the Mullahs, since they have “abandoned” their quest for the bomb. At least that is what the not-so-reliable report seems to imply. Others, with good reason, remain skeptical of both the validity of the report and the ever-cheating, conniving Mullahs. This controversy aside, the irrefutable fact is that the Jihadist belief of Islam itself poses existential danger to the world. Beliefs energize and direct actions. Beliefs are as indispensable as the air we breathe. Even an atheist is a believer, with his own system of disbelief. Not believing in anything is mental breakdown. There is something about humans that demands a belief. A belief can be anything or a combination of many things; it can be well-defined and even rigid, or a loosely put together hodge-podge with considerable latitude. It can be magnificent or the most abhorrent. But, it has to be there. Beliefs steer our vehicles in the journey of life. Please read more: Click Here