Iran to begin gas injection into new, advanced centrifuges

Illustrative image of centrifuges enriching uranium (photo credit: US Department of Energy/Wikimedia Commons)

 

Tehran insists move permitted under 2015 nuclear deal which allows R&D on IR-8s, capable of enriching uranium 20 times faster than previous machines

Iran’s nuclear energy agency indicated Tuesday that Tehran would soon begin injecting gas into the latest generation of advanced centrifuges, IR-8, in a move that marks the next step to make them operational and that Iran says is permitted under the terms of the nuclear deal signed last year with six world powers.

“The IR8 tests have come to an end and they will go into the stage of gas injection in the next few weeks,” a spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Behrouz Kamalvandi, announced at a press conference on Tuesday, according to the semi-official Fars new agency. Continue reading

Iran, World Powers Reach Final Nuclear Deal

The door to the next world war has just been opened and the Iranians are laughing all the way to the bank to pick up their once frozen revenue.

 

 

Iran and world powers on Tuesday announced they had sealed a final nuclear deal with Tehran that will lift most economic sanctions on the country and permit it to continue many of the most controversial aspects of its nuclear program, as well as its missile development, according to initial text of the agreement and statements by diplomats.

The agreement, which was finalized in Vienna, would in lift international sanctions on Iran and permit it to continue key elements of its nuclear work, as well as research and development.

Iran will be permitted to continue spinning centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium, the key component in a nuclear weapon. Western powers will also work with Iran to help it install and operate more advanced centrifuges, according to those appraised of the deal. Continue reading

Iran says U.S. has no objections to installation of advanced centrifuges

NICOSIA — Iran has asserted that the West accepted the use of Teheran’s latest gas centrifuge for the nation’s nuclear program.

Officials said the P5+1 approved Iran’s enhancement of its nuclear energy and research program. They said this included the testing and installation of advanced centrifuges for uranium enrichment.

“The [use of] new generation of centrifuges for research purposes was the most important remaining issue in the talks between Iran and the P5+1 in recent months,” Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said. Continue reading

Iran blatantly defies five key Geneva Pact commitments – heads for nuclear arsenal

In short, what Iran is seemingly looking to do is be able to up the production capability to where it can build nuclear weapons within two weeks. A two week time period would be too short of a period of time for most nations to react, especially as nations today are forming ‘coalitions’ in order to mitigate political backlash. Throw in the usual stalling/delay tactics as well as Russia and China blocking all efforts in the UN, combined with a United States that is slowly bringing resources to the Asian “pivot” and we might have a perfect recipe for disaster. Once again, Israel will find itself mostly alone with its back against the wall and left no choice but to strike preemptively or in reaction to an attack — neither make a difference now.

Iran’s utilization of advanced IR-2m centrifuges for enriching uranium, in violation of the interim Geneva accord, was presented by the US and the five powers Wednesday, Jan. 8, as the main difficulty in its implementation. This claim allowed the follow-up meeting to take place in Geneva on Thursday, Jan. 9.DEBKAfile’s Iranian and intelligence sources report that this was a lame excuse to account for the real situation, which is that Iran has not even started implementing any part of the Geneva accord it signed last November 24. The follow-up talks this week are not expected to break out of this impasse, any more than the first round did on Dec. 19-20.

This is because the obstacles are far from technical; they arise from Iranian domestic politics.  Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has fenced in President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammed Jawad Zarif with hard-line objectors to the tactics employed till now by the Iranian team, led by Iranian deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi. In future, negotiators will be required to refer all the conclusions reached with the powers to the policy-making levels in Tehran for approval and abide by their guidelines. Continue reading

Israel issues warning on report on Iran bomb

Although the “ETA” on the final product keeps shifting around from as little as one month, to six months or even two years, depending who you ask and what official report you hear it from, the goal still remains the same. The Iranians won’t likely showcase their true capability until it’s too late to strike. Too late meaning that the attacker, for example, will have to fight an Iran with 50 nuclear missiles and face total destruction for even trying. Buying the time for the development is key in this case, therefore, expect to continue seeing a shifting timeline. News of a nuclear Iran or a strike on Iran should be expected to be news you wake up to one day as 9/11 was for America, not a specific date or just two months away.

A new report that says Iran may need as little as a month to produce enough uranium for a nuclear bomb is further evidence for why Israel will take military action before that happens, an Israeli defense official said Friday.

“We have made it crystal clear – in all possible forums, that Israel will not stand by and watch Iran develop weaponry that will put us, the entire Middle East and eventually the world, under an Iranian umbrella of terror,” Danny Danon, Israel’s deputy defense minister told USA TODAY. Continue reading

Nuclear ruse: Posing as toymaker, Chinese merchant allegedly sought U.S. technology for Iran

A brief lesson on the dangers of dual use technology:

The Chinese toymaker said he was seeking parts for a “magic horse,” a metal-framed playground pony. But the exotic, wildly expensive raw material he wanted seemed better suited for space travel than backyard play.

His shopping list, sent by e-mail to a Seattle factory, started with 20 tons of maraging steel, an ultra-strong alloy often used in rockets. The buyer didn’t flinch at the price tag — $2 million — but he repeatedly insisted on secrecy. “This material,” an associate confided in an e-mail, “are danger [sic] goods.”

Only in recent months did the full scope of the ruse become apparent. The destination for the specialty steel was not China but Iran, and the order had nothing to do with toy horses, U.S. investigators say.

“We are certain,” said a law enforcement official familiar with the case, “that the metal was meant for advanced centrifuges in Iran’s nuclear program.”

Maraging steel is a critical material in a new, highly efficient centrifuge that Iran has struggled for years to build. Barred by sanctions from buying the alloy legally, Iranian nuclear officials have sought to secretly acquire it from Western companies. In recent years, U.S. officials say, an increasing number of Chinese merchants have volunteered to help, serving as middlemen in elaborate schemes to obtain the steel and other forbidden material for Iran’s uranium enrichment plants as well as its missiles factories.

They are not just stumbling on opportunities,” said Steve Pelak, the Justice Department’s counterespionage chief. “They are professional, studied procurement agents and shippers. They know precisely what business they’re in and how to go after it.

The Seattle case is at least the fourth in the past two years in which companies based in China have been accused of helping Iran try to purchase sensitive technology. Although Iran has used Chinese go-betweens in the past, U.S. officials said sanctions have forced the isolated and besieged Iranian government to rely increasingly on China for economic help and access to restricted goods.

Khaki’s alleged plan to ship maraging steel to Iran through China was stopped, but federal officials concluded that the network delivered other nuclear-related components and tools to Tehran. Among them were corrosion-resistant nickel alloy and special lathes to manufacture centrifuge parts.

U.S. officials say the items are among several million dollars’ worth of material and parts — from missile components to electronics for roadside bombs — that have passed through China to Iran in the past five years. The flow of Western technology to Tehran is so persistent that it has emerged as an irritant in relations between Beijing and Washington, prompting the Obama administration to dispatch two delegations to Beijing since 2010 to complain.

Full article: Nuclear ruse: Posing as toymaker, Chinese merchant allegedly sought U.S. technology for Iran (Washington Post)