Iran Building Two New Nuclear Plants

The reactor building at the Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran

The reactor building at the Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran / Getty Images

 

Files complaint against U.S. for ‘crimes against humanity’

Iranian leaders announced on Monday the construction of two new nuclear plants, and it remains unclear if the Trump administration views this as crossing a red line since its abandonment of the landmark nuclear deal, which included provisions permitting Iran to work on heavy water nuclear reactors that could provide a plutonium-based pathway to a bomb. Continue reading

IRGC Navy showcases long-range fast cruising vessel

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Members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard sit in front of a newly inaugurated high-speed catamaran, in the port city of Bushehr, northern Persian Gulf, Iran, Sept. 13, 2016.

 

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy has unveiled a domestically-designed and -manufactured long-range and fast cruising vessel with a helipad on its deck to accommodate a helicopter gunship.

The watercraft, dubbed Shahid Mohammad Nazeri, was showcased for the first time during a ceremony in Iran’s southern port city of Bushehr on Tuesday morning. Continue reading

Iran Nuke Reactor Hits Capacity

Iran’s Russian-built nuclear power plant in Bushehr hit capacity on Tuesday and was hooked into the country’s national power grid, according to Iranian officials. Continue reading

Putin to visit Tehran. King of Morocco invites Iran to “Jerusalem Committee” – with Kerry’s approval

Tehran’s offensive for establishing itself as the leading Middle East power bar none is in full flight. On his arrival in Moscow Thursday, Jan. 17, Foreign Minister Javad Zerif handed Vladimir Putin an invitation to visit Tehran from President Hassan Rouhani. The Russian president replied: “I hope to visit you in Tehran very soon.” Iran also sent out invitations to Gulf rulers to tour its nuclear reactor at Bushehr,  combined with a round table discussion on regional nuclear cooperation.

This visit would be tantamount to the Arab oil emirs’ recognition of the legitimacy of Iran’s nuclear program. It is likely to come off because the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman are already in favor of rapprochement with Tehran. Continue reading

The Great Gas Game over Syria

Even as much has been written about the regional and global actors pursuing their pitiless agendas in Syria, one sub-plot in the vicious drama has remained relatively unexplored. And that is the gas resource and its routes from production to the market.

The past five years have seen discoveries of immense energy reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean; both the Levant Basin located along the shores of Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Gaza and Cyprus and the Nile Basin north of Egypt. According to preliminary geological surveys, the Levant Basin contains 3.5 trillion cubic meters (tcm) of gas and 1.7 billion barrels (bb) of oil. The Nile Basin contains 6 tcm of gas and 1.8 bb of oil. Continue reading

Part 1: German Investigators Uncover Illegal Exports

A ‘Focal Point’ for Procurement

Iranian-German collaborations have a long history. For many years, companies like German engineering giant Siemens played an important role in the construction of the Iranian nuclear reactor in Bushehr. German mechanical engineering companies rank among the best in the world, and their products are highly coveted by engineers in Tehran. A recent confidential situation report by the German Customs Criminal Investigation Office (ZKA) said that Germany is a “focal point for Iran’s procurement activity” by Iran. The report went on to say that “preventing illegal exports” represents “a key challenge.”

Sales of banned high-tech products boost the Iranian nuclear program, but they also threaten the German government’s policy, which is largely relying on tight export restrictions to head off a war in the Middle East. The means “at our disposal to force Iran to be more transparent have not been exhausted,” says German Chancellor Angela Merkel, adding that “sanctions are at the top of the list here.”

Full article: Part 1: German Investigators Uncover Illegal Exports (Spiegel Online)

See also: Part 2: Valves from Germany (Spiegel Online)

Ahmadinejad: Iran to reveal new nuke achievements

“Within the next few days the world will witness the inauguration of several big new achievements in the nuclear field,” Ahmadinejad told the crowd in Tehran’s famous Azadi, or Freedom, square.

Iran has said it is forced to manufacture nuclear fuel rods, which provide fuel for reactors, on its own since international sanctions ban it from buying them on foreign markets. In January, Iran said it had produced its first such fuel rod.

Apart from progress on the rods, the upcoming announcement could pertain to Iran’s underground enrichment facility at Fordo or upgraded centrifuges, which are expected to be installed at the facility in the central town of Natanz. Iran has also said it would inaugurate the Russian-built nuclear power plant in the southern port of Bushehr in 2012.

Full article: Ahmadinejad: Iran to reveal new nuke achievements (AP)