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  • splanton splanton Dec 1, 2012 8:52 PM Flag

    OT: Iran won't quit...

    By: Eurasia Review
    December 1, 2012

    The Iranian ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says Iran will never halt its uranium enrichment activities, which are being closely supervised by the IAEA.

    “We will never ever suspend our enrichment. This is an inalienable right. Everything is under 24-hour camera surveillance of the IAEA,” Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh said.

    Pointing to the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear energy program, the Iranian ambassador noted that “the activities in Fordo and other facilities are aimed at peaceful uses. For example, 20 percent enrichment is for the Tehran Research Reactor and… they [the West] should not make speculation.”

    Soltanieh warned against any attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, saying, “Nobody could dare to attack Iran, but if there is any attack, I am sure that there would be a harsh response.”

    He went on to say that an attack targeting the centrifuges used to enrich uranium would not affect Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities because the Islamic Republic is the “master of enrichment technology and… can produce all components locally” and in the case of an attack, it would “immediately be able to replace” damaged centrifuges.

    Soltanieh added that any attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities would have consequences, which could include Iran withdrawing from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

    “If such a thing happens, I am afraid that the Iranian parliament will put pressure on the government to reduce its cooperation with the IAEA or suspend IAEA inspections of nuclear facilities, or even withdraw from the NPT; these are all options that might happen. Of course… we insist on continuing our cooperation with the IAEA,” he stated.

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    • From the WSJ:
      The U.S. has significantly stepped up spying operations on Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor over the past two months, American officials said, driven by heightened concerns about the security of weapons-grade plutonium after Tehran unexpectedly discharged fuel rods from the facility in October.

      The increased U.S. surveillance of Bushehr, on Iran's southwestern coast, has been conducted in part with the Pentagon's fleet of drones operating over the Persian Gulf. The effort resulted in the interception of visual images and audio communications coming from the reactor complex, these officials said.

      Tehran suggested an American drone was spying on Bushehr on Nov. 1 when it sent Iranian fighter jets to pursue the unmanned craft, firing at it but missing. The drone in question was conducting surveillance that day, but not on Bushehr, U.S. officials said.