Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Iran nuclear update UPDATE 1600 EST

Here's your briefing, Bloggers. Some thoughts first:

1. If Elaine Sciolino reported a "serious" rift between the U.S. and Russia, there was one. If it is gone now, Condoleezza Rice might have done some wonderful diplomacy. (//Wild Speculation)

2. India and Pakistan have thrown their two cents in -- and they don't agree with the administration's hardliners. That Bush visit really helped. Or maybe it did!

3. Janes and Donald Rumsfeld both report that Iran has an IRGC capability that presents a threat to our forces in the region

4. The Persian Puzzle reports that these Iranian nuclear sites would require several hundred miles of overland flying to reach. They are large and spread out.

5. Remember yesterday's report in the Times of London that the Bush administration is badly split on this. Gee, gosh, I wonder which people are the hardliners and who are the doves?
News as of 1600 est

The A.P. has put this out in the past hour: "U.S. Opposition May Scuttle Iran Nuke Deal" (Reuters and VoA have very different stories)

AsiaNews: "No force against Iran, say India, Pakistan" (Might be pop up crazy)

BBC News:
Iranian revolutionary forces have been infiltrating Iraq, US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has said.

"They [Iran] are currently putting people into Iraq to do things that are harmful to the future of Iraq," Mr Rumsfeld told a news conference.

"We know it, and it is something that they... will look back on as having been an error in judgement," he added.
AFX: "Oil falls below 62 usd as Iran tensions ease, OPEC seen keeping output steady" (You were saying?)

Michael Vlahos of The Huffington Post: "Will We Fight Iran?" (He sees 1914 all over this. Which is wrong. Very, very wrong.)

Reuters has the plot thicken:
WASHINGTON, March 7 (Reuters) - Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denied on Tuesday that Russia has a new proposal to curb Iran's nuclear programs, a day after Washington rejected an idea to allow Tehran atomic research that diplomats said Moscow had floated.
Similar story via Voice of America:
But at a joint press appearance with Secretary Rice, Lavrov appeared to completely dismiss the notion of a policy rift with Washington over Iran, saying flatly there was no compromise proposal and that there would not be one:

"There is no compromise new Russian proposal," he said. "All our contacts with Iran, with the European troika, with the United States, with China and with others including the director-general of the IAEA, were about finding a way to implement the February decision by the board of governors of the IAEA It is only in that context that our well-known suggestion to have a joint venture to enrich uranium on Russian territory to provide for the fuel needs of Iran was made."
Janes (yesterday):
Iran moves its Shahab 3 units

By Ed Blanche

Reports attributed to Western intelligence services said that on 19 January the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), which controls Iran's ballistic missile forces, was ordered to change the location of its mobile Shahab 3 batteries every 24 hours as a precautionary measure.

This was apparently done, for at least two weeks, with the batteries remaining within a 35 km radius, presumably to stay within range of their command-and-control centres. These reports said that the IRGC has moved Shahab 3 units to Kermanshah and Hamadan provinces in the west of the country, with reserve batteries deployed in Fars and Isfahan provinces further east.

Iran is believed to have six operational Shahab 3 brigades, the first of which was established in July 2003. These are mainly equipped with standard variants, but with others described as 'enhanced Shahab', with ranges of 1,300 km-1,500 km and 2,000 km respectively.


The Blogosphere:

Siddharth Varadarajan:
Involving the U.N. Security Council will escalate the nuclear crisis and reduce the scope for dialogue and negotiation. India must disassociate itself from any such move.
Faithful Progressive:
One of the main reasons we opposed the Iraq war was because it would increase the power of Iran in the region. That prediction has not only come true, but Iran has elected a more radical government and has upped its anti-Israel rhetoric. This has happened throughout the region and this, too, was a predictable outcome of this idiotic war. Where does this leave us? Above all, we need to exercise great caution in accepting things on their face. Certainly there are elements on many sides that would love to see the US bogged down in a war in Iran--the oddest thing is that it appears to include many flag-waving Americans.


Original post:

The A.P. reports:
VIENNA, Austria -- Iran is offering to suspend full-scale uranium enrichment for up to two years, a diplomat said Tuesday. But the move was unlikely to deflect pending U.N. Security Council action over the activity, which can be used to make nuclear arms.

The diplomat told The Associated Press the offer was made Friday by chief Iranian negotiator Ali Larijani in Moscow in the context of contacts between Iran and Russia on moving Tehran's enrichment program to Russia. The diplomat spoke on condition of anonymity because the information was confidential.

In Washington, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said any enrichment of nuclear fuel on Iranian territory was unacceptable, and Russia appeared to close ranks with the United States over the issue.
Elaine Sciolino has this for the New York Times:
VIENNA, March 7 — A serious rift emerged Monday when Russia split with the United States and Europe over Iran's nuclear program after the Russians floated a last-minute proposal to allow Iran to make small quantities of nuclear fuel, according to European officials.

The reports of the proposal prompted Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to call Mohamed ElBaradei, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and according to an administration official who was briefed on the conversation, "she said the United States cannot support this."
An earlier A.P. report from today:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Vice President Dick Cheney said Tuesday that Iran will not be allowed to have a nuclear weapon and warned "the United States is keeping all options on the table in addressing the irresponsible conduct of the regime."

Cheney said the Iranian government "continues to defy the world with its nuclear ambitions" and that the issue may soon go before the U.N. Security Council.

"The Iranian regime needs to know that if it stays on its present course, the international community is prepared to impose meaningful consequences," Cheney said in a speech to the to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, an influential pro-Israel lobbying group.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


'nuf said. I guess the rest is classified.

9:22 AM  

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