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Politics And Military

* Resurfacing Shock and Awe, why is this different?  Ali Behrooz

* Mr President, Barack Obama,  Ali Behrooz

* Iran’s Conservatives Are Deceiving Themselves  Tariq Alhomayed

* Just When it Ends in Basra, it Begins in Mosul!  Huda al Husseini

* Putin promises Iran continuity in relations: RIA  News Report

* New U.S. carrier in Gulf a 'reminder' to Iran: Gates  News Report

* Iran displays 1800 km-range missile  News Report

* U.S., Iraqi Forces Continue to Battle in Sadr City  News Report

* Iran Top Threat To Iraq, U.S. Says  News Report

* Sadr not U.S. enemy if he sticks to politics: Gates  News Report

* British fear US commander is beating the drum for Iran strikes  News Report

* Pakistan Mulls Talking with Terrorists  News Report

* Shia leader tries to contain militia  News Report

* Bush to maintain Iraq troop numbers  News Report

* McCain doesn't rule out preemptive war  News Report

* Winds of Change  Pablo Ouziel

* Obama Adviser Calls for Troops To Stay in Iraq Through 2010  News Report

* Iran helped end Iraq fighting: Iraq party adviser  News Report

* McCain's "war on terror" remix  News Report

* Saudi Arabia's justice minister departs for Tehran  News Report

* Deployment of Foreign Troops an Insult to Regional States  News Report

* Gun-shy America is losing the best chance to stop Iran  News Report

* Khatami rallies Iran reformists  News Report

* Iran says will soon hold talks with U.S. on Iraq  News Report

* Iran says has built new long-range missile  News Report

* U.S. military in Iraq says to release 9 Iranians  News Report

* U.S. sees decline in Iran-linked bombs found in Iraq  News Report

* Russia and China fall in line on Iran  News Report

* Iran letter sparks new fight between Clinton, Obama  News Report

* Bombing Iran will ensure world peace  News Report

* King Abdullah flies in to lecture us on terrorism  Robert Fisk

* Ahmadinejad to Visit S. Arabia mid Nov.  News Report

* Iranian Guard 'ready to defend revolution'  News Report

* Iran to give crushing response to possible attacks: minister  News Report

* Bush: Missile shield is meant to deter Iran  News Report

* Iran Accuses US of Manufacturing Genetic Weapons  News Report

* Blair: Terror threat like fascism  Tony Blair

* US arrogant attitudes pave way for 'World War III': Cleric  News Report

* Russia’s Putin hunts diplomatic solution in Iran  News Report

* Clinton says she would negotiate with Iran if elected president  News Report

* Britain 'on board' for US strikes on Iran  News Report

* Iran, sanctions and the rumours of war  News Report

* No Iran strike plans, says Blair  Tony Blair

* Gates: Diplomatic efforts to counter Iranian nuclear program are working  News Report

* McCain Jokes About Bombing Iran  Liz Sidoti

* Tehran expects update on cases of two Iranians murdered in France: MP  News Report

* Iran is not a safe haven for terrorists  News Report

* Iran at threat?  News Report

* Iran trying to recruit Israeli spies  News Report

* Iran: Signals on 5 Diplomats  News Report


Gates: Diplomatic efforts to counter Iranian nuclear program are working
[ News Report]  [2007-04-19 18:05:47]
[Source: haaretz 18 April 07]


By Haaretz Correspondents and Agencies , By Amos Harel and Yossi Melman
 
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates met with Defense Minister Amir Peretz in Tel Aviv yesterday, saying diplomatic efforts to resolve the standoff with Iran over its nuclear program are working.

At a joint press conference with Peretz, Gates said the men agreed that the diplomatic pressure is working. "We agreed it was important to deal with the Iranian nuclear problem through diplomacy, which appears to be working," Gates said. Peretz told reporters during the press conference that "2007 will be a critical year for thwarting the Iranian plans.

"Iran presents a threat not only to Israel, but to the entire free world," he said. "This problem is of concern to all of us and we are certain that the world will not stand aside. We expect that the U.S. and the world will stand by us regarding the Iranian nuclear issue," he added. "I congratulate the U.S. on the UN Security Council decision regarding sanctions."

While Peretz welcomed the diplomatic efforts, the defense minister said Israel could not rule out using other options.

Gates will meet with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni today, in the first visit by a U.S. defense secretary in eight years.

The meeting between Gates and Peretz focused on a number of issues: the Iranian threat, the implications of the ongoing fighting in Iraq, the recent Syrian statements that were hostile to Israel and the defense ties between the U.S. and Israel.

Gates noted that the UN Security Council has already passed two resolutions imposing sanctions on Iran for its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment, a process that can be used to develop nuclear weapons. Gates said the diplomatic efforts should be given a chance to succeed. "The international community is united in telling Iran what it needs to do with respect to its nuclear program," he said. "These things don't work overnight, but it seems to me clearly the preferable course to keep our focus on the diplomatic initiatives - particularly because of the united front of the international community at this point."

Confidential document

Iran has started feeding small amounts of uranium gas into centrifuges that can enrich it to weapons-grade level and is already running more than 1,300 of the machines, according to an International Atomic Energy Agency document obtained by The Associated Press yesterday.

The confidential document - a letter to Iranian officials from a senior IAEA staff member - also protests an Iranian decision to prevent agency inspectors to visit the country's heavy water reactor that, when built, will produce plutonium. Enriched uranium and plutonium can both be used for the fissile core of nuclear warheads.

Last week, Iran said it had begun operating 3,000 centrifuges at its Natanz facility - nearly 10 times the previously known number. The U.S., Britain, France and others criticized the announcement, but experts - and several world powers - expressed skepticism that Iran's claims were true and diplomats in Vienna familiar with the state of the program told AP they were greatly exaggerated.

If so, the one-page letter reflected a swift advance in the program. A little over two weeks ago, those diplomats had said Tehran was running only a little more than 600 centrifuges, and had not introduced any uranium gas into them. And even IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei had said last week that Iran was operating only several hundred centrifuges at Natanz.

The letter, signed by IAEA Deputy Director General Olli Heinonen and dated April 18 - yesterday - said the agency wanted to take note of the information provided by Iran ... that Iran has put into operation 1,312 centrifuges - the machines used to spin the gas into enriched uranium.

The letter also cited Iranian information to the agency that some UF6 is being fed into the centrifuges, referring to the uranium gas that can be enriched to levels potent enough to be used for nuclear arms.
 





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