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  1. avatar
    Silendo at |

    "Iran Trumpets Nuclear Ability at a Second Location" (NYT):
    "Iran’s top nuclear official announced this weekend that the country was on the verge of starting production at its second major uranium enrichment site, in a defiant declaration that its nuclear program would continue despite new international sanctions restricting its oil revenue.
    (…) The imminent opening of the enrichment site — the Fordo plant, near the city of Qum — confronts the United States and its allies with difficult choices about how far to go to limit Iran’s nuclear abilities. The new facility is buried deep underground on a well-defended military site and is considered far more resistant to airstrikes than the existing enrichment site at Natanz, limiting what Israeli officials, in particular, consider an important deterrent to Iran’s nuclear aims. When the existence of the Qum facility was first disclosed by President Obama and his counterparts in France and Britain in the fall of 2009, American officials expressed doubts that Iran would ever go forward with the facility. But once it goes into operation, the chances of disabling it, in the words of one former top Israeli official, “diminish very dramatically.”
    (…) While Iran has often exaggerated its abilities, nuclear experts say this claim is plausible.
    (…) Four years of sanctions have deeply hurt Iran’s economy, but have not changed its nuclear strategy. But the new American sanctions, along with an oil embargo under discussion in Europe, aim to undercut the government by squeezing its most important source of revenue: oil sales.
    (…) The opening of the plant does not significantly affect estimates of how long it could take Iran to produce a nuclear weapon, if that is its true intention. The new facility has been inspected regularly, and unless the Iranians barred inspectors or managed to deceive them, any effort to produce uranium at bomb-grade levels would most likely be detected. American officials have estimated that they would have six months to a year to react, if needed, before the enrichment was completed. But should it come to that, the Fordo plant site itself would greatly complicate any military action. Satellite photographs show it is surrounded by antiaircraft guns, and the mountainous setting was designed to make a bombing campaign nearly impossible."

  2. avatar
    utente anonimo at |

    ONLY THE BRAVE, in this short message of CNN breaking news 1/9/2012:
    Report: American Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, on trial in Iran for espionage, has been sentenced to death.
    Iran's semi-official Fars news agency reported that a court convicted Hekmati of "working for an enemy country … for membership in the CIA and also for his efforts to accuse Iran of involvement in terrorism."
    Hekmati, a former U.S. Marine, was arrested in August while visiting his grandmother and other relatives, his family in Michigan said last month.




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