Incident At Isfahan

Hmmm, I wonder what this is all about?

‘Mysterious explosion rocks Iranian city of Isfahan’

A large explosion rocked the western Iranian city of Isfahan, semi-official FARS news reported Monday afternoon.

According to the report, the blast occurred shortly after 2:00 p.m. FARS did not reveal the cause of the explosion, which was large enough to be heard throughout Iran’s third largest city.

. . .

Isfahan is home to nuclear experimental reactors, and also a uranium enrichment facility for producing nuclear fuel.

See also:
Report: Explosion rocks Iran city of Isfahan, home to key nuclear facility
Report: Huge blast heard in Iranian city of Isfahan
Iran: explosion in Isfahan reported
Loud Blast Reportedly Rocks Iranian City of Isfahan
Mysterious blast heard from Iran’s Isfahan city; reports conflicted
‘Explosion’ in Iran raises suspicions of attack on nuclear missile program
Blast near Iran nuclear facility
No explosion in Isfahan: Iran official
Iran official: Blast near nuclear site caused by military mishap
Sound of blast reported in Iran’s Isfahan city
BREAKING: Explosion Reported at Isfahan, Iran, ‘Home to Key Nuclear Facility’
More “Bad Luck” in Iran; “Huge” Explosion Reported Outside Isfahan
In Iran, a series of mysterious incidents raises sabotage suspicions

Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but this is the second major explosion,in less than two weeks, at or near a facility involved with Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

/or maybe it’s not a coincidence at all, more faster please

How Are Those Sanctions Working Out?

Apparently, the West’s sanctions regime doesn’t seem to be slowing down North Korea’s nuclear program.

Why We’re Always Fooled by North Korea

According to Siegfried Hecker, the former director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, North Korea is working on two new nuclear facilities, a light water power reactor in early stages of construction, and a “modern, clean centrifuge plant” for uranium enrichment. Mr. Hecker visited the facility over the weekend and says it appears nearly complete.

The centrifuge plant is particularly significant because it could produce more than enough highly enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon every year—and it may not be the North’s only such facility. North Korea’s artillery bombardment of the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong on Tuesday makes it doubly clear that Pyongyang intends to leverage its new nuclear breakthrough for maximum concessions from the international community.

This nuclear revelation is not an intelligence failure. Over the past decade, intelligence analysts have consistently predicted North Korea’s path to nuclear weapons and noted the increasing evidence of its missile and nuclear proliferation. The failure has been that of policy makers and pundits who denigrated the analysis, ignored it, or clung to the fallacy that North Korea would abide by a denuclearization deal.

See also:
A Return Trip to North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Complex
North Korean Uranium Plant Stokes Proliferation Worries
North Korea’s ‘Stunning’ Secret Nuclear Plant
Uranium Enrichment ‘Long Suspected’
N.Korea’s Uranium Enrichment Facility ‘a Ploy’
Pyongyang’s New Nuclear Facility Tests World Resolve
U.S. Calls North Korea’s Nuclear Revelation a ‘Publicity Stunt’
N. Korea uranium claim condemned
North Korean uranium enrichment no surprise (Rep. Pete Hoekstra)
U.S. scientist amazed by N. Korean nuclear facility
North Korea unveils sophisticated facility for enriching uranium

So, how are we responding to North Korea’s latest nuclear revelation? We’re not responding at all, as far as I can tell, not even a strongly worded letter.

/I guess we’re just going to let North Korea assemble all the nuclear weapons they want and hope they never use or sell them. not a particularly good strategy in my opinion

So, How Are Those Sanctions Working Out?

I think Obama and Hillary finally have a hold of Iran by the balls this time, for sure. It won’t be long now before Iran gives up on their nuclear program and Ahmadinejad gets down on his knees and begs the West not to punish Iran anymore.

Iran increases uranium enrichment – IAEA

The International Atomic Energy Agency has said Iran has activated more equipment to enrich uranium more efficiently, violating UN resolutions.

The UN watchdog said a second set, or “cascade”, of centrifuges was operating at the Natanz pilot fuel enrichment plant when inspectors visited in July.

The move to enrich uranium to 20% purity means Iran could quickly advance to making weapons-grade material.

The West believes Iran is seeking to build a nuclear bomb. Iran denies this.

The UN Security Council, the US and EU have each imposed sanctions on the Iranian authorities to force them to halt enrichment activities.

Power station

Iran has been producing low-enriched uranium (LEU) of about 3.5% purity for some time, and announced in February that it had begun enriching uranium to 20% to make fuel for its Tehran research reactor, which produces medical isotopes. A bomb would require at least 90%.

“The IAEA can confirm that on 17 July, when agency inspectors were at [Natanz], Iran was feeding nuclear material to the two interconnected 164-machine centrifuge cascades,” spokeswoman Gill Tudor said.

Ms Tudor said the move was “contrary to UN Security Council resolutions affirming that Iran should suspend all enrichment-related activities”.

The centrifuges spin uranium hexafluoride (UF6) gas at high speeds to separate the fissile U-235 atoms from the denser U-238 atoms.

Experts say that using two interconnected cascades increases efficiency by allowing leftover LEU to be re-fed into the machines.

See also:
Iran Expands Production of Higher-Enriched Uranium
IAEA: Iran activates enrichment equipment
Iran starts more efficient uranium enrichment – ISIS
Iran slams media hype over enrichment
IAEA: Iran boosts nuclear enrichment efficiency
Ten questions for the negotiators with Iran
Leaky Sanctions
Natanz [Kashan]
Natanz

Once again, Iran beats us like a drum. Hey Obama, how many times does Ahmadinejad have to laugh at you and kick sand in your face before you grow a spine and take this threat seriously? It’s painfully obvious to anyone with a third grade education that your “sanctions” are worthless and unenforceable. In fact, your “sanctions” do absolutely nothing to deter Iran and serve only to make them more defiant, the exact opposite of the desired effect. You’re desperately in need of a new, adult foreign policy team that doesn’t arrive for work every day in a clown car.

/all I can say is that when Israel finally does what has to be done, you’d better [expletive deleted] stay out of their way

The Incredible Ineptitude Of “Smart Diplomacy”

The Who Won’t Get Fooled Again, but the United States keeps getting fooled time after time after time. Once again, the Iranians have run diplomatic circles around the Obama Administration’s comical and ineffective “smart diplomacy”. If this was a little league softball game, they’d have to invoke the ten run rule.

Iran’s nuclear move may derail U.S. efforts on sanctions

An agreement by Iran to send much of its nuclear fuel abroad clouded prospects for U.S.-led plans to impose further economic sanctions on Tehran over its controversial nuclear development program.

The proposal, brokered by leaders of Brazil and Turkey during an 18-hour session in Tehran and announced late Sunday, drew a reaction of cautious skepticism from the United States and its Western allies, who questioned whether it goes far enough to address longstanding concerns over the goal of the Iranian nuclear program. Iran says its effort is for civilian energy purposes only, but Western powers believe Tehran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

U.S., French, German and Russian officials all raised questions about the announcement, noting that Iran would still keep more than a ton of its nuclear stockpile and would continue enriching uranium in its centrifuges. But Western leaders also called for further study of the plan, saying it should not be dismissed out of hand.

The agreement appeared to sap some of the momentum for a new round of United Nations Security Council sanctions, which looked to include restrictions on Iranian government financial transactions. Officials from Turkey and Brazil said the deal removed any need for further U.N. sanctions. The two countries currently sit on the 15-member Security Council, though neither has the power to veto a sanctions resolution.

It remains to be seen whether Tehran was merely trying to avert imminent sanctions or whether the pact could form the basis of a wider accord. In making the uranium transfer abroad, Iran would drop its previous insistence that any swaps should take place on Iranian soil.

U.S. officials face a choice of rejecting the deal and appearing intransigent, or accepting it, potentially allowing Iran to defuse mounting international pressures through an indefinite delay.

The plan calls for Iran to ship 2,640 pounds of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey under the supervision of both Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, in Vienna. In return, Iran would receive 265 pounds of uranium from France and Russia within a year for use in a small nuclear reactor that produces medical isotopes to treat the ill.

Talked Into A Trap

Nuclear Iran: President Obama’s “direct diplomacy with Iran without preconditions” has, not surprisingly, led us down a blind alley. Now China and Russia are about to mug us with Turkey’s phony uranium deal.

The White House is learning that its “tough diplomacy” is a boomerang that may soon leave America nursing a very sore lump on its head.

The deal Iran triumphantly announced with Turkey and Brazil on Monday is exactly the kind of development that can give Moscow and Beijing the excuse not to agree to more sanctions. Which would mean that President Obama is left painted into a corner about what to do next to prevent a terrorist regime in the Middle East from getting nukes.

It was all smiles in Tehran as Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan patted themselves on the back as peacemakers, and clasped hands with the world’s most powerful hater of Jews, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. His shady re-election nearly a year ago sparked mass demonstrations and the killing of protesters by the Islamofascist regime.

In a regurgitation of last fall’s Geneva agreement that Iran ultimately backed out of, the new “fuel swap” deal would require Tehran to send some enriched uranium to Turkey. After a year, Iran would get some non-weapons-grade uranium back from Russia and France.

But Tehran says it will continue its own uranium enrichment activities, which means that when all is said and done nothing has changed.

As the Sarkozy government in France warns, the Turkey deal does “nothing to settle the problem posed by the Iranian nuclear program.” The new British government says it will continue to push for sanctions; an unimpressed Germany says what matters is Iran’s domestic enrichment.

Even the White House admits the deal resolves nothing. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs’ reaction was to point out that “the words and the deeds of the Iranian leadership rarely coincide.”

But China and Russia, which both have economic and geopolitical reasons to stay cozy with their trading partner, can use this deal to say in answer to President Obama’s charisma offensive designed to get them on board new sanctions: “Problem solved! Give Iran some slack.”

In the coming months, as Tehran continues to block inspection of nuclear facilities, and Moscow and Beijing refuse to approve new sanctions, what does the president do?

Reject what he was willing to accept last fall (because since then Iran has been busy enriching lots more uranium, and that makes it a different ballgame today)?

See also:
Iran’s Nuclear Coup
Iran nuclear fuel swap: how Turkey is complicating US aims
Nuclear swap deal helps prevent sanctions on Iran: Brazilian VP
Israel fears Iran nuclear deal will delay UN sanctions
Iran and Turkey reach unexpected accord on enriched uranium
Iran’s unanswered questions
West not convinced of Iran uranium deal
U.S., allies critical of new deal on Iran’s nuclear program
White House Keeps Sanctions on Table After Iran Announces Nuclear Fuel Deal
Lucy Says: C’mon, Kick The Football Charlie Brown

So, let’s recap, Iran gets to keep working on their nuclear weapons program, full speed ahead, without the threat of any meaningful sanctions and, at the same time, Iran makes the Obama administration out to be an international laughingstock.

/it’s a twofer

So Much For Any Meaningful Sanctions, Now What?

Gee, maybe Obama shouldn’t keep pissing off Chana with his “smart diplomacy”.

At U.N., China insists it’s not ‘right’ time for sanctions on Iran

China’s envoy to the United Nations said Tuesday that his government is not ready to impose tough new sanctions on Iran for defying the world body’s demands that it suspend its uranium enrichment program.

“This is not the right time or right moment for sanctions, because the diplomatic efforts are still going on,” Zhang Yesui said at a news briefing at the start of China’s rotating monthly presidency of the U.N. Security Council.

The Chinese remarks underscore the challenges the United States faces in rallying international backing for its effort to punish Iran for nuclear violations. The Obama administration has been preparing a package of targeted sanctions against the Revolutionary Guard Corps and other Iranian institutions it deems responsible for acquiring nuclear and ballistic-missile technology.

“It’s no secret that China and the United States look at the utility of sanctions differently,” said P.J. Crowley, a spokesman for the State Department.

He said that U.S. officials would keep pressing other countries to impose “additional sanctions” on Iran’s ruling elite, but he added, “We want to do this in a way that can target specific entities within the Iranian government but not punish the Iranian people, who are clearly looking for a different relationship with their government.”

U.S. and European diplomats have acknowledged that China and Russia are likely to approve only the mildest of new sanctions. One Security Council envoy said the United States and its Western allies are planning to unveil a second round of their own sanctions against Iranian officials, including some responsible for the violent post-election crackdown on opposition movements.

Council diplomats say that China, which is expanding its commercial ties with Iran, has hardened its resistance to sanctions in recent months. Last month, it declined to attend a meeting on the nuclear crisis with the council’s four other veto-wielding powers — the United States, Russia, Britain and France — as well as Germany, citing a scheduling conflict, one of the diplomats said.

See also:
China: Now is not the time for new Iran sanctions
China Not Ready to Support Iran Sanctions
No Iran sanctions now, China says
As zero hour nears, differences emerge on sanctions
Time not right for new Iran sanctions: Chinese envoy
China dismisses Iran sanctions talk for now at UN
China dismisses more UN sanctions talk during its Security Council presidency in January
China Calls for More Iran Negotiations
Clinton: U.S. Not Closing the Door on Talks With Iran

So, Obama looks like a complete ass again because he foolishly set a December 31st deadline, which has now come and gone, for Iran to comply with demands to end its nuclear program or else. Well, as expected, Iran has not only ignored Obama’s deadline, but Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly and publicly mocked Obama’s “smart diplomacy”.

And then today, China summarily pulls the rug out from under Obama by telling him he can forget about his or else of sanctions.

/now what?

Iran Tells The West To [Expletive Deleted] Off (Again)!

Iran Tests New Version of Missile that Can Reach Europe, Israel

Iranian state media reported Wednesday that Tehran successfully test-fired an enhanced version of a solid-fuel medium-range missile, as U.S. and Western powers prepare to push for new economic sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.

Iran said it fired an “optimized” version of its Sajjil-2, a medium-range missile capable of hitting Israel, according to Iranian media.

Tehran first tested the weapon in May, claiming it marked a significant milestone in its missile-technology efforts. In May, Iran said the Sajjil-2 had a range of 2,000 kilometers, or about 1,200 miles. That would make it capable of reaching Israel and the Black Sea coast of European Union members Romania and Bulgaria, though that isn’t different than range capabilities claimed in previous missile launches.

Iran said, however, the missile was more sophisticated than earlier models, and propelled by a solid-fuel system, which would make it easier to deploy than liquid-fuel missiles.

Iran’s state media reported Wednesday the updated version is faster, harder to shoot down and quicker to launch.

Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi, Iran’s defense minister, said in comments to state media the new weapon was defensive in nature. “Iran’s missile capabilities are strictly defensive and at the service of regional peace and stability,” Gen. Vahidi said. “They will never be [used] against any country.”

Iran has a history of conducting war games and unveiling what is says are military innovations during times of international pressure.

President Barack Obama has given an end-of-year deadline for progress in talks with Iran over its alleged nuclear ambitions. Washington and other capitals have ratcheted up threats of fresh sanctions as that deadline approaches.

The White House said Wednesday’s test would increase the international community’s resolve. “There’s no doubt that, given this environment, missile tests do nothing but undermine the Iranian claims” that its nuclear program has peaceful aims, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters.

See also:
Iran says it tested upgraded Sajjil-2 missile
Iran says it tested upgraded Sajjil-2 missile
Iran missile test follows sanctions talk from West
Iran tests missile, stoking tensions with the West
Iran’s missile test angers the West
U.S. condemns Iran’s missile test
US condemns Iran’s ‘provocative actions’ as regime test-fires missile
Gates ‘concerned’ over Iran missile test: Pentagon
Iran’s missile test aimed at U.S., Israel
Important Points About Iran’s Missile Test
Sajjil

Iranian missile tests like these, coupled with Iran’s uranium enrichment program and the recent discovery that Iran is working on nuclear trigger technology, in spite of the West’s economic sanctions and threats of more sanctions, are starting to point to what is the most likely inevitable conclusion. Iran will deploy a deliverable nuclear warhead and they will eventually launch it at Israel.

/theoretically, we’ll be able to shoot down any Iranian missile launch at Israel, but then the obvious question becomes, what happens next?

Lucy Says: C’mon, Kick The Football Charlie Brown

Iranian FM: Iran Ready for Uranium Fuel Swap

Iran says it is ready to exchange some of its enriched uranium stockpile for nuclear fuel rods, a key demand of a United Nations-backed proposal aimed at easing global fears over Iran’s nuclear program.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Saturday Iran will exchange 400 kilograms of low-grade uranium for nuclear fuel enriched to 20 percent of capacity in phases. He told a regional security conference in Bahrain that the exchange should take place on Iran’s Kish island in the Persian Gulf.

The United States dismissed Mottaki’s offer.

An unidentified senior U.S. official said Iran’s proposal on Satruday was inconsistent with the “fair and balanced” draft agreement proposed by the International Atomic Energy Agency in consultation with the U.S., Russia, and France.

See also:
Iran Says It ‘Explicitly’ Accepts Uranium Swap Deal
Iran’s Mottaki defiant on UN nuclear sanctions threat
Iran offers to swap 400 kilos of LEU on Kish for atomic fuel
Iran Avows Willingness to Swap Some Uranium
US says ‘nothing new’ in Iran nuclear offer
U.S. unsatisfied with Iranian nuclear proposal: report
US rejects Iran nuclear offer
Analysis / Tehran heard Obama’s Nobel speech loud and clear
Iran deplores India’s yes vote on IAEA resolution
The UN Security Council, Iran and its nuclear deception

/when is Charlie Brown going to finally give up on the futility of trying to kick Lucy’s football and just kick Lucy’s ass instead?

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