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#Nuclear Programme

# nuclear-programme - Sunday 23 November, 2014

Talks on Iran's nuclear programme could drag on for another year

Tomorrow is the deadline to reach agreement.

# nuclear-programme - Tuesday 19 November, 2013

David Cameron calls Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

It was the first time in over a ten years that a British PM has called his counterpart in Tehran.

# nuclear-programme - Wednesday 27 February, 2013

Timeline: Iran's controversial nuclear programme

Yesterday Iran and six world powers met for talks on Tehran’s controversial nuclear programme.

# nuclear-programme - Tuesday 26 February, 2013

World powers begin talks with Iran over nuclear programme

Iran has said that it’s their right to enrich uranium, but experts fear that it could be turned into a nuclear warhead in a matter of months.

# nuclear-programme - Sunday 21 October, 2012

US denies agreement to meet Iran, but says it is prepared to do so

The New York Times reported that the US had agreed one-on-one talks with Iran after the November presidential election but the White House has denied this.

# nuclear-programme - Thursday 27 September, 2012

Video: Israeli PM uses 'bomb' diagram to warn of Iran nuclear threat Israel This post contains videos

Video: Israeli PM uses 'bomb' diagram to warn of Iran nuclear threat

Benjamin Netanyahu used a white card with a cartoon-style bomb on it to illustrate the threat he says is posed by Iran’s uranium enrichment programme.

# nuclear-programme - Monday 2 July, 2012

Iran prepares for 'war games' as sanctions take effect

Three-day drill starts days after EU and US imposed new sanctions.

# nuclear-programme - Thursday 24 May, 2012

Iran nuclear talks continue despite fears of impasse

Representatives of six world powers are holding talks with Iran in Baghdad over Iran’s nuclear fuel production.

# nuclear-programme - Tuesday 22 May, 2012

UN nuclear chief says deal with Iran reached on probe

A deal has been reached with Iran that will allow the UN nuclear agency to restart a long-stalled probe into suspicions that Tehran has secretly worked on developing nuclear arms.

# nuclear-programme - Tuesday 6 March, 2012

Iran to grant UN nuclear inspectors access to military complex

IAEA inspectors had previously been banned from examining the facility they suspect is carrying out secret atomic work.

# nuclear-programme - Wednesday 22 February, 2012

Iran threatens pre-emptive strike against 'enemies'

The warning comes amid speculation in some quarters that the US or Israel could launch military action against the Middle Eastern power.

# nuclear-programme - Monday 20 February, 2012

Iran says it may extend oil cut to more EU countries

Iran halted oil shipments to Britain and France yesterday, in an apparent pre-emptive blow against the EU after it imposed sanctions on Iran’s crucial fuel exports.

# nuclear-programme - Saturday 18 February, 2012

Diplomats reveal: Iran 'poised for major nuclear expansion'

Anonymous diplomats have told the Associated Press that Iran has readied an underground site for thousands of centrifuges.

EU, US cautiously optimistic on Iran's offer for nuclear talks

The EU is “optimistic but cautious” over a letter from Iran that indicates it is willing to return to nuclear talks without preconditions.

# nuclear-programme - Friday 17 February, 2012

Govt backs sanctions against Iran on nuclear issues, but not Israel

Speaking in the Dáil this week, Eamon Gilmore ruled out Irish support of military action against Iran.

# nuclear-programme - Wednesday 15 February, 2012

Iran announces advancement of nuclear programme

The reports come as Iranian media says Tehran has warned several EU countries that it will stop their oil supply ahead of the EU ban taking effect.

# nuclear-programme - Friday 27 January, 2012

Iran to renew talks over nuclear programme

Iran and UN nuclear inspectors are due to start discussions regarding the country’s controversial nuclear programme this weekend.

# nuclear-programme - Monday 23 January, 2012

UN nuclear watchdog to visit Iran

The IAEA says it is heading to Iran next week to clear up “outstanding substantive issues” with Tehran over its nuclear programme.

# nuclear-programme - Monday 16 January, 2012

'Arrests made' over magnet-bomb assassination

An Iranian official has said that several people are being held over the killing of a scientist last week.

# nuclear-programme - Wednesday 11 January, 2012

North Korea keeps door open for food-nuke deal with US

North Korea has today signalled that it remains open to suspending uranium enrichment in exchange for US food aid.

Iranian nuclear facility official killed in 'magnetic bomb' attack

Killing bears strong similarities to earlier attacks on nuclear scientists in Iran.

# nuclear-programme - Thursday 5 January, 2012

EU gears up for Iranian oil ban over nuclear dispute

The move will build pressure on Iran, which is already facing a currency crisis and a tense naval standoff with the US.

# nuclear-programme - Friday 16 December, 2011

Russian customs seize Iran-bound radioactive metal

Luggage destined for Iran that was seized at Moscow airport contained 18 pieces of highly radioactive metal – however it is not clear whether they could be used in Iran’s controversial nuclear programme.

# nuclear-programme - Thursday 1 December, 2011

European powers pressure Iran following embassy attack

France, Germany and the Netherlands have all recalled their ambassadors to Iran, while Italy and Norway are taking precautions. EU foreign ministers are to meet in Brussels today to discuss Iran and its disputed nuclear programme.

# nuclear-programme - Wednesday 30 November, 2011

UK withdraws diplomatic staff attack on Tehran embassy Iran This post contains images

UK withdraws diplomatic staff attack on Tehran embassy

British diplomatic staff in Iran have been withdrawn following an attack on its embassy in Tehran yesterday – during which protesters shouting “Death to England” smashed windows, burned British flags and set a car alight.

# nuclear-programme - Monday 13 June, 2011

Berlusconi admits Italian referendum on nuclear power may not go his way

The Italian leader has conceded that the government will “probably” be dropping its plans for nuclear energy after the referendum.

# nuclear-programme - Thursday 26 May, 2011

Sellafield to undergo EU stress tests Nuclear Stress Tests This post contains a poll

Sellafield to undergo EU stress tests

Would stress testing reassure you about the safety of Sellafield?

# nuclear-programme - Monday 23 May, 2011

EU tightens sanctions on Iran over nuclear programme

The EU is to impose asset freezes and travel bans on additional Iranian officials and companies over the country’s nuclear programme – meanwhile, Iran has announced it is to impose sanctions on the US over its “human rights violations”.

# nuclear-programme - Tuesday 4 January, 2011

Take 5: Tuesday

Why Ivan Yates is “profoundly sad” and why this coming Friday will be snow joke… Tuesday’s Take 5.

Iran invites world powers to tour nuclear sites

Iran invites the EU and several other powers to tour the country’s contentious nuclear sites, buts snubs its greatest critic – the United States.

# nuclear-programme - Tuesday 10 August, 2010

FOLLOWING A STATEMENT from a United States Admiral regarding an alleged US contingency plan to invade Iran, Tehran has responded by digging mass graves for American soldiers.

US Admiral Mike Mullen said last week that the American military has a plan to attack Iran if necessary – however, he did stress that this was not a desirable option.

Iranian General Hossein Kan’ani Moghadam, said graves have been dug in Iran’s southwestern Khuzestan province, near where the state buried Iraqi soldiers killed during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980′s.

“The mass graves that used to be for burying Saddam’s soldiers have now been prepared again for US soldiers,” Moghadam told the Associated Press,”This is the reason for digging this big number of graves.”

The friction between Iran and western powers has been intensifying lately, following a forth round of sanctions applied to Tehran by the United Nations over the country’s nuclear programme.

The US has claimed that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon, but Tehran insists that it is enriching uranium for energy and medicinal purposes.

See footage from Iran’s semi-state news agency, Fars, of the graves:

# nuclear-programme - Friday 6 August, 2010

DAVID CAMERON made his latest diplomatic gaffe as he addressed a group of residents in the English town of Hove on Thursday.

Speaking on the topic of Turkish accession to the European Union, Cameron seemed to bluntly accuse Iran of possessing a nuclear weapon.

When outlining the benefits of Turkish EU accession, Cameron said Turkey would have “a very good political influence” on the UK and could help to “solve some of the world’s problems like the Middle East peace process and the fact that Iran has got a nuclear weapon.”

The blunder is the latest in a series of ill-received statements made by Cameron – leading some to say that, as the UK’s youngest Prime Minister in two centuries, he is beginning to show signs of his inexperience.

First, The British Prime Minister called his country the “junior partner” to the the USA, which ruffled a few domestic feathers. Then, speaking in Turkey a few days later he referred to Gaza a “a prison camp” – the timing and location for such a statement was condemned by those who felt it was exacerbating diplomatic strain between Turkey and Israel in the wake of the Mavi Marmara deaths.

Last week, Cameron caused a stir in Pakistan, when he seemed to imply that the country bred terrorism. He warned the Pakistan not to “tolerate in any sense the idea that this country is allowed to look both ways and is able, in any way, to promote the export of terror”.

The latest gaffe about Iran, a country at the centre of extremely sensitive diplomatic proceedings in relation to its nuclear programme, has been criticised as not only clumsy but as dangerous. It has led some commentators to question if Cameron is the new George W Bush of foreign policy blunders.

However, Cameron’s Downing Street Office said it was “perfectly clear” that the Prime Minister had been referencing to the pursuit of nuclear capabilities and that Cameron was simply speaking his mind.

# nuclear-programme - Tuesday 27 July, 2010

IRAN HAS SAID that it is willing to return to negotiations with western powers about the exchange of nuclear fuel, despite the European Union imposing harsh new sanctions on the country on Monday.

Iran denies that the sanctions will hurt, but has stated that it plans to return to talks in the Autumn.

EU countries agreed to self-impose investment restrictions in Iranian oil and gas in response to Iran’s nuclear programme. Sanctions will also include a suspension on EU dealings with Iranian banks and insurance companies.

These are the latest extension on sanctions against Iran, against following similar UN, EU and US actions earlier in the year.

Despite Tehran insisting that the country is enriching uranium for peaceful purposes (medicinal and energy uses), suspicions that Iran is attempting to build a nuclear weapon have brought a slew of economic sanctions.

Last June, Turkey and Brazil agreed a fuel swap with Iran in an attempt to reduce escalating international tension surrounding Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. Under the terms of the agreement 1200 kg of Iran’s 3.5% enriched uranium would be sent to Turkey in exchange for 120 kg of 20% enriched fuel.

Nevertheless, the following day the United States, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia all agreed to impose economic sanctions on Iran.

The nature of the sanctions are designed to hit Iran hard. Despite the country being the fifth largest crude oil exporter in the world, it has a extremely limited capacity to refine petroleum and so relies on foreign imports for about 40% of its domestic consumption.

Refined oil, such as gasoline, is essential for personal and commercial transport and business.  The country has been relying on friendlier nations like Turkey and China for gasoline imports.

Mark Fitzpatrick, an Iran specialist at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, told Reuters that the EU did not fear other countries rushing in to provide commercial imports for Iran as the areas chosen for the sanctions are ones in which Europe has “substantial leverage.”

She continued by adding: “Not so many other countries can provide the kind of financial services that will be cut off. Few other countries supply technology for liquefied natural gas, nobody else does re-insurance … The European Union has very wisely found areas over which it has real leverage and cannot be supplanted.”

However, some countries object to the new round of sanctions, including Russia. Iranian IRNA news quotes Maxim Shevchenko, president of the Center for Strategic Research on Modern Religion and Politics, as saying that “any pressure on the country to stop its program will be unjust, unacceptable and discriminatory,” and that “Iran maintains cordial relations with several powerful countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Turkey, Brazil and Japan… (which  would) foil the effects of sanctions on Iran.”