Iran: We can make our own 'yellowcake' uranium now
One day before starting a new round of talks with world powers in Geneva, Iran announced Sunday that it had mined its own uranium to be used to make nuclear energy – or nuclear weapons.
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Salehi also addressed last week’s attacks on Iranian scientists in the televised news conference, saying these also will not deter nuclear development. One was assassinated in Tehran and another was injured in a bombing. Iran’s intelligence minister Heidar Moslehi called the attacks terrorism and said that they were carried out with the support of the CIA, Israel’s Mossad, and Britain’s MI6.Skip to next paragraph
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"Assassination of Iranian scientists will not hamper our progress,” Salehi said, according to Iran’s Press TV.
Despite the timing and pointedness of Salehi’s announcement, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that Iran’s uranium enrichment will not be discussed in the six-power talks in Geneva, Reuters adds.
Iran seeks a 'protracted diplomatic process'
The US, Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany haggled with Iran for months over the location and size of the talks. But Ray Takeyh, a senior fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, argues in a commentary in the Los Angeles Times that Iran is seeking a “protracted diplomatic process” with at best modest concessions.
He adds that Iran is taking advantage of pointed international anxiety over its nuclear program to increase repression at home, arresting “scores” of lawyers and activists in recent weeks:
Indeed, Tehran’s principal motivation for participating in the talks has little to do with its nuclear file and much to do with its desire to fracture international unity, relieve financial distress and, most important, gain a free hand in suppressing its opposition "green movement." …
At ease with the notion that the global community's preoccupation with gradations of enrichment and spinning centrifuges will divert it from pressing Iran on its human rights record, the mullahs typically escalate their repression at home before dispatching their diplomats abroad.
Takeyh adds that sanctions have had a “dramatic impact” on Iran’s economy and that the Islamic Republic’s mullahs are putting their hope in China and Russia to defend them against further sanctions as the negotiations draw on.
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