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Breaking: Plutonium Found in an Iranian Nuclear Waste Facility

From the AP:

International Atomic Energy experts have found unexplained plutonium and enriched uranium traces in a nuclear waste facility in Iran and have asked Tehran for an explanation, an IAEA report said Tuesday.


The report prepared for next week's meeting of the 35-nation IAEA also faulted Tehran for not cooperating with the agency's attempts to investigate suspicious aspects of Iran's nuclear program that have lead to fears it might be interested in developing nuclear arms. As well, the four-page paper made available to The Associated Press confirmed that Iran continues uranium enrichment experiments in defiance of the U.N. Security Council.

Earlier Tuesday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that Iran would soon celebrate completion of its nuclear fuel program and claimed the international community was ready to accept it as a nuclear state.

Iran has been locked in a standoff with the West over its nuclear program. The United States and its European allies have been seeking a U.N. Security Council resolution imposing sanctions on Tehran for refusing to suspend uranium enrichment.

"Initially, they (the U.S. and its allies) were very angry. The reason was clear: They basically wanted to monopolize nuclear power in order to rule the world and impose their will on nations," Ahmadinejad told a news conference.

"Today, they have finally agreed to live with a nuclear Iran, with an Iran possessing the whole nuclear fuel cycle," he said. He did not elaborate.

President Bush said Monday there was no change in his position that Iran must first suspend uranium enrichment before there can be any dialogue with Tehran.

"Our focus of this administration is to convince the Iranians to give up its nuclear weapons ambitions. That focus is based on our strong desire for there to be peace in the Middle East. And an Iran with a nuclear weapon would be a destabilizing influence," Bush said Monday.

Update: Jim Hoft reports that Ahmadinejad has plans for 60,000 more centrifuges, so the IAEA better get themselves ready for a heck of a lot more unexplained plutonium and enriched uranium.


Comments (21)

OK Nancy...What's your plan... (Below threshold)
hermie:

OK Nancy...What's your plan?

Oh...Let the UN send a 'strongly worded letter'?

I'm shocked. Simply shocke... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

I'm shocked. Simply shocked.

There must be a logical explanation for this. We need to simply sit down with Iran and talk it over with them and not do anything rash.

Well, duh!... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Well, duh!

hermie, I wouldn't rush int... (Below threshold)

hermie, I wouldn't rush into sending strongly worded letters yet, let diplomacy take it's course first.

I concur with the above com... (Below threshold)

I concur with the above comments. Why be antagonistic? They haven't even nuked anyone yet.

Perhaps a call for further "frank" discussions will frighten the mad mullahs into compliance.

Well, if others can have nu... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Well, if others can have nuclear arms, why can't Iran?

In the same vein, if a police officer can have a gun, why can't the Maryland sniper?


An Israeli airstrike on Iran is becoming more and more a foregone conclusion. Though it's hard to understand why Israel would be so gung-ho about attacking another sovereign nation...except the fact that the sovereign nation in question has vowed to wipe Israel from the face of the planet and is (apparently) developing nuclear arms.

Those darn Jews, they just refuse to be exterminated, don't they? Oh, nevermind, I just remembered, Ahmadinejad professes that there was no Holocaust, so this would only be the first time an earnest effort would be made at genocide.

Concurrently with this deve... (Below threshold)
BrandonInBatonRouge:

Concurrently with this development, Iran is declaring that they'd be "willing to talk if the US changes their attitude".


I agree with Ahmenajad for once... my attiude has changed from "let's let the Europeans keep screwing things up" to "if he wants nuclear material, let's give him a large amount of it via air-mail express. Be sure to mark them "Fat Man" and "Little Boy" for both historical purposes as well as a comment on his personal preferences."

Given those options, he'd probably be willing to talk.

"Today, they have finally a... (Below threshold)
IllTemperedCur:

"Today, they have finally agreed to live with a nuclear Iran, with an Iran possessing the whole nuclear fuel cycle,"

Okay, so in this nuclear poker game, who just folded? That's the really important question right now. If it's for real, we'll know soon enough. Ahmadinejad's shown that he can't keep his mouth shut, so I'm betting that he'll tell the world within a week.

Like I said, all we have to... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Like I said, all we have to do is continue talking to no end. Israel will take care of it by force eventaully, as they are the prime target of a nuclear armed Iran.

Make no mistake, however, they will be roundly condemned for insuring their continued existence.

Funny how there is so much ... (Below threshold)
Larkin:

Funny how there is so much concern in here about Iran's weapons program (which has yet to produce a single weapon), and no concern at all about Pakistan's weapons program.

The Paks have some 80 nuclear devices and the country is swarming with Al Qaeda terrorists. The black market run by Pakistani scientist AQ Khan spread nuclear weapons technology around the world to various countries and possibly Al Qaeda itself.

On the scale of threats to this country Pakistan's nukes would have to be about 100 times more threatening than Iran's nascent nuclear weapons program. Yet none of you right-wingers ever, ever talk about it. Why?

Pelosi's Plan: Blame it on... (Below threshold)
SurfinKC:

Pelosi's Plan: Blame it on Smithers!

Larkin: The time passed in ... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Larkin: The time passed in the 90's to stop the Pakistani Nuclear program. All anyone can do now is deal with them and hope they control the spread of nuc weapons. If the current president falls, the terrorists automatically have nuclear weapons and will use them immediately. They aren't interested in any deal, they want to, and will kill everyone they can.

Peeeeloshi's plan doesn't exist beyond doing away with the tax cuts and raising taxes. Read today that the minimum tax paid by the rich will also go away. That'll help the working class. Not.

Pakistan's nuclear threat i... (Below threshold)
BrandonInBatonRouge:

Pakistan's nuclear threat is a little more tempered by the fact that India is also nuclear and would have no problem with making Karachi glow in the dark.

That little bit of Mutually Assured Destruction on their doorstep makes them wary of OVERT use of nukes.


COVERT use, as in directly giving nukes to Islamic terrorists, is not very likely for one reason.

Thanks to Pakistan's public nuclear test a few years ago, the international community should have samples of the nuclear material used in their bombs.

Having that information makes it easier to send a return package to the source of a nuke.

As far as AQ Khan goes, he's a threat to proliferation to states more than individuals.

The kind of equipment, materials, and expertise needed to create nuclear material and then turn it into a bomb are not cheap and hard to set up in the mountains of Tora Bora.


Satellite imaging is probably capable of detecting the kind of centrifuges and nuclear material that would be used, but only IF the material stands out from the normal background radiation of the area in question.


Iran's nuclear facilities may be hard to detect if they're under hospitals that do a lot of radiation treatment and so forth using licensed medical devices.

A remote location similar to what Al Qaeda likes, much like Sudan in the 90s, Afghanistan under the Taliban, or Somalia now, would stick out as a sore thumb because of those areas would have VERY low background radiation due to civilization and it's questionable whether there would be any geologic reason for it either.

(Tom Clancy theorized a nuke could be lost in the Golan Heights in "The Sum Of All Fears" due to the volcanic rock in the ground there, but that was probably based on older, less sensitive detection equipment from the Six Day War, when the theoretical nuke was lost.)


To summarize, it would likely take a more suicidal state than Pakistan to give up a full nuke to terrorists. (North Korea or Iran would qualify in my opinion.)

Pakistan is still a proliferation danger, but less so if we find a way to keep a lid on states like Egypt.

International Atomic Ene... (Below threshold)
Clay:

International Atomic Energy experts have found unexplained plutonium and enriched uranium traces in a nuclear waste facility in Iran and have asked Tehran for an explanation,

Uhm...it's not mine. Mahkmood used my lunchbox today and when he gave it back it was just there. I threw it away didn't I?

First North Korea gets plut... (Below threshold)
Herman:

First North Korea gets plutonium while Bush is president, now Iran! Well, Bush called them part of an "Axis of Evil," and so they have sought a deterrent to being attacked. Bush invades the country next door to Iran, then the next thing you know, the hard-line government of Ahmadinejad comes into power. Bush refuses to negotiate directly with North Korea, and the next thing you know is North Korea is kicking out UN weapons inspectors, and then later having itself a little explosion.

Sigh. We had the foreign policy of a Rhodes Scholar replaced by the foreign policy of The Chimp.

Wow! Pelosi take's power an... (Below threshold)
914:

Wow! Pelosi take's power and Iran immediately goes Nucueler?

10...9...8..7..

Pelosi has a plan. She ju... (Below threshold)
theExecutioner:

Pelosi has a plan. She just forgot what it was!!

Herman the stupid.... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

Herman the stupid.

"Sigh. We had the foreign policy of a Rhodes Scholar replaced by the foreign policy of The Chimp."

You can't rewrite history asshole. Your so called RS is rapist draft dodging proven liar. His failed policy is resposible for North Korea having Nukes. Why don't you drop dead you bed wetting liar.

The fools! Don't they reali... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

The fools! Don't they realize that the IAEA will retaliate with a sternly written report to the UN?

Well, some countries just have to learn the hard way...

Is it just a coincidence th... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Is it just a coincidence that the conservative bloggers covering this story all fail to mention that the IAEA, which is obviously watching Iran like a hawk, is actually an agency of the United Nations?

No, it's not a coincidence. It's part of the continuing conservative misinformation campaign. They condemn and label the U.N. as worthless on the one hand, while heralding the results achieved by the U.N. on the other -- just so long as they don't give the U.N. credit. Shhhh, it's a secret!

No wonder the American people are leaving the Republican party in droves. Republicans don't know the meaning of the word "honest".

Lee Lee, I think the Americ... (Below threshold)
914:

Lee Lee, I think the American people are getting sick of and will be leaving both partie's in drove's as soon as a viable alternative arrive's.




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