Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Kash reports: Iran news update

AFP reports that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that Iran would not "step back" on its decision to resume nuclear fuel work. The hardline President was quoted as saying, "Our country will go forward on the nuclear path with patience, wisdom and planing. In a letter to (International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed) ElBaradei we announced we want to do research on nuclear technology". Earlier today Iran had announced that it would resume nuclear fuel research, a move that drew immediate reaction from Washington and Tel Aviv which fear the Islamic state wants to make atomic fuel to build bombs.

in Washington, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack on Tuesday warned, "If Iran takes any further enrichment-related steps, the international community will have to consider additional measures to restrain Iran's nuclear ambitions."

in Israel, Israeli military chief Dan Halutz Tuesday said Iran's nuclear program "can be destroyed," Israel's Army Radio said. The report quoted Halutz as making the comments during a conference at Tel Aviv University. Israel's Foreign Ministry also responded to Iran's decision to resume nuclear fuel production research by issuing a statement saying "it is clear that this step calls for a grave and immediate international response - sending the issue to the [United Nations] Security Council."

in London, Times of London demanded that IAEA refer Iran to the UN Security Council saying "This is an option that Mr ElBaradei, basking in his Nobel reputation as a peacemaker, has been desperate to avoid. Hiding behind the pretence that he has no firm proof of Iran’s violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, he has ducked and weaved in an effort to avoid the responsibility for which the IAEA, as a statutory UN agency, is constitutionally liable."

Other major headlines:

The Miami Herald - If nothing else, the rantings of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have erased whatever doubt may have existed about the dangers posed by a nuclear-armed Iran. Ever since the former mayor of Tehran was elected to head the country in mid-2005, he has repeatedly displayed open hostility toward the West, and Israel in particular. It's time for other nations to join the United States in a campaign to block Iran's drive to speed up its nuclear-development program. Clearly, time is running out...