November 8, 2011

Iran News Roundup 11/8

Israeli war talk continues amidst ex-Mossad chiefs’ objections and world leaders’ concern
Israel plans on issuing a statement calling for tougher sanctions on Iran in response to expected IAEA report.  Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak said “lethal” sanctions required and until then “we continue to recommend to our friends in the world and to ourselves, not to take any option off the table.”  In addition to sanctions, he also argued for a naval blockade against Iran.  In contrast, a second former Mossad leader objected to strikes on Iran.  Ex-Mossad chief Halevy says that the Israeli “radical right” poses a bigger threat than Iran, and that an Israeli strike against Iran could negatively affect the region for 100 years.
Voicing concern over increased war talk, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that the current threats could lead war and this “would be a catastrophe.”  Hong Lei the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said, “China always holds that the Iranian nuclear issue should be properly solved through dialogue and cooperation…At present, it is imperative to prevent new turbulence in the Middle East security situation.”
Evidence of Iranian nuclear weapons program in leaked IAEA report called into question
Today a copy of the IAEA report on Iran’s nuclear program was leaked.  The report discussed evidence regarding Iran having an active nuclear weapons development program.  Two pieces of evidence offered in the report involve a “former Soviet scientist” that helped Iran overcome some of its hurdles with the nuclear process, and a steel tank allegedly used for testing nuclear explosions.
However, EA Worldview reports that this “former Soviet scientist” is a Ukrainian nanotechnology expert who claims to have been assisting Iran develop its nanotechnology industry.  If true, this would help explain the existence of the suspicious steel tank.  An important item in nanotechnology is nanodiamonds, and these nanodiamonds are created by the detonation of explosives in the same type of steel tank discussed in the report. (EA WorldView 11/8)
Other notable news:
New York Times: G.O.P. candidates talk tough on Iran
Washington Post: G.O.P. candidates shouldn’t attack Obama on Iran
Time: Tony Karon on Israeli push for war in context of IAEA report
Christian Science Monitor: An imminent Israeli strike on Iran nuclear program? Not likely.
Oil prices on the rise as a result of increasing talk of war with Iran
Bruce Riedel highlights two prominent ex-Mossad chiefs’ pushback against war
Revolutionary Guard threatens retaliation if US assassinates commanders
UK urged to ban sale of software used to crackdown on dissent

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