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BUT ARE THEIR INTENTIONS PEACEFUL?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Aug. 30, 2010) — On August 21, 2010, the nuclear power plant located in the Bushehr province of Iran began to receive fuel rods in preparation for its production of electricity later this year despite “Western pressure to rein in its nuclear ambitions.”
A previous report from the DEBKAfile about which The Post & Email had written had predicted a September or earlier startup for the facility. According to another report, the loading of fuel into the reactor “would henceforth make the Bushehr facility qualified as an operational nuclear power plant.”
That process was expected to take a week, with Russia promising to prevent “spent nuclear fuel from being shifted to a possible weapons program.” The Huffington Post has reported that “Iran’s agreement to allow the oversight was a rare compromise by the Islamic state over its atomic program.”
The original 1992 agreement between Russia and Iran to construct the Bushehr plant Iran was followed by a new contract in 1995, then an addendum in 1998 which allowed Russia to complete the construction without help from the Iranians. Russia had agreed to provide the fuel for the reactor and to dispose of the spent fuel, but a more recent report states that Iran is now asking to share in the production of nuclear material for Bushehr.
Plutonium from spent fuel has been used to make atomic weapons such as those dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The U.S. expressed opposition to the building of Bushehr in 1988 for that reason, and considered a preemptive strike on the facility as recently as 2006.
One report issued before the plant’s startup was titled, “Israel has days to strike Bushehr” and quoted former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton.
Iran is reportedly planning to open a third nuclear plant next year.
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has reportedly drawn up a response plan in the event of a “massive leak” from the Bushehr nuclear facility. Formed in 1981, the GCC consists of the Middle Eastern nations of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.
Under the Obama regime, the U.S. has reportedly accepted “that the Russian-fueled Bushehr reactor is for civilian use,” even though Iran has continued to enrich uranium, “which can produce reactor fuel or bomb-grade material.” Faux White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs commented that Russia’s delivery of fuel to the reactor and receipt of the spent fuel confirms that Iran does not need to enrich uranium itself. However, it has been reported that U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has not ruled out a military strike in regard to Iran’s nuclear program.
Iran is reportedly “heralding the latest move as a political victory.” When the power plant is fully operational within several months, it will produce only 4% of Iran’s electricity needs.
Iran has recently produced new military hardware which includes a “surface-to-air missile and an unmanned aircraft” despite four sets of U.N. sanctions issues in response to Iran’s refusal to stop enriching uranium. An analysis of the most recent U.N. sanctions states that “their impact will be limited.”
On July 28, 2010, Iran’s dictator, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, stated that Iranians’ “IQ is much higher than that of the world.”