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US Troops Sealing Off Marjah Escape Routes
Today's Headlines
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Page 2: WoT Background
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Page 6: Politix
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Afghanistan
Afghan government in tentative talks with Hekmatyar
ISI's golden boy throwing in towel?
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, one of Afghanistan's most brutal Islamist warlords, is holding tentative peace talks with the government of Afghanistan that could cause a split in the Taliban -led insurgency, Afghan politicians in Kabul said Wednesday.
Posted by: ed || 02/11/2010 09:25 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6485 views] Top|| File under:

#1  If Hek does throw in the towel, I bet it doesn't get past his toes.
Posted by: Grunter || 02/11/2010 11:07 Comments || Top||

#2  That evil SOB deserves nothing more than a noose or a firing squad. He was always in a position to help, but he preferred to bathe in the blood of his countrymen. I'd throw him naught but a grenade that has 4 seconds cooked off...
Posted by: LTC John || 02/11/2010 12:20 Comments || Top||

#3  Toss him a second one, too - it's on me.
Posted by: lotp || 02/11/2010 15:27 Comments || Top||


Death Toll in Afghan Avalanches Reaches 165
[Quqnoos] At least 165 people were dead more than 200 others have been wounded in avalanches in the Salang Pass. The Afghan security forces are continuing their rescue efforts for the second day to dig out those trapped in the snow.

"The death toll of the catastrophic incident has reached 165 and the rescue forces are searching for more passengers," Spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry, Zemaray Bashari, said.

Rescuers are battling for nearly 48 hours against atrocious weather conditions to reach people and vehicles who have been trapped in the snow.

The Afghan forces have found at least 18 people alive, but some in critical health condition, on Wednesday, Bashari added.

Avalanches in Salang Pass, the only land-route connecting northern Afghanistan to the capital, Kabul, claim a number of lives each winter. But this one was the worst catastrophe for decades. Monday night and Tuesday morning's snow-slides are the worst for years in the Salang Pass.

Rescue teams, helicopters and ambulances were dispatched to the mountaintop at least 10 hours after the avalanches on Tuesday early morning. The Afghan Defence Ministry says they have rescued hundreds of people and taken them to nearby hospitals.

Efforts were underway to open the highway on emergent basis, according to officials.
Posted by: Fred || 02/11/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6494 views] Top|| File under:


McCurdy's Armor System Going To Afghanistan
Those of you landing in Afghanistan in coming months may not have to engage in the sandbag stacking and trench digging usually associated with lowly grunt-dom.

An $800,000 investment in an armored wall system known as McCurdy's Armor could have Marines rapidly erecting 6.5-foot-tall mortar-, RPG- and bullet proof fortresses in less than an hour, saving the days it can take to fortify an area by conventional means and making forward-operating units more nimble.

Named for Ryan S. McCurdy—a Marine killed in Iraq in 2006 while hauling a wounded comrade to safety—the system is designed to offer troops increased protection and mobility when setting up outposts in hostile areas. The walls can be ferried into place in panels that are easily stackable in a truck or trailer.

Once in position, four Marines can assemble a single panel in less than ten minutes without any special tools or additional equipment. The panels then snap together like bomb-proofed Legos secured with steel pins to form a blast- and bullet-proof shelter.

The armor can be set up in a variety of arrangements (U-shaped, J-shaped, etc.), and in instances where troops are worried about armor piercing rounds a second layer of armor can supplement the structures.

But the walls aren't just a protective cocoon for far-flung outposts; ballistic windows offer protection while giving Marines a line of sight and the ability to fire downrange, meaning McCurdy's Armor can be deployed as both a defensive stronghold as well as a tactical firing position.

When it's time to pull up camp, Marines can quickly break down their ersatz stockade, stack it back in their vehicles and move on to fortify the next position without leaving a single thing behind. Just try pulling that off with sandbags.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/11/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6481 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Those are some heavy-looking legos there.
Posted by: gorb || 02/11/2010 0:30 Comments || Top||

#2  Sounds like BS. I know there are a lot of grunts that wouldn't mind having their own shovel/implement and dig their own little holes and watch the frag fly over their heads.
Posted by: texhooey || 02/11/2010 0:53 Comments || Top||

#3  Just a sfor many military projects (or as the navigation system discused a couple days ago) Obama will find it too expensive all while giving billions to Acorn and digging a trillion dollar deficit.
Posted by: JFM || 02/11/2010 6:32 Comments || Top||

#4  texhooey, I'm told by by colleagues who are uniformed that the ground in Afghanistan isn't as receptive to an entrenching tool as that of France was in WWI.

Force protection for forward-deployed troops is a priority I would support and one that will serve well, I suspect, if we find ourselves in operations other than force-on-force battles with nation states elsewhere in the world.
Posted by: lotp || 02/11/2010 7:08 Comments || Top||

#5  In the 60's I remember reading about a "Foxhole Digger", sorta a mortar shell directed down, blew a nice foxhole in a few seconds, Isn't it still available?
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/11/2010 13:18 Comments || Top||

#6  If you're referring to these, I don't think they ever got into the standard equipment inventory, although I could be wrong.

In any case, what is wanted these days IIUC are ways to protect small FOBs rather than to dig foxholds. Clear, hold, build ...
Posted by: lotp || 02/11/2010 15:55 Comments || Top||

#7  Why am I thinking Roman Legion camp?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 02/11/2010 16:05 Comments || Top||

#8  Yep LOTP, that's exactly what I was thinking about.
Good find.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/11/2010 18:01 Comments || Top||

#9  Breachers for roads, insta-forts..yup.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 02/11/2010 19:02 Comments || Top||


Africa Subsaharan
Life in a Third World Toilet - In search of Pirates
Part 2



Part 1

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 02/11/2010 13:57 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6532 views] Top|| File under:


Arabia
No Valentine's: Saudi religious police see red
Love is haram in Koranistan.
The Saudi religious police launched Thursday a nationwide crackdown on stores selling items that are red or in any other way allude to the banned celebrations of Valentine's Day, a Saudi official said.
They do this every year. I'm guessing the shop keepers have been expecting it.
Members of the feared religious police were inspecting shops for red roses, heart-shaped products or gifts wrapped in red, and ordering storeowners to get rid of them, the official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

Red-colored or heart-shaped items are legal at other times of the year, but as Feb. 14 nears they become contraband in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom bans celebration of Western holidays such as Valentine's Day, named after a Christian saint said to have been martyred by the Romans in the 3rd Century.
Posted by: ed || 02/11/2010 10:09 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6565 views] Top|| File under:

#1  what's wrong with being nice to a spouse or girlfriend.
They are bozos.
Posted by: 3dc || 02/11/2010 10:20 Comments || Top||

#2  Our allies? the Saudis dont believe in Love and Marriage but Master and Slaves!
Posted by: Paul2 || 02/11/2010 11:31 Comments || Top||

#3  Anything that causes an expectation for them to recognize women and provide them with any sort of gift is going to be resisted by the culture police which is basically what the religious police are.

Besides, if you have 4 wives, do you give them each the same thing? Do you give them each something different? What happens when they begin to compare and decide some gifts are better than others? It could be a drama generator.
Posted by: crosspatch || 02/11/2010 11:56 Comments || Top||

#4  You give them each exactly the same, crosspatch, or there will be no end to the quarrels. In that brief period I worked for the high end jewelry store, a gentleman came in to order Christmas presents. Four watches, to be precise, one each for wife, daughters, and mistress. The one for the mistress was billed to his office instead of his home, but that was the only difference. Even the engraving on the back, although allowance had to be made for the various names.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/11/2010 22:50 Comments || Top||

#5  some motorized post-hole auger/diggers require 2 people on the handles. By giving one to four wives, you're cutting the work in half for each. A true Islamic Gentleman™
Posted by: Frank G || 02/11/2010 22:57 Comments || Top||


Yemen's alliances with Salafists in internal war cause trouble
Even as it fights a U.S.-supported war against al-Qaeda militants here, the Yemeni government is engaging Islamist extremists who share an ideology similar to Osama bin Laden's in its own civil war, adding new complications to efforts to fight terrorism. Yemen's army is allying with radical Sunnis and former jihadists in the fight against Shiite rebels in the country's north. The harsh tactics of those forces, such as destroying Shiite mosques and building Sunni ones, are breeding resentment among many residents, analysts said, and given the tangle of evolving allegiances could build support for al-Qaeda's Yemeni branch, which plotted the Christmas Day attempt to bomb a U.S. airliner.

The alliance with the Sunni radicals is one of the most vivid examples of the tangled loyalties within Yemen's fragile government and raises concerns about the nation's long-term commitment to U.S. goals to eliminate al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemeni branch. Those entanglements are evident even at the highest levels of the government, including President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the second most powerful man in Yemen, Ali Muhsin, who commands the armed forces fighting the rebels.

Muhsin, responsible for deploying the Sunni fighters, follows the ultraconservative brand of Sunni Islam known as Salafism. Salafists follow a strict interpretation of the Koran. Many reject violence, but hard-liners, including bin Laden and al-Qaeda followers, see Salafist codes as justification for targeting the West and its allies.

Jihadism and radical Islam have tenacious roots in Yemen, and Saleh has long aligned himself with Salafists and ex-jihadists, to assert authority and deepen his grip on power. "The Salafists and al-Qaeda are like the two faces of the moon," said Muhammad al-Mutawakil, a political science professor at Sanaa University. "The Salafists are the light face and al-Qaeda is the dark face. They have the same culture."

Saleh's patronage of Salafists has helped fuel Islamist extremism in Yemen, the Arab world's poorest nation. Senior military, security and religious figures in the country are widely thought to be Salafi sympathizers, some with past links to bin Laden. Some are exercising their authority to limit the U.S.-Yemen relationship.
Posted by: ryuge || 02/11/2010 01:35 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6486 views] Top|| File under:


"The American-Iranian Alliance Is One of the Strongest Alliances in the World"
"Take, for example, the case of the hostages in Tehran. Iran turned into such a 'great' power just because it took hostages in the U.S. embassy in Tehran. Right? It ended up in nothing. The hostages were released on the day of Reagan's inauguration.

"The U.S. embassy in Iran has never been locked down, despite America's claims of multiple threats and its fear of Iran. Never have we heard that the U.S. embassy in Iran closed its gates. Even in the days of the election riots, the U.S. embassy was not closed. Even during the Gaza affair, when U.S. embassies were kicked out of many Arab capitals, the U.S. embassy in Iran was not closed.

"Why did the U.S. close its embassy in Yemen five days ago as a precaution -- and in order to destabilize the security of Yemen -- and issue a warning to its citizens? How come they never issued a warning to U.S. citizens about Iran? It is because of the American-Iranian alliance.

"Didn't Iran claim the credit for the toppling of the Saddam regime? Didn't Iran declare that it served as a bridge used by the U.S. to topple the so-called Taliban state? This is how Rice's idea of forming a Greater Middle East came into existence -- a Middle East that includes Iran, Afghanistan, and so on. This way, the Persians' prey would be great, and they could control the resources of the Arab nation, and try to destroy it.

[...]

"When the religious party gained hegemony in America, it was led to believe that the resurrection of Christ would not take place unless Greater Israel was established, and the Greater Israel could only be established through the establishment of the Persian state. These two states have become interconnected -- like two links in a chain pulling in opposite direction."
Posted by: Fred || 02/11/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6479 views] Top|| File under:

#1  What this guy is smoking?
Posted by: Glush Wittlesbach8127 || 02/11/2010 0:38 Comments || Top||

#2  That's some shi'te.
Posted by: twobyfour || 02/11/2010 0:44 Comments || Top||

#3  The Iranian regime, which curses Israel, is the number one collaborator with Israel. The greatest economic exchange in 2008-2009 was the pistachio deal. Did you know that Iran sold Israel $20 million worth of pistachios? The competitor of the Iranian pistachio is the American pistachio. So the U.S. got mad. This is all about interests. Israel is not afraid of Iran any more than it is afraid that I would pelt it with a stone."

Look its all about interests...nuts, I tell you nuts.
Posted by: Flotch Dark Lord of the Geats3771 || 02/11/2010 1:52 Comments || Top||

#4  What this guy is smoking?

Nothing---it's a hundred generations of first cousins marriage speaking.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 02/11/2010 2:13 Comments || Top||

#5  Even during the Gaza affair, when U.S. embassies were kicked out of many Arab capitals, the U.S. embassy in Iran was not closed.
It's tough to close an embassy that doesn't exist. This guy must be a member of the "Conspiracy of the Month" club.
Posted by: Spot || 02/11/2010 8:15 Comments || Top||


Bangladesh
Ban politics of Jamaat, Shibir
[Bangla Daily Star] Ruling Awami League lawmakers yesterday in parliament demanded that the government ban politics of Jamaat-e-Islami and pro-Jamaat student organisation Islami Chhatra Shibir to stop politics of killing.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court Bar Association yesterday demanded the government declare Shibir a terrorist organisation for their terrorist activities, including killing Rajshahi University student Faruk Hossain.

Demanding immediate start of the trial of war criminals, the AL lawmakers also blasted Jamaat-Shibir leaders for the rampage at Rajshahi University and killing Chhatra League worker Faruk and cutting tendons of four others.

"Time has come to take final decision to ban politics of Jamaat-Shibir who are doing politics of killing in the name of democratic rights," AL lawmaker Suranjit Sengupta said.

Taking the floor on a point of order during discussion on thanks giving motion on the president's address, Suranjit also said those who cut tendons at dead of night cannot be given political rights.

After Suranjit, a number of lawmakers demanded floor to speak. But AL lawmaker Engineer Mosharraf Hossain, who was presiding over the sitting at that time as a member of the chairmen-panel, did not allow them.

However participating in the discussion on the thanks giving motion, a number of AL lawmakers joined the attack earlier launched by Suranjit.

"Jamaat-Shibir began the rampage as the government is going to hold trial of war criminals. Their political rights must be taken away," AL lawmaker Zinnatunnesa Talukder said.

Citing the killing of BCL man in Rajshahi University, an emotion choked Talukder said Shibir men launched the attack after Jamaat chief Matiur Rahman Nizami visited Rajshahi.

AL lawmaker Ashraf Ali Khan Khasur said Shibir men are successors of the war criminals. "They engaged in a conspiracy to destabilise the country," he said citing the barbaric incident at Rajshahi University.

AL lawmaker Mustak Ahmed Ruhi demanded immediate arrest of the perpetrators.

"Trial of war criminals must begin without delay," he said.

AL lawmaker Apu Ukil said incidents like that in Rajshahi University will take place again until the trial of war criminal is held.

After yesterday's discussion on the thanks giving motion, AL lawmaker Fazle Rabbi Mia took the floor on a point of order and said brutality of Shibir at Rajshahi University has reminded the countrymen of the barbarity of Jamaat in 1971.

"They are worried after completion of trial of Bangabandhu murder case. Now they are plotting to hinder the government's initiative to hold trial of war criminals," Rabbi said.

He said the home ministry has directed police and Rab members to take immediate actions to control the situation.

"Why the home ministry's directives were not followed? Why they did not go there on that night? Why the officer in charge of Matihar Police Station came to Dhaka on that night?," Rabbi asked.

He also demanded that the home minister issue a statement over the incident.

In response, Speaker Abdul Hamid hoped the home minister will come up with a statement and it should be as early as possible.
Posted by: Fred || 02/11/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6481 views] Top|| File under: Jamaat-e-Islami


Britain
Obama Administration Says US-UK Intelligence-Sharing Might Be Damaged
Posted by: tipper || 02/11/2010 13:13 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6509 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The Obama administration on Wednesday announced that a verdict in a British court might cause U.S. intelligence to curtail information-sharing with its British counterparts.

This statement simply confirms the administration's lack of knowledge and understanding of the intellignece sharing process. Of course it's the British, and Barry never misses an opportunity flip them off for little or no reason.

Posted by: Besoeker || 02/11/2010 17:32 Comments || Top||

#2  Why don't you give Gordon Brown an Ipod?
Posted by: newc || 02/11/2010 17:40 Comments || Top||

#3  Nah, give him a laptop with important information on it so that his top aide can leave it in the Tube.
Posted by: lotp || 02/11/2010 19:42 Comments || Top||


UK govt forced to publish U.S. torture allegations
The British government lost a legal battle Wednesday to prevent the disclosure of secret U.S. intelligence material relating to allegations of "cruel and inhuman" treatment involving the CIA.

London's Court of Appeal rejected a request by British Foreign Secretary David Miliband to prevent senior judges from disclosing claims that former Guantanamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed had been shackled and subjected to sleep deprivation and threats while in U.S. custody.

The office of Dennis Blair, U.S. director of national intelligence, issued a statement saying the British court's decision "to release classified information provided by the United States is not helpful, and we deeply regret it."

"The protection of confidential information is essential to strong, effective security and intelligence cooperation among allies," the statement said. It indicated the ruling would create "challenges" but the two countries would "remain united in our efforts to fight against violent extremist groups."

Miliband had argued that full disclosure of the redacted claims might make the United States less willing to share intelligence and thus prejudice Britain's national security.

Recent events showed the importance of sharing intelligence, and the U.S. authorities were concerned about the release of such material, he told parliament, adding that he was working with U.S. officials to ensure bilateral ties were not damaged.

Mohamed, an Ethiopian national and British resident, was arrested in Pakistan in April 2002. He says he was flown to Morocco on a CIA plane and held for 18 months, during which he says he was repeatedly tortured, including having his penis cut with a knife. Morocco has denied holding him.

He was transferred to Afghanistan in 2004 and later moved to Guantanamo Bay, U.S. authorities have said. He was never charged and returned to Britain in February 2009.

KEY PARAGRAPHS 'REDACTED'

London's High Court ruled in 2008 that the British government must disclose all evidence held against Mohamed.

The court excluded seven sensitive paragraphs supplied by U.S. intelligence services, and judges said later the United States had threatened to end intelligence cooperation if the evidence of alleged torture was released.

But last October, two High Court judges ruled there was "an overwhelming public interest" in releasing the details, a decision the Appeal Court upheld Wednesday.

"The treatment reported ... could be readily contended to be at the very least cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by the United States authorities," the now public judgment said.

Miliband said the Appeal Court would have upheld the principle that no country should disclose intelligence from another without its agreement -- had the substance of the paragraphs not already been put into the public domain by a U.S. court judgment in a separate case in December.

"Without that disclosure, it is clear that the Court of Appeal would have overturned the Divisional Court's decision to publish the material," Miliband said in a statement.

He told parliament Britain was opposed to torture. "The UK firmly opposes torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment. This is not just about legal obligations, it is also about our values as a nation ..."

Human rights campaigners said the government had gone to great lengths to conceal torture and the Foreign Office had been concerned mainly with saving face.

"These embarrassing paragraphs reveal nothing of use to terrorists but they do show something of the UK government's complicity with the most shameful part of the War on Terror," said Shami Chakrabati, director of rights campaign group Liberty.
Looks like Chakrabati's idea of what is the most shameful part of the WoT diverges from reality.
Posted by: gorb || 02/11/2010 02:40 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6527 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sometimes allies and friends can hurt you worse than enemies, without meaning to.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/11/2010 13:37 Comments || Top||

#2  That's a sword that can cut both ways, so it can make it hard to tell who needs to apologize to whom sometimes.
Posted by: gorb || 02/11/2010 15:47 Comments || Top||


China-Japan-Koreas
Kimmie's Family Pulls Closer
Kim Jong-il is being seen more frequently in the company of his sister and brother-in-law, suggesting that the Stalinist country's first family is pulling close. Kim's sister Kyong-hee (63) is the head of the Workers Party's light industry department, and her husband Jang Song-taek (63) heads the party's administration department.

According to reports in the official North Korean media, the couple accompanied Kim during his so-called on-the-spot guidance tours on 12 occasions last year, 10 of them in December alone, after the disastrous currency reform. They accompanied Kim six times so far this year.

A South Korean government official said, "Almost all photos or video clips of Kim Jong-il's recent on-the-spot guidance tours show Kim Kyong-hee and Jang Song-taek" standing close to him.

Kim Kyong-hee is the only sibling who shared the same mother as Kim and had been last seen in a souvenir photo of the 11th Supreme People's Assembly taken in September 2003. But she made a reappearance during Kim Jong-il's visit to a cooperative farm in South Hamgyong Province in June last year.

According to a North Korean source, Kim Kyong-hee suffered from alcohol abuse and depression during her absence and was rumoured to be feuding with her husband after their daughter Jang Kum-song committed suicide.

Baek Seung-joo, a senior researcher at the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses, said, "Since he had a stroke, Kim Jong-il has appeared to believe that he can trust only his family." "It's evidence of old age," said Prof. Yang Moo-jin of Kyungnam University.

Kim Jong-il apparently believes that his family will not stand in the way of his third son succeeding to the leadership. There is also speculation that he is traveling with his sister and her husband to prevent possible controversy over the authenticity of his wishes if he suddenly dies or loses consciousness.

If something happens to Kim Jong-il, it would be inevitable for the North Korean leadership to rule according to his last wishes, because heir apparent Kim Jong-un, who is in his mid-20s, is considered too young to take power and thus his succession could lead to a power struggle. The source said, "There would be no controversy over the authenticity of his last wishes if two members of his family claim they have heard them."
Posted by: Steve White || 02/11/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6512 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Too bad the son that's old enough to rule is a playboy loser, a direct result of the privileged upbringing Kimmie gave him.
Posted by: gromky || 02/11/2010 2:19 Comments || Top||


Israel-Palestine-Jordan
US may give Israel Iraq ammo
Ahead of the United States's planned withdrawal from Iraq, American military teams have visited Israel to consider the possibility of storing some of the equipment and ammunition that is pulled out in special storage centers at various locations here, according to senior defense officials.

According to the officials, the Americans plan to leave a significant amount of equipment in Iraq to assist local security forces. Additional equipment, though, would be transferred to Afghanistan as well as possibly to Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

A security agreement between the United States and Iraq calls for withdrawal of all US forces by the end of 2011. The equipment that Israel might receive, one official said, is ammunition, vehicles, and a specially designed rapid cannon – called C-RAM – that can intercept small projectiles such as mortars.

“There is talk that some of the equipment will be stored in Israel,' the official said. “If that is the case, in the event of an emergency we may be able to use it.'

Last month, Defense News reported that the Pentagon had decided to double the value of emergency military stockpiles it stores in Israel to the value of $800 million. Defense officials said that this was a separate move, not connected to the withdrawal from Iraq.

The US already maintains several stockpiles in Israel that include missiles, armored vehicles, aerial munitions and artillery ordnance. The US began stockpiling equipment in Israel in the early 1990s.

The new deal, according to Defense News, was signed by Brig.-Gen. Ofer Wolf, head of the IDF's Logistics and Technology Branch and Rear-Adm. Andy Brown, logistics director for the US Military's European Command (EUCOM).

“Officially, all of this equipment belongs to the US military,' the official said. “If however, there is a conflict, the IDF can ask for permission to use some of the equipment.'

The last time this happened was during the Second Lebanon War in 2006 when the IDF received access to US stockpiles and also received shipments of weaponry, particularly smart bombs from the United States.
Posted by: lotp || 02/11/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6482 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It will be interesting to see what happens when Barry & Co. hear about this.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/11/2010 5:16 Comments || Top||

#2  I think shooting an enemy with their own ammo is a very pleasing thought.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/11/2010 13:30 Comments || Top||

#3  Welcome back Jim. Tell me more about that libarary in Alabama.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/11/2010 13:35 Comments || Top||

#4  I'm sure if you search hard enough you can find one with the information there in Georgia Besoeker.
Posted by: lotp || 02/11/2010 13:54 Comments || Top||

#5  Jokes about Alabama and v.v. are long standing traditions here. Jim's mention yesterday of being at the library was the crux of my comment.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/11/2010 14:00 Comments || Top||

#6  Besoaker really it's not "A" library, I live just north of Montgomery (Capital) and we have 4 cities within 10 miles or so, so we're very well informed, often I'll go to the Montgomery Library and find School Band members reading and using the computers( About 10 at the main branch) that's very encouraging, plus we have Prattville, Wetumpka, and Millbrook (Smaller where I live and own a small bit of land ,10 acres) all free for the (Minimum ) Price of obtaining a library Card.
My wife is near blind, (RP) and enjoys getting Large Print books (All she can see) at all four, very nice people all around with well stocked libraries to boot, I live in a very nice area.
and (Usually) not freezing in winter, this year is going down in record books as the coldest in many years, weatherman even predicts Snow today, but only in the Southern Half of the state (Yes the South, and not the North half, odd yes?) We are close to a number of Rivers,(3) Lakes Ponds and other waterways and yes, Fishing is a religion only surpassed by Deer Hunting season, I've had Deer in my Yard frequently and my dog enjoyed meeting them. (Didn't bark at them, did sniff noses)

All in all a very nice area I've lived North (St Johns Newfoundland, Norfolk Virginia, Ft, Campbell Kentucky) and would rather live here than anywhere else I have ever been (So far)
Got relatives (Staunch Democrats Yuk) in DC snowed in right now, sending pictures of their cars buried in three and four foot snow I don't envy them a bit.

See Y'all later,
Jim
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/11/2010 14:09 Comments || Top||

#7  Redneck Jim, with that many libraries you can probably request just about anything in large print for your wife. I've had luck with all sorts of interesting, out of print books back when I got to my library regularly. There's also Project Gutenberg, which has all sorts of out-of-copyright books available free for downloading.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/11/2010 17:17 Comments || Top||

#8  RNJ, Check out Benetech Bookshare. These folks never visit the burg, but they are the real deal for helping the visually impaired to gain access to printed material. The founder won a MacArthur genius grant for his work there. I hope your wife finds it of use.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/11/2010 18:17 Comments || Top||

#9  I would also suggest librivox.com for a different approach to the problem.
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 02/11/2010 18:35 Comments || Top||

#10  Mr Lotp and I have made use of librivox.com ... the recordings are top quality and cost nothing other than the download and, if one so chooses, the cost of several CDs to burn the audio onto.
Posted by: lotp || 02/11/2010 20:06 Comments || Top||

#11  Thank you one and all, I shall check out these electronic library suggestions tomorrow (Supposed to snow, and much is cancelled for the day)
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/11/2010 21:17 Comments || Top||

#12  Snow? In 'Bama? Nonsense, Jim. You live in the Sunny South.™

Where'd you get a silly idea like that? ;-p
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 02/11/2010 21:35 Comments || Top||


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Iran produces first batch of 20% enriched uranium: president
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday that Iran produced first batch of 20 percent enriched uranium.

"The first batch of 20 percent (enriched uranium) fuel was produced," Ahmadinejad said at a rally in Tehran.

"This work (of enrichment) will be continued until the needs of the country are met," he said, adding that "In the future the daily production (of the 20 percent fuel) will be tripled."

Denouncing the West's attempts to discourage Tehran from pursuing its plan to enrich uranium to a higher grade, Ahmadinejad said "Some of them said that you don't produce radio medicine. They said that they will sell it to us....(But) we say we will produce the medicine and you buy it from us."

"Right now in Natanz (enriching facilities), we have the capability to enrich 20 percent and 80 percent (uranium), but since we don't need it, we don't enrich (to that grade)," he said.

Iranian president ruled out the western claims that its nuclear program may end in building the atom bombs.

"All of our (nuclear) activities are transparent and under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency," he said, adding that "We don't build bombs....If our nation wants to build bombs, it has the courage to announce it openly and make it with no fear from you."

Ahmadinejad, who addressed the rally in the Azadi Square, also enumerated a number of the Iranian government's achievements and enthusiastically denounced the West's policies.

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians carrying flags and banners in support of the Islamic regime celebrated the 31st anniversary of Islamic Revolution on Thursday.

State television showed the people in Tehran were carrying images of the late Islamic leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and his successor incumbent leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and moving to Tehran's Azadi (liberty) Square.

The 1979 revolution ended with toppling the U.S.-backed regime of Shah.
Posted by: tipper || 02/11/2010 05:55 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6486 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This was his gut punch. And with Obama in charge, it may be.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/11/2010 6:43 Comments || Top||

#2  FREEREPUBLIC/OTHER > seems MOUD has formally declared that:

To wit,

* Iran is now offically a NUKULAAR STATE, +
* Iran is capable of indigenously producing its own WEAPONS-GRADE URANIUM [80%-and-higher].

IOW, MOUD has indir inferred that Iran is a NUCWEAPS STATE IN ALL BUT NAME [Arsenal]n capable of produc Nucweaps but just chooses NOT to?

UNLESS I'VE MISSED SOMETHING, MOUD > is also strongly inferring that Iran is at the threshold of not only produc URANIUM BOMBS, BUT ALSO HYDROGEN-, PLUTONIUM = THERMONUKE BOMBS, AT LEAST WIDIN SCOPE OF RELIABLE THEORY???

Looks like the MILTERRS may get their NUCTECHS before 2012, at least as per RELIABLE "DIRTY NUKES" + OTHER ADVANC WMDS.

Mark your Calendars, Boyz, as today is the END OF DEFENSIVE CONVENTIONAL INSURGENCY, e.g. VIETNAM + CONGO + MALAYSIA-INDON + AFPAK; AND THE BIRTHDAY = BEGINNING OF OFFENSIVE NUCLEAR TERROR-JIHAD [unknown].

2010-2020/2025 = Brave New World, for both the US-ALLIES as well as proto-NUCLEAR RADIC ISLAMISM???

FTLG STAY ARMED!
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/11/2010 9:33 Comments || Top||

#3  NEWS KERALA > BRITAIN'S "WAR ON TERROR" MAY LAST AS LONG AS THE COLD WAR.

Substitute "UK" with "USA", and NOT counting any LT, DECADES-N-SCORES-N-GENERATIONS-LONG GLOBAL RECESSION/DEPRESSION either!
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/11/2010 9:39 Comments || Top||

#4  Fix for the Iranian Nuclear Problem - CANDU Nuclear Reactors - Introduction.

The Technology:

One of the most important features of the CANDU reactor under active development focusses on its fuel cycle flexibility. As shown schematically, the CANDU reactor's neutron economy permits the use of not only natural uranium (0.7% 235U) but other sources ranging from slightly enriched uranium (1.2% 235U) to used fuel recovered from PWRs(pressurized (light) water reactor)

Nuclear uranium enrichment problem is minimized and the bi-products are commercially viable for medical diagnostic purposes.

/just sayiing.
Posted by: One Eyed Omimp6572 || 02/11/2010 10:15 Comments || Top||

#5  For a bomb, you'd need highly enriched U. That means at least 50%, otherwise your bomb may have delivery or explosion problems. Depends on design. Standard U235 bomb has 80% enriched core.

20% is not there yet. But depends what quantity of 20% you have and how many centrifuges can be plugged into production, it may not take long to get to 50%.

Posted by: twobyfour || 02/11/2010 11:18 Comments || Top||

#6  "...Iran produced first batch of 20 percent enriched uranium."

how much is a batch

and if they did this, why not show it off with a picture
Posted by: lord garth || 02/11/2010 12:11 Comments || Top||

#7  Fix for the Iranian Nuclear Problem - CANDU Nuclear Reactors

An entire other set of problems - weapons grade Pu (smaller bombs that can be mounted on missiles) and tritium boosting (even smaller bombs).

CANDU (Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors) reactors are reloaded while in operation.

The operator can easily replace a portion of the core (1/8 or so) after a short burnup time. The removed rods can then be reprocessed and weapons grade Plutonium produced.

India has reportedly operated a few of its CANDU clones in low burnup mode for exactly this purpose.

CANDU reactors use heavy water as the moderator. As it is cycled through the reactor, levels of tritium build up in the heavy water.

Both Canada and India have developed de-tritiation methods to clean up the heavy water. India stockpiles the tritium produced for use as boost gas in its nuclear weapons.

CANDU technology is not something Iran can be trusted with.
Posted by: john frum || 02/11/2010 13:51 Comments || Top||

#8  I suspect it will be mute point before too long. Netanyahu is no Obama.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/11/2010 13:54 Comments || Top||

#9  20% is not there yet

Most of the separation work has already been done to reach 20%.
From
http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/
The essential concept is understand enrichment as a process of removing undesirable isotopes (or more specifically, isolating the desirable ones).

So, imagine 1000 atoms of uranium. Seven of them will be the fissile isotope Uranium 235. The rest are useless Uranium 238. (If you are the sort of person who just said, “Hey! What about Uranium 234?” or other nitpicks this post is not aimed at you.)

To make typical reactor fuel, Iran or any other country would removes 860 of the non-U235 isotopes, leaving a U235:U238 ratio of 7:140 (~5 percent).

To make fuel for the TRR, Iran removes another 105 non-U235 atoms from the 140, leaving a ratio of 7:35 (20 percent).

To make a bomb, Iran needs only to remove 27 of the remaining 35 atoms, leading a ratio of 7:8 (~90 percent).

This is simplified illustration, of course, since some of the U235 ends up in the depleted stream as “tails” — but you get the idea.
Posted by: john frum || 02/11/2010 13:55 Comments || Top||

#10  If I remember right, it is a long haul to get to 20% enrichment, and just short hop to get anything above that.

Also, did Iran tell anyone that they were making this 20% enriched Uranium? And if not, then aren't they required to?
Posted by: gorb || 02/11/2010 15:41 Comments || Top||

#11  All of this material is supposed to be under IAEA safeguards with seals, monitoring cameras and periodic on-site inspectors.
Anything else is a violation of Iran's NPT obligations.
Posted by: john frum || 02/11/2010 15:51 Comments || Top||

#12  did Iran tell anyone that they were making this 20% enriched Uranium?

It seems they did - giving just a few days notification
Posted by: john frum || 02/11/2010 15:59 Comments || Top||

#13  If we only found out a few days ago, that just doesn't seem very much in the spirit of the NPT.
Posted by: gorb || 02/11/2010 22:12 Comments || Top||


Islamic Revolution offers path to salvation: Iran FM
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki says the Islamic Revolution has guided man toward salvation by offering a new approach for social governance after 1400 years.

Speaking after the noon prayer at the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday, Mottaki said, "After 1400 years the Islamic Revolution in Iran... by offering a new method of social governance shone in front of secularism and liberalism that are the cause of all social problems and showed man the path to salvation."

In his remarks on the occasion of the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, Mottaki pointed to the efficiency of Islam in resolving all social, economic and political problems of the world and said, "Today, the Islamic Republic has useful and fundamental stances and opinions on all fields pertaining to humanity."

He went on to blame usury in world banks as the cause behind the global economic recession.

Mottaki criticized Western countries for their irrational stances on Iran's peaceful nuclear program and said, "The West does not have a realistic stance in this regard [Iran's nuclear program] and while it refuses to deal with Israel's nuclear weapons it irrationally inculcates doubts [about Iran]."

The Iranian foreign minister said that the secret to the revolution's endurance was the wise leadership of Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khomeini, who for the past 20 years has guided the nation and has had the final say on all ambiguous and subversive matters.
Posted by: Fred || 02/11/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6527 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran

#1  ION PAKISTANI DEFENCE FORUMS > GENERAL: IRAN KNOWS THE LOCATION OF US MISSLE DEFENSE SHIELDS IN REGION.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/11/2010 1:15 Comments || Top||


Iran develops system to distract missiles
[Iran Press TV Latest] A senior Iranian commander has announced that the country has developed a new system to distract missiles.

Deputy Commander of Iran's Air Force Gen. Seyyed Mohammad Alavi said that the system prevents missiles from hitting their targets. He stated that Iran's Air Force has made great achievements in the production of smart ammunition and long-range weapons.

Alavi noted that Iran will mass-produce the new weapons and ammunition to boost its deterrence.

Earlier in February, the Air Force announced that it has successfully tested the prototype of its first domestically-built stealth drone.

"The drone, due to its physical attributes and the material used in its body, cannot be detected by any radar," Air Force Brigadier General Aziz Nasirzadeh said.
Posted by: Fred || 02/11/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6511 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran

#1  How do you say "squirrel!" in Farsi?
Posted by: mojo || 02/11/2010 1:12 Comments || Top||

#2  ÝÑæ ÇáÓäÌÇÈ

Squirrel - Arabic
Posted by: Flotch Dark Lord of the Geats3771 || 02/11/2010 2:00 Comments || Top||

#3  "Hey Mr Missile---do you want to party?"
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 02/11/2010 2:10 Comments || Top||

#4 
Posted by: Flotch Dark Lord of the Geats3771 || 02/11/2010 2:20 Comments || Top||

#5  Chinchilla lace and a pretty face,
Make the missle go 'round!
Posted by: gorb || 02/11/2010 3:09 Comments || Top||

#6  Unfortunately for the Iranians, the distractions are called "targets".
Posted by: Mizzou Mafia || 02/11/2010 4:17 Comments || Top||

#7  Squirrels? No, they're going to use the DS&TP pics along with GB's daily gam shots. No missile can resist!
Posted by: Spot || 02/11/2010 8:22 Comments || Top||

#8  Unfortunately for the Iranians, the distractions are called "targets".

Fortunately for the Iranians, the distractions are called "Obama"
Posted by: JFM || 02/11/2010 9:00 Comments || Top||

#9  So we are now well into the 11th and I've seen absolutely NO reporting of what the great Iranian "punch" is.

I've seen reports that they've been massing troops of various kinds to crack down on the scheduled demonstrations, cut off internet and cellphone access but nothing further.

WTF if anything is going on???
Posted by: AlanC || 02/11/2010 10:10 Comments || Top||

#10  I have a sneaking suspicion the Iranians are not quite sane (By our western Standards) they seem to think saying it Makes it happen, and simply Stating "The West has lost" Makes it an unquestionable fact.
We, on the other hand require proof, and so by their standards we're insane.
It's a vicious circle and there seems no solution other than Kidnapping all their children, educating them in our schools, and sealing off the Mideast until all the elders die off, not practical, I know, so what do we do?
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/11/2010 14:24 Comments || Top||

#11  Sounds like they've discovered...flares.
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/11/2010 14:40 Comments || Top||

#12  Chaff. Also known in some circles as tinsel, I think.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/11/2010 18:09 Comments || Top||

#13  TW, chaff can work on a radar guided missile. I don't think it will have any effect on a GPS guided missile, or a pre-programmed cruise missile. Of course, radar guidance is most useful against a moving target like a ship or an airplane. Airplanes can be tracked by infra-red (heat) from their exhaust. Flares are useful against IR missiles.
Of course, in a massive stealth bomber/cruise missile attack against fixed targets like command and control installations, nuclear sites, mullah hideouts, radar installations, etc. nothing will distract the missiles (or bombs from the B-2s).
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia || 02/11/2010 18:44 Comments || Top||

#14  Do I remember "Horner's Party" from GW I? He shot a bunch of drones over Iraq and every air defense radar switched on. The drones were followed shortly by HARMs or something like that.

Iran seems to be deep into the high-volume production thingy, so it would seem that this is what they are thinking. Just a bunch of maneuverable decoys or something.

Seems as though it could make it difficult if every anti-missile shot costs $1M to take out a $10k drone.
Posted by: gorb || 02/11/2010 22:17 Comments || Top||


Resistance Conference in Beirut Declares Resistance's Victory, U.S. Policy's Defeat in Region
The first conference of the Arab-International Forum for Support of the Resistance was held January 15-17, 2010 in Beirut. Over 3,000 individuals from the Arab, Islamic, and Western world were in attendance; figuring prominently among them were leaders of the Palestinian, Lebanese and Iraqi resistance movements, and representatives from Iran and Syria.

The guest list included: Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, Hamas Political Bureau head Khaled Mash'al, and Iraqi Scholars Association chairman Sheikh Harith Al-Dhari, who represented the Iraqi resistance. There were also senior officials from Islamic and Arab countries, including Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Mir-Tajeddini, who read a letter from Ahmadinejad; a Syrian Ba'th Party official representing Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad; and numerous Lebanese officials, including a representative of Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, a representative of Lebanese Prime Minister Sa'd Al-Hariri, and former Lebanese prime minister Salim Al-Hoss. Also among the participants was International Union of Muslim Scholars head Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, as well as officials and intellectuals from various Western countries. The latter included British MP George Galloway, as well as former U.S. attorney-general Ramsey Clark and American attorney Stanley Cohen, who for years have been active in providing legal defense for accused terrorists.

During the conference, in what was in effect a show of strength by the elements of the pro-Iran camp, participants underlined the right to armed resistance against the Israeli and American occupations, and also the importance of the resistance in thwarting the West's policy vis-à-vis the Middle East and creating a just world order. The official website of the conference explained that the idea to convene it was born of the increase in pressure and in attempts to eliminate the option of resistance to occupation after the resistance "proved its great effectiveness in thwarting the hostile plans in Lebanon, Gaza, Iraq, and Afghanistan."[1] The conference's concluding statement called for coordination among all the resistance movements, and declared the resistance in Lebanon, Palestine, and Iraq to be a model for ways of "countering the terrorism being implemented by Israel and the U.S."

Iran's and Syria's representatives stood out at the conference; these two countries' support for the resistance was esteemed by the participants. In contrast, moderate countries, particularly Egypt, were the target of attacks. The concluding statement called for these countries to adopt resistance, sever relations with Israel, act to remove this country from the U.N. and from other international organizations, and to prosecute Israeli and American "war criminals."

This conference was held a year after the shift in the balance of power in the Middle East that led to the crumbling of the moderate Arab camp which had been a counterbalance to the pro-Iran camp in the Arab world and had vehemently opposed the resistance organizations. The crucial factor in the weakening of the moderate camp was Saudi King Abdallah's reconciliation with Syria. Saudi Arabia, which reached an agreement with Syria on the establishment of a unity government in Lebanon despite the electoral victory of the March 14 Forces -- a Saudi ally -- paved the way for Syria to return to Lebanon with no guarantee of Hizbullah's changing its policy, and without Syria having to provide anything tangible in exchange.

This article starring:
Hassan NasrallahHizbullah
Khaled Mash'alHamas
Posted by: Fred || 02/11/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6472 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran

#1  Since one of main components of "US Policy in the region" is establishment of Palestinian state---from your mouth to the ear of G*d.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 02/11/2010 2:15 Comments || Top||

#2  We vow to endeavor to persevere!
Posted by: Spot || 02/11/2010 8:24 Comments || Top||

#3  I think the participants were all Borgs in Arab guise...
Posted by: borgboy || 02/11/2010 14:19 Comments || Top||

#4  Talk about target rich. For once, I'll say it. Where the hell was the Arclight?
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/11/2010 14:37 Comments || Top||

#5  Drinks at the bar on tu3031!
Posted by: lotp || 02/11/2010 20:15 Comments || Top||


Brazil opposes calls to impose more sanctions on Iran
Brazil has warned against imposing a new round of UN sanctions on Iran, saying that the dispute over Iran's nuclear program should be resolved through peaceful means.

"We don't want Iran to have nuclear arms, let there be no doubt about that."
"We just don't want any precedents set," he murmured.
"They, like other countries, have the right to a peaceful (nuclear power) program," Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim told reporters in Brasilia on Tuesday.

"We want to reach certainty (on Iran's program) through dialogue and peaceful means," Reuters quoted Amorim as saying.

The Brazilian foreign minister also said that sanctions tend to mostly cause suffering for the residents of the nations targeted rather than their governments.

"In the case of Iraq, I saw much suffering of the Iraqi people. Infant mortality went up enormously, and I saw that (sanctions) had no real impact on Saddam Hussein," he stated.
Posted by: Fred || 02/11/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6514 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran

#1  He has a point, sanctions only work against a democracy such as South Africa that cares about world opinion and their own population (well to some extent at least). A dictatorship will just use the sanctions as an excuse to keep themselves in power and build palaces or whatever.

The real answer is to allow for political assassinations. Take out the leadership and leave the population alone. IN a war of assassinations a democracy has a huge advantage in that we tend to have orderly changes of power.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 02/11/2010 0:09 Comments || Top||

#2  And we can see, yet again, the thrilling victory of soft power. How's that new diplomacy working out for you Zero?

How European this all is. Remember those thrilling days of yesteryear when the EUnuchs were going to talk Hussein into retirement?
Posted by: AlanC || 02/11/2010 7:23 Comments || Top||


EU echoes US threats of sanctions against Iran
The European Union foreign policy chief has followed Washington's suit by threatening Iran with sanctions over its nuclear program.

In a Tuesday statement, Catherine Ashton said Tehran's decision to start enriching uranium to 20 percent could lead to further Western-brokered sanctions.

"Taking enrichment to the level of 20 percent adds to the deficit of confidence in the nature of Iran's nuclear program. This has already been aggravated by Iran's unwillingness to engage in meaningful talks," Ashton said.

"We continue to find it difficult to understand why Iran has not taken up the proposed (fuel swap) agreement," she said.

Her comments follow numerous occasions on which Tehran expressed its concerns regarding the proposed nuclear swap deal and its shortcomings.

The UN-drafted deal demands Iran to send the bulk its low-enriched uranium abroad for further processing of up to 20 percent for the Tehran research reactor, which produces medical isotopes for cancer treatment.

Iran has called for the swap deal to take place simultaneously, arguing that if it ships out the bulk of its enriched uranium there would be no guarantee to ensure that the promised fuel would eventually be delivered to the country.

That distrust can be traced back to the lack of commitment demonstrated by Western powers in their previous nuclear contracts with the Islamic Republic.

Tehran has been promised nuclear fuel for over 30 years now. Despite being a 10-percent shareholder and hence entitled to the European Gaseous Diffusion Uranium Enrichment Consortium (Eurodif)'s output, Iran has never received enriched uranium from France.

Tehran and Paris have also signed a deal, under which France is obliged to deliver 50 tons of uranium hexafluoride (UF6) to Iran -- another obligation France has failed to meet.

As the powers ignored Tehran's concerns over the absence of necessary guarantees, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on Tuesday that the country could not wait the West to further "waste time" while some 850,000 cancer patients were in dire need of medicine.

Upon the order of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran on Tuesday began enriching uranium to 20 percent at its Natanz enrichment facility to meet the demand.
Posted by: Fred || 02/11/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6488 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran


Iran rejects US offer over medical isotopes
Iran has rejected the US offer to provide the Tehran government with an alternative way to obtain medical isotopes.

"The US proposal is illogical as Iranian patients are in need of medicine," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on Wednesday.

"Shutting down the reactor or stopping the production of medicine is not the solution. The solution is that the other side cooperates to increase the number of these reactors as well as their production to meet the needs of patients," he further explained.

Mehmanparast's comments came after US State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said on Tuesday in Washington that the US would propose to the UN watchdog an alternative way to supply medical isotopes to treat Iranian cancer patients.

"Our point is, if Iran feels it has a specific need, we are willing to engage constructively and try to identify ways in which the international community and potentially the United States can meet that need," Crowley said.

He further said that providing the opportunity to buy the isotopes directly would be the "fastest and cheapest" way for Iran to avoid running out of isotopes and could help "build confidence."

Mehmanparast called on Western countries to stop mounting political and economic pressure on Iran and instead adopt a realistic approach towards the country's nuclear activities.

He added that attempting to obstruct a nation's path to development was wrong, saying, "Such efforts will only make people more sensitive toward them [the West] and give them a negative image in Iranian public opinion."

Iran needs 120 kg (264 lb) of 20 percent-enriched uranium to fuel the Tehran research reactor, which produces medical isotopes for cancer patients and is running out of fuel.

Upon the order of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran on Tuesday began enriching uranium to a level of 20 percent at the Natanz enrichment facility under the surveillance of inspectors from the UN nuclear watchdog.
Posted by: Fred || 02/11/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6486 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran



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Two weeks of WOT
Thu 2010-02-11
  US Troops Sealing Off Marjah Escape Routes
Wed 2010-02-10
  Largest Military Offensive In Afghanistan Begins
Tue 2010-02-09
  Pak Talibs confirm Hakimullah Mahsud titzup
Mon 2010-02-08
  Afghan locals flee ahead of Helmand offensive
Sun 2010-02-07
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Sat 2010-02-06
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Fri 2010-02-05
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Thu 2010-02-04
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  Dronezap kills at least five
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  Saudis declare victory over Houthis

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