Entries in Nuclear Arms (6)


UN Nuclear Inspectors Visit Iran in Two-Day Tour

IIPA via Getty Image(TEHRAN, Iran) -- United Nations nuclear inspectors began a two-day tour of Iran on Monday.

The visit by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) comes a day after the Iran oil ministry announced a halt in oil exports to Britain and France in response to the European Union’s sanctions on the nation in January.  This will the second visit this year by the inspectors to Iran. A report on the visit is expected in few weeks.

Iran insists they are developing new energy sources, however, IAEA inspectors’ visit in November suggested the country may be moving towards developing nuclear weapons, prompting western countries to impose further sanctions on Iran.

The IAEA chief inspector says his priority in visiting Iran this week is to clarify "possible military dimensions" of the country’s nuclear program, reports BBC News.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Israeli Leadership Adding to Speculation of Attack on Iran

ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak Friday used the strongest language yet in condemning Iran’s nuclear program, and added to increased speculation among foreign policy observers that Israel could launch a preemptive attack on Iran, possibly within the next year.

According to The Jerusalem Post, Barak indicated that Israel is prepared to take action should the series of economic sanctions in place do nothing to prevent Iran from reaching a point of no return on its alleged development of nuclear weapons.

“Many analysts estimate that a nuclear Iran will be more complicated to deal with, more dangerous and more costly in blood than if it is stopped today,” Barak said at a conference Thursday. “Whoever says later might find that it will be too late.”

Recent Israeli intelligence and reports from the United Nations indicated that Iran is on its way toward the development of a nuclear weapon, but it has not been confirmed that the Islamic Republic intends to actually build such a device.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Israeli President Signals Attack on Iran Might Be Imminent

Uriel Sinai/Getty Images(JERUSALEM) -- It would appear now that news leaked about a possible preemptive strike by Israel to knock out Iran's nuclear program is more viable than previously believed.

Israeli President Shimon Peres on Sunday went as far as to tell the Israel Hayom newspaper that "the possibility of a military attack against Iran is now closer to being applied than the application of a diplomatic option."

Peres' declaration comes just as the International Atomic Energy Agency gets set to release its latest study on Tehran's nuclear program, which the U.S., Israel and the West says is designed to create a weapons stockpile despite the government's long series of denials.

Last week, there were reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his defense minister were lobbying the Israeli Cabinet for permission to hit Iran's nuclear sites.  In addition, Israel also conducted ballistic missile tests and civil defense drills, a sign that the country may be preparing a major military operation.

Peres tempered the possibility of an imminent military attack against Iran by saying, "We must stay calm and resist pressure so that we can consider every alternative.  I don’t think that any decision has already been made, but there is an impression that Iran is getting closer to nuclear weapons."

Iran has already said it would strike back hard against Israel if any attack occurs and would also take revenge against the U.S.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Israeli Prime Minister Looking to Strike Iran's Nuclear Program?

Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images(JERUSALEM) -- There are new tensions in the Middle East, based on reports by the Israeli media that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is supposedly lobbying his Cabinet to permit the military to launch a preemptive strike against Iran's nuclear facilities.

Israel and the U.S. believe that Tehran is developing nuclear warheads although each government has pursued diplomatic means to convince Iran to abandon its program.

However, a senior Israeli official who spoke to the newspaper Haaretz suggested that the threat from Iran is growing and that Netanyahu wants to destroy his enemy's capability to launch a nuclear attack, as Israel did with Saddam Hussein's Osirak nuclear facility in 1981.

Responding to the report, Israeli Cabinet members were irritated that classified information was leaked to the press and tried to play down the possibility of a strike against Iran's nuclear program.

In Tehran, the armed forces chief of staff said, "We consider any threat -- even those with low probability and distant -- as a definite threat.  We are ready to punish them," adding that the U.S. would also suffer should the Israelis launch a preemptive strike.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


North Korea Shows Off New Nuclear Capability

Stanford University professor Siegfried S. Hecker. Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- North Korea reportedly has built a new plant to enrich uranium and showed it off to a visiting American scientist.

The New York Times reported Sunday that Stanford University professor Siegfried S. Hecker was recently shown the facility and quotes him saying he was "stunned" by the sophistication of the plant, where he saw "hundreds and hundreds" of centrifuges to be used for uranium enrichment.

The plant was not in existence back in April 2009, the last time international inspectors were allowed to view North Korea's nuclear operations.  The country remains under international sanction for earlier nuclear violations and the Obama administration is likely to use this new information to show that North Korea continues to violate those sanctions.

This comes at a time when North Korea is preparing for a transition in leadership from Kim Jong-il to his son, Kim Jong-un.  It may be part of a campaign to demonstrate that the younger man will be a strong leader.  Experts also tell the Times it is characteristic of North Korea to see whether there might be some kind of "payoff" for the country, in exchange for backing down on its nuclear efforts.

Administration officials were quoted Sunday saying they have no intention of reopening talks with North Korea unless it "demonstrated a seriousness of purpose and constructive action" on the issue.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


New START Treaty 'Top Priority,' President Obama Says

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(YOKOHAMA, Japan) -- President Obama said Sunday he wants the lame duck congress to pass the START treaty, calling it a "top priority."  The president made his comments after a meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

He and Medvedev signed the treaty in April in Prague.  The nuclear agreement requires both countries to reduce their arsenals from 2,200 deployed warheads each to 1,550, with the reductions to come over seven years -- a 30 percent reduction from the last treaty.  The U.S. and Russia also agreed to reduce their long-range missiles and launchers to 700 for each country.

The Obama Administration wants the Senate to ratify the treaty before the new Congress takes over in January.  The Democratic majority then shrinks by six votes and the White House worries new members of Congress would block the treaty because they consider it too friendly to Russia.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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