Iran has raised its potential capacity to make sensitive nuclear material by installing hundreds more uranium enrichment machines at an underground site, a UN watchdog report said, a day after world powers failed to convince Tehran to halt such activity.The International Atomic Energy Agency also said on Friday satellite images show "extensive activities" at the Parchin military complex which inspectors want to check over suspicions that nuclear weapons-relevant research was done there.The activities could hamper the IAEA's inquiry, it said - an allusion to what Western diplomats have said may be Iranian efforts to remove incriminating evidence.
The report said Iran had told the UN agency that this higher-grade enrichment - taking Iran significantly further down the road to potential weapons-grade threshold - "may happen for technical reasons beyond the operator's control".
The quarterly report added that Iran had hooked up 368 new centrifuges in Fordow, a 50 percent increase in numbers, but that these were not yet being fed with material for enrichment.
The Associated Press reported on Friday that have found traces of uranium enriched at an Iranian site to a level that is slightly closer to the threshold needed to arm nuclear missiles. The announcement was made by the UN’s nuclear agency.they were still far apart over how to oversee Tehran's atomic program, but scheduled more talks in Moscow next month, as an alternative to possible military action. comes a day after Iran and six world powers meeting in Baghdad found
The Islamic Republic admitted last year it was moving more centrifuge machines for enriching uranium to the underground Fordo facility, which is carved into a mountain to protect it against possible attacks.
The existence of the facility near Qom only came to light after it was identified by Western intelligence agencies in September 2009. The UN’s nuclear watchdog has confirmed that Iran begun enriching uranium at the plant.
At least 50 people, including 13 children, were killed when Syrian forces attacked the town of Houla in Homs province on Friday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and activists said.Activists said clashes erupted in the town when Syrian forces opened fire on a protest against the rule of President Bashar Assad and killed one protester."The soldiers are shelling Houla right now, the casualties are huge," said activist Ahmad Kassem. He said opposition fighters fired back, inflicting casualties on the soldiers and destroying five tanks. Houla is a cluster of four villages and towns north of Homs.The United Nations is nearing full deployment of a 300-member unarmed UN observer force in Syria that is charged with monitoring any cease-fire resulting from the plan. The force has had close calls with recent bomb attacks but has not lost any observers.
Tens of thousands of activists took to of Aleppo and Idlib on Friday, braving the gunfire of Syrian troops, as at least 28 people were killed across the country.
The latest violence came as UN envoy Kofi Annan, who brokered a repeatedly-violated ceasefire last month, finalized plans to return to Damascus.AFP reported that for the first time in the region, helicopter gunships fired on rebel-controlled mountain villages in the Latakia area of northwestern Syria, near the Turkish border, wounding at least 20 people.
The head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel Rahman, said that for the second consecutive Friday “tens of thousands of people marched in Aleppo city and province,” calling for regime change.
Syrian troops fired on the protesters in the northern city with live rounds and tear gas, killing at least one and wounding dozens, the Britain-based Observatory said
Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah threatened Israel on Friday, saying the Jewish State is hiding behind walls and fences and that these cannot ensure its future existence.
“The Israelis withdrew from southern Lebanon, began to build a fence in the West Bank, and now they are talking about building a fence along the border with Egypt or building a fence along the border with Jordan,” Channel 2 News quoted Nasrallah as having said in the speech, which was recorded from his hiding place.
“If so, the vision of the full land of Israel has come to an end,” he added. The vision of a state stretching from the Nile to the Euphrates has come to an end.”
“They found refuge by enclosing themselves within fences. But the fences will never be able to protect them, and will never ensure their existence,” Nasrallah threatened.
Just two weeks ago, Nasrallah threatened to strike multiple targets in Israel, including Tel Aviv.“We are capable of not only hitting specific targets in Tel Aviv but also any place in occupied Palestine,” he said. “The era has come when we survive while they will be doomed to extinction. For every building that is destroyed in the southern suburbs, several buildings will be destroyed in Tel Aviv in return.”