Iran is believed to be further increasing its uranium enrichment capacity at its Fordow plant buried deep underground, Western diplomats say, in another sign of Tehran defying international demands to curb its disputed nuclear programme.
But they said the Islamic Republic did not yet appear to have started up the newly-installed centrifuges to boost production of material which Iran says is for reactor fuel but which can also have military uses if processed more.
"Iran continues to build up enrichment capacity," one Western official said.A diplomat accredited to the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said: "We think that they have continued installing centrifuges at Fordow. We think that their pace has continued the same as it was, which was pretty rapid."
If confirmed in the next IAEA report on Iran's atomic activities, expected in mid-November, it would suggest Iran is steadily moving towards completing instalment of centrifuges at the Fordow subterranean centrifuge site.The work may be "near complete," the Vienna-based diplomat said, in remarks echoed by another envoy.
Note the consistency with biblical prophecy:
Israel will "definitely" face fierce retaliation if it attacks Iranian nuclear sites, the acting commander of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard warned Thursday.
The remarks by Gen. Hossein Salami appear to be part of Iranian efforts to portray any strike against it as the trigger for a regional conflict that could draw in Iranian proxies, such as Lebanon's militant Hezbollah group, on Israel's borders.Iran's suspect nuclear program has topped the international agenda and pressures on Tehran are mounting.
"An attack by the Zionist regime would be an opportunity to destroy that regime," he said, speaking of Israel. "Their defense mechanism is not planned for big and long wars. Their threats are only psychological and if they cross the limit or act upon those threats, [Israel] will definitely be destroyed."
The exercises were dubbed "Ila Beit ol Moqaddas," or Toward the Holy City, meaning Jerusalem. The war games include drills on defending against mock air raids and other threats.
"We have prepared our security and defense infrastructures for global and big battles," Salami said. "There is no failure in our defense system."
Salami spoke on the sidelines of urban combat drills in Tehran by some 15,000 paramilitary fighters known as Basiji, who are controlled by the Revolutionary Guard.
Israel is highly vulnerable to an Iranian military attack, Deputy Commander of the Revolutionary Guard Brig.-Gen. Hossein Salami said Thursday according to Iran's state-run Press TV.
“Following the infiltration of Hezbollah’s drone into the [airspace of the] occupied lands, the Zionist regime came to the understanding that such psychological warfare has not yielded any result but instead led to the strengthening of the determination of its enemies and now the Islamic Revolution has the upper hand over the Zionist regime,” Salami said.Israel's defense strategy is feeble, Salami said according to the Press TV report. He added that “the regime’s defense mechanisms are highly vulnerable to all-out strikes by Iran.”
Salami also warned the West against initiating a strike on its nuclear program, saying such an attack would only speed up the Israeli regimes annihilation, according to the Press TV report.
And Ahmadinejad actually says something that makes sense:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad predicted the impending downfall of the "US empire," blaming the collapse on a combination of the country's massive debt and its loss of legitimacy within the international community, Iran's official news agency IRNA reported Thursday.“How long can a government with a $16,000 trillion foreign debt remain a world power?” he asked at a press conference with Kuwaiti media personnel. "The Americans have injected their paper wealth into the world economy and today the aftermaths and negative effects of their pseudo-wealth have plagued them.”
Russia weighs in, defending their partner:
Russia criticized the European Union on Wednesday for imposing new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program and called for a fresh round of talks between world powers and Tehran as soon as possible.The Foreign Ministry issued a statement expressing "deep concern" over EU sanctions imposed on Tuesday against major Iranian state companies in the oil and gas industry and the central bank.Moscow said unilateral sanctions by the EU dealt a "palpable blow" to the unity of the six nations - the United States, France, Britain, China, Germany and Russia - leading diplomatic efforts to rein in Iran's nuclear program.
In recent years, Moscow has consistently supported anti-American dictatorships in every corner of the world, and it has consistently defended those dictatorships from sanctions and international pressure. Sadly, the vaunted Obama “reset” policy has not changed that.
Just look at the debate over Syria, where Bashar Assad’s security forces have committed the most barbaric atrocities imaginable. Russia has done far more than any other country to arm the Syrian regime and protect it from global sanctions.
By aiding Assad, Russia is effectively aiding Iran, which counts Syria as its most important regional ally. Russia is also helping the Iranians by blocking the imposition of tougher U.N. sanctions designed to thwart Tehran’s nuclear program.
Moscow has declared that the new U.S. sanctions signed into law by President Obama on August 10 are “completely unacceptable” and a “crude contradiction of international law.” On September 8, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov complained that American sanctions “are touching upon the interests of Russian business.”
At this point, the United States should not have any illusions about Russian foreign policy. Moscow has offered support to virtually every dictatorship and anti-American regime on the planet. President Obama tried to change Russian behavior with the “reset.” It hasn’t worked. (Witness Moscow’s recent expulsion of USAID and its withdrawal from the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program.) Regardless of who wins the election on November 6, it is time for U.S. policymakers to consider a different approach.
Putin launched an offensive against his opposition after his election, pushing through new laws to punish protesters with heavy fines and to curtail the activity of nongovernmental groups. Though it allowed Chen to leave the US Embassy for the United States in May, China has been stepping up prosecutions of dissidents and trying to tighten control over the Internet ever since the Arab Spring revolutions began in early 2011.
In fact, corruption paralyzes the Kremlin. The political system cannot be opened up without exposing the criminal networks that have infected every part of the bureaucracy, siphoning off billions of dollars in what should be public revenues. By many accounts Putin and his inner circle have participated robustly in the looting; but even midlevel officials have stolen hundreds of millions with impunity. More than a dozen prominent journalists and human rights activists have been murdered in the last decade—including one on Putin’s birthday in 2006. A more open system would inevitably lead to demands for accountability that would imperil Putin and most of those around him.
A Greek exit from the eurozone could trigger a global economic crisis of dire proportions and must be avoided at all costs, a respected German think tank said in a study published on Wednesday.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right government has strongly criticized Greece’s repeated failure to meet tough fiscal targets since its debt crisis erupted in late 2009 but has recently stressed it wants Athens to stay in the eurozone.
“A Greek exit from the euro carries the risk of a European and even international conflagration and could trigger a global economic crisis,” Bertelsmann Foundation said, citing the study it commissioned from Prognos AG.
A ‘Grexit’ would create pressure for the other heavily indebted southern European countries — Portugal, Spain and even Italy — to leave the common currency, a development that it said would threaten “a dramatic international recession.”