Iran Leader Seeks Vast Nuclear-Fuel Boost

July 8, 2014, 6:42 a.m.

Ir­an’s top lead­er said Tehran would need to puri­fy urani­um nearly 20 times faster, as out­siders raced to cap its abil­ity to fuel nuc­le­ar bombs, Re­u­ters re­ports.

Ayatol­lah Ali Khame­nei on Tues­day said six oth­er ne­go­ti­at­ing coun­tries want to lim­it Ir­an’s urani­um-en­rich­ment ca­pa­city to “10,000 sep­ar­at­ive work units, which is equi­val­ent to 10,000 cent­ri­fuges of the older type that we already have.” Tehran in­sists it only wants to re­fine urani­um to low levels for use in ci­vil­ian re­act­ors, but oth­er coun­tries sus­pect it wants an op­tion to pro­duce high­er-pur­ity ma­ter­i­al for weapons.

“Our of­fi­cials say we need 190,000 cent­ri­fuges,” Khame­nei said. “Per­haps this is not a need this year or in two years or five years, but this is the coun­try’s ab­so­lute need.”

Tehran is dis­cuss­ing the pos­sib­il­ity of lim­it­ing some of its nuc­le­ar activ­it­ies for a num­ber of years in ex­change for sanc­tions re­lief from China, France, Ger­many, Rus­sia, the United King­dom and the United States. The sides are push­ing to com­plete a deal by Ju­ly 20, when an in­ter­im atom­ic deal is sched­uled to ex­pire.

Former U.S. State De­part­ment of­fi­cial Mark Fitzpatrick said Khame­nei’s latest com­ment “con­firms” that Ir­an’s ne­go­ti­at­ors “are not au­thor­ized to ac­cept cut­backs to the en­rich­ment pro­gram.” The coun­try has de­ployed over 19,000 urani­um-en­rich­ment cent­ri­fuges to date, and is cur­rently pro­du­cing ci­vil­ian nuc­le­ar fuel in about 10,000 of the ma­chines.

Khame­nei ac­cused the oth­er gov­ern­ments of is­su­ing hol­low threats of mil­it­ary ac­tion against Ir­an’s atom­ic as­sets, Re­u­ters re­por­ted sep­ar­ately.

“They make it seem like Is­rael wants to at­tack, but Amer­ica is stop­ping it: the good cop, bad cop trick,” he said. “But I say out loud: the reas­on they are not at­tack­ing is be­cause it is too costly. The en­emy has no oth­er op­tion at its dis­pos­al but make threats and im­pose sanc­tions.”

What We're Following See More »
STAFF PICKS
When It Comes to Mining Asteroids, Technology Is Only the First Problem
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Obama Reflects on His Economic Record
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Reagan Families, Allies Lash Out at Will Ferrell
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."

Source:
PEAK CONFIDENCE
Clinton No Longer Running Primary Ads
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-ex­pec­ted primary battle be­hind her, former Sec­ret­ary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton (D) is no longer go­ing on the air in up­com­ing primary states. “Team Clin­ton hasn’t spent a single cent in … Cali­for­nia, In­di­ana, Ken­tucky, Ore­gon and West Vir­gin­ia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “cam­paign has spent a little more than $1 mil­lion in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone back­er in the Sen­ate, said the can­did­ate should end his pres­id­en­tial cam­paign if he’s los­ing to Hil­lary Clin­ton after the primary sea­son con­cludes in June, break­ing sharply with the can­did­ate who is vow­ing to take his in­sur­gent bid to the party con­ven­tion in Phil­adelphia.”

Source:
CITIZENS UNITED PT. 2?
Movie Based on ‘Clinton Cash’ to Debut at Cannes
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."

Source:
×