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 »
HE ‘WILL NEVER BE PRESIDENT’
Warren Goes After Trump Yet Again
5 hours ago
THE LATEST

When it comes to name-calling among America's upper echelon of politicians, there may be perhaps no greater spat than the one currently going on between Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Donald Trump. While receiving an award Tuesday night, she continued a months-long feud with the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. Calling him a "small, insecure moneygrubber" who probably doesn't know three things about Dodd-Frank, she said he "will NEVER be president of the United States," according to her prepared remarks."We don't know what Trump pays in taxes because he is the first presidential nominee in 40 years to refuse to disclose his tax returns. Maybe he’s just a lousy businessman who doesn’t want you to find out that he’s worth a lot less money than he claims." It follows a long-line of Warren attacks over Twitter, Facebook and in interviews that Trump is a sexist, racist, narcissistic loser. In reply, Trump has called Warren either "goofy" or "the Indian"—referring to her controversial assertion of her Native American heritage. 

FIRST CHANGE IN FOUR DECADES
Congress Passes Chemical Regulations Overhaul
8 hours ago
THE DETAILS

The House on Tuesday voted 403-12 "to pass an overhaul to the nation’s chemical safety standards for the first time in four decades. The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act aims to answer years of complaints that the Environmental Protection Agency lacks the necessary authority to oversee and control the thousands of chemicals being produced and sold in the United States. It also significantly clamps down on states’ authorities, in an effort to stop a nationwide patchwork of chemical laws that industry says is difficult to deal with."

Source:
NO MORE INDEPENDENT VOTERS?
GOP Could Double Number of Early Primaries
8 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Leaders of the Republican Party have begun internal deliberations over making fundamental changes to the way its presidential nominees are chosen, a recognition that the chaotic process that played out this year is seriously flawed and helped exacerbate tensions within the party." Among the possible changes: forbidding independent voters to cast ballots in Republican primaries, and "doubling the number of early states to eight."

Source:
LEVERAGE
Kasich Tells His Delegates to Remain Pledged to Him
10 hours ago
THE LATEST

Citing the unpredictable nature of this primary season and the possible leverage they could bring at the convention, John Kasich is hanging onto his 161 delegates. "Kasich sent personal letters Monday to Republican officials in the 16 states and the District of Columbia where he won delegates, requesting that they stay bound to him in accordance with party rules."

Source:
EFFECTIVE NEXT MONTH
House GOP Changes Rules for Spending Measures
10 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Speaker Paul Ryan is changing the rules of how the House will consider spending measures to try to prevent Democrats from offering surprise amendments that have recently put the GOP on defense. ... Ryan announced at a House GOP conference meeting Tuesday morning that members will now have to submit their amendments ahead of time so that they are pre-printed in the Congressional Record, according to leadership aides." The change will take effect after the Memorial Day recess.

Source:
×