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Led by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the nation's "supreme leader," Iranian clerics have repeatedly declared that Islam forbids the development and use of all weapons of mass destruction.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran, based on its fundamental religious and legal beliefs, would never resort to the use of weapons of mass destruction," Khamenei said recently. "In contrast to the propaganda of our enemies, fundamentally we are against any production of weapons of mass destruction in any form."
Grand Ayatollah Yusef Saanei, one of the highest-ranking clerics in Iran, said in an interview: "There is complete consensus on this issue. It is self- evident in Islam that it is prohibited to have nuclear bombs. It is eternal law, because the basic function of these weapons is to kill innocent people. This cannot be reversed."
"There is room for maneuver in Islam. Things can be haram (forbidden) one day and halal (acceptable) later on. But this takes time," he said. Whether Iran's apparent restraint on nuclear weapons development will continue is an all-important question as the West monitors Iran's compliance with the agreement.
Iran has said that U.N. Security Council sanctions aimed at curtailing its uranium-enrichment activities unfairly target its medical sector. "We have thousands of patients a month at our hospital alone .. If we can't help them, some will die. It's as simple as that," said an Iranian nuclear medicine specialist. An Iranian Jew from California claimed "I don't believe in these sanctions... They hurt normal people, not leaders. What is the use of that?" Vice President of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ghannadi framed the debate as a humanitarian issue, "This is about human beings. . . . When someone is sick, we should give medicine." Iran informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that fuel obtained from Argentina in 1993 would run out by the end of 2010, and that it could produce the uranium itself or buy the uranium from abroad.
In February 2010, to refuel the Tehran Research Reactor, which produces medical isotopes, Iran began using a single cascade to enrich uranium "up to 19.8%", to match the previously foreign supplied fuel. 20% is the upper threshold for low enriched uranium (LEU). Though HEU enriched to levels exceeding 20% is considered technically usable in a nuclear explosive device, this route is much less desirable because far more material is required to achieve a sustained nuclear chain reaction. HEU enriched to 90% and above is most typically used in a weapons development program.
(02-25) 04:00 PDT Vienna -- Despite growing international concern about Iran's nuclear program and its regional ambitions, most U.S. intelligence shared with the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency has proved inaccurate, and none has led to significant discoveries inside Iran, diplomats here said.
The officials said the CIA and other Western spy services have provided sensitive information to the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency at least since 2002, when Iran's long-secret nuclear program was exposed. But none of the tips about supposed secret weapons sites provided clear evidence that the Islamic republic is developing illicit weapons.
"Since 2002, pretty much all the intelligence that's come to us has proved to be wrong," said a senior diplomat at the atomic energy agency.
Another official described the agency's intelligence stream as "very cold now, (because) so little panned out."
The reliability of U.S. information and assessments on Iran is increasingly at issue as the Bush administration confronts the emerging regional power on multiple fronts: its expanding nuclear program, its alleged support for insurgents inside Iraq and its backing of Middle East militant groups.
The CIA still faces harsh criticism for its prewar intelligence errors on Iraq. No one in Vienna argues that U.S. intelligence officials have fallen this time for crudely forged documents or have pushed shoddy analysis. Officials at the atomic energy agency, who openly challenged U.S. assessments that Iraq's Saddam Hussein was developing a nuclear bomb, say the Americans are much more cautious in assessing Iran.
U.S. officials privately acknowledge that much of their evidence on Iran's nuclear plans and programs remains ambiguous, fragmented and difficult to prove.
The atomic energy agency has its own concerns about Iran's nuclear program, although agency officials concede they have found no proof that nuclear material has been diverted for use in weapons. Iran's government began enriching uranium in small amounts in August in a program it insists will provide fuel only for civilian power stations, not nuclear weapons.
Diplomats in Vienna were less convinced by documents recovered by U.S. intelligence from a laptop computer apparently stolen from Iran.
American analysts first briefed senior atomic energy agency officials on the contents of the hard drive at the U.S. mission in Vienna in mid-2005. The documents included detailed designs to upgrade ballistic missiles to carry nuclear warheads, drawings for subterranean testing of high explosives, and two pages describing research into uranium tetrafluoride, known as "green salt," which is used during uranium enrichment.
Agency officials remain suspicious of the information, in part because most of the papers are in English rather than Farsi, the Iranian language.
Iran's representative to the atomic energy agency, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, dismissed the laptop documents as "fabricated information." Iran, he said, has produced 170 tons of "green salt" at a uranium conversion facility in Esfahan that is monitored by the energy agency.
"We are not hiding it," he said in an interview. "We make tons of it. These documents are all nonsense."
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has exploited the growing confrontation with Washington to gain much needed political support at home. Nationalist sentiments run deep in Iran, and the claim that Tehran has the same right to nuclear power as other nations has become a rallying cry that undermines the government's domestic critics.
"None of us can accept the suspension of these activities because people consider this our legal right," said Akbar Alami, an independent lawmaker. "All the political parties agree with this. We cannot stop."
Iran's growing power, he said, "threatens every existing political order in the region."
Originally posted by SLAYER69
Interesting to cherry pick from your own sources. Turn about is fair play. Personally I hear more about War with Iran just about everyday here on ATS than I do from the MSM.
In 1901, the first OIL discovered in the Middle East was in Persia which is now present day Iran. But more importantly the exact spot it was discovered in was Masjed-Soleyman. M-S is located in the Khūzestān Province, which just happens to be the same port province where BP (Anglo-Iranian Oil Company) had their Iranian headquarters, and same port province Sadam tried to take from Iran in the Iran-Iraq War beginning 1980.
Can you see the pattern?
-1901, first OIL in Iran.
-Under British control
-1951, Mosaddegh nationalized the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company with near unanimous support of Iran's parliament.
-The West loses control of OIL.
-1953, the U.S. and Britain organize the Iranian coup d'état to regain control of Iran's OIL.
-1953-79, 25+ years of a ruthless U.S. and Britain backed dictatorship to suck every drop of OIL out of Iran.
-1979, the Iranian Hostage Crisis and Islamic Revolution.
-The U.S. and Britain lose control of Iran's OIL. People of Iran are finally in charge.
-1980, the Iran-Iraq War. Sadam invades the Khūzestān Province, his army financially backed by the U.S. and Britain.
-Iraq has also been under British control since it was captured in WWI, and was granted its independence in 1932 under a British backed King. Hrmm, wonder who ordered that?
-2010, Iran believes it has little oil, and is seeking to build a nuclear program to sustain its people into the 21-century.
- U.S. and Britain want war to regain control of the Khūzestān Province because they know something the Iranians do not.
IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT THE OIL IN THE IRAN!
Originally posted by kevinunknown
reply to post by queenannie38
I sort of agree with you insofar as I believe that the Iranian threat is being exaggerated but there are some problems with your thread. Mainly the claim that they have not been involved in any war other than the Iran-Iraq war. You pointed out the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis (they were allies to the west before the Iranian revolution in 1979) this is a act of aggression following on from this we have had other instances were Iran has been aggressive.
Although i agree wit you that the thread is being exaggerated, this does not mean there is a threat and it may be dangerous to argue that there is no threat.
Iran do have a nuclear power program and in the past have attempted to produce nuclear weapons.
They also have some very controversial foreign policy such as the destruction of the Israeli state.
Despite my criticism i do think this is a good thread and found it very interesting