Iran begins loading fuel into core of its first nuclear plant

26 October 2010 | 14:53 Code : 9110 General category

CNN-- Iran has begun loading fuel into the core of its first nuclear energy plant in the southern city of Bushehr, state media reported Tuesday.

"Iran’s peaceful nuclear programs and activities are going on as scheduled," Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters.

"The Bushehr nuclear power plant is one of the major projects of Iran which will help produce alternative forms of energy," he said.

Tehran says the electricity produced by this power plant will add to the national power supply.

The United States and other world powers fear Iran is developing a nuclear program for military purposes. Iran has denied those allegations and says the plant will be used to generate electricity.

"Political pressures, like sanctions and other pressures, will not impede our progress on development and will not keep our nation from exercising their inalienable rights to peaceful use of nuclear technology," Mehmanparast said.

"We will continue our long term programs in that regard," he added.

The Bushehr plant opened in late August when engineers loaded 163 fuel rods into the reactor under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency. It is expected to produce 1,000 megawatts of electricity once all the fuel rods are loaded into the core of the reactor.

The construction of the Bushehr plant started in 1975 when Germany signed a contract with Iran. Germany, however, pulled out of the project following the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Iran then signed a deal with Russia in 1995, under which the plant was originally scheduled to be completed in 1999, but the project was repeatedly delayed.

The reactor was launched in August amid a standoff with the United States and its allies over allegations that the Islamic Republic is following a military nuclear program.    

Ross warns Israel failed talks could imperil its security

Jerusalem Post
--Top White House adviser tells AIPAC all options remain on the table in dealing with Iran; on peace talks, says "positive developments will be difficult to sustain if prospects for peace look less and less real."

Ross warns Israel failed talks could imperil its security

Top White House adviser tells AIPAC all options remain on the table in dealing with Iran; on peace talks, says "positive developments will be difficult to sustain if prospects for peace look less and less real."    

A top White House advisor warned Monday night that the progress Palestinians have made on security in the West Bank could be jeopardized if peace talks don’t move forward.

Dennis Ross, a senior White House Middle East advisor, pointed to improvements the Palestinians have made in security and coordination with Israel over the past two years in a speech before American Israel Public Affairs Committee activists in Florida.

“These positive developments will be difficult to sustain if the prospects for peace look less and less real,” he cautioned, according to prepared remarks released by the White House.

Ross was speaking as talks between Israelis and Palestinians have stalled, with Israel refusing to extend a freeze on settlements and the Palestinians refusing to negotiate with a reinstatement of the freeze.
 He also urged that Israel not lose the chance to make peace with “unique” Palestinian leaders Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad, who have rejected violence.

The US administration has been stymied in its effort to shepherd peace talks forward after launching them in September and making them a high priority. Ross reminded the audience of “the strategic importance of peace” from America’s perspective.Continued

Suspicion grows over Iran’s contributions to Karzai

ABC News
--The US government says it is suspicious of Iran’s intentions towards Afghanistan.

It is responding to the confirmation from Afghan president Hamid Karzai that his office receives bags of cash from Iran.

The Iranian embassy in Kabul has previously dismissed reports of the cash payments as ridiculous and insulting.

Mr Karzai’s confirmation came after the New York Times reported on the weekend that Iran was giving cash to Mr Karzai’s chief of staff to buy his loyalty and promote Iranian interests in Afghanistan.

The president says his office receives the donations - of about $700,000 to $975,000 - once or twice a year and that the money is for official presidential expenses.

He also says the process is transparent.

"This is something that I have also discussed with, even when we were at Camp David with President Bush," he said.

"This is nothing hidden. We are grateful for the Iranian help in this regard.

"The US is doing the same thing. They are providing cash to some of our offices. If you’d like to have the details, we’ll give you that too."

But US state department spokesman PJ Crowley says the US is suspicious of Iran’s intentions.

"We do not question Iran’s right to provide financial assistance to Afghanistan, nor do we question Afghanistan’s right to accept that assistance," he said.

"What we think is important is Afghans having the ability to shape their own future without negative influences from its neighbours. Continued

Your Comment :