Excerpts: Iran's nuclear strength. Bahrain protests Iran's hostile media
campaign May 27, 2012
+++SOURCE: Jordan Times 26 May '12:"Iran has enough uranium for 5
bombs-expert",Reuters | May 26,2012
SUBJECT: Iran's nuclear strength
QUOTE:"enough for 5 nuclear weapons if refined much further"
EXCERPTS:VIENNA — Iran has significantly stepped up its output of
low-enriched uranium and total production in the last five years would be
enough for at least five nuclear weapons if refined much further, a US
security institute said.
The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a think tank
which tracks Iran's nuclear programme closely, based the analysis on data in
the latest report by the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which
was issued on Frida [25 May].
Progress in Iran's nuclear activities is closely watched by the West and
Israel as it could determine how long it could take Tehran to build atomic
bombs, if it decided to do so. Iran denies any plan to and says its aims are
During talks in Baghdad last week, six world powers failed to convince Iran
to scale back its uranium enrichment programme. They will meet again in
Moscow next month to try to defuse a decade-old standoff that has raised
fears of a new war in the Middle East that could disrupt oil supplies.
Friday's report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a
Vienna-based UN body, showed Iran was pressing ahead with its uranium
enrichment work in defiance of UN resolutions calling on it to suspend the
It said Iran had produced almost 6.2 tonnes of uranium enriched to a level
of 3.5 per cent since it began the work in 2007 — some of which has
subsequently been further processed into higher-grade material.
This is nearly 750kg more than in the previous IAEA report issued in
February, and ISIS said Iran's monthly production had risen by roughly a
"This total amount of 3.5 per cent low enriched uranium hexafluoride, if
further enriched to weapon grade, is enough to make over five nuclear
weapons," ISIS said in its analysis.
It added, however, that some of Iran's higher-grade uranium had been
converted into reactor fuel and would not be available for nuclear weapons,
at least not quickly.
Friday's IAEA report also said environmental samples taken in February at
Iran's Fordow facility — buried deep beneath rock and soil to protect it
from air strikes — showed the presence of particles with enrichment levels
of up to 27 per cent.
Iran's permanent representative to the body played down the findings, saying
some Western media sought to turn a technical issue into a political one.
"This matter is a routine technical discussion that is currently being
reviewed by experts," IRNA quoted Ali Asghar Soltanieh, as saying.
The IAEA report suggested it was possible that particles of uranium enriched
to higher-than-declared levels could be the result of a technical
phenomenon. Experts say that while it is embarrassing for Iran, there is no
real cause for concern.
The UN agency also said satellite images showed "extensive activities" at
the Parchin military complex which inspectors want to check over suspicions
that research relevant to nuclear weapons was done there.
After talks in Tehran earlier this week, IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said the
two sides were close to an agreement to let inspectors resume investigations
into suspected nuclear explosive experiments in Iran.
Enriched uranium can be used to fuel power plants, which is Iran's stated
purpose, or to provide material for bombs, if refined to a much higher
degree. The West suspects that may be Iran's ultimate goal despite the
Islamic republic's denials.
Iran began enriching uranium to a fissile concentration of 20 per cent in
2010, saying it needed this to fuel a medical research reactor. It later
expanded the work sharply by launching enrichment at Fordow.
It alarmed a suspicious West since such enhanced enrichment accomplishes
much of the technical leap towards 90 per cent — or weapons-grade — uranium.
Central to the talks in Baghdad were attempts to get Iran to halt enrichment
to 20 per cent, in exchange for measures to ease sanctions and assistance
with safety at its nuclear plants.
Iran demanded world powers expressly confirm its right to enrich uranium.
Iran has installed more than 50 per cent more enrichment centrifuges at
Fordow, the IAEA report said. Although not yet being fed with uranium, the
new machines could be used to further boost Iran's output of uranium
enriched to 20 percent.
ISIS said Iran still appeared to be experiencing problems in its testing of
production-scale units of more advanced centrifuges that would allow it to
refine uranium faster, even though it had made some progress.
+++SOURCE: Jordan Times 26 May '12:"Bahrain to quit Arabsat to protest Iran
channels", Agence France Presse
SUBJECT: Bahrain protest's Iran's hostile media campaign
QUOTES:"Iran has repeatedly voiced support for the protests in Bahrain", "Al
Alam and Lebanon's Hizbollah's al Manar haveprovided full support (to Iran)"
FULL TEXT:DUBAI — Bahrain will stop broadcasting its channels on satellite
operator Arabsat to protest an Iran-led "hostile" media campaign, the state
news agency BNA reported on Saturday [26 May].
"The Information Affairs Authority (IAA) decided to stop broadcasting
Bahrain bouquet on Arabsat, starting from June 1," BNA said quoting an
English language statement.
IAA criticised Arabsat for failing to heed repeated requests "to take an
official measure" against Iranian channels which also broadcast on Arabsat.
These channels, it said, were waging a "hostile media campaign" against
Bahrain and Saudi Arabia "to incite sectarianism and shake security and
stability", in the Sunni-ruled kingdoms.
The IAA said it had "repeatedly requested" Arabsat to take measures against
Iranian channels since February 2011, when a monthlong Shiite-led uprising
began in Bahrain against the regime.
"The executive body of Arabsat did not respond to these requests," said the
In 2009, Saudi-based Arabsat and another Arab satellite operator, Nilesat,
briefly stopped broadcasting Arabic-language Iranian channel Al Alam.
Tensions have escalated between Shiite Iran and its Arab neighbours in the
Gulf since a Saudi-led Gulf force rolled into Bahrain in March 2011 to boost
the kingdom's security forces, which then crushed a month-old uprising
against the regime.
Iran has repeatedly voiced support for the protests in Bahrain and strongly
condemned the deployment of the Saudi-led forces.
Al Alam and Lebanon's Hizbollah's Al Manar channel have provided full
coverage of the protests dominated by their Shiite co-religionists.
Sue Lerner - Associate, IMRA