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Iran negotiator announces: We duped West on nukes
Iran's top nuclear negotiator, in a speech to the nation's leading Islamic clerics and academics, has admitted what many in U.S. intelligence have been saying all along - namely, Tehran duped the West on its nuclear program by continuing its development while using diplomatic talks to lull the Europeans into inaction.
Hassan Rowhani led talks with the EU3 - Germany, France and the UK -until last year and part of his job, reports the London Telegraph, was to play for time after Iran's nuclear program was exposed by dissidents in 2002.
At the closed meeting of the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution, Rowhani boasted that during talks to forestall Iran's nuclear program, which intelligence sources in the U.S. saw as part of an effort to build nuclear weapons, Tehran completed the installation of equipment needed to convert yellowcake at its Isfahan plant. The Europeans, he said, were convinced nothing was occurring at the plant.
"From the outset, the Americans kept telling the Europeans, 'The Iranians are lying and deceiving you and they have not told you everything'. The Europeans used to respond, 'We trust them'", he said.
Rowhani's frankness, it appears, was motivated by internal criticisms from hardliners that he had negotiated away too much in recent talks with the Europeans. His comments, published in a journal available to the regime's elite, seem designed to defend his performance.
"When we were negotiating with the Europeans in Teheran we were still installing some of the equipment at the Isfahan site", he said. "There was plenty of work to be done to complete the site and finish the work there. In reality, by creating a tame situation, we could finish Isfahan".
Rowhani's diplomatic skills were severely tested in September 2003 when the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) demanded a "complete picture" of Iran's program.
"The dilemma was if we offered a complete picture, the picture itself could lead us to the U.N. Security Council", he said. "And not providing a complete picture would also be a violation of the resolution and we could have been referred to the Security Council for not implementing the resolution".
He also revealed two occasions where the IAEA learned of secret experiments from academic papers published by Iranian scientists.
Libya's decision to negotiate with the U.S. and Britain to end its own nuclear program brought to light the proliferation network run by Pakistan atomic scientist A.Q. Khan. Khan's role in supplying nuclear-related equipment to Libya, revealed in surrendered documents, also exposed the fact he had supplied advanced centrifuges to Iran.
Revelations of Rowhani's candor come on the eve of tomorrow's IAEA meeting to reassess Iran's banned nuclear operations. According to U.N. protocol, the IAEA review is the final step before Tehran's case is forwarded to the Security Council, where, if the facts dictate, sanctions may be imposed.
Iran has just completed failed talks with Russia, which opposes U.N. sanctions, to find a way around the impasse.
On another matter, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an opposition group responsible for many of the revelations about Iran's secret program, has obtained a confidential parliamentary report revealing that Iran's legislators were unaware of the nuclear project and that it was funded off the books.
"Rowhani's remarks show that the mullahs wanted to deceive the international community from the onset of negotiations with EU3", said Mohammad Mohaddessin, the NCRI's foreign affairs chief, "and that the mullahs were fully aware that if they were transparent, the regime's nuclear file would be referred to the U.N. immediately".
Dubai company shills for Iran nuke project
Posted: March 7, 2006, 6:00 p.m. Eastern, © 2006 WorldNetDaily.com
WASHINGTON - Did the other shoe just drop in the controversy over the U.S. port deal with a United Arab Emirates company?
Another Dubai-based company, this one owned by the Iranian government, has been used by Tehran's defense ministry to procure a key component needed for the production of nuclear weapons, reports Iran Focus.
The development is sure to stoke the already red-hot embers of controversy in Washington over a proposed contract with Dubai Ports World to run port operations in the U.S. - a deal that prompted bipartisan criticism of the Bush administration.
Iran is a top concern of the Bush administration because of its efforts to develop and test nuclear weapons in the near future - perhaps as soon as late this month, according to some analysts and intelligence reports.
Iran Focus cites sources inside the Iranian government as saying Gulf Resources Development Corporation, the Iranian-owed Dubai company, has smuggled sizeable quantities of a type of graphite known as ceramic matrix composite, or CMC, from China to Iran.
The report has been confirmed by WND's own sources.
Ceramic matrix composite is an essential ingredient in the construction of nuclear weapons and helps to preserve highly enriched uranium. Without CMC insulation, highly enriched uranium cannot be placed in a bomb structure because of high radiation. Although CMC is a so-called "dual-use" item, international trading of CMC is prohibited for use in nuclear weapons under the Missile Technology Control Regime.
The Iranian Defense Ministry's front company set up its Dubai subsidiary in 1995. Iran has been using the Dubai-based company for over a decade to procure sensitive precursors for its secret military projects, taking advantage of the port's lax controls, free tax and convenient banking facilities, according to the report.
Worse yet, GRDC is not the only Iranian front company operating in Dubai, according to the report. As early as March 1989, a firm owned by the Indian government was reported to have shipped 60 tons of thionyl chloride, which can be used to manufacture mustard gas and nerve agents, to Iran via Dubai. In later years, Iran used front companies in Dubai to illegally import centrifuge parts, sensitive computer components, encryption devices and a range of blacklisted materials with military use.
An Iranian exile, Alireza Jafarzadeh, has made similar claims about GRDC's role in the production of Iran's nuclear weapons. Iran now reportedly is capable of producing its own CMC.
Because of its light weight, CMC is the key to longer-range nuclear missiles. Iran already boasts the capability of medium-range missiles that can strike most of Europe and all of the Middle East.
GRDC, while on a U.S. watch list of companies involved in illegal trading, operates freely in the UAE.