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It Is Not A Good Idea
To Act As If You Can Not Accomplish
What You Were Elected To Do


Monday, March 05, 2012

"The" Meeting

VIENNA - Iran has tripled its monthly production of higher-grade enriched uranium and the UN nuclear watchdog has "serious concerns" about possible military dimensions to Tehran's atomic activities, the agency's chief said on Monday.

Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, also told the IAEA's 35-nation board of governors about the lack of progress in two rounds of talks between the Vienna-based UN agency and Tehran this year.


During meetings in the Iranian capital in January and February, Iranian officials stonewalled the IAEA's requests for access to a military site seen as central to its investigation into the nature of the Islamic state's nuclear activity.

"The agency continues to have serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear programme," Amano told the closed-door meeting, according to a copy of his speech.

The IAEA "is unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities," he added.

A report by the IAEA to member states last month said Iran was significantly stepping up uranium enrichment, a finding that sent oil prices higher on fears that tensions between Tehran and the West could boil over into military conflict.

Since the IAEA's previous report in November, Amano said Iran has tripled monthly production of uranium refined to a fissile concentration of 20 percent - well above the level usually needed to run nuclear power plants.

Though indicated by the IAEA's confidential report last month, it was the first time Amano spoke in public about this rapid increase in Iran's enrichment activities, which has stoked Western and Israeli suspicions about Tehran's nuclear agenda.

Despite intensive discussions with Iran, Amano said, there had been no agreement on a "structured approach" to resolve outstanding issues with its nuclear programme during the talks held in January and February.

Iran "did not address the agency's concerns in a substantive manner," Amano said.

Netanyahu could have stayed home. Today's meeting will be a waste of time. Obama made his point at the AIPAC Sunday.

Israel is on their own.

Two Israeli businessmen - one a relative of Yitzhak Rabin's, and the other a former aide to the murdered prime minister - once visited Bill Clinton's office, at their own request, to try to interest him in some venture. The former U.S. president listened with demonstrative courtesy, went out with them to the lobby and loudly told his staff to please let him know how the two young men were progressing. He then put an arm around the shoulders of one, shook the hand of the other and escorted them to the door with great affection.

"Hurrah!" crowed the former aide as they walked to the elevator. "Clinton will help us!"

"You didn't understand him," sighed his partner, more experienced in the ways of America. "He told us, 'Get out of my sight and don't waste my time.'"

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