1. Iran to Propose Third-Party Uranium Enrichment: Ahmadinejad
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Iran will propose that it is prepared to buy from a third party uranium enriched to the grade it requires for its Tehran reactor rather than carry out the enrichment itself, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday.
His remarks, ahead of Thursday talks in Geneva with six major world powers about Iran's nuclear programme, represent the first time Tehran has agreed to discuss specifics of its enrichment operations with the powers.
"One of the subjects on the agenda of this negotiation is how we can get fuel for our Tehran reactor," the president was quoted by ISNA news agency as saying.
"As I said in New York, we need 19.75 percent-enriched uranium. We said that, and we propose to buy it from anybody who is ready to sell it to us. We are ready to give 3.5 percent-enriched uranium and then they can enrich it more and deliver to us 19.75 percent-enriched uranium."
In New York last week, Ahmadinejad said Iran would seek to enrich uranium to 20 percent itself if it could not find the product in the market for its research reactor in Tehran.
The five megawatt plant was supplied by the United States before the 1979 Islamic revolution that toppled the US-backed shah. The reactor is under IAEA supervision.
In remarks to journalists on Wednesday, Ahmadinejad lashed out at criticisms over Iran's disclosure last week of a new enrichment plant and said his country would not be "harmed" by the outcome of the talks.
"The negotiators can definitely adopt any policy that they want, but we will not be harmed," the Fars new agency quoted the president as saying.
"Iran has prepared itself for any condition and our nation has learnt over the past 30 years to stand on its feet and change any circumstance to its benefit."
He also made the announcement about the enrichment proposal but the details were not immediately clear.
Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili is to meet representatives of Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.
World powers are piling pressure on Iran to come clean about its disputed nuclear activities. Uranium enrichment is the sensitive process that lies at the centre of Western concerns over Iran's real ambitions.
The process can produce the fuel for nuclear power or, in highly extended form, the fissile core of an atomic bomb.
Iran's current programme permits enrichment to reach five percent. A full 90 percent would be required to produce a bomb.
The IAEA said last week that Iran had informed it that it was building the new uranium enrichment plant near the central holy city of Qom.
The news sparked an international outcry and Washington called on Tehran to agree to "immediate, unfettered access" by IAEA inspectors to the site which is being built adjacent to a military base south of Tehran.
State television's website quoted Ahmadinejad as saying "the leaders of these countries made a historic mistake with their comments about the new plant.
"After this they also said Iran must give access to the facility as quickly as possible," the hardline president said.
"Who are you to tell the agency (International Atomic Energy Agency) and Iran what to do?" he added, referring to the UN nuclear watchdog.
Ahmadinejad said the Geneva talks give an "exceptional opportunity for US and a few European countries to correct the way they interact with other world nations."
As he left Tehran for Geneva on Wednesday, chief Iranian negotiator Saeed Jalili said he was adopting a "positive approach" towards the talks.
"We are going to Europe for this negotiation with a positive approach and I hope this is an opportunity for others also," Jalili he said.
Ahmadinejad's media advisor, Ali Akbar Javanfekr, warned that Iran would not allow "power and force to rule the negotiation".
"We remind the Western parties in the Geneva talks of the necessity of using the culture of negotiation and avoiding immoral concepts of stick and carrot," Javanfekr said in a statement to AFP.
Available at: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jIb4xkfE53XNXh72IJgcG3neBqVQ
2. Iran On the Wrong Side of Nuclear Law: IAEA Chief
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International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Mohamed ElBaradei is concerned over Iran's nuclear plans and blames Tehran for not informing them of their new nuclear plants.
ElBaradei spoke exclusively to CNN-IBN Deputy Foreign Affairs Editor Suhasini Haider in New Delhi.
CNN-IBN: In the last week, the world has seen dramatic revelations from Iran informing you that it has a second secret Uranium enrichment plant at Qom. Should the world be deeply concerned about the threat of a possible Iranian nuclear weapons programme?
Mohamed ElBaradei: The new facility that has been reported to us, unfortunately it has been a setback to the principle of transparency, and to the effort by the international community to build confidence about the Iranian nuclear programme because Iran has been on the wrong side of the law in so far as the IAEA regulation to inform the Agency at an earlier date.
Iran was supposed to inform us on the day it was decided to construct the facility. They have not done that. They are saying that this was meant to be a back-up facility in case we were attacked and so they could not tell us earlier on.
Nonetheless, they have been on the wrong side of the law, you know, in so far as informing the Agency about the construction, and as you have seen it, it has created concern in the international community. I talked to Dr Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran. He said the facility is far from being completed, there are no centrifuges in the facility, there is no nuclear material, it is simply still just ready in term of cables and construction.
But we need to go and impress on him that we need to go and our inspectors need to go as early as possible, to establish the facts, to discuss with them history, characteristics of that facility, and through that, again, provide assurance to the international community, that this facility is meant to be a facility devoted for peaceful purposes.
I think Iran will be well advised, as I have been saying for a while, to take the offer of US President Obama to engage into substantive negotiations without precondition, which is something new on the table, on the basis of mutual respect. There will be a meeting on October 1. I hope that meeting will usher in a comprehensive, meaningful dialogue.
CNN-IBN: Dr ElBaradei, you have been accused by many countries, including Israel, of giving Iran an easy pass in the past. As the head of the world's nuclear watchdog and looking at Iran's continued defiance, if you like, of that world order, do you think you failed to rein in Iran?
Mohamed ElBaradei: I don't think we failed a lot. I think all what the world knows about Iranian nuclear programme is the credit of the Agency in a systematic, methodical work for the last six years. And the idea that we have been soft or hard is absolutely bonkers, because we have been doing as much as we can. We cannot just barge into a facility.
We cannot force Iran to co-operate if they are not ready to co-operate. Recently, [they] have asked the Agency for assistance in getting fuel for its existing research reactor and asked the Agency to see whether we can be of help.
I was quite pleased to see that there is a very large amount of goodwill on the part of the suppliers to provide fuel for Iran for its research reactor in Teheran. The world is keen, is ready to help Iran to make full use of nuclear energy for nuclear purposes. But Iran too needs to do its bit.
CNN-IBN: Do you think that is at all likely? Because on one hand you are saying yourself that you are not able to verify but you would like to help Iran to get fuel for its research reactors?
Mohamed ElBaradei: We are able to verify. We are not able to verify as much as we want because they have not been implementing the so called additional protocol, which gives us more access to more information or to the location. But we have been able to verify all the declared nuclear activities in Iran.
Once a facility has been declared to us... Iran came to us a bit late but did declare to us. And of course, we will then go and make sure that we have proper verification. But we need the verification to make sure that there are no undeclared activities going on in Iran and that is the missing part that I would like to do.
I would also like, as I have said, to see Iran engaging in a meaningful way with the international community. It is instructive that even as late as yesterday, US President Obama repeated that still the US is ready to engage Iran, is ready to have a diplomatic dialogue with them.
That really gave me a lot of hope, because there is no other way. We have to stare each other in the eye and find a solution whereby we can live together.
CNN-IBN: Do you believe Iran has a nuclear weapons programme?
Mohamed ElBaradei: I do not think, based on what we see, that Iran has an on-going nuclear weapons programme. Whether they have done some weaponisation studies, as was claimed by the US and others, this is one of the issues that are still outstanding. But I have not seen any credible evidence to suggest that Iran has an on-going nuclear programme today. I hope that they are not having one.
Available at: http://ibnlive.in.com/news/iran-on-the-wrong-side-of-nuclear-law-iaea-chief/102408-3.html
3. Iran's Chief Negotiator "Positive" Ahead of Nuclear Talks
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Iran's chief nuclear negotiator said on Wednesday he was heading for potentially make-or-break talks with world powers on Tehran's controversial nuclear programme with a "positive approach."
"We are going to Europe for this negotiation with a positive approach and I hope this is an opportunity for others also," Saeed Jalili told reporters at Tehran airport before leaving for Thursday's negotiations in Geneva.
Atomic energy chief Ali Akbar Salehi had said Iran is ready to discuss world concerns about its previously undisclosed second enrichment plant, but insisted there can be no bargaining about Iran's right to master the nuclear fuel cycle at long-awaited talks with major powers.
Disclosure to the International Atomic Energy Agency last week of the plant cast a shadow over the talks in Geneva, with Washington calling on Tehran to agree to "immediate, unfettered access" by IAEA inspectors.
Uranium enrichment is the sensitive process that lies at the centre of Western concerns over Iran's nuclear programme, which Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States want the Geneva talks to address.
The process can produce the fuel for nuclear power or, in highly refined form, the fissile core of an atomic bomb.
The UN Security Council has imposed three sets of sanctions against Iran over its failure to heed repeated ultimatums to suspend enrichment.
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki meanwhile told UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that Tehran would not give up its "right" to nuclear technology.
"Iran in defending its absolute right to devekop civilian nuclear technology will never bow under political pressure. Iran will never renounce its right to develop civilian nuclear technology," he said, according to Irna news agency.
Washington has already expressed dissatisfaction with Iran's proposals for the Geneva talks, which focus on broader issues of global nuclear disarmament rather than its own programme in particular.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said on Tuesday the United States will bring up its concerns on Iran's uranium enrichment, even if Tehran refuses to discuss the issue.
Available at: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world/view/1008307/1/.html
4. Iran May Leave Nuclear Treaty If Talks With UN Powers Fail
Ali Sheikholeslami and Ladane Nasseri
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Iran may end its participation in the global nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty if talks this week fail to resolve the international dispute over the country’s atomic development, a member of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee said.
The West has always had a “carrots and sticks” approach to Iran, said lawmaker Mohammad Karami-Rad, who urged the powers to “end their excuses and negotiate on significant issues,” the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported. “If Iran remains under Zionist pressures and U.S. bullying and if the 5+1 talks fail, the parliament will take clear stands, such as quitting the NPT,” he said, referring to Israel and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.
Iran signed the treaty in 1970, effectively opening the way for nuclear inspections by the UN atomic agency to ensure that atomic material isn’t diverted to make weapons. Leaving the treaty may make inspections more difficult.
The Iranian parliament urged the leading UN powers to use the “historic opportunity” at the Geneva talks. In a statement, 239 lawmakers earlier today warned that the country may adopt other alternatives if the powers “repeat their mistakes,” IRNA reported.
A delegation from Iran will meet in Geneva on Oct. 1 with representatives of the world powers to discuss the Iranian uranium-enrichment program, a project that has prompted three sets of United Nations sanctions. Iran told the UN atomic agency on Sept. 21 that it’s building a second enrichment plant. The U.S., the U.K. and France on Sept. 25 demanded immediate access to the site by UN inspectors.
The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, said the country will “soon” schedule a visit by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors. Salehi also underlined the new plant will produce enriched uranium of no more than 5 percent, he said in an interview with the state-run Press TV channel yesterday. Iran “has taken all the precautionary steps to safeguard its nuclear facilities,” the top nuclear official also said.
The new facility has been positioned in a mountain near a military base to protect it from attack, the Associated Press reported, citing Salehi as saying.
Uranium enrichment is at the center of Western concerns about Iran’s nuclear program. The process isolates a uranium isotope needed to generate fuel for a nuclear power reactor; in higher concentrations it can be used to make a bomb. Iran denies it is developing a nuclear weapon and insists the enrichment is needed for civilian use, such as the production of electricity.
Iran’s construction of the underground plant may prompt additional economic sanctions, including restrictions on banking and on oil and gas technology, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates told CNN Sept. 27. Iran denies it violated the rules of the IAEA saying it complied with a requirement to notify the IAEA of the facility’s existence at least 18 months before uranium enters the plant.
Iran tested several missiles this week, including its two- stage, solid-fuel Sejil and the liquid-fuel Shahab-3, which both put Israel within reach. In May, Iran launched a Sejil-2, which it said has a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles).
The Obama administration said yesterday Iran’s missile test was typical of the “provocative” acts by the country.
Since 2005, when pressure on Iran has increased for it to limit its nuclear activities, Iranian officials have several times threatened to leave the NPT.
Available at: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aDEgmbz068GU
5. Iran Says Will Not Discuss Second Nuclear Plant
Parisa Hafezi and Steve Holland
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Iran said on Tuesday it would not discuss a previously secret nuclear plant at international talks this week but Washington vowed to bring it up and demanded Tehran prove it is not developing an atomic weapon.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, asked about Iran's insistence it would not discuss the facility in the Geneva talks, declared: "They may not, but we will."
Iranian officials and representatives of six major powers, including the United States, China and Russia, will hold talks on Tehran's nuclear ambitions in Geneva on Thursday. It is the first such encounter since U.S. President Barack Obama took office early this year promising more active U.S. diplomacy.
Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, made clear that Iran feels the newly disclosed uranium enrichment plant is off-limits for discussion.
"We are not going to discuss anything related to our nuclear rights, but we can discuss about disarmament, we can discuss about non-proliferation and other general issues," Salehi told a news conference.
"The new site is part of our rights and there is no need to discuss it," he said, adding Tehran would not abandon its nuclear activities "even for a second."
The back-and-forth suggested a tense atmosphere and little optimism ahead for the talks, after U.S. President Barack Obama joined with leaders of Britain and France last week to disclose the existence of the Iranian plant and call on Tehran to let the International Atomic Energy Agency inspect it.
Iran's IRNA news agency quoted MP Mohammad Karamirad, a conservative and member of parliament's foreign policy and national security commission, as saying Iran could close the door completely to cooperation with world nuclear authorities.
POSSIBLE NEW SANCTIONS
"If the Zionists and America continue their pressure on Iran and if the talks...do not reach a conclusion, then parliament will take a clear and transparent position, such as Iran's withdrawal from the NPT," he said.
Washington has suggested possible new sanctions on banking and the oil and gas industry if Tehran fails to assuage Western fears it seeks nuclear weapons. U.S. officials believe sanctions could now have more effect, playing on leadership divisions evident since a disputed Iranian presidential poll.
Gibbs, at a White House briefing, said the onus was on Iran "to demonstrate visibly for the world that they have a peaceful nuclear program designed for power and energy rather than a secret program to develop a nuclear weapon."
The United States and its Western allies have made clear they will focus on Iran's nuclear program at the Geneva meeting. Iran has offered wide-ranging security talks.
"My expectation, or my hope, is that we will be able to get...the guarantees from Tehran, that the program in which they are engaged in is a peaceful program," EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana told reporters in Gothenburg, Sweden.
"I don't think it will be easy to ask for, but we will continue to engage."
Statements from Tehran on Tuesday allowed some ambiguity on Iran's readiness to talk.
"The site, we can call it a small Natanz site, is a way to show that Iran ... not even for a second will stop its nuclear activities," Atomic Energy Organization head Ali Akbar Salehi said, referring to its existing underground plant near the central city of Natanz.
He described the new facility as a "contingency plant" in case the Natanz site was threatened by military action.
Washington has not ruled out military action if it believed Tehran was close to developing a nuclear weapons but says it favors diplomatic action.
U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the United States would not make a "snap judgment" after the talks but would take a more measured view of Iran's overall willingness to engage on the nuclear issue.
But he added that Iran should take heed of Obama's warning that he wanted progress by the end of the year.
Iranian state Press TV quoted Salehi as saying on Monday Tehran was in contact with the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over a date for inspection of the plant.
Iranian missile tests on Sunday and Monday added to tension with Western powers, who fear a hardline leadership in the Islamic Republic could ultimately use a threat of nuclear attack to pursue its political ends in the Middle East and beyond.
Russia, though cautious on sanctions, has expressed concern about Iranian missile launches and about Tehran's nuclear program. President Dmitry Medvedev has said "other means" could be employed if Geneva talks failed.
But Interfax news agency quoted a senior Russian diplomat as saying missile tests should not be used as an additional argument for imposing sanctions on Tehran.
The Geneva meeting is the first such encounter since the June re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stirred mass protests in Tehran and signs of division in the leadership over accusations of vote fixing.
Available at: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090929/ts_nm/us_nuclear_iran
6. Iran's New Uranium Enrichment Site Was Built to Withstand Aerial Attack, Nuclear Chief Says
Ali Akbar and George Jahn
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In an unusually frank disclosure, Iran’s nuclear chief said Tuesday that the country’s new uranium enrichment site was built for maximum protection from aerial attack: carved into a mountain and near a military compound of the powerful Revolutionary Guard.
Iran’s revelation that it covertly built a second uranium enrichment plant has raised international concerns that other secret nuclear sites might exist as well.
Iranian nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi’s statement came with a hard-line message ahead of crucial talks this week with the U.S. and other world powers: Iran will not give up its ability to produce nuclear fuel.
Details emerging about the secret site near the holy city of Qom have heightened suspicions that Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb despite repeated denials.
Salehi, who is vice president and head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, spoke at a news conference that touched on military and nuclear issues rarely discussed publicly in Iran.
The effort at openness was seen as an attempt to counter international dismay over the nuclear site and a new round of missile tests this week.
He said Iran is willing to have a general discussion about nuclear technology when it meets Thursday in Geneva with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany.
But he insisted that Iran will not give up its "right" to uranium enrichment, which produces fuel that can be used for nuclear energy or weapons.
"We will never bargain over our sovereign right," Salehi said.
The U.S. and its allies have demanded that Iran come clean on all its nuclear activities or face harsher international sanctions.
President Barack Obama plans to push for new sanctions if Iran does not comply with international demands, U.S. officials said.
Available at: http://www.star-telegram.com/279/story/1645187.html
7. Solana's Presumptions Before Nuclear Talks With Iran
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Two days before the high-level talks begin in Geneva on Iran's nuclear program, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana asserts that Iran should provide “guarantees” on its enrichment program.
“My expectation, or my hope, is that we will be able to get engaged in order to get the guarantees from Tehran, that the program in which they are engaged in is a peaceful program,” Solana told reporters at an EU defense conference in Gothenburg, Sweden. Solana claimed that Iran would have a hard time proving that its nuclear program is solely for civilian purposes, but the P5+1 is nevertheless determined to keep in touch with the Tehran government.
'P5+1' refers to the group of five permanent members of the UN Security Council, UK, US, France, China, and Russia, plus Germany.
Iranian officials say the long-awaited talks would provide a good opportunity to discuss a whole range of regional and global issues.
Washington, taking and active participation in the talks for the first time, has made the repeated claim that it will 'make sure' that the meeting would focus on Tehran's nuclear case.
Iranian officials have in turn emphasized that they have no objections to the talks, though they will not compromise on the country's inalienable nuclear rights.
Washington and European powers have been accusing Tehran of refining uranium for nuclear weapons development, despite many evidences to the contrary. Iran, however, continues to dismiss the allegation, saying its nuclear activities are solely aimed at peaceful energy production and under close monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Iranians see nuclear development as a sign of national independence, similar to its oil industry, nationalized in 1951, in spite of fierce Western opposition and interference.
The Mossadeq government, which led the oil nationalization movement was brought down in the 1953 coup d'état engineered by the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Available at: http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=107428§ionid=351020104
Washington’s number two diplomat said the United States is open to dialogue with North Korea if it helps get international nuclear disarmament talks started again, and urged the regime yesterday to take advantage of the opportunity.
North Korea has been insisting on one-on-one talks with the United States after quitting broader six-nation talks on its nuclear program in April.
Washington, which had demanded that the North first return to the talks, is now considering direct talks to push disarmament discussions forward.
“There’s a tremendous opportunity now for them to take a constructive measure,’’ Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg told reporters in Seoul after meeting with South Korean officials.
“They’ve certainly given some indication that they understand the value of reengagement, and we would like to see them take advantage of that.’’
Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency stressed yesterday that the nuclear dispute is strictly a matter between the North and the United States, rejecting as “rubbish’’ and “ridiculous’’ South Korean President Lee Myung-bak’s recent proposal aimed at resolving the dispute.
North Korea has long claimed that what it calls the US “hostile policy’’ and nuclear threats against the regime forced it to develop atomic bombs.
Pyongyang’s Foreign Ministry later said the North wants a nuclear-free Korean peninsula, but its denuclearization efforts will be made “in relation to the US policy’’ toward it.
Available at: http://www.boston.com/news/world/asia/articles/2009/10/01/diplomat_says_us_open_to_nuclear_dialogue_with_n_korea/
2. North Korea's Rejection of 'Grand Bargain' Offer Regrettable: Seoul Ministry
Yonhap News Agency
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South Korea expressed regret Thursday over North Korea's terse response to Seoul's "serious proposal," dubbed a "grand bargain," for a resolution to the decades-long nuclear standoff.
South Korea is in consultation with the U.S., China, Russia, and Japan over how to implement President Lee Myung-bak's recent offer to provide Pyongyang with security assurances and other incentives in return for its irreversible dismantlement of key components of its nuclear program. Lee said the world should seek a one-shot deal, not phased negotiations.
Breaking its silence on the "grand bargain," unveiled last week during Lee's speech in New York, North Korea's official news agency KCNA said Wednesday the offer is nothing more than a ridiculous proposal not worthy of consideration. In a commentary, the KCNA said the nuclear problem is a bilateral issue between Pyongyang and Washington.
Seoul's foreign ministry said the North's negative response was regrettable.
"It is regrettable that North Korea's state-run media voiced a negative response to our serious proposal," ministry spokesman Moon Tae-young told a press briefing.
He played down the KCNA's commentary, however, saying it would be difficult to regard it as a formal response by the North's authorities.
"Furthermore, we have not presented detailed contents of the grand bargain plan yet. So we will continue efforts to attain the denuclearization of North Korea through it," Moon added.
Available at: http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/northkorea/2009/10/01/89/0401000000AEN20091001005300315F.HTML
A top US envoy in Japan on Thursday wrapped up a week-long tour of five Asian countries that was focused in part on pushing communist North Korea to return to nuclear disarmament talks.
US Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg was in Asia days before Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao travels to Pyongyang Sunday and ahead of an October 10 Beijing summit of the leaders of China, Japan and South Korea.
Steinberg reiterated during his trip Washington's stance that it is willing to hold direct talks with Pyongyang -- but only to bring it back to six-party disarmament talks also involving South Korea, China, Russia and Japan.
Pyongyang, which has raised regional tensions with two nuclear tests, quit the forum in protest at a UN censure of its long-range rocket launch in April.
On Thursday Steinberg met Japan's new Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada. They were joined by Sung Kim and Akitaka Saiki, respectively the US and Japanese envoys to the stalled six-party talks.
Japan's new centre-left government has indicated it would review some aspects of military cooperation with the United States and seek a "more equal" partnership, but has also vowed a continued tough line against North Korea.
After his Tokyo meetings, Steinberg told journalists: "I'm delighted at the warm reception that we received and a strong sense of the importance of the US-Japan alliance and our partnership moving forward."
In his earlier talks with Japanese deputy foreign minister Mitoji Yabunaka, Steinberg discussed issues including North Korea and Myanmar as well as Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran, a foreign ministry statement said.
They also talked about international challenges such as global warming and nuclear disarmament, in addition to bilateral issues, it said.
Steinberg earlier visited Vietnam, Malaysia, China and South Korea.
Available at: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20091001/pl_afp/japanusnkoreanuclearweapons
4. Fresh South Korea Nuclear Proposal "Ridiculous": North
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North Korea Wednesday rejected a proposal by South Korea's president for a fresh deal to end its nuclear arms program in return for massive aid, which he has said was possibly Pyongyang's last chance at survival.
In separate comments, the North Korean foreign ministry pledged to end the country's nuclear ambitions but only on the condition that Washington stopped threatening its existence, repeating a long-standing justification for its atomic drive.
South Korea and the United States have been consulting on a new and comprehensive package of incentives for the North that would consolidate measures to end Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions as laid out in a stalled 2005 disarmament deal.
"The nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula should be settled between (North Korea) and the U.S. from every aspect as it is a product of the latter's hostile policy toward the former," the North's official KCNA news agency said.
"(South Korean officials) are seriously mistaken if they calculate the DPRK (North Korea) would accept the ridiculous 'proposal' for 'the normalization of relations' with someone and for some sort of 'economic aid.'"
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said on the sidelines of a G20 summit last week that the existing process to disarm the reclusive state had been slow and was now defunct.
"In order for us to really accurately assess North Korea's true intent, that is the reason I proposed a grand bargain, whereby we will really have to deal with this in a one-shot deal and to try to bring about a fundamental resolution," Lee said.
North Korea has long said it was ready to drop its nuclear program if the United States ended what Pyongyang says is a hostile policy toward it. Washington has said it had no intention to attack the North.
"We will as before strive to build a world without nuclear arms and to realize a Korean peninsula free of nuclear weapons in association with the U.S. hostile policy against us," the North's foreign ministry spokesman said in comments carried by KCNA.
But the unnamed spokesman rejected a Security Council resolution adopted last week that called for global nuclear disarmament as "based on a double standard" that "did not reflect the hopes and will of the overall international community."
The Security Council at a summit chaired by U.S. President Barack Obama unanimously approved a resolution for a nuclear-free world without naming either North Korea or Iran, which the West considers top atomic threats.
U.S. and North Korean officials are expected to sit down for talks that could lead to the resumption of six-country nuclear negotiations, but Washington has warned that the discussions would not be a separate negotiation channel.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg said in Seoul Wednesday that U.S. envoys would be willing to consult directly with the North Koreans to help Pyongyang recommit to ending its nuclear program and that he was optimistic about such talks.
"They've certainly given some indication that they understand the value of re-engagement and we would like to see them take advantage of that," he said after meeting South Korean officials.
Steinberg said he backed Lee's proposal for a condensed package deal to resolve the crisis.
"What we all agree is that we've lived through the history before of partial measures and reversible measures. What we need is a comprehensive and definitive resolution of the nuclear question."
Available at: http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSTRE58T1RS20090930
5. North Korea Promises UN it Will Combat Nuclear Proliferation
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North Korea’s atomic weapons were for deterrent purposes only and will be handled “in a responsible manner” to ensure there was no nuclear proliferation, a senior official said on Monday.
But in a speech to the UN General Assembly, Vice Foreign Minister Pak Kil-yon said the Korean peninsula could only be denuclearised if the United States abandoned a policy of “confrontation” with Pyongyang. Pak’s speech came less than four weeks after the communist state said it was in the final stage of enriching uranium, a process that would give it a second path to making a nuclear weapon. Hitherto it has mostly used plutonium.
In May, North Korea conducted a second nuclear test. Before that, US officials said it had produced about 50 kg of plutonium, which experts say would be enough for six to eight weapons. North Korea has not shown, however, that it has a working nuclear bomb.
US threats: Charging that Washington had made nuclear threats against North Korea, Pak said Pyongyang had concluded it had no choice but to “rely on our dependable nuclear possession to ensure nuclear balance of the region.”
But, he said, “The mission of our nuclear weapon is to deter a war. We will only possess nuclear deterrent to such an extent as to deter military attack and its threat against our country.” North Korea, he said, “while in possession of nuclear weapons, will act in a responsible manner in management, use and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons as well as in nuclear disarmament.”
Pak said Pyongyang had always sought denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, but for that, “the US administration must discard (its) old concept of confrontation and show the ‘change’ in practice, as it recently stated on several occasions.” The minister said it was North Korea’s policy to react to dialogue with dialogue but he made no direct reference to nuclear talks among the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States, which halted about a year ago.
Pak launched a stinging attack on the UN Security Council saying the 15-nation body had “become more arrogant, resulting in further inequality and prevalent double standards in international relations.” Pak proposed that Security Council decisions should be submitted to the 192-nation General Assembly for approval.
Available at: http://www.paktribune.com/news/index.php?id=219778
In a clear manifestation of India's frustration, as also its unwavering stand, in the face of renewed attempts by the Obama administration to prop up Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which New Delhi considers discriminatory, PM Manmohan Singh on Tuesday stated that for any non-proliferation attempt to be successful it was important to link it with complete nuclear disarmament.
Clearly preparing the ground for India to handle any international pressure, Singh asserted that the global non-proliferation regime had failed to prevent nuclear proliferation and that this had adversely affected India's security. Singh made the remarks while inaugurating an international conference on peaceful uses of atomic energy organised by DAE, IAEA and Indian Nuclear Society to commemorate the birth centenary of Homi Bhabha.
"It is a matter of regret that the global non-proliferation regime has not succeeded in preventing nuclear proliferation. Its deficiencies in fact have had an adverse impact on our security. Global non-proliferation, to be successful, should be universal, comprehensive and non-discriminatory and linked to the goal of complete nuclear disarmament," said Singh.
"The specter of nuclear terrorism is a formidable challenge facing the entire global community. At the UN General Assembly India has been sponsoring a resolution calling for measures to address this threat," he added.
While Singh said that India supported Obama's "timely initiative" to convene a global summit on nuclear security in 2010, his strongly-worded remarks coming so close after the US sponsored UNSC resolution on non-proliferation passed recently are being seen as India's warning against any attempt to, as a participant in the conference put it, shove NPT down its throat.
Singh further said that India remained committed to its voluntary, unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing and that it was proud of its non-proliferation record. "India is proud of its non-proliferation record and is committed to global efforts for preventing the proliferation of all weapons of mass destruction. As a nuclear weapon state and a responsible member of the international community we will participate constructively in the negotiations of FMCT in the Conference on Disarmament," said Singh, adding that India was committed to not transferring sensitive technologies and equipment to other countries that do not possess them.
He lamented the fact that Jawaharlal Nehru's call for abandoning weapons of mass destruction went unheeded in 1950s.
Singh also said that the Indian nuclear industry was in for a major expansion and that it could yield 4,70,000 MW power by the year 2050. "If we can manage our programme well, our three-stage strategy could yield potentially 470,000 MW of power by the year 2050. This will sharply reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and will be a major contribution to global efforts to combat climate change," he said.
On the civil nuclear initiative, Singh said a number of agreements and reciprocal commitments were concluded to allow the resumption of full civil nuclear cooperation between India and the international community.
"We look forward to their full and effective implementation in the coming months and years," he said, adding that the return of India to the international nuclear global mainstream is of high significance not only for India but for global energy security as well.
The PM said such harnessing of nuclear energy will sharply reduce the country's dependence on fossil fuels and make a major contribution to global efforts to combat climate change.
India was ready to contribute to global research and development into new proliferation-resistant fuel cycles, Singh said, noting that as a supplier nation it would support efforts to set up an international fuel bank.
Available at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/news/india/PM-First-N-disarmament-then-NPT/articleshow/5069526.cms
1. Multiparty Nuclear Dialogue Starts Today in Geneva
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Talks between six world powers and Iran over the issue of Tehran's nuclear program will open today in Geneva. Five of the countries - the United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom and France - are permanent member of the UN Security Council, with Germany taking the sixth slot.
The talks are slated to be held at a suburban villa, but the exact location is being kept secret.
American sources said yesterday that the talks will fail if Iran maintains its refusal for meaningful dialogue of the nuclear issue. While some officials have said they are coming to the table with a "positive attitude," others have expressed an unwillingness to discuss the nuclear program.
Talks have been held between Iran and the United States in the past on a variety of issues, including Afghanistan and Iraq, but this will be the first time in many years delegates of the two countries will sit at a table to discuss shared concerns, leading with the question of Iranian nuclear capability.
The American delegation to Geneva is led by William Burns, the undersecretary of state for political affairs. European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana will be representing the three EU states at the talk, and Russia, France and Germany will also be represented by the directors-generals of their foreign ministries.
The Iranian delegation will be led by Supreme National Security Council chief Saeed Jalili, who also holds the nuclear portfolio in his government.
A statement by the parties to the press is expected at 6 P.M. Israel time.
U.S. sources said yesterday that the success of the talks will be measured by an agreement to stage a second round. They said that the American and Iranian representative may, at some stage, hold a special meeting to discuss the relationship between the two countries.
Jalili said before leaving to Geneva that the Iranian delegation was arriving "with a positive attitude." He also said the talks depend on the superpowers' goodwill, but other Iranian officials had said they were not willing to discuss the nuclear program at all.
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki arrived in Washington yesterday, but the American administration stressed he was coming to examine the country's unofficial diplomatic office in Washington, and no high-level meetings were planned.
Observers note that all parties understand the talks represent a near-last chance for progress, and should they fail, the next American move will be attempting to secure Chinese and Russian support in the Security Council for strict sanctions on Iran.
Such sanctions might include an embargo on refined oil exports to Iran. Should UN sanctions fail, however, the United States is likely to begin applying sanctions to banks and other commercial companies with ties to Iran - such as in the case of the city of Los Angeles canceling a $300 million contract with Siemens over the German conglomerate's connections with Tehran.
Available at: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1118002.html
A U.S. nuclear cooperation agreement with the United Arab Emirates is expected to go into force within the next month, despite concerns raised by some members of Congress about the moderate Gulf state's ties with Iran, congressional and industry sources said on Tuesday.
The pact, which President Barack Obama approved in May and sent to Congress for a 90-day review period, is potentially worth billions of dollars to General Electric and Westinghouse Electric, a subsidiary of Toshiba Corp.
The UAE was the third-largest oil exporter in 2007. But it is planning to build a number of nuclear reactors to meet an expected need for an additional 40,000 megawatts of electricity and is expected to award the primary contract soon.
Some U.S. lawmakers question whether the UAE is taking effective steps to prevent U.S. nuclear technology from falling into the hands of Iran, which the United States and other Western powers suspect of wanting to build a nuclear bomb.
Concerns about Iran's nuclear program have grown within the past week after Tehran disclosed it was building a second uranium enrichment plant.
"The State Department has failed to adequately respond to congressional inquiries regarding the proposed U.S.-UAE nuclear cooperation agreement, especially the status of the UAE's export control laws and ties to the Iranian regime," Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said earlier this month.
"Without written assurances on these critical issues, this agreement will be a 'leap in the dark' with unpredictable consequences for U.S. security and will set a troubling precedent for all future agreements in the region," she said.
Ros-Lehtinen, the top Republican on the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, has crafted a bill that would prevent the pact from going into effect until Obama certifies the UAE has met certain conditions on its export controls program and has blocked assistance to Iran's nuclear weapons and advanced conventional weapons program.
But as yet, there is no sign of a congressional uproar over the civilian nuclear deal like the one that erupted when state-owned Dubai Ports World acquired U.S. port facilities as part of its purchase of P&O in 2006.
STATE DEPARTMENT HAILS 'UNPRECEDENTED COMMITMENTS'
Obama underscored his support for the pact this month during a White House meeting with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, one of the seven emirates that comprise the UAE.
Obama also congratulated the UAE for being chosen to host the new International Renewable Energy Agency.
U.S. Undersecretary of State Ellen Tauscher has told lawmakers the UAE made a number of "unprecedented commitments" to ensure it would not use American technology to develop a nuclear weapon or help others in the region do so.
"The UAE's expressed commitment not to pursue enrichment and reprocessing capabilities is a marked contrast to Iran, which continues to defy its international obligations," Tauscher said in July.
The earliest the pact could go into effect is October 17, depending on the number of days Congress is formally in session, a congressional aide said.
Danny Sebright, president of the U.S.-UAE Business Council, said he was optimistic the pact would take force soon and a consortium including U.S. companies had a good chance of winning the primary contract.
"I don't know of any last-moment efforts by folks to derail this," Sebright said.
A congressional aide, who asked not to be identified, also said there did not appear now to be enough opposition in Congress to stop the pact. "It looks like it would be too much of a hurdle," the aide said.
Available at: http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE58S6OS20090929
1. India Promises 12,000% Boost in Nuclear Capacity by 2050
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India announced the world’s boldest nuclear power development plan yesterday, saying that it could boost its atomic capacity by 12,000 per cent by 2050 to end crippling power shortages while limiting carbon emissions.
Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister, predicted that India could produce 470 gigawatts of nuclear power by 2050, compared with the 3.8GW currently produced by its 17 reactors.
India’s target is almost five times the current nuclear power capacity of the United States — the world’s biggest producer with 100GW, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
It far outstrips predicted US nuclear capacity in 2050 as well as China’s plans — previously the world’s most ambitious — to increase the power generated by its reactors from the current 9GW to about 300GW by that year.
“Our nuclear industry is poised for a major expansion and there will be huge opportunities for the global nuclear industry,” Dr Singh told an atomic energy conference in Delhi. “This will sharply reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and will be a major contribution to global efforts to combat climate change.”
India also announced yesterday that US companies would be allowed to set up “nuclear parks” at two sites in the states of Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh under a landmark bilateral nuclear deal.
The deal — struck in 2005 but approved by the US Congress only last year — lifts a ban on India buying US nuclear technology and fuel that was imposed after Delhi tested its first nuclear weapon in 1974.
Alan McDonald, an expert on nuclear power at the IAEA, told The Times that before the US deal India had set a target of generating about 270GW of nuclear power by 2050.
He said the new target was roughly in line with the IAEA’s upper estimates up until 2030, but questioned how India would maintain momentum up until 2050.
“That kind of growth for a decade is not unprecedented but maintaining it over four decades is probably a challenge,” he said.
Mr McDonald said that the success of the plan would depend on factors including the cost of nuclear reactors, the price of fossil fuels and international efforts to impose binding caps on carbon emissions.
Many other experts also doubt that India will meet its target given the bureaucratic corruption and inefficiency that has stalled so many other infrastructure projects. Nevertheless, they welcome the Government’s new willingness to outline plans to meet India’s energy needs at the same time as tackling climate change.
India’s total power generation capacity is currently only 150GW — less than a fifth of China’s — and demand outstripped supply by 9.5 per cent between 2008-09, according to the Power Ministry. An estimated 600 million Indians are still not connected to the national grid.
India has long resisted Western pressure to agree to binding cuts on carbon emissions, arguing that it must first generate enough power to serve its 1.1 billion people.
It has recently announced a series of proposals that have wrong-footed Western critics in the run-up to a UN conference on climate change in Copenhagen in December.
India unveiled the world’s biggest solar power development plan last month, pledging to increase capacity from 0 to 20GW by 2020.
The Government said this month that it was drafting legislation to set non-binding targets for mitigating carbon emissions. It agreed last week to provide annual updates on its progress to the UN.
Available at: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6854501.ece
2. United States and Italy Sign Agreements to Advance Developments in Nuclear Energy
Department of Energy
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U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Italian Minister for Economic Development Claudio Scajola today signed two important nuclear energy agreements that may lead to construction of new nuclear power plants and improved cooperation on advanced nuclear energy systems and fuel cycle technologies in both countries.
The U.S.-Italy Joint Declaration Concerning Industrial and Commercial Cooperation in the Nuclear Energy Sector, which was signed on behalf of the United States by Secretary Chu and Deputy Secretary of Commerce Dennis F. Hightower, affirms the strong interest of the United States and Italy to encourage their respective nuclear industries to seek opportunities for the construction of new nuclear power plants. Read the Joint Declaration in English or in Italian.
“The agreements reached today reflect our vision for strong partnerships with nations around the world to help address our shared climate and energy challenges,” said Secretary Chu. “Nuclear power will play a key role in the production of low-carbon energy in the years and decades to come, and we look forward to working with Italy and the U.S. private sector to advance these important technologies.”
“Clean and efficient energy technologies, including nuclear power, will be a cornerstone of a vibrant and prosperous 21st century economy,” Deputy Secretary Hightower said. “American companies can offer Italy world-class nuclear energy solutions while strengthening our own domestic industry.”
Secretary of Energy Chu and Minister Scajola also signed a bilateral Agreement on Cooperation in Civilian Nuclear Energy Research and Development, which will facilitate cooperation between DOE and Italy’s Ministry for Economic Development in the areas of advanced nuclear energy systems and associated fuel cycle technologies. Both parties will collaborate in research and development of advanced technologies for improving the cost, safety, and proliferation-resistance of nuclear power systems. The agreement will also expand efforts to promote and maintain nuclear science and engineering infrastructure and expertise in each country. View the R&D Cooperation Agreement.
Italy will be an important partner in building international consensus and momentum on our shared nuclear energy and nonproliferation agenda. The United States looks forward to working with Italy at the Nuclear Security Summit in April 2010.
Available at: http://www.energy.gov/news2009/8086.htm
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