IAEA report shows evidence of Iranian nuclear arms development

IAEA report shows evidence of an Iranian nuclear threat On Tuesday, the United Nation’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a report stating they had found evidence that presents a “credible” case that “Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear device,” but fell short of concluding that Iran is in ...

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547458_111109_0_1319213072.jpg

IAEA report shows evidence of an Iranian nuclear threat

On Tuesday, the United Nation's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a report stating they had found evidence that presents a "credible" case that "Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear device," but fell short of concluding that Iran is in pursuit of a full-scale weapons program. The research went far deeper than in the past, coming from over 10 countries and independent sources and supported by interviews with foreigners who said they had helped Iran in the process. The findings show designs for nuclear explosives and missile warheads and suggest secret research may continue, but do not offer a time estimate for the attainment of a nuclear weapon. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denied the claims saying the IAEA was siding with "absurd" U.S. accusations. He insisted "This nation won't retreat one iota from the path it is going," maintaining that the technology is being developed for civilian purposes. Despite recent speculation, Israel and the United States withheld comments in the interest of further study of the report. France threatened increased sanctions and called for a U.N. Security Council meeting, calling the report "a real source of worry." Meanwhile, China said it "advocates using peaceful means to resolve the Iran nuclear issue."

Headlines  

IAEA report shows evidence of an Iranian nuclear threat

On Tuesday, the United Nation’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a report stating they had found evidence that presents a “credible” case that “Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear device,” but fell short of concluding that Iran is in pursuit of a full-scale weapons program. The research went far deeper than in the past, coming from over 10 countries and independent sources and supported by interviews with foreigners who said they had helped Iran in the process. The findings show designs for nuclear explosives and missile warheads and suggest secret research may continue, but do not offer a time estimate for the attainment of a nuclear weapon. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denied the claims saying the IAEA was siding with “absurd” U.S. accusations. He insisted “This nation won’t retreat one iota from the path it is going,” maintaining that the technology is being developed for civilian purposes. Despite recent speculation, Israel and the United States withheld comments in the interest of further study of the report. France threatened increased sanctions and called for a U.N. Security Council meeting, calling the report “a real source of worry.” Meanwhile, China said it “advocates using peaceful means to resolve the Iran nuclear issue.”

Headlines  

  • A Tunisian appeals court ruled to extradite former Libyan Prime Minister al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi back to Libya at the request of the National Transitional Council.
  • A U.N. Security Council committee draft report on full Palestinian membership is set to fail as deadlock between the 15 members will keep it from garnering the required unanimous consent
  • Outside the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, protesters threw eggs at the opposition National Coordination Committee delegation over concerns it would negotiate with the Syrian regime.
  • The U.S. military has handed over control to the Iraqi government of its second largest base in Iraq, Joint Base Balad, leaving 11 out of 505 U.S. bases remaining.

Daily Snapshot

Ultra Orthodox Jewish pilgrims get into a bus near the concrete walls protecting Rachel’s Tomb, Judaism’s third holiest shrine, located in the West Bank town of Bethlehem on November 8, 2011 as thousands attend the annual Memorial Day for the Jewish Matriarch Rachel (MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images).  

Arguments & Analysis

‘Tunisia moves to the next stage’ (Issandr El Amrani & Ursula Lindsey, Middle East Report online)

“Ennahda’s strong showing was to a large degree expected. But two different interpretations of this result have emerged since the October 23 poll: One points out that while Ennahda came in first, it does not have a majority and that the next six, mostly secular, parties can balance its weight in the constituent assembly. The other is that while Ennahda is for now being modest and cautious about its win — and may have tried to ensure it did not obtain a majority, as several leaders clearly stated a majority would not be in their interest — its base of supporters probably vastly outweighs that of any single non-Islamist party. Indeed, in terms of the nationwide popular vote, no secular party obtained more than 8 percent (compared to Ennahda’s 37 percent) and even if one combines the next eight parties after Ennahda, they account for only 25 percent of the ballots. While the electoral system allows other parties to be disproportionally represented, in other words, Ennahda appears to have a position of structural dominance among the electorate.” 

‘Can Israel live with the Iranian bomb?’ (Carlo Strenger, Haaretz)

“It may well be that Israel will have to get used to the idea of a nuclear Iran. Israel’s public, raised on the notion that the IDF can solve anything, needs to undergo a profound change. We must get used to think in different terms; strategy is about risk management, not about the total elimination of risks. This does not mean that Israel and the Free World should not do what can be done realistically and without catastrophic consequences to prevent Iran from getting the bomb. But it means that we must also to prepare for life with a nuclear Iran. This is not a defeatist position, it’s just realistic. The U.S. had to learn to live with the Soviet Union going nuclear, and then China. India and Pakistan, both nuclear powers, have lived in a standoff and a cold war that flares up periodically for decades. Joining the club of powers that live in a nuclear balance of mutual deterrence may not be our favorite option. But it may help to remember that it is a club that has been in existence for quite some time.”

‘The Turkish model: for whom?’ (Pinar Ilkkaracan, Open Democracy)

T”he last positive piece of legislation in Turkey [concerning women’s rights] was the reform of the Penal Code in 2004. Many commentators have been totally celebratory about these gains as though they were achieved once and for all. In fact, we have since been witnessing a significant backlash and a process of backsliding. But before we talk about this process, let me point out that we have been working closely with our counterparts in the MENA region since 1999 in a network of about 45 institutions in the Coalition of Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR) whose members are involved in advocacy work for women’s rights and sexual and reproductive health and rights at the national level. Organizations such as ATFD and AFTURD in Tunisia, EIPR and the New Woman Foundation in Egypt and Sister’s Arabic Forum in Yemen, to mention but a few, have been at the forefront of the Arab spring. They were initially exhilarated by the developments and we exchanged euphoric e-mails. However, within a month we started hearing they were increasingly concerned and depressed. At the general assembly of CSBR which took place in May 2011 in Istanbul deep concerns were voiced by members. It seems very clear that the MENA region needs to be very alert for at least the coming decade and that these will be extremely dangerous times for sustaining a gender equality agenda. As for seeking guidance from the “Turkish model” the record on women’s rights is far from rosy.”

Recent posts on the Channel

‘Americans, put away your quills’ by Nathan J. Brown

‘Kurdish nationalism in the aftermath of the Arab Spring’ by Michael M. Gunter

‘China’s emerging twin pillar policy in the Gulf’ by Geoffrey F. Gresh

‘Oman, kind of not quiet’ by Ra’id Zuhair al-Jamali

‘Keeping it in the family’ by Jane Kinninmon

    <p>Mary Casey-Baker is the editor of Foreign Policy’s Middle East Daily Brief, as well as the assistant director of public affairs at the Project on Middle East Political Science and assistant editor of The Monkey Cage blog for the Washington Post. </p> Twitter: @casey_mary

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