- The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation - http://blog.heritage.org -
Iran Nuclear Program Advances Amid Terrorism Reports
Posted By James Phillips On February 25, 2013 @ 1:38 pm In American Leadership | No Comments
Iran defiantly continues to expand its uranium enrichment program despite international sanctions and multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions, according to a report  from the International Atomic Energy Agency. Iran has begun installing advanced centrifuges  that will increase the rate of enrichment and reduce the amount of time it needs to acquire the fissile material for a nuclear weapon.
The report also indicated that Iran plans to begin operating a heavy water nuclear reactor at Arak in early 2014 that will be capable of producing enough plutonium to arm two nuclear bombs  per year. This will give Tehran a second route to a nuclear weapon.
On February 6, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rejected  the Obama Administration’s offer of bilateral talks on the nuclear issue, accusing the United States of “holding a gun before the Iranian nation and saying let’s talk, otherwise, we will shoot.” This rebuff lowered the already low expectations that multilateral talks set for February 26 in Kazakhstan will yield a breakthrough.
Meanwhile, there were new reports concerning Iranian support for terrorism and insurgencies on several fronts. Last Thursday, the Nigerian government announced that it had arrested members of an Iranian-trained “terror cell” that planned to attack  American and Israeli targets in Nigeria. This came shortly after Bahrain’s government accused Iran’s Revolutionary Guards of establishing a terrorist cell  that planned to attack Bahrain’s airport and Ministry of Interior.
Last Wednesday a member of the Iran-supported Hezbollah terrorist group admitted at his trial  in Cyprus that he gathered information about buses carrying Israeli tourists. He was arrested last July, shortly before five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver were killed in a Hezbollah bombing  of their bus in Burgas, Bulgaria.
The revelations in the trial in Cyprus will generate added pressure on the European Union to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, which is long overdue .
Iran has avoided paying a significant price for its long-running support for terrorism, and Iranian officials continue to be rewarded for their roles in Iran’s shadow war . This week one of them announced his candidacy  for the presidency in Iran’s June election: Ali Fallahian, a former intelligence minister who is wanted by Interpol due to his involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, that killed 85 people.
Iran’s bloody track record in exporting terrorism is a major reason that Tehran must be blocked from acquiring the world’s most terrifying weapons.
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/02/25/iran-nuclear-program-advances-amid-terrorism-reports/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/iranian-flag.jpg
 a report: http://www.isis-online.org/uploads/isis-reports/documents/IAEA_Iran_Safeguards_report_--_21_Feb_2013.pdf
 begun installing advanced centrifuges: http://news.yahoo.com/iran-installs-advanced-enrichment-centrifuges-iaea-164407221.html;_ylt=AjPbIjvJ2HMLCpQZ0R0QNAvNt.d_;_ylu=X3oDMTVxOXBoaHFmBGNjb2RlA2dtcHRvcDEwMDBwb29sd2lraXVwcmVzdARtaXQDQXJ0aWNsZSBNaXhlZCBMaXN0IE5ld3MgZm9yIFlvdSB3aXRoIE1vcmUgTGluawRwa
 arm two nuclear bombs: http://news.yahoo.com/iran-appears-advance-construction-arak-nuclear-plant-115811924.html
 rejected: http://www.iranwatch.org/update/index.html
 planned to attack: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/02/21/uk-nigeria-iran-idUKBRE91K08Y20130221
 terrorist cell: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-21522074
 admitted at his trial: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/21/world/europe/in-cyprus-trial-man-says-hezbollah-scouted-israeli-targets-in-europe.html?hp&_r=0
 bombing: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21342192
 long overdue: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/02/06/eu-must-take-action-against-hezbollah-terrorist-threat/
 shadow war: http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/uploads/Documents/pubs/PolicyFocus123.pdf
 announced his candidacy: http://www.rferl.org/content/iran-fallafian-candidacy-presidential-election/24907608.html
Copyright © 2011 The Heritage Foundation. All rights reserved.