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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-04-29

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Ready for Inspections
  • [02] Oil Soars after UN Report
  • [03] New Al-Qaeda Video

  • [01] If Security Council Drops the Case Ready for Inspections

    29 Apr 2006 11:47:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Sources: NET, Reuters

    As per Mohammad Saeedi, Vice-President of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation, Iran will allow inspections of its nuclear facilities, provided the UN Security Council returns the case to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). However, he added that the uranium enrichment programme would continue. On the other hand, intense diplomatic battles and mounting international pressures followed the harsh report on Irans nuclear programme by IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei. US President George Bush clarified that Iran would have to be convinced to abandon its weapons ambitions peacefully and advised calmness, although insisting that Tehran should not acquire a nuclear arsenal. "Its very important for the Iranians to understand there is a common desire by a lot of nations in this world to convince them - peacefully convince them - that they ought to give up their weapons ambitions." The international community is now discussing ways to convince Iran to give up all plans to create a nuclear arsenal. Senior diplomats from the USA, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany are expected to meet and discuss the problem on 2 May. In addition, the UN Security Council is planning to convene on 3 May to discuss the IAEAs report on Iran, while the foreign ministers of the USA, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany are scheduled to meet at the UN headquarters on 9 May.

    Uranium Enrichment to Continue

    "The enrichment will continue. But [...] we will continue implementing the Additional Protocol as a voluntary measure," declared Saeedi Saturday on Iranian state TV. "If the case returns to the agency again, we will begin the section that concerns the Additional Protocol," he added. The Additional Protocol of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) allows inspections to be carried out at short notice, but Iran halted snap inspections in February.

    The IAEAs report on Iran, which was submitted to the UN Security Council, was not that favourable towards President Mahmoud Ahmadinejads regime. It mentioned that Iran is continuing its uranium enrichment programme, defying the international community. In his significant report, ElBaradei also noted that Iran had successfully enriched uranium and was continuing its nuclear activities, despite pressures from the Security Council. He further pointed out that Iran was not fully cooperating with the IAEA inspectors to clarify to what extent its programme was for peaceful or military purposes and did not rule out the possibility of the Islamic Republic having purchased uranium from abroad. As for the enrichment programme, the IAEA believes that Irans claim to have enriched small amounts to a level of 3.6% - fuel-grade uranium as opposed to weapons-grade enriched to levels above 90% - appeared to be true.

    In the meantime, many politicians and artists, as well as veterans, are expected to participate in a protest march in New York, condemning the war in Iraq and the possibility of a military operation against Iran over its nuclear programme. Former Democratic presidential candidate Jesse Jackson, Oscar winners Susan Sarandon and Mercedes Ruehl, and Iraq war veterans are expected to lead the march, according to a press statement issued by the group United for Peace and Justice.

    Warnings from Leading US Senator

    At a political level, Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona, a potential White House contender in 2008, warned Russia and China on Friday of damage to their relationship with the United States if they refused to go along with sanctions against Iran.

    Speaking at a conference in Brussels, McCain claimed that Irans nuclear program posed the greatest security threat to the world alongside terrorism. "The UN Security Council should impose sanctions including an investment ban, a travel ban and asset freezes on government leaders and nuclear scientists," he said.

    Asked what consequences there would be if Moscow and Beijing blocked such a move, he told reporters, "Clearly its going to affect many areas of cooperation between our two countries. There will be a reaction in the US Congress." However, he could not be specific that the areas affected could include trade

    The Republican Senator stressed the US must not rule out military action against Iran as a last resort, saying, "Theres only one thing worse than military action and thats a nuclear-armed Iran," which could even attempt to exterminate Israel. However, he did not rule out the possibility of direct US talks with Tehran or Washingtons involvement in multilateral negotiations with Iran.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: Iran 'will allow nuclear checks'

    Related News:

    Oil Soars after UN Report

    Time for Diplomacy

    [02] Market Concerns over Possible Sanctions Oil Soars after UN Report

    29 Apr 2006 10:33:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The price of oil rose by nearly a dollar following the harsh report submitted to the UN by the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohamed ElBaradei, in relation to Irans stance towards its nuclear programme. The report has prompted concerns in the market over the possible imposition of sanctions or even the launch of a military operation against the oil-producing country. Following the latest developments, the markets have started reacting apprehensively and are receiving new pressures from profiteers. Analysts are noting that it would be quite difficult for the price of black gold to drop below $70 per barrel. Although American crude had eased off slightly over the last four days in New Yorks forward market, June deliveries closed at $71.88 per barrel, up by 91 cents, while the price even reached $72.64 during trading. In London, North Sea Brent rose by $1.11, closing at $72.02 per barrel. In the meantime, for the first time ever, US President George Bush spoke of the need to replace car fuel with alternative energy sources.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Time for Diplomacy

    Optimism and Rises

    [03] "America's Back Broken in Iraq" New Al-Qaeda Video

    29 Apr 2006 10:07:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    According to a video posted on the Internet on Saturday, Al-Qaedas deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahri said hundreds of suicide bombers had "broken Americas back" in three years of war in Iraq. "Al-Qaeda in Iraq alone has carried out 800 martyrdom operations in three years, besides the victories of the other mujahideen. And this is what has broken the back of America in Iraq," Zawahri said in the video posted on an Islamist website. Osama Bin Ladens top deputy also called on the people and army of Pakistan to overthrow President Pervez Musharraf. He also referred to the three-year anniversary since the US invasion of Iraq, praising Allah for the fact that "America, Britain and their allies have achieved nothing but losses, disasters and misfortunes" in those three years. Ayman al-Zawahri wore a black turban and a white robe in the video, which carried the logo of Al-Sahab, an Al-Qaeda video production company. He sat in front of a curtain and did not appear to have his customary assault rifle next to him.

    Referring to Musharraf, he noted, "I call on the Pakistani people to stand with Islam against the Zionist-crusader assault [...] and topple this bribe-taking treacherous criminal." This is the third video by an Al-Qaeda member in the last week, following the broadcast of an audio tape from Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on 23 April and a rare video from Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the groups leader in Iraq, two days later.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: Al-Qaeda number two in new video

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