Iran is spinning out of control. On the surface it is a hopeful sign. But the bottom line is the Presidency is not the highest office in Iran. The mullahs are in charge. The election is a show …..Mousavi was as radical as Ahmadinejad, but smoother. Nothing would have changed. The Islamic Republic of Iran is going nuclear and annihilationist. That doesn't change.
I just came away from the protest. It was an incredible sight. A huge crowd, hundreds of thousands of people maybe even millions of people there in defiance of open threats from the government that they should not assemble.
They have opened fire, that is going to really ratchet up this, it could be frankly a huge political mistake for those running this country.
–Jon Leyne of the BBC Reporting from Tehran
If Obama had a quarter of an American brain — he would take advantage of this chaos. Isn't that his credo — chaos creates opportunities? CIA should be in Iran helping the dissidents, the reformers and strategizing the removal of the nukes. Why is Obama so quiet? So absent?
Photoshop idea Scott
UPDATE: Let's roll (hat top Edge)
Locations of Iran's Nuclear Program
By Maseh Zarif
Table of Contents
Iran is building a nuclear reactor near the Iranian city of Arak
and currently operates a heavy water production plant in nearby Khondab, which
has been active since 2006. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) first
inspected the Arak site in 2003. Since then, Iran has limited the IAEA’s access to the
reactor site, which remains under construction. Most recently, the head of the
IAEA noted in a February 2009 report that Iran refused to allow the IAEA to
conduct a verification inspection at the Arak reactor site. IAEA inspection of the Arak site is a prerequisite to
ensuring that Iran does not use the reactor complex under construction to
separate plutonium from the reactor’s spent fuel. The capability to extract plutonium from used reactor fuel
would give Iran an alternative path for fueling a nuclear weapon.
The use of heavy water at Arak makes the reactor a
potential source of plutonium needed for building a nuclear weapon. That is, all
reactors are fueled with uranium-produced plutonium, but only a heavy water
reactor provides the plutonium suitable for use in a nuclear weapon. A heavy water reactor – fueled with natural uranium – uses
the deuterium isotope, instead of the hydrogen isotope used in a light-water
process. The deuterium in heavy water is important because it plays
a central role in a “boost gas” that can produce a lighter and smaller
plutonium-fueled nuclear warhead.
A light water research reactor, on the other hand,
appears more relevant for the type of civilian uses Iran claims as being Arak’s
purpose. In June 2006, Iran rebuffed an offer by the U.K., France and Germany
(EU-3) to help it construct a light water research reactor as an alternative to
the heavy water reactor. After declining EU-3 assistance, Iran submitted an
unsuccessful request the following year for technical assistance from the IAEA
for its planned heavy water reactor.
Ostensibly, the Arak reactor will produce isotopes
for use in civilian industries, including medicine and agriculture. Iran has acknowledged that the production plant at Arak
will serve to supply the Arak reactor with heavy water, revising the
government’s original claim that Iran intended to produce heavy water strictly
for export markets. Burton Richter, a Nobel Laureate physicist and U.S.
Department of Energy Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee member, notes that the
facility under construction at Arak is far more complex than what is necessary
for producing medical isotopes and, further, that there is relatively little
demand for medical isotopes in Iran and the Middle East.
Nonproliferation experts at the Institute for Science
and International Security (ISIS) contend that, under ideal operating
conditions, the Arak heavy water reactor could produce enough material for about
two nuclear weapons each year if Iran chose to extract plutonium from the
reactor’s spent fuel – a technique known as reprocessing. It is unclear when the heavy water reactor at Arak will
be complete. The IAEA’s February 2009 report indicated that the
recently-completed roofing structure over the Arak reactor inhibits satellite
monitoring of ongoing construction.
Iran plans to begin operating a light water nuclear reactor at
Bushehr during the summer of 2009. In February 2009, Iran announced the successful testing
of the Bushehr reactor. Begun in the mid 1970s, the Bushehr project temporarily
halted after the 1979 Iranian revolution. In 1995, Russia agreed to restart and
complete the Bushehr reactor. Despite the estimated $1 billion agreement in 1995,
political, technical and financial issues delayed the operational launch of the
In 2005, Russia and Iran agreed to a deal that
designated Russia as the fuel supplier for the reactor, under IAEA safeguards,
and required Iran to return spent nuclear fuel to Russia. By late 2007, Russia shipped the initial stock of
low-enriched uranium fuel to Iran for the Bushehr reactor. The Russian nuclear firm Atomstroyeksport expects more
than 2,000 Russian specialists to assist in the completion of the plant at
Bushehr, according to the firm’s spokesperson.
American intelligence officials previously cited
contact between Russian scientists and Iranian nuclear specialists as a conduit
for Russian-Iranian nuclear cooperation beyond the scope of the Bushehr reactor.
In 2000, the Deputy Director for the Central Intelligence Agency’s
Nonproliferation Center, A. Norman Schindler, told a U.S. Senate committee that
there is evidence of interaction between Russian individuals and “Iranian
nuclear research centers” on a range of activities outside the scope of the
Bushehr project—activities that Iran could apply to the production of weapons
grade nuclear fuel.
Iran’s nuclear facility at Natanz houses the primary Fuel
Enrichment Plant (FEP) and a research and development-oriented Pilot Fuel
Enrichment Plant (PFEP) for uranium enrichment activities. The IAEA’s concerns
regarding Iran’s uranium enrichment activities—centrifuge expansion, advanced
centrifuge research and testing, and a growing low enriched uranium (LEU)
inventory which can be converted to weapons grade uranium—center around the site
at Natanz. Iran initially declared its fuel enrichment facilities at Natanz to
the IAEA during a 2003 visit by the IAEA Director General; Iran agreed to the
2003 IAEA visit following a 2002 conference at which the Director General
approached Iran’s delegation to confirm media reports that Iran was “building a
large underground nuclear related facility at Natanz.” 
Iran built the FEP with a capacity to house
approximately 50,000 centrifuges. The centrifuges operate in 164-machine clusters
(cascades) [add link: “See ‘Nuclear Program’ section for more information on
centrifuge enrichment at Natanz] . In February 2009, Iran’s atomic agency head Gholam Reza
Aghazadeh claimed that Iran was operating 6,000 centrifuges. The IAEA report issued the same month indicated that
approximately 4,000 centrifuges at Natanz were enriching uranium, with an
additional 1,500 machines installed but not yet operating.
The completion of the second module in development at
Natanz will result in 6,000 operating centrifuges at the facility. According to a 2009 Center for Strategic and
International Studies report (CSIS) by Anthony Cordesman and Abdullah Toukan,
and previous estimates by nonproliferation experts David Albright and Corey
Hinderstein of the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), once
the FEP is at full capacity – operating 50,000 centrifuges – the plant will be
able to produce approximately five hundred kilograms of weapons-grade uranium
annually, enough for roughly twenty to thirty nuclear weapons.
While Iran expands the inventory of its first
generation centrifuge machines, it also continues to work on advanced centrifuge
technologies. Iran has significantly reduced the forty percent failure rate for
its first generation centrifuges. Such technical mastery of the first-generation
centrifuge allows Iran to dedicate resources to designing more advanced
The Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant at Natanz serves as Iran’s
primary declared research and testing facility for centrifuges. The IAEA
confirmed in February 2009 that Iran conducted uranium enrichment testing with
advanced centrifuges at the Natanz PFEP. Iran designed the PFEP, which it began building secretly
in 2001, to accommodate nearly 1,000 centrifuges divided between six cascades. In 2008, reports indicated that Iran tested advanced
centrifuge models with a capacity to enrich uranium significantly faster than
first-generation centrifuge machines operating at the FEP. The second-generation centrifuge (IR-2), for instance,
doubles the output of the original model.
According to a 2006 Washington Post article citing
military strategist Edward Luttwak, the Natanz facility consists of more than
twenty buildings and an underground complex insulated with multiple concrete
roofs. Further, a National Defense University report estimates
that the underground complex at Natanz – built seventy-five feet under the
ground – can “withstand aerial attack.” Additionally, Iran reportedly bases critical air defense
systems, such as the Russian-supplied Tor-M1 missile defense system, in
proximity to the nuclear facility at Natanz. These developments, coupled with reports citing the
enhancement of the underground complex, indicate that Iran has planned for an
extensive defense of the Natanz facility.
Iran’s uranium enrichment at the Natanz facility relies on
nuclear fuel cycle processes conducted at its nuclear facility at Esfahan. Iran
conducts nuclear technology research and uranium conversion at the Esfahan site.
After suspending activities at the Esfahan site in 2004 in the midst of
negotiations with the IAEA, Iran restarted uranium conversion less than a year
later in defiance of proposals by the U.S., European Union (EU) and Russia.
The Nuclear Technology and Research Center at Esfahan
(NTRC), Iran’s largest nuclear research center, employs close to 3,000
scientists. The Uranium Conversion Facility (UCF) at Esfahan sprawls
out across nearly 150 acres. The UCF converts “yellowcake,” milled natural uranium,
to uranium hexafluoride gas (UF6), which Iran then feeds into the centrifuge
machines for enrichment at the Natanz facility. Like its Natanz facility, Iran has fortified the Esfahan
complex with anti-aircraft missile systems.
Iran has been suspected of using a facility at Parchin to
conduct research on explosives that can be used in a nuclear weapon device. Generally, Iran uses the large military-run Parchin
complex for research and production of military hardware, including rockets and
high explosives. Iran repeatedly denied the IAEA access to the facility
at Parchin to investigate potential nuclear weapons program activity. Late in
2004, U.S. Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament Jackie Sanders noted
Iran’s noncompliance with IAEA safeguards in refusing to allow the IAEA
unrestricted access to Parchin.
Nearly one year later, Iran granted IAEA inspectors
limited access to the Parchin facility. As the Institute for Science and
International Security noted, even though the inspectors did not notice “unusual
activities” or detect nuclear material at the buildings to which they had
selective access, “suspicions about the Parchin site persist and more
inspections are warranted.” For example, a U.S. State Department official confirmed
reporting that IAEA inspectors spotted a high-speed camera – which can be used
to monitor experimentation with high explosives suitable for use in a nuclear
weapon device – at the Parchin complex.
Additionally, Iran managed IAEA visits to Parchin in
a way that limited access for inspectors and raised doubts. As Pierre
Goldschmidt of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace noted in
"In January 2005, out of four areas identified by the IAEA to be of
potential interest, the IAEA was permitted to select only one area and had to
limit to five the number of buildings to be visited. Limited access to one other
area was granted to the IAEA in November 2005, giving the military plenty of
time to remove any evidence of nuclear weaponization activities if any ever took
Iran experimented with laser enrichment technology between
1991 and 2003. In 2003, Iran shut down its pilot laser enrichment
facility at Lashkar Abad. The IAEA reported in 2008 that a private company now
runs the Lashkar Abad laboratories. The company’s management claims that it is
not currently enriching uranium, nor planning to in the future.
Iran will begin operating a $1.2 billion nuclear power plant
at Darkhovin in 2016. Iran intends to power the Darkhovin plant, which Iran’s
top nuclear program official claimed was sixty percent complete in February
2009, with enriched uranium from Iran’s nuclear facility at Natanz.
UPDATE: And in NY – roughly 300 Iranians sympathizers rallied and Andrew Berman was there:
turn out of around 300 considering that as far as I can tell it was put together
on short notice and almost exclusively through Twitter (Twitter.com/BermanPost). See #CNNFail
for how the 'Twitterverse' was fuming at the lack of coverage on the almost
certainly fraudulent election and ensuing riots/protests (Berman
Post: Iranian Election Viewed as Rigged). The protest was at the corner of
1st ave and 47th street which, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the
layout of NYC, is within eye short of the United Nations. You will see the
United Nations building in the background of some of the pictures and video
There were no counter protesters that I saw. The media was out in
force covering this event. I saw or heard people identify themselves as from Fox
News, Fox 5, CBS, Pix 11, ABC, WCBSFM 101.1, WNYC, and the Associated Press.
Another half dozen or so professional looking cameras or people who appeared to
be reporters I was unable to identify.
Based on my method of telling
Grassroots protests apart from Astroturf protests (Berman
Post: Grassroots vs Astroturf – How to Tell The Movements Apart), I believe
this to be a genuine grassroots protest. Even though there were some repeat
professionally made signs there were no marks identifying them as being from an
organization, and it did not appear there were any captive groups. Also, the way
the information was spread (almost exclusively via twitter) cuts against the
likelihood of it being Astroturf.
As usual, some of the better pictures
are included below. A link to the rest of the photo album will be under that.
Please link to this page (not the photo album) if you with to use this post or
show your readers the pictures (Thanks in advanced). The people who were
covering their face are trying to protect themselves from persecution including
family and friends who are in or visit Iran, not the now pandemic Swine Flu (Berman
Post: WHO Declares The Swine Flu a Pandemic).
Working on the video
now which should be available soon so be sure to check back.
Here is the video. I compiled
all the clips into one so as you are watching the video you will see it cut to
different shots numerous times and hear as the chants change. It is nothing
fancy, but it works.
Video embedded below.
Andrewhas a lot more video and pictures –– go check out his excellent coverage
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