03 November 2011
The United States and Britain are reportedly drawing up plans to attack Iran following reports that Iran now has now enriched uranium sufficient for four nuclear warheads. According to the British newspaper 'The Guardian', the UK Ministry of Defense believes the US may decide to fast-forward plans for targeted missile strikes at some key Iranian facilities. British officials told the newspaper that if Washington presses ahead it would seek, and receive, UK military help for any mission.
The UN's International Atomic Energy Agency will reportedly soon reveal fresh intelligence that Tehran is conducting secret nuclear arms experiments. According to the British newspaper 'Daily Mail' the report will contain an unprecedented level of detail on research carried out in recent years.
Another report, written by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, concludes that China is continuing to provide advanced missiles and other conventional arms to Iran, in violation of UN sanctions imposed against the country. The report reveales China sold US$ 312million worth of arms to Iran, second only to Russia. It also noted that after Russia began cutting back arms transfers to Iran in 2008, China became the largest arms supplier to the Iranian military.
Speaking in Cannes, France, on the sidelines of a G-20 summit of world leaders, US President Barack Obama said Iran’s nuclear program continued to pose a threat. He urged the international community to keep pressuring the regime in Tehran to come clean about its intentions.
Meanwhile, a committee of the US House of Representatives has approved tougher sanctions against Iran, targetting the country's central bank. The move follows an alleged Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to Washington. The bipartisan legislation has good prospects of being adopted. In the Senate, lawmakers in both parties are working on similar legislation. The 'Jerusalem Post' quoted Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and a sponsor of the House bill, as saying: "I hope we can ... have these bills on the president's desk in time to hand the Iranian regime a nice holiday present."
The legislation would require Obama to impose sanctions on Iran's central bank if he determines it is facilitating terrorism or the development of nuclear weapons, or supporting Iran's elite military force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. "I believe the central bank of Iran is not only engaging in those activities; I believe it is the ultimate engine of those activities," said the author of the central bank provision, Rep. Howard Berman, a Democrat.
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