Saturday, October 26, 2013
Iran plans to build many new nuclear plants with atomic reactors along its coastlines with the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea, Iran’s top nuclear official announced on Thursday.
The announcement comes just a week after Western nuclear negotiators claimed that Iran was giving ground in talks aimed at ending Tehran’s contested enrichment program.
Iranian leaders, however, have remained defiant in the face of talks, announcing on Thursday that Tehran will build “enough atomic reactors to generate a total of 20,000 megawatts of electricity by 2020,” according to the country’s state-run Fars News Agency.
Top Iranian leaders and those involved with negotiations have also been quoted in the Persian language press as rejecting key details of the proposed nuclear deal.
Iran also announced that it was China’s largest oil supplier in the month of September.
“We are considering construction of power plants along the coasts of the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea as well as the Central parts of Iran, but priority is given to the Persian Gulf coasts because we want to pave the way for [the construction of] water desalination facilities to supply drinking water for the Southern provinces of Iran,” Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO), said Tuesday Fars reported.
At least 34 sites have already been designated for future nuclear power plants, according to Fars.
Additionally, Salehi announced just two days after nuclear negotiations ended that Russia would help Iran build new nuclear power plants across the country, according to Persian language press reports.
“We had a meeting [with Russians] at the beginning of this week regarding the signing of a protocol on the construction of the next power plant,” Salehi told Fars in Persian last week. “Once this protocol is prepared, Russia will start the constructing of another power pant in Bushehr.”
The latest power plant models “have been designed and are ready to be constructed, and the foundation of the next power plant is prepared in Bushehr,” where the Russians are helping Iran run final tests on another soon to be completed nuke plant, Salehi said.
Russia has helped Iran quicken its nuclear pace, according to Salehi.
Credit to Washington free Beacon
A new report that says Iran may need as little as a month to produce enough uranium for a nuclear bomb is further evidence for why Israel will take military action before that happens, an Israeli defense official said Friday.
"We have made it crystal clear – in all possible forums, that Israel will not stand by and watch Iran develop weaponry that will put us, the entire Middle East and eventually the world, under an Iranian umbrella of terror," Danny Danon, Israel's deputy defense minister told USA TODAY.
Iran is developing and installing new and advanced centrifuges that enable Iran to enrich even low-enriched uranium to weapons grade uranium needed for nuclear weapons within weeks, Danon said.
"This speedy enrichment capability will make timely detection and effective response to an Iranian nuclear breakout increasingly difficult," he said.
"Breakout" refers to the time needed to convert low-enriched uranium to weapons-grade uranium. On Thursday, the Institute for Science and International Security issued a report stating that Iran could reach that breakout in as little as one month based in part on Iran's own revelations about its nuclear program.
"If they use all their centrifuges ... and their stockpiles of low- and medium-enriched uranium, that would take one to 1.6 months," said David Albright, president of the institute and a former inspector for the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency.
The report comes as the White House is trying to persuade Congress not to go ahead with a bill to stiffen sanctions on Iran to force it to open up its program to inspection. The White House on Thursday invited senate staffers to a meeting on Iran strategy for negotiations that are to resume next month with Iran, it said.
In discussing Iran strategy, President Obama has said Iran is a year or more away from having enough enriched uranium to make a bomb.
Iran's stockpile of medium-enriched uranium has nearly doubled in a year's time and its number of centrifuges has expanded from 12,000 in 2012 to 19,000 today.
Sen. Mark Kirk, an Illinois Republican whose Senate Banking Committee is considering legislation to tighten Iran sanctions, said the report shows that Iran is expanding its nuclear capabilities under the cover of negotiations.
"The Senate should move forward immediately with a new round of sanctions to prevent Iran from acquiring an undetectable breakout capability," he said. The House has already passed legislation to toughen sanctions.
United Nations inspectors say they have found evidence of a weapons program in violation of Iran's commitment under the treaty. The USA and the U.N. Security Council have implemented economic sanctions on Iran to persuade it abide by its obligation and verify it is not developing a bomb.
Credit to USA today
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve on Thursday proposed that big banks keep enough cash, government bonds and other high-quality assets on hand to survive during a severe downturn on par with the 2008 financial crisis.
The proposal subjects U.S. banks for the first time to so-called "liquidity" requirements. Liquidity is the ability to access cash quickly.
The largest banks — those with more than $250 billion in assets — would be required to hold enough cash and securities to fund their operations for 30 days during a time of market stress. Smaller banks — those with more than $50 billion and less than $250 billion — would have to keep enough to cover 21 days.
Fed officials said the rules are stronger than new international standards for banks. Combined, the largest banks would have to hold an estimated $2 trillion in high-quality assets to meet the requirement. The banks already hold roughly 90 percent of that amount, according to the Fed.
The public has 90 days to comment on the proposal, which was approved unanimously by the Fed's 6-member board of governors. After that the rules would be phased in beginning January 2015.
"Liquidity is essential to a bank's viability and central to the smooth functioning of the financial system," Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said. He said the new regime "would foster a more resilient and safer financial system in conjunction with other reforms."
The requirements were mandated by Congress after the financial crisis. They are part of new regulations that are intended to prevent another collapse severe enough to require taxpayer-funded bailouts and threaten the broader financial system.
Hundreds of U.S. banks received federal bailouts during the crisis. Among them were the largest financial firms, including JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Bank of America and Wells Fargo. The banking industry has been recovering steadily since then, with overall profits rising and banks starting to lend more freely.
The health of the financial sector surfaced during this month's stalemate over increasing the government's borrowing authority. Worries about a possible U.S. debt default raised questions about how well prepared banks and companies were to deal with a crisis.
Several Fed governors said Thursday that related requirements also are being considered, such as a mandate for large banks to test their liquidity under stress conditions.
The requirements proposed Thursday are "an important step forward but there's still more work to do," said Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen, who has been nominated by President Barack Obama to succeed Bernanke as chairman next year.
Read More At Investor's Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/newsfeed-ap/102413-473829-fed-proposes-big-banks-hold-more-cash-assets.aspx#ixzz2ilPTfer1
Four Iranian Christians were reportedly sentenced to 80 lashes for drinking wine for communion, a shocking punishment meted out even as a new United Nations report blasted the Islamic republic for its systematic persecution of non-Muslims.
The four men were sentenced Oct. 6 after being arrested in a house church last December and charged with consuming alcohol in violation of the theocracy's strict laws, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide. They were among several Christians punished for their faith in a nation where converting from Islam to Christianity can bring the death penalty. According to a new October UN report by Ahmed Shaheed, UN special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, such persecution is common, despite new President Hasan Rouhani's pledge to be a moderate.
“At least 20 Christians were in custody in July 2013," Shaheed wrote. "In addition, violations of the rights of Christians, particularly those belonging to evangelical Protestant groups, many of whom are converts, who proselytize to and serve Iranian Christians of Muslim background, continue to be reported.”
Iran’s regime has made stopping the spread of Christianity a cornerstone of its crackdown on religious freedom. There are estimated to be as many as 370,000 Christians in Iran, according to the most recent U.S. State Department report. The clerical rulers see Christianity as a threat to Iran’s majority ultra-orthodox Shiite Islamic religion.
“Despite the recent Iranian charm offensive, Dr. Shaheed's report reminds us of the true nature of the Iranian regime where the abuse of human rights continue," Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), chairman and founder of the Iran Dissident Awareness Program, told FoxNews.com. "Political prisoners like blogger Mohammad Reza Pourshajari are being denied adequate medical care, journalists and their families continue to be targets of the regime, Pastor Saeed Abedini and Amir Hekmati are still languishing in prison and the Baha'i community faces increasing persecution. This is the true nature of the regime we're dealing with during negotiations in Geneva."
Crediit to Fox News