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September 25, 2009
Iran admits to secretly building second nuclear plant

Just six days before Iran, the U.S. and the world’s other leading powers hold talks on Iran’s nuclear program, a potential showdown over the issue emerged on Friday.

At the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh, U.S. President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain and French President Nicholas Sarkozy disclosed that Iran is building a new uranium enrichment facility that could be used to make nuclear weapons.

They warned Iran to come clean about its secret plant or face new, harsher sanctions. The facility is near Qom, the Shiite Muslim holy city about 100 miles southwest of Tehran.

On Friday afternoon, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad held a news conference and said the facility will not be operational for 18 months, insisting Iran has complied with United Nations disclosure rules.

Fariborz Ghadar, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and professor at Penn State University, joins Daljit Dhaliwal to discuss the military significance of this newly-discovered uranium enrichment plant and the impact on nuclear talks.

Does this new revelation about Iran demonstrate that the U.S. and its allies need to take an even tougher line toward Iran?

Tell us what you think in the comments section below. Please remember to be respectful and on-point in your comments. Malicious or offensive comments will be deleted and repeat offenders will be banned.

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Comments

44 comments

#44

Iran claims to want nuclear power, yet they have no operational power plants. They have one plant that has been under construction since the 1950’s and no new plants under construction. I know it takes a few years to build a power plant, so with all the enriching going on, why aren’t they building power plants if they want electricity?

#43

To Kevin #39:You don’t now history or pretend… Arabs countries with population more than 100 million, attack Israel (population 5 million) in 1948, 1967, 1973, because they could not “treated Jews equally” to exterminate Israel from the map they have a “fear” now. I understand your and “Son” prostration that Israel was able to defend itself and won. Only you can do now its Lie about “brutal action of Israel”. Jews are aware of past atrocities committed by many nations including Arabs and prepared to defend any aggression

#42

Israel, India and Pakistan developed their nuclear capabilities back in the mid-1960s before there even was an NPT. THe NPT was a purely voluntary treaty and any sovereign state that did not sign it has no obligations under it, other than it is illegal for them to acquire nuclear reactors or anything related from abroad. Most of the countries that signed the treaty did so because they had no technical or material capabilities, and would have had no way of acquiring them from abroad unless they signed the 1969 treaty. Israel already had the knowledge early on long before the treaty existed. Pakistan may have gotten aid from China, and India may have gotten some early on from ISrael, but it was before the treaty existed banning such proliferation of nuclear knowledge or materiel.

#41

Actually, the US is standing in the way of a war between Israel and Iran, because it controls the air space over Iraq. If the US got out of the way and withdrew its forces from the Middle East, it would make it much easier for Israel to wipe Iran out. Sure, Iran can fire off hundreds, even thousands of missiles at Israel, but at most today they have only chemical weapons. They probably can kill a lot of Israelis and Palestinians. My guesstimate is they could probably kill up to a million. But Israel could easily kill 20 million Iranians or more. The world is concerned about its oil supplies and the price of oil, but that’s not Israel’s problem. Israel’s problem is to destroy this regime before it gets nukes onto its missiles. Once they get nukes, Israel is finished. SO Israel has to wipe them out or face annihilation.

#40

In the end, there will be a war between Israel and Iran, and while Israel will probably lose a few hundred thousand civilians, Iran will wiped off the face of the earth. It’s unfortuanate, because in the past the Persian people were great friends of the Jews, but the Islamofascist regime is insane, as was Hitler’s regime, and just as the Russians lost millions to defeat Germany, so Israel may have to lose a significant part of its population in such a war, but Iran will be eliminated as a nation state totally. Too bad.

#39

Boris! There is no need to address you. Son of Jerusalem is right about you. I think that it is about time that people can see this. Israel VS Iran and Palestine can almost be compared to discrimination against blacks in the United-States. It is high time that the world recognizes that Iran has the right to Nuclear proliferation just as Israel has earned that right. There is no nation better than the other. Jews are not superior than Palestinians and Iranians. They should all be treated equally. If there is a nation to watch with careful eyes, then it should be Israel. Because of their past and fear for the countries surrounding them, they can in a blink of an eye deploy their nuclear arsenal on Iran, Palestine and other countries they claim as enemies. George Bush is no longer in power to support unequivocally the brutal actions of Israel. We have a new man in the white house now. He is aware of the previous and past attrocities commited by Israel and he is taking all that into considerations. Iran, as a sovereign country should be allowed to develop their peaceful nuclear quest just like Pakistan, India and Israel. Also the media should stay out of this, the media is very bias when addressing the Iran nuclear issue. The media should go back to class media 101, which talks about news broadcasting without importing your own opinion. A news media should be neutral in reporting news, only the facts should be reported, not their views and opinions.

#38

Even India has been unable to solve the complexities of the nuclear arsenal. So Iran’s efforts are suicidal. But then looking at a five hundred year vision of the region it is not rocket science to understand who will trump whom. The sad part is so many, many young and promising Americas will end up in harm’s way simply because they had no socio-economic options for survival.

#37

I guess this topic has been too much publicized and very biased. From what I see, at the very least, Iran cooperated with IAEA, becomes a member of NPT, and has quite a clean report based on the latest IAEA inspection. Additionally, US allegation is largely based on circumstantial evidence. Is this going to be another Iraq?

The questions are what is the western’s countries stand toward Israel, India and Pakistan? Why Iran is treated differently? Israel, India and Pakistan are not even member of NPT and therefore not inspected by IAEA. Israel rejected the latest request by IAEA to cooperate. In 2006, India even get the approval by US for nuclear technology sharing even though it has rejected calls for inspection by IAEA. Has the US been two-faced? I think so.

#36

This situation recollects me 1930s when European countries played yapping game with Hitler, made Munich “peace” agreement, put the world in WWII, and lost 55+ million lives. Hitler, similar to Ahmadinegad, never concealed his agenda to expend territory and create Third Reich. Obviously, current European and US leader never learned the lesson.

#35

The outrage over Iran’s lack of transparency with regard to its nuclear program seems exaggerated considering that there is another Middle Eastern country that already has nuclear warheads and doesn’t even officially acknowledge it – Israel(besides flaunting international laws and UN resolutions with impunity). When is the international community going to shed its bias and be fair to all countries?

#34

Ahmedinejad, in no uncertain terms told Larry King: Have you been to Iran? Israel is a tiny country compared to Iran. Israel will never attack Iran, on its own. The reaction from Iran will be devestating to the whole region.
But please get rid of your newswoman. This is America, and we do not speak like she does. Bring Martin back. (We “produce” and not “pro-juice”, thanks). Send her back to where ever she came from. Thanking you in advance, Madigan

#33

Let Iran acquire nuclear weapons. If it ever threatens or tries to use them against any country, decommision both the nuclear installations and the mullahs. I don’t think the mullahs want to meet Allah yet.

#32

Hmmmmmmmmmm

A fanatical would be mad man found with the makings of WMD on the wrong side of terrorism

I guess it is a real good thing the man did not try to poison Obama’s daddy ?

#31

What’s the international law here? Iran claims that it’s activities are in accord with the relevant treaties, but many other countries say that Iran is violating the treaties. The news coverage I’ve seen does not help determine which contention is correct (or which is more correct). It just presents the oppposing contentions. I wish Worldfocus would present a more detailed discussion, perhaps with experts knowledgable about the treaties.
If Iran is correct in claiming that it has not violated the treaties, then perhaps the treaties should be revised so it an other nations cannot go a long way towards developing atom bombs under the existing treaties.

#30

I thought Obama just gave a speech telling the world that they should not look to America to solve all its problems. What non-imperialist country out there are complaining that the America is not solving the Iranian problem? Absolutely nobody, because nobody thinks it is an issue. Are any country in Africa concerned? Any country in Asia? Any country in Latin/South America? It is only the hegemonists that wants to bully on their pick of the day. There is no more Saddam to bully on.

#29

The time has come to turn Iran into a giant slab of silicon.

#28

I traveled to Iran last year with a civilian peace delegation, and had an opportunity to speak with religious and governmental leaders in Iran. So I have, perhaps, a different perspective on the situation. The US government has been demonizing Iran for the past seven or eight years, while ignoring the “sins” of Israel. This is selective punishment. Israel possesses nuclear weapons without a murmur of protest, but Iran’s alleged “peaceful” nuclear program has resulted in debilitating sanctions. Israel has been in violation of UN resolutions forbidding building of settlements in occupied terrorities for how long – 20 or 30 years? But nary a sanction against them. Other non-nuclear nations are enriching uranium without any protest. Do we not understand how this bias and hypocrisy causes such rage in the Middle East? If the US really wants to lead the world to non-proliferation, it should take steps to reduce its own arsenal and convince ALL other nations do the same.
Why the US cannot survive without creating one enemy after the other and then destroying them is beyond me. Iran, which has not invaded another country in hundreds of years, is called a terrorist nation. The US, which has invaded 21 countries since WW II, and killed millions of innocent people around the world, thinks of itself as peace loving. Iran funds Hezbollah and Hamas and therefore supports terrorism. The US has supported enumerable brutal dictators, including Osama Bin Laden, the Shah of Iran and Sadam Hussein – but we’re the good guys. For such a peace loving country, we sure do spread a lot of terror around the world.

#27

Iran has the bomb. Anybody with a highschool physics background can build one. There is no new science here. The Israelis did it with impunity, so the Iranians feel they should be treated the same way that Israel was treated when they built their nuclear arsenal. You may try sanctions, but do not raise a military arm. The tired old George Bush, i.e. Israeli, kill them first – talk later stategy is not a viable course of action. President Obama, we all hope, sees this. The Persians have been there for 6 thousand years, and no tactics short of the terror tactic we so adamntly oppose will substantially change Iranian minds.

#26

This is all “scary biscuits,” as the Brits would say. The Iranian rulers are not the steadiest of heads, so this makes everything a bit difficult, but whatever needs to be done needs to be done now before they become a nuclear power. The president of Iran (“I’m-A-Nut-Job) does not have any real power, but the religious leaders do and they are to a man a very scary lot. Just remember back to the Iran/Iraq war and how long that went on. Not remember that Pakistan and India have nuclear weapons and how acrimonious their relationship is; do we want to throw any rocks at this, so to speak? I can only pray that this can be taken care of by financial and diplomatic means or else we may see a conflagration of massive proportions. I served for 35+ years with the military and much of it during the “Cold War.” I don’t want to see us back in that mode again. The stress would tear us apart as individuals. All we may really be able to do is pray.

#25

Hi Screener,

I see you didn’t post my comment back to Boris

#24

The whole world should not allow any moslem nation to have a nuclear arm. We know they are crazy. They will even kill their own just to kill their “presumed” enemies. Not to mention their rewards of 70 virgins in heaven (perpetual virgins..not matter how many deflowering is done)..or at least that’s what Quran teaches to sex starve men.

#23

If the UN can’t even stop the hermit nation of North Korea from their nuclear program; How can the UN stop Iran with its vast reserve in oil and the support of the moslem world?

#22

Yes, and no.

We should absolutely try to engage diplomatically with Iran at this juncture.

We (the US) are in position to finally put gasoline sanctions on Iran with the concession of the Polish missile system, which puts the Russians in play, and the new Libyan oil deal.

China seems like they may finally be subject to shame. Given the active PR campaign they launched to save face after Weeger uprising. Which may indicate they could be shamed into hoping on board with tough sanctions if everybody else in the P5 + 1 is on board.

So maybe just the position being right might scare Iran out of it. If not, then cut off their gas. Then if they don’t stop production let Israel take out the plants anyway. If all those events were to take place the already weakened Iranian government might crumble. They will not take the chance, we have a good position as it stands.

#21

I don’t see anything new or rock shaking with this announcement except for the inclusion of the Russians. About the only thing it does is make the US GOP look really bad.

The only thing you had missing from your coverage is the reaction of that state by the sea that wants to be the ULTIMATE power in the region.

GOP69Dave

BTW I liked your new suit and hair tonight. It made the news more the focus than you.

PS-2 Where is Martin, I like him

#20

Boris, you are mentaly sick, and you still live in the stone age. All what you want is to kill Americans, so Israel can live. It is time for you to leave to Russia

#19

To Kevin#5, Matthew#6,Jay#8, Jerry#14, Michael#15: All of you are openly supporting Islamic terrorism by defending Iranian regime desire to have nuclear weapon. Israel is USA and West allied in fighting with Islamic terrorism. Israel was fighting with pro-Soviet Arab regimes during the Cold War and helped USA to win Cold War. 5 Arab countries attack Israel in 1948, 1967 and 1973 and Iran still openly threatening Israel. That why USA and West allowing Israel to have nuclear weapon.

#18

West has been right all along regarding Iran’s hidden ambition for nuclear weapons to destroy Israel. There is a big difference between Iran and Israel in terms of sanity of its government and purpose of nuclear weapons, i.e., offense vs. defense. West has known the second secret plant to make weapon’s grade uranium for at least one year but Iran was busy to deceive whole world until last week when Iranian government finally reported its existence when realized it got finally caugt.

#17

You get to employ a carrot + stick approach when you are talking. When you isolate, it’s just stick. So the opposite side hardens, and 3rd parties don’t come over to your side of the matter — found a cool site; Balkingpoints ; incredible satellite view of earth

#16

If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In so doing, you will heap burning coals on his head. Jesus Christ in THE HOLY BIBLE, GOD’S WORD — God’s Word is more sure than the ground we stand on. Killing with kindness works best. The leader brave enough to put God’s Word to the test will be the leader to end all wars and bring true peace that lasts. God is in control. He can stop anyone from destroying His earth. Why are you so scared? God is love.

#15

Such hypocrisy, the U.S.,Britain,France and the tag-a-long Germany with an air of piety are outraged at Iran and the newly exposed nuclear plant. Yet, all of these countries know about Israels nuclear weapons but keep silent. Why? If your going to talk about sanctions they should include Israel.Israel has had nuclear weapons sense 1968.

#14

While the media is beating the sheet out of Iran’s nuclear program, why the same media is pin drop silent about Israel’s nuclear program? What does the insane world know about Israel’s nuclear bombs estimated at least 200? Why? Why?

#13

I believe that the real story of Iran is the story within Iran; whether that be solely the internal politics or the internal reaction to external pressures placed on Iran for the poor judgment of the current power brokers of Iran. The most recent revelation regarding the nuclear site coupled with activities during and after the last election shows a continued disregard of the wishes of the majority of their own people.
Unfortunately, the Iranian people will bear the brunt of coming sanctions which may continue to raise the opposition’s basis to continue pressure within. The US’ best position to make it clear that we are friends of the people of Iran, yet hold Iran’s government accountable for their continued violations and stand firm with the international community.

#12

Iran is a scary thing…We are trying to de-nuke the world, and Ahma….not even gonna try to spell it from memory..is a scary dude. He stole the election, now he wants to join the nulear powers. His comment toward Israel are just the start. Hard to believe…..

#11

The focus is misplaced. It should be placed on the nuclear weapons of Israel.

#10

The US and its allies have been dancing around this issue for years, giving Iran time to complete its work on these facilities. I see no reason why this situation will change. The West will threaten and Iran will continue its path.

#9

The history of the arms race start with the United States and Russia. What we have today is the result of their ignorance in forsight, and how the rest of the world would be affected.

#8

From a fairness perspective, it seems reasonable for Iran to have nuclear weapons. Although a world with more nuclear weapons isn’t necessarily safer, it is completely understandable that Iran would want them. They live in a region where many other nations have them (Pakistan, India, Russia) and are opposed by nuclear-armed nations like the US and Israel that have shown their willingness to attack other nations with little pretext. If the US really abided by the NPT and made sincere efforts to disarm itself, it would have far more credibility when it tried to prevent other nations from acquiring nuclear weapons. I think the real threat to the US is the double standard we consistently use when we tell other nations to “do as we say” not “do as we do”. An Islamic bomb already exists (thanks to Abdul Kahn) so I don’t see this development as anything new. The threat is not from nuclear armed states, but rogue stateless elements that do not fear retaliation.

#7

If Iran doesn’t comply with the U.N. to inspect the facilities, then yes tougher sanctions are needed. However, if Iran complies with the U.N inspectors and the sites are inspected then I think Iran should have the right to have peaceful power producing plants. Why can’t the Arab league work in concert with the U.N. to help with middle east concerns? Iran, and security in palestine could be better accomplished with their help.

#6

Iran has as much right as the United States or any nation to nuclear power, and the International leaders of the nations who won World War II have no place approving or disapproving of Iran or any nations technological development.

#5

The focus is and has been on Iran because of their strategic location in regards to Israel. Israel would love to be in a position to annihilate Palestine on the face of this earth whithout any fear of retaliation from a country such as Iran who is against the abuse. Before we can dive into this propagandadist question, we should all ask why does Israel is allowed to have Nuclear Weapons? Until we can answer that question, talking about Iran not being permitted to have a viable Nuclear program on their sovereign soil is ludacris and hypocritical.

#4

Iran has indeed complied by disclosing that this site indeed exists. I don’t see any threat posed.

#3

Iran is a very real threat to Israel and the US. If we do not deal with them they are surely going to unleash nuclear weapons on the US.

#2

My wife and I have been watching the 30 minute World Focus news program since it replaced the BBC program several months ago. We’re delighted with the international coverage and the anchor David Savidge. Especially, we were excited to see Daljit Dhaliwal. As a professor of Colorado State Univ., I have had many assignments and spent years in SE Asia and Africa, often accompanied by my wife. We saw Ms. Dhaliwal on Star TV and thought she was great. How nice to know she’s come to the States and has joined your organization. Congratulations for making her one of the programs’s hosts. Bill & Vicky Shaner.

#1

Dont trust any Iranians

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