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Iran + Israel + 5,000 smart bombs PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Thursday, 23 September 2004 06:00
These two stories, o­ne from Reuters and o­ne from Aljazeera highlight the growing tension in the middle east following Tuesday's news that the USA will sell Israel 5,000 smart bombs. -- Space & Technology Editor

Israel Charges Iran Replaces Saddam as Terror Exporter
Thu Sep 23, 2004 01:45 PM ET


By Carol Giacomo
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Israel charged o­n Thursday that Iran had replaced Saddam Hussein as the world's primary exporter of "terror, hate and instability."

Stepping up a war of words between the Middle East's two most implacable enemies, Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom challenged the U.N. General Assembly to "end its obsession" with the Jewish state and focus instead o­n "the active involvement of Iran and Syria in terrorism."

"Indeed, Iran has replaced Saddam Hussein as the world's number o­ne exporter of terror, hate and instability," Shalom asserted at the world forum.

Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said Wednesday that Israel, not Iran, was the greatest threat to all countries in the Middle East because of its "nuclear bombs as well as other weapons of mass destruction."

Israel is widely believed to have the o­nly atomic arsenal in the Middle East, although it maintains a policy of refusing to confirm or deny its nuclear capability .

Iran insists that its own nuclear program, the object of intense scrutiny by the U.N. nuclear watchdog, is purely for peaceful purposes. Israel and the United States charge it is a front for efforts to produce the bomb.

Shalom said in his speech there was a time when the problems of terror, Islamic fundamentalism and Iran's nuclear ambition were seen as "local problems, Israel's problems."

The international community now recognized, he contended, that Iran, with missiles that could reach London, Paris, Berlin and southern Russia, threatened the whole world, not just Israel.


Wednesday, Shalom told reporters the United Nations should move toward sanctions against Iran because Tehran was never going to abandon its alleged quest for nuclear weapons.

Security sources in Israel reported this week said the Jewish state was planning to buy 500 U.S. "bunker buster" bombs that could be effective against Iran's underground facilities.

Tehran defied a resolution by the agency's board Tuesday by announcing it had begun converting a large amount of raw uranium to prepare it for enrichment, a process that can be used to develop atom bombs.

European Union states engaged in a dialogue with Iran o­n its nuclear program expressed frustration and warned that time was running out for Tehran to stop all activities that could give it a military nuclear capability.

"As (French Foreign Minister) Michel Barnier was saying yesterday, the moment of truth is approaching and will arrive in November at the International Atomic Energy Agency board meeting," British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw told reporters.

Shalom also accused the Palestinians of expending "more energy fighting Israel here at the U.N. than it does fighting the terrorists in its own territory."

In the aftermath of the Sept, 11, 2001, attacks o­n the United States, "this is not acceptable" and Palestinians must stand up against Islamic groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad, he said.

The Israeli minister defended the barrier Israel is building to cut off Palestinian areas, saying: "The fence does not take lives. It saves them. Where there is a fence, there is no terror. Where there is no fence, there is terror."

The World Court has said the fence's route through occupied Palestinian territory is illegal.

Shalom called o­n the General Assembly should convene a special session to address the growth of anti-Semitism, racism and other forms of intolerance.


? Copyright Reuters 2004. 


Iran will react ?severely ? against Israeli nuclear action
9/23/2004 2:00:00 PM GMT 

"Israel has always been a threat", said Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi

Iran has warned it will react "most severely" against any Israeli action targeting its nuclear facilities, after Israel announced that the United States was selling it 500 bunker buster bombs.

According to an Israeli military officer, Israel will receive nearly 5,000 smart bombs, including the 500 o­ne-ton bombs that can destroy six-foot concrete walls.

When asked about the U.S. selling bombs to Israel, Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi told reporters: "Israel has always been a threat, not o­nly against Iran, but all countries."

Kharrazi said that the core of the Middle East crisis is Israel's "freedom to produce as much as they need ? nuclear bombs as well as other weapons of mass destruction."

"But be sure, any action by Israel certainly will be reacted (to) by us, most severely," Kharrazi said after he held talks with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw o­n the sidelines of the UN General Assembly's ministerial meeting.
The U.S. sold Israel 500 bunker buster bombs after the International Atomic Energy Agency adopted a resolution last Saturday demanding Iran to freeze all uranium enrichment activities, including the building of centrifuges, within two months. If Iran didn?t comply with the resolution, the IAEA will pass Iran's nuclear dossier to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.

Iran challenged the IAEA resolution by announcing o­n Tuesday that it will carry o­n with its nuclear program, even if it means ending cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog. Iran?s uranium enrichment program is merely for generating electricity and other peaceful purposes and not to produce nuclear weapons.

On Wednesday, Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom claimed that Iran was planning to develop nuclear weapons and will never stop those plans. He, moreover, urged the UN Security Council "to put an end to this nightmare."

Shalom sidestepped the question of whether Israel would take military action against Iran if it doesn?t stop its nuclear activities.

"They are trying to buy time, and the time has come to move the Iranian case to the Security Council in order to put an end to this nightmare," he said after his meeting with Secretary General Kofi Annan.

When asked about a possible Israeli attack o­n Iranian nuclear facilities, Secretary of State Colin Powell, said: "We're talking about diplomacy and political efforts to stop this movement o­n the part of the Iranians toward a nuclear weapon.

"We're not talking about strikes. But every option always, of course, remains o­n the table."

Kharrazi insisted "there are ways and means to arrive at a compromise" referring to the IAEA demand that Iran freezes all its uranium enrichment activities.

According to the Israeli military officials, besides the 500 o­ne-ton bombs in the arms sale, Israel will receive 2,500 o­ne-ton bombs, 1,000 half-ton bombs and 500 quarter-ton bombs.

Israel's announcement of the sale came after the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency informed the Congress of a possible military sale to Israel worth as much as $319 million.

The agency said in a June 1 at a press release that the sale "will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that has been and continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East."

U.S. transfers high-tech arsenal to Israel

Amid growing concerns that Israel might attack Iran's nuclear facilities, the U.S. is moving ahead with transferring to Israel 5,000 heavy, precision-guided bombs, including 500 "earth-penetrating" 2,000-pound bombs designed for use against underground facilities.

The $319 million arms transfer, was proposed by the Bush administration in June 1.

The deal is being financed from this year's $2.16 billion military assistance grant to Israel.

The deal also includes transferring 2,500 2,000-pound Mark-84 bombs, 500 1,000-pound Mark-83 bombs, 1,500 500-pound Mark-82 bombs and live fuses. All the bombs are being fitted with the Joint Direct Air Munitions kit, which uses inertial guidance and beacons from U.S. military global positioning satellites for deadly accuracy.

"That's an arsenal for war," said Joseph Cirincione, senior associate for nonproliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington. He said any attack o­n Iran's nuclear facilities, clustered in three major complexes and dozens of other sites, "wouldn't be a pinprick strike; it would have to be a large-scale military air strike that would result in large-scale casualties."

Copyright 2004 AlJazeera Publishing Limited


Last Updated on Thursday, 23 September 2004 06:00

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