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U.S. Allows Russia to Send Iran Enough Uranium for 10 Nuclear Weapons

Meanwhile, the U.S. ships fired warning shots toward Iranian fast-attack vessels that were closing in on U.S. ships and refused to slow down.

Russia is sending a large shipment of natural uranium to Iran in exchange for an Iranian shipment to Russia of nuclear reactor coolant. The shipment of 116 metric tons (130 tons) was approved by the United States and the five other countries involved in orchestrating the nuclear deal with Iran.

United Nations Security Council approval of the shipment is expected soon as a formality.

The shipment is enough to make more than 10 simple nuclear bombs, according to David Albright, an expert with the Institute of Science and International Security, “depending on the efficiency of the enrichment process and the design of the nuclear weapon.”

Two senior diplomats leaked the information to the Associated Press under the condition of anonymity and said they were not authorized to discuss details of the program.

The Iranian shipment is legal under the terms of the nuclear deal and will be “subject to the careful monitoring and inspections that are included in the deal to ensure that Iran is living up to the commitments that they made,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

An upcoming conference this week of representatives from Iran, the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany in Vienna will focus on alleged violations of the nuclear deal by the United States, following Iranian complaints.

Outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama sold the nuclear deal to the American people on the understanding that the deal would make it more difficult, rather than easier, for Iran to build nuclear weapons.

At the same time as receiving huge Iranian shipments while complaining about alleged U.S. violations of the nuclear deal, the Iranian navy has come close to combat with U.S. ships in international waters in the Straits of Hormuz.

Iranian fast attack vessels closed in rapidly to a U.S. destroyer on Sunday and ignored repeated warnings to slow down. This forced the destroyer to fire three warning shots at the Iranian ships.

The Iranian vessels came within 900 yards of the ship according to U.S. Defense officials.

“This was an unsafe and unprofessional interaction, and that is due to the fact that they were approaching at a high level of speed with weapons manned and disregarding repeated warnings,”  Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, told media.

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image of a nuclear reactor  is for illustrative purposes only. Photo: © Reuters.

VIDEO: Iran finds large uranium reserve after 34 Democrats seal nuke deal

Is anyone really surprised by this? Seriously. Obama is a bloody laughingstock, but we will pay for his hubris with our lives.

“Iran says finds unexpectedly high uranium reserve,” Yahoo, September 13, 2015 (thanks to Van):

DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran has discovered an unexpectedly high reserve of uranium and will soon begin extracting the radioactive element at a new mine, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization said on Saturday.
iran laughing

The comments cast doubt on previous assessments from some Western analysts who said the country had a low supply and sooner or later would need to import uranium, the raw material needed for its nuclear program.

Any indication Iran could become more self-sufficient will be closely watched by world powers, which reached a landmark deal with Tehran in July over its program. They had feared the nuclear activities were aimed at acquiring the capability to produce atomic weapons – something denied by Tehran.

Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 12.38.09 PM

“I cannot announce (the level of) Iran’s uranium mine reserves. The important thing is that before aerial prospecting for uranium ores we were not too optimistic, but the new discoveries have made us confident about our reserves,” Iranian nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.

Salehi said uranium exploration had covered almost two-thirds of Iran and would be complete in the next four years.

Uranium can be used for civilian power production and scientific purposes, but is also a key ingredient in nuclear weapons.

The July deal between Iran and world powers will lift international sanctions on Iran in exchange for at least a decade of curbs on the country’s nuclear activity.

The U.S. State Department said any new reserves of uranium discovered in Iran will be under the same monitoring as existing mines under the nuclear agreement.

“Any violation of that commitment would be met with the appropriate response,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.

After decades of effort, Iran – which has consistently said its program is for peaceful purposes – has achieved a full nuclear fuel cycle, ranging from the extraction of uranium ore to enrichment and production of fuel rods for nuclear reactors.

Sanctions on companies taking part in Iran’s uranium mining industry will be lifted when the agreement is implemented.

Salehi said uranium extraction was set to begin at a new mine in the central province of Yazd, according to IRNA.

Some Western analysts have previously said that Iran was close to exhausting its supply of yellowcake – or raw uranium – and that mining it domestically was not cost-efficient.

A report published in 2013 by U.S. think-tanks Carnegie Endowment and the Federation of American Scientists said the scarcity and low quality of Iran’s uranium resources compelled it “to rely on external sources of natural and processed uranium”.

It added: “Despite the Iranian leadership’s assertions to the contrary, Iran’s estimated uranium endowments are nowhere near sufficient to supply its planned nuclear program.”

Iran has repeatedly denied overseas media reports that it has tried to import uranium from countries like Kazakhstan and Zimbabwe.

(Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; Additional reporting by Eric Beech in Washington; Editing by Noah Browning, Pravin Char and David Gregorio)

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on PamelaGeller.com. To stay on top of what’s really happening please follow Pamela on Twitter and like her on Facebook here.