News / Middle East

Analyst: Few Options on Iran's Nuclear Aims

Anti-aircraft gun near Iran's nuclear-enrichment facility in Natanz, Sept. 2007 (file photo).
Anti-aircraft gun near Iran's nuclear-enrichment facility in Natanz, Sept. 2007 (file photo).
Lisa Bryant

Global reaction to the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA's) newly released report, which offers the strongest evidence yet that Iran is building a nuclear weapon, has been low key.

Although the report says some components of the program can have civilian applications, it points to others that are specifically linked to nuclear weapons. It suggests Tehran has created computer models of nuclear explosions and experimented on nuclear triggers.

Iranian officials reject allegations its nuclear program has any military aim, and President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad on Wednesday said the country would not retreat from its nuclear activities.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe says Paris is ready to push for tough new sanctions against Iran if the country refuses to answer questions about its nuclear program.

In a Wednesday interview with Radio France Internationale, Juppe, who called the IAEA report detailed and damning, said Iran's actions are unacceptable and violate U.N. resolutions and international law. He said the IAEA's board of governors should condemn Tehran and that the Security Council should take up the matter.

The United Nations Security Council has already passed four sets of sanctions against Iran, but two permanent Security Council members, Russia and China, have so far shown little appetite for more.

Security Analyst Dave Clemente of the London think-tank Chatham House says the international community has few options.

"The U.S. seems like [it will continue] with the sanctions that already exist, in part because it will be difficult if not impossible to get any increased level of sanctions," he said. "Certainly, through the Security Council it would be nearly impossible."

Clemente also doubts Israel will carry through with warnings of a possible military strike against Iran's nuclear program.

"I think it is unlikely because it would have strong repercussions around the region," he said. "It would exacerbate instability that already exists and have unforeseen consequences, certainly for the U.S."

Clemente notes the report comes amid increasing concern about Iranian policy and actions. Last month, Washington accused Iranian officials of plotting to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States. The IAEA is expected to examine its latest report on Iran during a board meeting next week.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid