covert actions

Iran Begins Uranium Enrichment at Qom Tuesday, Enrichment Scientist at Natanz Assassinated Wednesday

Fars News photo of the aftermath of the bomb that killed Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton railed Tuesday against Iran’s beginning of operations at its Qom uranium enrichment facility, which is buried deep within a mountain to protect it from bunker-buster bombs. Less than 24 hours later, the Deputy Director of the Natanz enrichment facility was assassinated when a bomb attached to his car exploded in northern Tehran. Iran is blaming Israel,citing similarities of this attack with two previous attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists, attacks in which Iran says the US also was complicit.

Despite the fact that Iran’s new uranium enrichment plant at Qom is designed to enrich uranium to only 20%, well short of the 90%+ that is needed for nuclear weapons, the US response to the start of operations there paints it as a highly provocative act:

“This step once again demonstrates the Iranian regime’s blatant disregard for its responsibilities and that the country’s growing isolation is self-inflicted,” Clinton said in a statement.

/snip/

“The circumstances surrounding this latest action are especially troubling,” Clinton said.

“There is no plausible justification for this production. Such enrichment brings Iran a significant step closer to having the capability to produce weapons-grade highly enriched uranium.”

Clinton rejected Iran’s assertion that it needed to enrich uranium to produce fuel for a medical research reactor, saying Western powers had offered alternatives means of obtaining such fuel but their offers had been rejected by Tehran.

Remarkably, Clinton also called for Iran to return to the “P5+1″ talks, apparently having missed Iran’s Foreign Minister stating last week that Iran is ready to return to these critical talks aimed at diffusing the tension over Iran’s nuclear technology.

It appears that the US is having a bit of trouble with message management over its actions in relation to Iran. Over at Moon of Alabama, b reports on an embarrassing incident yesterday in which transcription from a “senior administration official” in the Washington Post got a bit too candid and had to be revised. Continue reading

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bmaz RT @AP_NFL: AP sources: Tom Brady's appeal won't be heard by Wednesday deadline (@ap_robmaaddi) #NFL http://t.co/zpPZFHO5P5
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bmaz @BradMossEsq @AdamSerwer Well, you are a competent attorney, so, no, probably not.
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bmaz @quinnnorton @MonaHol No, on the whole, I think juries do MUCH better than many people think.
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bmaz @JeffreyToobin @fedcourts Nope. That hope appears to have vanished when more were not nominated and pushed previously.
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emptywheel @DanielLarison We have a lot of democracy to share.
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bmaz @quinnnorton @MonaHol I have done an awful lot of jury trials, and I think you are selling juries short as a whole. They work.
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emptywheel @DanaHoule On the second one, which is quite lovely.
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emptywheel Phone dragnet is most important thing ever. Unless Mitch McConnell might suffer embarrassment for his hubris. In which case it's "trivial"
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emptywheel Devin Nunes, of fight to continue the little-used but "important" phone dragnet: "really trivial" http://t.co/qwG5rYyIVV
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bmaz @quinnnorton @MonaHol The courtroom is a different place, I can understand the frustration though.
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