Monday, August 09, 2004

U.S. searching for secret ways to stall Iran's nuclear program

U.S. searching for secret ways to stall Iran's nuclear program: "
U.S. searching for secret ways to stall Iran's nuclear program

August 9, 2004

BY DAVID RENNIE Advertisement

WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration is trying to find covert ways to sabotage or delay Iran's nuclear weapons program, believing that diplomatic deals struck with European nations have barely slowed Teheran's rush towards the bomb.

Intelligence and administration officials are urgently trying to find secret means "to disrupt or delay as long as we can" the development of an Iranian bomb, one said.

The urgency stems, in part, from "increasingly strong private statements" by Israeli counterparts that they may be forced to take military action to stop Iran achieving its dream of a nuclear arsenal.

One American official told the New York Times that the Israelis were "doing what they can to delay the Iranian program, and preparing military options."

It is uncertain that it is possible to stop Iran joining the nuclear club, thanks to the know-how Teheran bought from Abdul Qadeer Khan, the former Pakistani nuclear chief, U.S. officials told the newspaper.

With his appearances now focused on the November elections, President Bush rarely mentions Iran and North Korea in public, although the two nations are members of his "axis of evil" with Iraq.

Bush's Democratic challenger, Sen. John Kerry, has sought to attack him for ignoring North Korea and Iran and concentrating on Iraq, whose nuclear program has turned out to have been largely moribund.

Meanwhile, Iran announced that it was resuming the construction of centrifuges needed to produce weapons grade uranium, dealing a seemingly fatal blow to a deal brokered by European nations last year to limit Iran's nuclear research.

National security adviser Condoleezza Rice struck an optimistic note on Sunday, saying that U.S. leadership has brought the world -- including the United Nations watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Authority -- around to seeing the menace of a nuclear-armed Iran.

Daily Telegraph"


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