Iran Expands Nuclear Program Despite Sanctions

Jerusalem, Feb. 15 – Iran will install homegrown nuclear fuel rods into a research reactor Wednesday, despite repeated United Nations and international sanctions calling for it to stop nuclear development and cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Iran’s top leaders are expected to attend the installation ceremony of the nuclear fuel rods, Russia’s Ria Novosti news agency reported.

The IAEA has been trying to persuade Iran to stop stonewalling the investigation by IAEA inspectors and answer mounting suspicions thatIran's enrichment campaign is covertly geared to yielding atomic bombs.

Iran says its nuclear program is for civilian use, but an IAEA report last November concluded Iran was not cooperating in proving its activities were peaceful. The IAEA is due to release another report next month that will apparently include new details about the effort by Tehran to develop a nuclear warhead for a ground-to-ground missile.

Meanwhile in Thailand, investigators said they had found a link between bomb blasts in Bangkok and earlier attacks on Israeli diplomats in New Delhi, India, and Tbilisi, Georgia, the Daily Mail Newspaper reported. The explosives used in the three incidents used 'the same magnetic sheets,' the report said.

Two Iranian citizens were arrested a third is being hunted in the Bangkok bombings that came shortly after Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak passed through the city on his way to Japan. A senior Thai intelligence official told AFP that the two were part of an "assassination team" targeting Israeli diplomats and that "their plan was to attach bombs to diplomats' cars."

“The world must denounce Iran's terrorist activity and mark red lines for the Iranian nuclear program," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday at the Knesset.

"Iran is undermining the stability of the world. It is attacking innocent diplomats around the world. The countries of the world must condemn these acts and draw red lines against Iranian aggression,” Netanyahu said. “This type of aggression, if not stopped, will eventually spread out to many countries.”

The Yisrael Hayom newspaper commented in an editorial that despite the apparent haste and amateurishness of the attacks themselves in India and Bangkok, “the preparation was scrupulous: considerable intelligence was collected and the terrorists knew exactly who to look for.”

“Iran's haste to act despite the heavy cost entailed by its exposure in all fronts should certainly be a cause for concern in Jerusalem and the west,” the paper added.

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