Hollywood-Backstage
Iran: Streets, Sanctions, Troop Movements, Missiles, Non-Proliferation, and Gmail  

Iran: Streets, Sanctions, Nuclear Enrichment, Missiles, Non-Proliferation, and Gmail

Hollywood Backstage Staff Writer 
Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The stage is set. Tomorrow, marks the 30 year anniversary of Iran's current government. Tensions are very high in Iran as a national government rally is destined to become a major conflict between anti-government protestors and pro-government forces.

Iran's previous government was overthrown in 1979 by followers united by Ayatollah Khomeini. After 2,500 years of monarchy, Iran's government was changed to a theocratic republic, the current government of Iran, "The Islamic Republic of Iran."

The government has meticulously prepared routes to Iran's "freedom" or Azadi Square, where the national rally is to be held.

But the leaders of Iran’s opposition (a.k.a. the ' Green Movement ') has also called for huge turnout on a day that is considered by some Iranians as a national celebration.

Iran's police chief is warning opposition protesters that security forces "will not allow anyone to disrupt" official ceremonies marking Thursday's anniversary of the country's 1979 revolution. That spells trouble. Opposition leaders have called on supporters to turn out for a "peaceful demonstration."  Iranian authorities deployed in force across Tehran Wednesday to conduct last-minute security sweeps and warn residents to refrain from joining anti-government protests.

Iran has promised a "punch" to the "arrogance of Western powers" on Thursday at the Iran's Government rally presumably with a massive show of support from it's people. That's a silly notion. If every single person in Iran showed up at the rally cheering for their government, it would not amount to much of a punch from the standpoint of the Western powers. Do the Western powers really care that much whether Iranians show up at an Iranian rally?

Meanwhile back at the Nuclear Research Facility, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday called on the established nuclear states to dismantle their nuclear arms. "We can force the owners of nuclear weapons to annihilate them," Ahmadinejad said.

The UN General Assembly last October approved a draft resolution proposed by Iran on nuclear disarmament amid strong opposition by the US, Britain, France, Israel and a number of western countries. 

Things are looking up in Iran. "We have been contemplating fully repelling all types of air and space threats against Iran," said Iran's General Hassan Mansourian.

Iran has ordered a bevy of S-300 missile systems from Russia, which have not yet been delivered. The S-300 surface-to-air system, known as the SA-20 in the West, can track targets and fire at aircraft 120 kilometers (75 miles) away. It also features high jamming immunity and is capable of simultaneously engaging up to 100 targets. 

"Our country's Armed Forces have full intelligence control over the enemy's activities in the regional countries," Iranian Army Lieutenant Commander General Seyed Abdolrahim Mousavi said. 

No gmail for you. There is a report that Iran plans to block Google's gmail in favor of Iran's own government run email system. Iran's telecommunications agency announced what it described as a permanent suspension of Google Inc.'s email services, saying instead that a national email service for Iranian citizens would soon be rolled out. It wasn't clear late Wednesday what effect the order had on Google's email services in Iran.

"Here I announce to the head of the AEOI to begin the 20% enrichment," Ahmadinejad announced, addressing the inauguration ceremony of an exhibition on the achievements of Iran's National Center of Laser Sciences and Technologies. 

Iran's move to enrich Uranium to a higher 20-percent level has aroused the concern of Western countries, with the U.S. President, Barack Obama threatening to impose "a significant regime of sanctions" with other major countries against the country.

Iran has rejected the US offer to provide the Tehran government with an alternative way to obtain medical isotopes.

"Shutting down the reactor or stopping the production of medicine is not the solution. The solution is that the other side cooperates to increase the number of these reactors as well as their production to meet the needs of patients," said Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast.

"What we are going to be working on over the next several weeks is developing a significant regime of sanctions that will indicate to them how isolated they are from the international community as a whole," Obama said.

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper said, "Canada will use its G8 presidency to continue to focus international attention and action on the Iranian regime" and "work with its allies to find strong and viable solutions, including sanctions, to hold Iran to account." Canada is the leading supplier of medical isotopes in the world, supplying 70% of all medical isotopes.

Uranium 235 is the critical material needed to construct a nuclear weapon. Uranium exists in nature, and contains 0.711% U235 and 99.284% U238. Enriched Uranium increases the proportion of U235 to the proportion of U238 in the Uranium.

U235 is the only isotope existing in nature that is fissile with thermal neutrons.

A Nuclear Bomb is made when a bullet the size of a "critical mass" of U235 is shot into a cynlinder of U235. The resulting explosion creates nuclear fission and a massive nuclear blast.

The "critical mass" for 85% highly enriched Uranium is about 50 kilograms (110 lb) which at normal density would be a sphere about 17 centimeters (6.7 inches) in diameter.

Iran wants to control their own Uranium enrichment processing. The U.S. and other nations are trying to prevent the possibility that Iran create enough enriched Uranium for weaponization. Clearly, Iran is defending itself from what it perceives as the potential for future bullying by the United States and it's allies.

links:

The Associated Press

Reuters

BBC

China

USA Today

PressTV

Al Jazeera