1. Iran plans to import uranium from Kazakhstan; "could be" closer to acquiring nuclear weapons
An intelligence report released Tuesday claims that Iran has made plans to import over 1,350 tons of purified uranium ore from Kazakhstan in return for $450 million. This deal would break rules the UN Security Council had previously established for Iran as means to prevent the country fro obtaining nuclear weapons. Tehran has already been placed under sanctions by the UN for their refusal to disclose information on their uranium enrichment program and although Iranian diplomats had recently signaled that they were prepared to accept an agreement to outsource the program, this development appears to rescind the offer.
Iranian officials have also recently signaled their intention of trading low level enriched uranium abroad for nuclear fuel. Iran claims that these fuel swaps should indicate that their interest is in peaceful production of nuclear technology but Western powers, including the US, fear that these actions could help Tehran weaponize their fuel on a faster timeframe than previously anticipated.
source: gather news
2. Iran dismisses reports on uranium imports from Kazakhstan
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian mission in New York strongly rejected reports on Tehran's intentions of importing 1,350 tons of purified uranium ore from Kazakhstan.
The Iranian mission said a report by the AP that "Iran is close to clinching a deal to clandestinely import 1,350 tons of purified uranium ore from Kazakhstan" serves as a part of the propaganda campaign by the "aggressive powers" against Iran's peaceful nuclear program.
...The US and its western allies allege that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program while they have never presented corroborative evidence to substantiate their allegations against the Islamic Republic.
read more @ fars
3. WHY KAZAHKSTAN? DID YOU KNOW THAT KAZAKHSTAN IS "ISRAEL'S PARTNER IN EURASIA?"
Kazakhstan: Israel's Partner in Eurasia
- Israel and post-communist, resource-rich states have similar geopolitical priorities in opposing terrorism and radical Islam.
- By developing closer ties with Kazakhstan - and with Eurasian countries in general - Israel can expand its ties to the secular Muslim Turkic states and its role in the new "great game" of Eurasia: economic development fueled by exports of the region's massive natural resources.
- Israel and the countries of Eurasia are economically complimentary: Central Asian countries are rich in natural resources, and can benefit from Israeli solar, irrigation/agricultural, medical and other know-how. Israel can offer high-tech, military, and advanced agricultural technology, cutting-edge medical sciences, and educational opportunities. As always in international relations, common interests define strong ties.
- On occasion, President Nursultan Nazarbayev used his good services to appeal to Iran on behalf of missing Israeli servicemen or call on Tehran to abandon its nuclear weapons, as Kazakhstan did in 1994. Unfortunately, these appeals usually fall on deaf ears.
- With oil prices rising, Kazakhstan may have left the nadir of economic decline behind, although banking and construction sectors were hurt particularly hard.
The June 2009 visit by Israeli President Shimon Peres to Kazakhstan once again focused Israel's attention on energy-rich, secular Muslim states of the Caspian and Central Asia: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. This was not Peres' first visit to the steppe country in the heart of Eurasia: he visited Kazakhstan several times before as foreign minister and deputy prime minister. This was a good long-term investment: Kazakhstan is as large as the entirety of Western Europe, but with a population only 1.5 times larger than the population of the city of Moscow. It is one of the most sparsely populated countries on Earth.
read this and other recent news items about Kazakhstan at my post on 12/13/09
further reading on Kazakhstan's next door neighbor Kyrgyzstan, such as a Russian journalist recently being tossed out of a building with his hands duct taped behind his back, here