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'Bushehr unrelated to enrichment'
By JPOST.COM STAFF
08/18/2010
After Bolton warning, Iran insists nuclear plant is harmless.
 
Iranian officials continue to insist that the Bushehr nuclear plant has nothing to do with uranium enrichment, Iran's English-language news network PressTV reported on Wednesday.

"To decide on the timing of the enrichment activity is a domestic affair and the United States is not entitled to interfere in this issue. The protracted start-up of the Bushehr nuclear reactor demonstrates the scientific and technological capabilities of Iranian scientists," Iranian MP Mohammad Karim Shahrzad reportedly said.

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Another Iranian MP, Hossein Sobhaninia, added: "The fueling of the Bushehr plant can not be linked to Iran's nuclear enrichment program; Iran is well aware of its responsibilities."

Also on Wednesday, PressTV reported that Iranian Army official Ali Shadmani threatened to close the Straits of Hormuz if the US attacks Iran.

Earlier this week, former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton warned that Israel has days to attack Iran, before the Bushehr reactor will be active.

“This is a very, very big victory for Iran,” Bolton told The Jerusalem Post. “This is a huge threshold.”

However, Iran expert Ilan Berman of the American Foreign Policy Council said that the uranium enrichment plants are the real backbone of Iranian efforts and expenditures to get a nuclear weapons capability, and he suspected that they, rather than Bushehr, would be Israel’s primary targets in any attack.

“It’s not at all clear that Bushehr would be a high value target because it’s only tangentially related to any conceivable Iranian nuclear weapons program,” he said. “My suspicion is this isn’t a game changer. This isn’t going to give Iran enough fissile material for a bomb overnight.”

Hilary Leila Krieger contributed to this report.
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