World News and Trends: UN Nuclear Agency focuses on Iran, Syria

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UN Nuclear Agency focuses on Iran, Syria

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A report by the United Nations Nuclear Agency says that Iran has increased its number of centrifuges enriching uranium [to almost 5,000] and that inspectors have discovered traces of manmade uranium at a second site in Syria, heightening concern about possible undeclared atomic activity there” (“Atomic Agency Singles Out Iran and Syria,” International Herald Tribune, June 6-7, 2009). Yet a headline feature article in the June 7, 2009, Sunday Times was “Obama Woos Syria in Push for Peace.”

According to the Reuters communiqué, this increase in Iran’s centrifuges “has made it more difficult for U.N. inspectors to keep track of the disputed nuclear program.” Neither Iran nor Syria are friends of Israel or the West.

The June 1, 2009, Newsweek cover article about Iran was titled “They May Not Want the Bomb.” It postulated that “Iranians aren’t suicidal … Iran isn’t a dictatorship … Iran might be ready to deal … They are not fanatics.” The article intended its readers to take a “reality check.” The text begins with “Everything you know about Iran is wrong, or at least more complicated than you think.”

No doubt the state of Israel will still remain somewhat skeptical about the basic character of the Iranian leadership and its intentions. (Sources: International Herald Tribune, Newsweek, The Times [London].)

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