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    How is it that Ahmadinejad Is still Iran's president?

    McClatchy Newspapers - By ALIREZA JAFARZADEH May 11, 2012

    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced on April 28th that it would resume discussions with Iran on May 14-15, the first in two months since the last meeting over concerns about Tehran's nuclear activities ended in failure.

    The IAEA wants Iran to address the questions raised in its November report detailing Iranian research and development activities relevant to manufacturing nuclear weapons.

    In early April, after a year-long suspension, the so-called P5+1 group (the five permanent United Nations Security Council members plus Germany) sat down for a day with the Iranian regime’s delegation in Istanbul.

    Discussion over Iran’s nuclear program once again resumed, rekindling hope that this international crisis would be resolved through diplomatic maneuvering. Some are still expressing optimism that the talks could succeed. The West’s notion of success, of course, is a halt to Iran’s nuclear enrichment program. Tehran, in contrast, is seeking to have the sanctions imposed by the West lifted.

    “One of the issues that should be taken into consideration, and is the request of the Iranian people, is the removal of sanctions,” the Iranian regime’s nuclear envoy, Saeed Jalili said after the talks. Tehran hoped to achieve this end without conceding anything, certainly not slowing, let alone halting its drive for nuclear weapons.

    The latest information obtained by Iran's main opposition, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), which was first to expose the regime's nuclear program, reveals that the regime has in fact significantly boosted the activities of the entity tasked with nuclear weapons development. The secretive New Defense Research Organization (known by its Farsi abbreviation SPND) carries out research and testing on nuclear warheads and detonators, among other things.

    According to the latest information by the MEK, the uranium enrichment activities at the new Fordow site, hidden deep inside the mountains near Qom, are closely monitored by the experts working at SPND, revealing the regime’s not so benign intentions which were the raison d’être for building Fordow.

    Clearly, Tehran's main objective in Istanbul was to further drag the process along. To accomplish this, all it had to do was agree to a second round of talks without making any concrete commitments. Tehran succeeded — the next round of talks are scheduled for May 23rd in Baghdad.

    History does teach us, and the round after round, year after year of fruitless talks do persuade us to pessimism about the real chances of success for the current round of negotiations. For more than a decade, since Iranian dissidents first exposed the regime's nuclear program, succeeding US administrations have expressed hope, and expectations were raised, about diplomatic talks with the Iranian regime. Each time, Tehran dashed those hopes.

    Numerous packages of incentives have been offered to entice Tehran to end uranium enrichment. Whether under the administration of "moderate" President Mohammad Khatami in the late 1990’s, or that of his successor, the “hardline” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, none have succeeded.

    After the IAEA failed to get answers from the regime in 2007, the U.S. and its European allies once again tried to salvage the talks by promising fully normalized economic relations; Tehran rebuffed their generous overture.

    When Barack Obama took office in 2009, Iran was already enriching uranium at 3.5 percent levels. Still, President Obama revived hopes for negotiations. Three years later, Tehran is enriching up to 20 percent and has enough enriched uranium to make four nuclear weapons, when enhanced to weapons grade. Instead of a peaceful solution, the specter of war is looming larger.

    Read more: http://www.ncr-iran.org/en/news/nuclear/11933-how-is-it-that-ahmadinejad-is-still-irans-president
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