Iran begins fueling Bushehr nuclear reactor
Rapture Forum Staff: Chris
Today Iran, with the help of Russia, started to fuel their Bushehr nuclear power plant by adding the necessary fuel rods to power the plant. The events of today are very important and at the same time very disturbing. By allowing the Iranians to load the nuclear fuel into the reactor the Iranians have achieved a big milestone not only in their nuclear program, but they also seem to have defied the world community's resolve to stop their nuclear program. The Israelis for their part did not take out the reactor before it went "online" as they had done a couple of times before in the past with Iraq and Syria. The initial feeling is that Iran has won the nuclear race, yet this may not be the case. If they win the race with Bushehr, they could still end up losing the marathon in the end. Let's look at the news headlines and see what the reports are before looking into this situation more. The Jerusalem Post reports:
Iranian and Russian engineers began loading fuel into Iran's first nuclear power plant on Saturday, a major milestone as Teheran forges ahead with its atomic program despite UN sanctions.
The weeklong operation to load uranium fuel into the reactor at the Bushehr power plant in southern Iran is the first step in starting up a facility the US once hoped to prevent because of fears over Teheran's nuclear ambitions.
The Iranians planned celebrations and other activities to mark the nuclear milestone. The Iranian Vice President said:
"Despite all pressure, sanctions and hardships imposed by Western nations, we are now witnessing the startup of the largest symbol of Iran's peaceful nuclear activities," Iranian Vice President and nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi told reporters inside the plant.
As the Iranian Vice President reported it appears that Iran has beaten the sanctions, the collective will of the international community, and at the same time held off an Israeli or American strike against their nuclear facilities. At least for the time being. While the Iranians have played a good game of "diplomatic chess" over the years while pursuing their nuclear program, the fact remains that they can't be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon. The Russians for their part have said that Iran doesn't possess a proliferation threat because the Russians would be in charge of providing and disposing of the nuclear fuel rods during the operation of the Iranian nuclear program. But as we know from past history, look at the situation with Georgia, the Russians are not much more trustworthy than the Iranians in reality. There certainly seems something afoul in the whole deal to me.
However, the U.S. government came out today and announced that they did not see the Bushehr plant being a proliferation threat either. This announcement could just be a cover-up for the failed policies of President Obama as they got stung by the Iranians. The Haaretz news website is reporting:
The United States does not see the fueling of Iran's first nuclear power plant in Bushehr as a “proliferation risk," State Department spokesman Darby Holladay said Saturday. “We recognize that the Bushehr reactor is designed to provide civilian nuclear power and do not view it as a proliferation risk,” Holladay said, adding that “It will be under IAEA safeguards and Russia is providing the fuel and talking back the spit nuclear fuel, which would be the principal source of proliferation concerns."
It appears that the U.S. administration of Barack Obama has more faith in the Russians than I do as I don't believe that the Russians will honor their commitment as they are always looking to make a quick buck here and there. It will be very tempting for Russian scientists to blackmarket the nuclear fuel just as they did for other countries after the Cold War. After the Cold War it was reported that there were nuclear missiles missing from the Russian arsenal. Who has these missiles is anyone's guess. This is why you can't trust Russia or their accounting of Iran's nuclear program. I just don't believe that the Russians will be the great "protector" of the international community's security as some seem to believe. Call me a skeptic, but that's just the way I see it.
Going back to the Jerusalem Post article we can get some details about the new Iranian nuclear plant. The Jerusalem Post article reports what is next with the nuclear fuel and the time-frame in which it will be up and running. The Jerusalem Post reports:
The United States, while no longer formally objecting to the plant, disagrees and says Iran should not be rewarded while it continues to defy UN demands to halt enrichment of uranium, a process used to produce fuel for power plants but which can also be used in weapons production.
On Saturday, a first truckload of fuel was taken from a storage site to a fuel "pool" inside the reactor building. Over the next 10 days, 163 fuel assemblies — equal to 80 tons of uranium fuel — will be moved inside the building and then into the reactor core. Workers in white lab coats and helmets led reporters on a tour of the cavernous facility. It will be another two months before the 1,000-megawatt light-water reactor is pumping electricity to Iranian cities.
What's interesting to me is that since the Iranians have loaded the nuclear fuel starting today, it appears that the U.S. for some reason doesn't see the plant as a threat anymore. The problem is that they condition their thoughts and policies around Russian compliance with what they say they are going to do. To me, a situation of this magnitude is not something I'm going to trust the Russians with. Would we trust them with our national security? Of course not. Then why all of a sudden are we to trust them with keeping weapons grade nuclear material out of the hands of what is perhaps the world's most fanatical state sponsor of Islamic terrorism? Afterall, Hamas and Hezbollah are simply proxies of the Iranians. To me, this all sounds a little fishy to me. With the help of Russian know-how on the nuclear issue, what's to say Iran won't run "hidden" enrichment programs away from the eyesight of the Russians and IAEA? The truth is, there are probably already hidden nuclear enrichment programs that are already in place. The Russians have just helped the Iranians do something they couldn't do on their own and in the process sacrificed the world community's security to make a quick buck. That's pretty much the situation in a nutshell. And Russia did it for a mere $1,000,000,000 bucks. With there being over 6 billion people on Earth, it looks like the Russians reduced us all to being worth no more than $.17 each.
To highlight the severity of the Russian assistance to Iran, the Jerusalem Post reports:
Of greater concern to the West, however, are Iran's stated plans to build 10 new uranium enrichment sites inside protected mountain strongholds. Iran said recently it will begin construction on the first one in March in defiance of the UN sanctions. Nationwide celebrations were planned for Saturday's fuel loading at Bushehr.
"I thank the Russian government and nation, which cooperated with the great Iranian nation and registered their name in Islamic Iran's golden history," Salehi said. "Today is a historic day and will be remembered in history." He spoke at a news conference inside the plant with the head of Russia's state-run nuclear corporation, Sergei Kiriyenko, who said Russia was always committed to the project. "The countdown to the Bushehr nuclear power plant has started," Kiriyenko said. "Congratulations."
Golden history? Russia was always committed to the project? These words make my stomach turn. Why? Because Bible prophecy tells us that one day the Russians and Iranians will one day lead a "moslem" led coalition against Israel according to the Bible in Ezekiel 38-39. When I wrote the last Rapture Report, we were within a week of today's loading of nuclear fuel in the Bushehr nuclear plant. Even for U.N. ambassador John Bolton had said that Israel had a week to act if they wanted to stop Iran. It was mentioned that once a nuclear facility has been "fueled" it is against international law to destroy it with a military strike. But the $64,000 question remains. Why didn't Israel react?
There are a couple of theories and reasons why I think Israel may not have decided to carry out a military mission to strike Iran this week. First, during the week there were thoughts that perhaps the whole nuclear fueling scenario was a bluff thrown up by the Russians and Iranians in order to provoke an Israel response as they had recently announced that they would fuel up the reactor at the end of September. If anyone knows what is going on in the Middle East it is the Israeli Mossad. I would imagine that they have one if not more spies within the Iranian nuclear program that keeps them up to date on the status of the program. The thinking then was that if this was true, then Israel would not strike this week. Second, another theory was that if the nuclear fuel rods were on the compound of the nuclear facility then even if Israel hit the nuclear plant there was still a good chance that the nuclear radiation would be spewed all over the area and perhaps the region including into the Persian Gulf. If this is the case, then it really doesn't matter when Israel strikes, it's all going to be one big mess anyway. Perhaps Israel feels they can wait a little longer to see what Iran does after loading the nuclear fuel. I also do not know if with the Iraq and Syria plants if the nuclear fuel was on the compound at the time or not? I'm thinking that it was not as I do not remember any significant environmental disaster as a result of nuclear fallout, etc. But again I'm not sure. Finally, another possible theory was that given the short notice of the intended nuclear fueling that Israel would wait until after the start of the fueling process when all the major politicians had left the region. This way Israel would have avoided making such a massive move like this with the entire world watching. That if they would just wait a little longer then they would regain the element of surprise since there was going to be a "big mess" either way. The element of surprise is critical in a mission of this nature and complexity.
Whatever the reason was as to why Israel did not make a move this week, we can be sure that they are carefully monitoring the situation with Iran very closely. As I mentioned in the last Rapture Report, there are lots of "ebbs and flows" as it pertains the Middle East. Just when we think we are heading towards a major event it appears that things cool down. And likewise, just when we least expect it the region tends to boil over like with the shooting of the Israeli officer recently on the Lebanon border. While we have a big picture as it relates to Bible prophecy, God has not given us all the exact details. With that I'm afraid the details are just not for us to know, but to find out when they happen.
Keep watching and stay sober, the Israelis are masters of the unexpected. Just ask Iraq and Syria. While they celebrate in Tehran and perhaps pass out the candy, you never know what Israel could do if they feel they have to do it and the timing is right. Stay tuned!!