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Iranian technicians load fuel into Bushehr reactor

Arab ally of US warns against attack

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 Iranian technicians load fuel into Bushehr reactor

Iran's official Press TV reported on Tuesday that technicians have begun inserting nuclear fuel rods into the core of the reactor at the Bushehr power plant, marking a new milestone in the Islamic Republic’s renegade nuclear program.

The report added that the plant requires 163 fuel rods to be inserted into the core in order to become fully operational, and at the current rate of operations the plant should begin to generate electricity sometime in early 2011.

"Despite all efforts and policies of America and the European Union to put sanctions on Iran, the fuel of the Bushehr power plant will be loaded into its core," declared Iranian MP Alaeddin Boroujerdi, who is head of the Iranian parliament's national security and foreign policy committee.

Meanwhile, one of America's major Arab allies in the Persian Gulf region cautioned US President Barack Obama to be very careful in his dealings with Iran on Tuesday.

"As a neighbor to Iran, and we have lived with Iranians for a long time together, we believe that the best thing is dialogue. The Americans should speak with Iran. The Iranians are all the time mentioning that their nuclear (program) is there for peaceful purposes,” insisted Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, during an interview published on Tuesday in the Financial Times (London). "We never thought to [support] the Americans against Iran or against Hizbullah. Again, we feel that we know our region more than the Americans."

Al-Thani added that he would not allow the US to use bases in his country to launch an attack against Iran and that Israelis are those "who have the most dangerous weapons, the nuclear weapons."

Al-Thani also complained that he had allowed Israel to open an economic interest office in Qatar’s capital of Doha and that he had cultivated a mutually beneficial economic relationship with the Jewish state but that Israel had not done enough to reciprocate.

Meantime, Obama's special adviser on Iran, Dennis Ross, told a gathering of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC on Monday that, "Iran's own behavior over the past two years... has demonstrated that it prefers defiance and secrecy to transparency and peace....The Iranian government's continued repression and intimidation of its own people following the presidential election last year demonstrated the lack of respect it shows even to its own citizens. And in the Middle East, Iran continues to rely on tactics of intimidation and coercion to gain influence..."

"Should Iran continue its defiance, despite its growing isolation and the damage to its economy, its leaders should listen carefully to President Obama who has said many times, 'we are determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons,'" Ross concluded.


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