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Iran trumpets its nuclear advances and deepens standoff with the West. According to Reuters, Iran proclaimed advances in nuclear know-how on Wednesday, including new centrifuges able to enrich uranium much faster, a move that may hasten a drift towards confrontation with the West over suspicions it is seeking the means to make atomic bombs. Tehran's resolve to pursue a nuclear program showed no sign of wavering despite Western sanctions inflicting increasing damage on its oil-based economy.
Russia Would Use Nuclear Weapons to Stave Off Threats. According to Russian news agency RIA Novosti, Russian Gen. Nikolai Makarov said Russia would use nuclear weapons in response to any imminent threat to its national security. In a radio interview, he said, "We are certainly not planning to fight against the whole of NATO, but if there is a threat to the integrity of the Russian Federation, we have the right to use nuclear weapons, and we will."
Thailand says Arrested Iranians Were Indeed Planning to Attack Israeli Diplomats. According to The Associated Press, Thailand's top policeman said three Iranians detained after accidentally setting off explosives in Bangkok were planning to attack Israeli diplomats. The allegation came after days of strong accusations by Israel that Iran was behind the botched plot as well as two others in India and the former Soviet republic of Georgia this week. Iran has denied the charges. Citing the similarity of bombs used in New Delhi and Tblisi, national police chief Gen. Prewpan Dhamapong said that Thai authorities now "know for certain that (the target) was Israeli diplomats."
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