Shorts: Mideast

Russia brings Iranian reactor to final stage

Atomstroiexport, the Russian state-run company building Iran’s first nuclear plant, said Sept. 8 that preparations for the reactor’s launch had entered their final stage.

Company chief Leonid Reznikov said that by the end of the year the company will take steps that will make the launch of the Bushehr plant “irreversible.”

Company spokeswoman Irina Yesipova said the launch date will be determined after talks between Russian and Iranian nuclear officials this month.

Iran is paying Russia more than $1 billion to build the 1,000-megawatt light-water reactor. — ap

U.N. says Lebanon deserves reparations

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling on Israel to pay Lebanon $1 billion in compensation for war damage.

The figure for the damage from the 2006 war with Lebanon was based on calculations by the World Bank, Lebanese media reported over the weekend.

The money would cover environmental and physical destruction, including damage to Lebanon’s coastline from an oil spill suffered when Israel bombed the Jivyeh power station. — jta

Will Israel capture Ahmadinejad?

Mossad might hunt down Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejhad, according to Israeli lawmaker and former spy agency agent Rafi Eitan.

Eitan told the German weekly Der Spiegel on Sept. 8 that the era of the Mossad hunting down old Nazis such as Adolph Eichmann is over, “but that’s not to say that such operations are completely a thing of the past.”

“It could very well be that a leader such as [Ahmadinejad] suddenly finds himself before the International Criminal Court in the Hague,” he said. “Those who spread poison and want to eradicate another people have to expect such consequences.”

Eitan, now Israel’s minister of pensioner affairs, also discussed why Mossad let notorious concentration camp doctor Josef Mengele get away in 1960 in order not to jeopardize the operation to capture Eichmann in Buenos Aires.

Eitan said he and other Mossad operatives discovered Mengele with his wife in a Buenos Aires apartment. A Mossad team returned to the area several weeks after capturing Eichmann, but Mengele had disappeared. — jta

Goldwasser’s mom enters politics

The mother of slain soldier Udi Goldwasser is running for the Nahariya City Council.

Miki Gold-wasser said serving the city in which she was born and where she raised her children would be a way of giving back to the people who worked to repatriate the remains of her son.

Udi Goldwasser’s remains were returned in July in a prisoner swap with Hezbollah. He had been abducted in July 2006 by members of Hezbollah on a raid into Israel. — jta