debkafile Reports: Tehran reports home-production of first uranium fuel pellets for Arak reactor – as US steps up fuel supply activity for Gulf for

The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, vice president Gholam Reza Aghazadeh, announced Saturday night, Nov. 24: “Fuel pellets to be used in the 40-megawatt Arak research reactor have been produced.”
debkafile‘s military sources report he was referring to uranium oxide pellets used in improved nuclear fuel rods for the Arak reactor, which is still under construction. This development is of concern, because the spent fuel from the heavy-water facility can be used to produce plutonium.
It was also reported Saturday that The US Navy’s Military Sealift Command has tendered for four tankers in November – instead of the normal one or two – to move at least one million barrels of jet and ship fuel between Gulf ports from Asia to the Gulf and between the US Diego Garcia Indian Ocean base and big US Gulf bases in Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman.
The fuels to be moved between Gulf ports include the high flashpoint jet fuel JP5, used to power F18 fighters aboard aircraft carriers. debkafile‘s military sources report that the US heavy B-1 bombers are based on Diego Garcia along with heavy ordnance for bombing fortified underground targets, such as Iran’s secret military installations
Shipping and oil industry sources suggest CENTCOM, whose area includes the American Fifth Fleet’s aircraft carriers cruising the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea, may be stocking in extra fuel ahead of extended operations off or on Iran’s shores.
The Military Sealift Command, which is geared to provide ocean transportation for supplying US forces worldwide with equipment, fuel, supplies and ammunition, has been very active, said a ship industry source. During war, 95 percent of all equipment and supplies needed to sustain the U.S. military will be carried by sea. Stepping up this traffic suggests heightened American military operation pending in the Gulf region.
In the last two days, two Western newspapers have referred to US war preparations against Iran: The big Scottish paper The Herald reported: “The US is secretly upgrading special stealth bomber hangars on the British island protectorate of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean in preparation for strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities, according to military sources.”
According to the Canadian Globe and Mail: “No one is predicting a full-blown ground war with Iran. The likeliest scenario, a blistering air war that could last as little as one night or as long as two weeks…”

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