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Jewish Chaplain for Russian Army, Nuke Fuel Delivered to Iran

Russia has posted its first Jewish military chaplain since the 1917 Boshevik Revolution. It also began its first nuclear fuel delivery to Iran.
By Hana Levi Julian
First Publish: 12/17/2007, 3:12 PM

The Russian government is nurturing the approximately 40,000 Jews in its armed forces, but is also supplying Iranians with nuclear fuel to threaten Jews in Israel.

For the first time since the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, a chief rabbinical chaplain was appointed to provide spiritual guidance to Jewish soldiers serving in Russia's military, police and security services, according to an article written by Michael Freund in The Jerusalem Post.

Rabbi Aharon Gurevich was appointed to the post at the recommendation of Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar, a Chabad-Lubavitcher Chassid who received permission from the Russian government to establish the post.  Rabbi Gurevich received the rank of colonel and will have free access to Russia's military bases.

Rabbi Gurevich was born into a secular home in Russia, and decided to become more religious after being exposed to Jewish literature and the Refusenik movement and receiving information that family members made aliyah to Israel prior to World War II.
On December 16, 2007, Atomstroiexport began delivery of the fuel for the initial installation at the future Bushehr power station

While the Russian government is encouraging Jewish spirituality in its armed forces, however, it is also encouraging nuclear development in Iran, a nation that is committed to wiping out the Jewish State of Israel.

Russia Activates its Support for Iranian Nukes
The state-run manufacturer that produces the fuel for Iran's new atomic power plant released a statement Monday indicating that delivery had begun.

"On December 16, 2007, Atomstroiexport began delivery of the fuel for the initial installation at the future Bushehr power station," it said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry likewise released a statement, insisting Monday that all deliveries of nuclear fuel are being monitored by the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

To ensure that the fuel is used for domestic energy production only, the Ministry said, the spent fuel and will be "returned to Russia for reprocessing and storage." According to the Reuters news agency, IAEA officials monitored the sealing of the nuclear fuel which allegedly is only good for civilian use in its current state, two weeks prior to its delivery.

Reporters were told Monday by a senior Iranian official that the Islamic Republic would not be stopped from continuing its uranium enrichment program, regardless of the delivery of nuclear fuel from Russia, which it considers a separate matter.

"The delivery is not in the framework of the [UN] resolutions or the framework of talks," said the Iranian official, who added that Iran would not halt its uranium enrichment activities, "at all."

The US and Israel have repeatedly stated that they suspect Iran is intent on producing an atomic weapon of mass destruction, and have asked the UN Security Council to increase sanctions against the country in hopes of persuading it to abandon its nuclear development activities. Iran's current uranium enrichment program can be used not only for domestic purposes, but also for production of nuclear weaponry.

 Russia and China have nonetheless both vetoed the sanctions, with Russia insisting that the Islamic Republic has abandoned plans to produce a nuclear weapon.  This belief was strengthened by a US intelligence report released a week ago saying Iran ended such plans in 2003. Israeli officials have said the report is extremely damaging to its efforts to convince the world that Iran is actively involved in building a nuclear weapon and fulfill its stated aim of  annihilating the Jewish State.