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      Iran Heads for 'Stunning Punch' Against West

      Iran plans to quintuple its uranium enrichment level for atomic weapons, and Ayatollah Khamenei says Iran plans to "stun" the West this week.
      By Hillel Fendel
      First Publish: 2/9/2010, 10:47 AM / Last Update: 2/9/2010, 10:54 AM

      Iran has announced it will more than quintuple its enrichment level of uranium for atomic weapons – and Ayatollah Khamenei says Iran will deliver a “stunning blow” to the West this week.

      Iran has taken a series of steps over the past few days that leads experts such as former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton to conclude that military force against Iran is the only option. On Friday, Iran’s Foreign Minister announced that his country would export its enriched uranium to the West, but just two days later, this plan was withdrawn. Instead, Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmedinajad ordered a major step-up in the processing of uranium, enriching it at a 20 percent level, instead of the current 3.5 percent.

      In addition, on Monday, Supreme Islamic Iranian leader and commander-in-chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that Iran is set to deliver a "stunning punch" during this week's 31st anniversary of the Islamic revolution. "The Iranian nation, with its unity and the grace of Allah, will punch the arrogance [Western powers] on the 22nd of Bahman [Thursday, February 11] in a way that will leave them stunned," Khamenei told a gathering of air force personnel.

      The anniversary marks the date that Iran's air force gave its support to revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini, leading to the toppling of the US-backed shah in 1979.

      Iran also successfully tested this week a new radar-evading drone aircraft.

      Former U.S. Ambassador Bolton told FoxNews this week, “The question is whether the West will finally realize that Iran has no intention of shipping the uranium out, or will it continue to try to negotiate [with Iran]… I think Iran is counting on being able to play the West as it has in the past. It has no intention of being talked out of its plans, and even very strong sanctions – which do not appear likely – are not likely to work.”

      Bolton said that cutting off all refined gas products to Iran “is a great idea [that] may have worked five years ago… It’s an idea whose time has come and gone.” Asked if military force will have to be employed against Iran, Bolton said, “There are two options: either Iran gets nuclear weapons, or else Israel or someone else uses military force to stop them; that’s where we are.”