Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Danger of Iran's Nuclear Program (Daniel 8)

Why Iran's nuclear program is a greater threat than North Korea's
by Shahriar Kia | Sep 19, 2017, 12:01 AM
North Korea's most recent hydrogen bomb test is another reminder of the consequences of not making the right decision at the right time. The international community's failure to stop and dismantle North Korea's nuclear program has enabled the regime to obtain weapons of mass destruction.
A similar scene is developing in Iran, where the only thing standing between a fundamentalist regime and nuclear weapons is an agreement with too many loopholes and no safeguards against threats that run parallel to the atomic bomb.
Both Iran and North Korea are rogue regimes that defy universal values and international norms. In this regard, their shared knack for a nuclear deterrent should not be seen as an end in itself, but rather as a means to an end, a guarantee for survival.
North Korea's survival is predicated on remaining secluded and preventing others from infiltrating its borders. Its regional and global forays are sporadic, the most serious cases being its alleged role in cyberattacks against Sony Entertainment in 2014 and the sinking of a South Korean ship in 2010.
On the other hand, the Iranian regime's survival is fully dependent on exporting terrorism and extremism. The Iranian regime has a long history of plotting and conducting terrorist operations across the world and has accordingly been recognized as the No. 1 state sponsor of terrorism. It commands the widest network of Shiite militia forces across the Middle East, responsible for stoking sectarian violence in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen, among others.
Since its founding in 1979, the mullah-ruled Islamic Republic has used foreign enemies and wars as a pretext to suppress protests and dissent. Iranian officials have time and again confessed that had it not been for their meddling in neighboring countries, they would be fighting their battles within their own borders, against their real threat and nemesis, an 80-million-strong population that rejected them a long time ago.
Therefore, Iran's main goal for a nuclear deterrent would be as a token of guarantee to be able to continue wreaking havoc across the region with wild abandon. In fact, according to former officials of the Obama administration, the Iranian regime obtained the green light to continue its slaughter of the Syrian people before ceding its nuclear program.
In this light, Iran's nuclear ambitions can't be perceived in isolation to its other threats, and that's what makes Iran's nuclear program different from that of North Korea. Regretfully, the P5+1, the countries that negotiated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the nuclear deal is formally known, decided to take a compartmentalized approach to dealing with Iran's illicit nuclear activities. In the process, they lost hold of Tehran's real weapon of mass destruction — its violent, extremist ideology.
This ideology has already accounted for far more deaths and misery than any single nuclear bomb could. In the past two years, thanks to the economic incentives that the international community has granted it under the nuclear accord, the Iranian regime has intensified its intervention in neighbouring countries. As a result, Iraq and Syria are all but broken states, and Yemen is not far behind.
The JCPOA was supposed to prevent Iran from taking the world hostage with a nuclear bomb. Instead, Iran is now using the JCPOA itself to blackmail the world to cede to its demands. Iranian officials are making hollow threats to walk away from the deal, knowing that the JCPOA has become too big to fail for its signatories. And as a result, most of the countries that were party to the deal are showing a lack of interest in dealing with Iran's testing of the deal's limits and activities that have not been explicitly addressed in its text.
The goal of the nuclear accord was to prevent war. While it prevented an immediate confrontation with Iran over its nuclear program, it effectively fanned the flames of several other conflicts. It's time to recognize the Iranian regime for what it is and address the totality of its threats, instead of creating the false impression of success with a flawed deal that has been one step forward and two steps back.
Shahriar Kia is a member of the Iranian opposition. He graduated from North Texas University. @shahriarkia

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Pakistani Nuclear Horn (Daniel 8:8)


U.S. should worry more about Pakistan than North Korea, says former senator

ANI | Washington D.C. [U.S.A.] Sep 18, 2017 09:28 PM IST
North Korea's brazen and defiant nuclear tests last week have been keeping the leadership in United States up at night, but, a former senator, Larry Pressler, in an opinion piece for The Hill, has said that Pakistan's unsecured nuclear weapons programme is even more dangerous and should keep all of us up at night.
"A small group of terrorists buys a nuclear weapon from Pakistani generals with dark money and transports it to the port of Karachi in a pickup truck. From there, the weapon is hidden in a crate, cushioned amongst textiles and agricultural products, and loaded onto a container ship bound for the United States, where it could very easily destroy one of our cities. This operation could be carried out by a fairly small number of terrorists. This scenario is a disaster waiting to happen because Pakistan continues to harbor some of the most hardened Islamic militants and terrorists within its borders and because the security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons is suspect, even though Pakistani leaders insist their program is safeguarded. The dangers of their nuclear weapons program are many: they are routinely moved around the country over dangerous and treacherous roads in unmarked vehicles with few defenses," Pressler writes.
The former senate then goes ahead to castigate Pakistan and says, "Pakistan's leaders have essentially blackmailed us into providing aid for the War on Terror with threats to cease assistance in rooting out terrorists in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, we know full well that Pakistan allows terrorists to operate unfettered in large swaths of its southwestern province of Baluchistan and their potential access to Pakistan's nuclear weapons should keep us all up at night."
Larry Pressler has served three terms as U.S. senator from South Dakota and is the author of the newly published book - 'Neighbours in Arms: An American Senator's Quest for Disarmament in a Nuclear Subcontinent.'
He reiterates what he has written in his book, citing, "Pakistan should be treated like North Korea, like a rogue state. The only reason Pakistan is not a totally failed state is that countries like China and the United States continue to prop it up with massive amounts of foreign aid. Unless Pakistan changes its ways with respect to terrorism, it should be declared a terrorist state. Indeed, the first Bush administration seriously considered doing so in 1992.'
The former senate asserts that "Pakistan's leaders have essentially blackmailed us into providing aid for the War on Terror with threats to cease assistance in rooting out terrorists in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, we know full well that Pakistan allows terrorists to operate unfettered in large swaths of its southwestern province of Baluchistan and their potential access to Pakistan's nuclear weapons should keep us all up at night."
Pressler further says that the "fundamental shift in foreign policy towards Pakistan that appears to be underway" is necessary because "Pakistan will only respond to punitive action that hits where it hurts: in their pocketbooks."
"I agree with Trump, but I would press for an even closer relationship with India. We must not equivocate. We must decisively choose India as our nation's most favored ally in the world, on a par with the special relationships we have with Israel and the United Kingdom. Oddly enough, the election of Trump as president might be the best thing for the relationship between the world's two largest democracies," he concludes.

New York Quake Overdue (The Sixth Seal) (Rev 6:12)

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Won-Young Kim, who runs the seismographic network for the Northeast at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said the city is well overdue for a big earthquake.
The last big quake to hit New York City was a 5.3-magnitude tremor in 1884 that happened at sea in between Brooklyn and Sandy Hook. While no one was killed, buildings were damaged.
Kim said the city is likely to experience a big earthquake every 100 years or so.
“It can happen anytime soon,” Kim said. “We can expect it any minute, we just don’t know when and where.”
New York has never experienced a magnitude 6 or 7 earthquake, which are the most dangerous. But magnitude 5 quakes could topple brick buildings and chimneys.
Seismologist John Armbruster said a magnitude 5 quake that happened now would be more devastating than the one that happened in 1884.

It Is Already Too Late For Israel (Daniel 8:3)

170915150101-hezbollah-syria-lebanese-border-exlarge-169Iran: The one issue Netanyahu wants to discuss with Trump

 
Trump, Netanyahu meeting to focus on Iran
 
Jerusalem (CNN)When US President Donald Trump meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday ahead of the United Nations General Assembly, the conversation itself will be private, but Netanyahu has made it very clear what he wants to discuss: Iran.
 
Netanyahu's first dire warning about Iran came more than two decades ago. In 1996, Netanyahu, then in his first term as Prime Minister, delivered his maiden speech before Congress. In it, he warned that Iran "has wed a cruel despotism to a fanatic militancy. If this regime, or its despotic neighbor Iraq, were to acquire nuclear weapons, this could presage catastrophic consequences, not only for my country, and not only for the Middle East, but for all mankind."
 
In the intervening years, his language has barely changed.
 
In 2011, again speaking before Congress, Netanyahu said, "The tyranny in Tehran brutalizes its own people." In 2015 -- his most recent speech before Congress in which he lobbied against the Iran nuclear accord -- the Israeli Prime Minister said, "Iran's founding document pledges death, tyranny, and the pursuit of jihad."
 
What has changed is Netanyahu's singular focus on Iran. He mentioned it only once in 1996. In 2011, he said it 12 times. In 2015, he said "Iran" a staggering 107 times in his speech.
 
Once the most vocal critic of the Iran nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Netanyahu went largely quiet after the signing of the accord in July 2015, realizing he could do little to change it, especially as relations deteriorated between Netanyahu and former President Barack Obama.
 
In Trump, Netanyahu sees a new window of opportunity.
 
Trump has blasted the Iran deal since his days on the campaign trail, calling it "the worst deal ever" and vowing to "rip it up." Since taking office, his tone has softened, but only slightly.
 
Trump has still voiced strong criticism, leaving open the possibility that the United States will leave the deal, despite the International Atomic Energy Agency finding at the end of August that Iran was complying with the terms of the accord. Earlier this month, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley laid out a case for the US to abandon the deal, saying Iran's technical compliance wasn't enough.
Netanyahu has urged Trump to do so, saying in an exclusive interview with CNN this week, "This agreement should be changed. It should be changed so that the removal of restrictions on Iran's nuclear program should be not a matter of [a] change [in] the calendar, but a change in Iran's aggressive behavior. They must stop their aggression. They must stop their terror in the Middle East and everywhere else."
Israel's concern about the nuclear deal isn't the only Iran issue Trump and Netanyahu will discuss. In fact, it may not even be the primary one, since even Netanyahu acknowledges that the current accord will keep Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon within the next decade.

Hezbollah's evolution

 
Across Israel's northern border among the rolling hills of southern Lebanon, Iranian-proxy Hezbollah has built a stronghold. A few feet away from the border, near the Israeli town of Malkiya, a Hezbollah flag marks the territory. On a nearby hill, another flag waves in the breeze, near a UN outpost.
 
Since Israel and Lebanon fought a month-long war in the summer of 2006, this border has been Israel's quietest, despite the war ending with no clear winner or loser. But the tranquility masks a simple truth -- the border is perpetually tense.
 
Last week, Israel ran its biggest military exercise in twenty years along the northern border, including its army, air force, and navy, simulating a conflict with Hezbollah. And for years, Hezbollah's arsenal has been growing — now with 100,000 short range rockets and several thousand more missiles in its cache, according to state-run Iranian news agency Tasnim and Israeli officials. Once a guerilla militia, Hezbollah is now an experienced army, learning from the conflict in Syria, where it has fought alongside the Syrian regime.
 
 
"In the last five years, there is a huge, dramatic change in the tactical, but also operational capabilities of this organization as a fighting organization. You find yourself with an organization that is working with military formations - battalions, brigades - that has a command and control structure that has dramatically changed," General (Res.) Eli Ben-Meir, the former Chief Intelligence Officer of Israel's military said.
 
Even so, over the last decade, Israel and Hezbollah have preferred to shoot rhetoric back and forth across the border instead of live fire. But increasingly it is Iran's deployment of Hezbollah in neighboring Syria that is alarming Israel.
 
 
Last year, Netanyahu acknowledged that Israel struck Syria dozens of times to prevent advanced weaponry from reaching Hezbollah, also saying Israel would work to prevent Iran from digging in along Israel's borders.

The Russia connection

To push back against Iran's growing influence, Israel has turned not to the US, but to Russia. Netanyahu has made regular trips to Russia to meet with President Vladimir Putin ever since Russian forces moved into Syria in 2015, touting the Israeli and Russian military coordination over Syria. But Israeli politicians are acutely aware that Russia's primary concern in the region is its own interests, not Israel's security.
 
This is where Israel feels the lack of US presence in the region most sharply -- starting in the Obama administration. Despite Trump's tough talk on the Iran nuclear deal and the possibility of harsher measures against Iran, he now presides over what many Israelis regard as the absence of the US in the Syria conflict. In multiple conversations with Israeli politicians, this fear is often repeated.
 
"The United States can prevent a permanent Iranian military presence in Syria," Minister of Intelligence and security cabinet member Israel Katz told CNN, urging the US to get more involved. "I think the lesson both in the nuclear sphere and the conventional sphere is that the US cannot ignore the fact that she is the leader of the free world and everything that comes from that."
 
Sebastian Gorka, who until recently served as a counter-terrorism adviser to President Trump, tried to allay Israeli fears. "Key individuals inside the National Security Council understand we are at war with Sunni Jihadis - al-Qaeda, ISIS - and they also understand that any action we take against groups like ISIS should not occur in ways that profit Iran in ways that are strategic and long-term," Gorka said in an interview with CNN, on the sidelines of a counter-terrorism conference in Herzliya.
 
"I hope those voices maintain their positions and their influence. Again, this is about the long game.

But without a concrete plan, Gorka's statements do little to ease Israeli fears.
 
Another full-blown conflict between Israel and Hezbollah would be devastating for both sides. Hezbollah has the rockets and missiles to hit deep within Israel. Israel has the firepower to level southern Lebanon.

Israel Won't Be Here In 25 Years (Revelation 11)

'Israel may not exist in 25 years'

News DeskThe International News Desk reports on issues and events world wide.
Iranian revolutionary guard soldiers march during the annual military parade marking the Iraqi invasion in 1980, which led to an eight-year-long war (1980-1988) in Tehran, Iran, 22 September 2013. Iranian president Hasan Rowhani said that Iran only wants to end the civil war in Syria for avoiding a new escalation of violence in the Middle East. EPA/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH
Iran’s newly-appointed army chief, General Abdolrahim Mousavi, said on Monday there is no guarantee Israel will exist in the next 25 years, adding that its slightest wrong move may result in the Israeli cities of Haifa and Tel Aviv being “razed down to the ground”.
Mousavi was appointed in August as the commander of the Iranian army, an entity separate from the country’s Revolutionary Guard corps.
Speaking at an event in the holy city of Qom, he elaborated on the remarks he made last month about Israel not surviving 25 years, explaining that he never meant to say the regime would necessarily last that long.
“That we say that the Zionist regime will not see 25 years later doesn’t mean that it will certainly survive for 25 years,” he said according to the semi-official Fars News Agency.
“There is a prerequisite for this famous sentence, that is if the Zionist regime makes any wrong move, Haifa and Tel Aviv will be razed down to the ground.”
Mousavi’s comments alluded to the September 2015 warning by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in which he said “the Zionists” who often raised concerns over Iran’s nuclear program shouldn’t naively feel relieved for 25 years just because the comprehensive nuclear deal was agreed between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers.
Key points of the historic nuclear deal include a “long-term” International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) presence in Iran that includes the monitoring of uranium ore concentrate produced by Iran for 25 years.
“You will not see next 25 years (…) With God’s grace, nothing under the name of the Zionist regime will exist in the region by then,” Khamenei said on Twitter.
Khamenei also previously warned of the United States’ unswerving hostility towards the Iranian nation, saying that even after the nuclear deal was inked the Americans have been hatching plots and approved a bill in the Congress against Iran.
On Monday, US President Donald Trump warned that Washington will walk away from the deal if it concludes that IAEA is not tough enough in monitoring it. Iranian nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi responded that the greatest threat to its survival was “the American administration’s hostile attitude.”
Source: Sputnik

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Authorities Expecting The Sixth Seal? (Revelation 6:12)

US Raises Threat of Quake but Lowers Risk for Towers
New York Times
Earthquake!
By SAM ROBERTS
JULY 17, 2014
Here is another reason to buy a mega-million-dollar apartment in a Manhattan high-rise: Earthquake forecast maps for New York City that a federal agency issued on Thursday indicate “a slightly lower hazard for tall buildings than previously thought.”
The agency, the United States Geodetic Survey, tempered its latest quake prediction with a big caveat.
“The eastern U.S. has the potential for larger and more damaging earthquakes than considered in previous maps and assessments,” the agency said, citing the magnitude 5.8 quake that struck Virginia in 2011.
Federal seismologists based their projections of a lower hazard for tall buildings — “but still a hazard nonetheless,” they cautioned — on a lower likelihood of slow shaking from an earthquake occurring near the city, the type of shaking that typically causes more damage to taller structures.
“The tall buildings in Manhattan are not where you should be focusing,” said John Armbruster, a seismologist with the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. “They resonate with long period waves. They are designed and engineered to ride out an earthquake. Where you should really be worried in New York City is the common brownstone and apartment building and buildings that are poorly maintained.”
Mr. Armbruster was not involved in the federal forecast, but was an author of an earlier study that suggested that “a pattern of subtle but active faults makes the risk of earthquakes to the New York City area substantially greater than formerly believed.”
He noted that barely a day goes by without a New York City building’s being declared unsafe, without an earthquake. “If you had 30, 40, 50 at one time, responders would be overloaded,” he said.
The city does have an earthquake building code that went into effect in 1996, and that applies primarily to new construction.
A well-maintained building would probably survive a magnitude 5 earthquake fairly well, he said. The last magnitude 5 earthquake in the city struck in 1884. Another is not necessarily inevitable; faults are more random and move more slowly than they do in, say, California. But he said the latest federal estimate was probably raised because of the magnitude of the Virginia quake.
“Could there be a magnitude 6 in New York?” Mr. Armbruster said. “In Virginia, in a 300 year history, 4.8 was the biggest, and then you have a 5.8. So in New York, I wouldn’t say a 6 is impossible.
Mr. Armbruster said the Geodetic Survey forecast would not affect his daily lifestyle. “I live in a wood-frame building with a brick chimney and I’m not alarmed sitting up at night worried about it,” he said. “But society’s leaders need to take some responsibility.

South Korea Soon To Be A Nuclear Horn


Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, left, accompanied by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, speaks to media members at the White House on Sept. 3. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)
 
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis acknowledged Monday that his South Korean counterpart inquired recently about reintroducing tactical nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula, a move that could take tensions with North Korea to a new high.
Mattis, speaking to reporters at the Pentagon, confirmed that he and Defense Minister Song Young-moo discussed the weapons during an Aug. 30 visit in Washington. The Pentagon chief did not say whether he’d support such an idea, however. Song has advocated for the move, calling it an “alternative worth a full review.”
Asked about the exchange, Mattis said that “we discussed the option,” but he declined to elaborate.
“We have open dialogue with our allies on any issue they want to bring up,” Mattis said.
The United States maintained nuclear weapons in South Korea during much of the Cold War, but President George H.W. Bush ordered their removal after the Soviet Union’s fall in 1991. At the time, Bush saw it as a way of bolstering demands that North Korea not pursue its own nuclear weapons.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in has said several times that he is against the return of nuclear weapons, but he faces opposition on that point from many conservative leaders in his country. Tactical nuclear weapons, sometimes called nonstrategic nukes, are designed to strike military targets such as bunkers and tunnels but are still considered immensely powerful in their own right and a potential gateway to larger nuclear attacks.
Some senior U.S. military officials, such as Air Force Gen. Paul J. Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have advocated generally for more “small-yield” nuclear weapons, arguing that the United States needs the ability to respond to an attack using a smaller nuclear bomb with something of similar size.

But Air Force Gen. John Hyten, who oversees U.S. nuclear weapons as the chief of U.S. Strategic Command, took exception Thursday to calling even smaller nuclear weapons tactical. Speaking with reporters at his headquarters in Nebraska, he called the phrase a misnomer and “actually a very dangerous term” because there are significant consequences to using nuclear weapons in any format.
“To call it a tactical weapon brings into the possibility that there could be a nuclear weapon employed on a battlefield for a tactical effect,” Hyten said. “It’s a not a tactical effect, and if somebody employs what is a nonstrategic or tactical nuclear weapon, the United States will respond strategically, not tactically, because they have now crossed a line, a line that has not been crossed since 1945.”
Mattis said last week that he would not discuss whether he is looking at reintroducing nuclear weapons in South Korea.
“It’s simply a longstanding policy so the enemy … our adversaries never know where they’re at,” he said. “It’s part of the deterrent that they cannot target them all. There’s always a great big question mark.”

Iranian Horn Will Rise Against Babylon the Great

Iran will not give in to US "bullying" as Washington attempts to undermine Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers, the Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said.
"Iran, which is a powerful nation, will not give in to pressure and will not bow," Khamenei said in an address to police officers in Tehran on Sunday.
"The corrupt, lying, deceitful US officials insolently accuse the nation of Iran ... of lying, whereas the nation of Iran has acted honestly and will continue on this path until the end in an honest manner," said Khamenei.
President Hassan Rouhani left on Sunday for the UN General Assembly in New York, where he is set to hold crucial talks on the 2015 nuclear deal, which eased international sanctions in exchange for curbs to Iran's atomic programme.
US President Donald Trump has threatened to tear up the deal and his administration has been looking for grounds to declare Iran in non-compliance, despite repeated UN declarations that Tehran has stuck to its commitments.
Trump must make a decision by mid-October whether to certify that Iran is complying with the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). If he does not, Congress has 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions waived under the deal.
Khamenei said in his speech that "US bullying will not work on the Islamic Republic."
"You are the liars. The nation of Iran is standing firm and any wrong move ... will face a reaction by the Islamic Republic," said the supreme leader.

Iran's warning

Iran said last month it could abandon the nuclear agreement "within hours" if the US imposes any new penalties, after Washington ordered unilateral sanctions over Tehran's ballistic missile tests.
Rouhani, speaking on Sunday before leaving for New York, said the US should join the countries that continue to support the nuclear deal.
The US imposed unilateral sanctions in July, saying Tehran's ballistic missile tests violated a UN resolution that endorsed the nuclear deal, and called upon Tehran not to undertake activities related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.
It stopped short of explicitly barring such activity.
Iran denies its missile development breaches the resolution, saying its missiles are not designed to carry nuclear weapons.
Source: News agencies

Of course IAEA has not accessed all Iran nuclear sites

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IAEA has not accessed all Iran nuclear sites, Israel claims
Iran has refused IAEA access and UN officials have been “reluctant” to confront Iran on the issue
Gulf News
12:35 September 17, 2017
Dubai: Suspected Iranian nuclear sites have remained largely off limits to IAEA inspectors tasked with measuring Tehran’s compliance with a nuclear accord it reached with world powers under the Obama administration.
A report in the Israeli daily, Haaretz said that In 2016, a few months after the nuclear agreement with Iran went into effect, a Western entity gave the International Atomic Energy Agency information regarding sites Tehran did not report as part of its nuclear programme and where, according to suspicions, forbidden nuclear military research and development activity was being conducted.
The Western entity also shared the information with a number of the six world powers who were party to the nuclear agreement, unnamed Israeli officials said.
Iran has refused the IAEA access and UN officials have been “reluctant” to confront Iran on the issue, the officials added.
The issue of Iran’s nuclear programme is expected to figure prominently during a one on one meeting between Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Monday.
The nuclear agreement between Iran and the world powers included an oversight mechanism for a list of sites officially identified as part of Iran’s nuclear programme which include uranium enrichment plants in Natanz and Qom, as well as other sites like uranium mines and facilities for the production of centrifuges and a heavy water facility in Arak.
But Israel and some Western countries fear Tehran has hidden
However, one of the issues Israel and the West are concerned about regarding the Iranian nuclear programme regards the sites Tehran did not reveal, where there is suspected research and development for a military nuclear programme.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Addressing the Elephant in the Room (Daniel 8:4)

In mid-October President Trump will bump up against a “certification” deadline imposed by the Iran Nuclear Agreements Review Act. The prompt was intended to ensure a much closer look at Iranian behavior and the Iran nuclear deal known as the “JCPOA.”
Instead of sloughing off a threat that makes Hurricane Harvey look like an overflowing bathtub, this oversight duty must be taken far more seriously.
Obama’s JCPOA is trumpeted primarily for one alleged achievement: it bought us time. In reality, it did precisely the opposite.  It bought Iran time. Instead of ratcheting up the pressure on Tehran on our terms and our timetable, Americans paid to give Iran time to hone missile delivery systems (Obama omitted from the deal) and get itself to the brink of acquiring a nuclear weapon before the JCPOA’s terrifying hourglass runs out.
On August 3, 2017 Iranian President Rouhani said Iran will be able to start enriching uranium to 20% in the Fordo facility in only five days, and reactivate the reactor in Arak because cement was never poured into its core. His remarks were repeated on August 22, 2017 by the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi.
The Iran deal was exceptional for one other characteristic: it claims to put vital aspects of U.S. national security in the hands of non-Americans, the UN Security Council, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and our negotiation partners China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the European Union and Iran.
After all, President Obama went to the Security Council to adopt the Iran deal formally, and purportedly bind the United States in international law, before he took the deal to Congress. The complex regime for reinstating the sanctions that Obama tore up is intended to put American foreign relations in serious jeopardy should we calculate the necessities of our well-being deviate from the calculations of others.
President Trump and Congress need to exercise their constitutional responsibility to move the center of gravity back where it belongs.
In August, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton (and Fox News contributor) publicly provided the administration with options.
In July Senators Cotton, Cruz, Perdue and Rubio called for “a sober accounting of Iran's JCPOA violations as well as the regime's aggressive and destabilizing behavior.”
So where is it?
A third rubber stamp of what candidate Trump called the “worst deal ever” is indefensible. Outsourcing our national security to the U.N. is not a plan.
The IAEA has so far produced six reports on Iran’s implementation of the JCPOA. The agency has been careful to indicate, however, its reports are limited by “the modalities set out in the JCPOA.”
Moreover, in late August U.N. Ambassador Haley pointed to “military sites” and “undeclared sites” which the IAEA had not asked to inspect – and to which, therefore, it had not been denied access.
Even IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said in March that he has no idea how many years it will take to conclude that Iran has no undeclared nuclear material and activities – because “it depends very much on the level of cooperation from Iran.”  As recently as August 29, 2017, Iran’s government spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nobakht unilaterally declared military sites off limits.
Step back and recall where Obama left off with “certifying” Iran’s good behavior. In November and December 2015 the IAEA issued its final pre-JCPOA reports and found: "...the Agency is not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities." Obama responded by simply shutting down any further investigation of Iran’s pre-JCPOA activities.
So now, as then, we still don’t know what we don’t know.
What we do know is that the IAEA had already specifically itemized, in 2011 and 2015, Iranian “activities that are relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device…” and “specific to nuclear weapons.”
And we also know that the pre-JCPOA certification scam consisted of Iran self-reporting. It reads, for instance: “Iran will provide to the Agency [IAEA] photos…Iran will provide to the Agency videos…Iran will provide to the Agency seven environmental samples…”
Moreover, the JCPOA continues to give Iran far more than it does the United States and its allies, since it granted – for the first time – an Iranian right to enrich uranium, and legitimized a regime that had correctly been an international pariah.
The windfall that Obama gave the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, and close North Korean collaborator, via the JCPOA is a sunk cost.  This Congress and this president have no excuses to continue sailing the American people into a storm from which they will never recover.
Anne Bayefsky is director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust. Follow her on Twitter @AnneBayefsky.

The Sixth Seal: The Big Apple Shake (Rev 6:12)

Big Apple shake? Potential for earthquake in New York City exists

NEW YORK CITY (PIX11) – For the last 43 years John Armbruster has been a seismologist with Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory.  A veteran of what he describes as “a couple of dozen” quakes, he is interested in the seismic activity throughout the Pacific region in recent weeks.
However, does the amount of plate movements around the world in recent weeks as well as years to translate to New York City being more vulnerable, “These earthquakes are not communicating with each other, they are too far apart,” said Armbruster in an interview with PIX 11 News on Wednesday.
What would a magnitude 6.0 earthquake inflict upon the city?
“We know that its unlikely because it hasn’t happened in the last 300 years but the earthquake that struck Fukushima Japan was the 1000 year earthquake and they weren’t ready for the that.

The Endtime Counts Down (Revelation 8)

Doomsday Clock moves closer to midnight

Carlyle Addy Sep 16, 2017 Updated Sep 16, 2017
The Bulletin for Atomic Scientists said in January that the hand of the Doomsday Clock had moved 30 seconds closer to midnight. Since its creation in 1945, the hand of the clock has moved several times, but it has only been less than three minutes to midnight at one other point in history.
According to the statement released by The Bulletin, this change was made to reflect threats by North Korea, as well as conflict between Pakistan and India and the statements regarding nuclear weapons by President Donald J. Trump.
Sara Koopman, an assistant professor in the School of Peace and Conflict Management who grew up in Seattle, anticipated the city to be the first hit during nuclear threats as a child. Her school treated nuclear strike drills the same way they treated fire drills.
“From about age nine and after, I was really scared,” Koopman said. “It created a lot of tension and worry among all of us.”
The first nuclear weapons used nuclear fission, a process of splitting heavy atoms in uranium or plutonium to create energy. The U.S. developed these weapons and used them against Japan in 1945.
“That was the only type that was known until around 1950,” professor Declan Keane said, who studies high-energy nuclear collisions at Kent State.
Since the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the first and only nuclear strikes in world history, research into nuclear weapons has persisted. The Soviet Union and the United States both developed the hydrogen bomb around the same time in 1950, Keane said.
Despite posturing on both sides, neither country fired. Keane sees this posturing as reflective of the current conflict between the United States and North Korea.
Hydrogen bombs like the one the North Korean government claims to have developed are many times more powerful than the bombs dropped on Japan.
This is because hydrogen bombs use a different process to release energy at the atomic level. Hydrogen is a lighter element, and the energy created in hydrogen weapons is from fusion, where two hydrogen atoms combine.
It was the creation of the hydrogen bomb that drove the hand of the Doomsday Clock to two minutes to midnight in 1953.
Koopman's concerns are about nuclear weapons impacting the community surrounding testing sites. She said that various cancers are associated with living and working near radiation, and that these diseases are discussed less than the possibility of a nuclear strike.
She said that the difference in cultural perception of nuclear weapons is interesting. Even though the Doomsday Clock was at three minutes to midnight in 1984, farther than where scientists placed it this year, nuclear threats don’t seem to be as prominent as they were at the time.
“There’s so much to be anxious about in the world right now,” Koopman said. “Not thinking about nuclear war is a coping mechanism.”
Keane said there is some science behind nuclear preparations like fallout shelters, but they may not be a priority.
“The North Koreans have quite a small number of nuclear weapons and it’s not clear that they have the capability to attack the mainland U.S.,” Keane said. “The chances of this being a really serious threat to your life is miniscule compared to a zillion other things that are of concern to you.”
The Bulletin called for leaders and civilians to act on their recommendations for avoiding both nuclear disaster and climate change progression.
“Wise public officials should act immediately, guiding humanity away from the brink,” the Bulletin wrote. “If they do not, wise citizens must step forward and lead the way."
Carlyle Addy is the politics reporter. Contact her at caddy@kent.edu.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Iran Is Infinitely Worse Than Korea (Daniel 8:4)


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a press conference in Tehran on May 22, 2017. Rouhani said that Iran does not need the permission of the United States to conduct missile tests, which would continue 'if technically necessary'. / AFP PHOTO / ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)
Iran’s nuclear program even without a bomb as we speak, enjoys the potential of becoming more dangerous than today’s North Korea after a recent hydrogen bomb testing – with new reports showing the blast delivering a far more powerful yield than presumed – and its increasing row with the international community.
True is the fact that North Korea’s nuclear program is more advanced than that of Iran. True is the fact that Pyongyang has also provided ballistic missile hardware and technology to Tehran for decades now.
Iran’s nuclear program, however, elevates to a higher level when we come to fully comprehend the nature of Tehran’s ambitions in pursuing objectives through treacherous measures. This is a regime that has yet to be punished for its malevolent actions throughout the past decades, and this needs to change.
The clerics in Tehran rule a state fully acknowledging the fact that its very survival hinges on the ability to literally adopt an aggressive approach that is germane to causing mayhem abroad.
Taking advantage of the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s, launching terrorist attacks and assassinations throughout the 90s, and in the new millennium enjoying the devastating 9/11 aftermath in the wars of Afghanistan and Iraq, leading onto Syria and Yemen today.
While there is no intention to justify North Korea obtaining nuclear weapons, it is crystal clear that Pyongyang has gone the limits in procuring its nuclear arsenal for defensive purposes and to be legitimately recognized and respect.
Iran’s regime, however, has far more hostile goals in its crosshairs. As the Islamic State terror group is being defeated in Iraq and Syria, an increasing concern is focused on Tehran’s intention of establishing a land-bridge to the Mediterranean.  This would provide Iran the capability to send boots, arms, finances and other necessities for its proxy forces checkered across these lands to establish a long-lasting foothold.

Israel Tries to Stop the Iranian Nuclear Horn

https://img.rt.com/files/oldfiles/news/israel-mossad-iran-operation-998/afp-abbas-photo-momani.si.jpgMossad chief said pushing to ‘act now’ to prevent Iranian nuclear bomb

By RAPHAEL AHREN and RAOUL WOOTLIFF
September 17, 2017, 9:17 pm
Mossad chief Yossi Cohen is leading Israel’s “hawkish line” on Iran, calling for immediate action to ensure that Tehran cannot attain the bomb, an Israeli TV report said Sunday.
The report came as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prepared to address the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, with his focus to again be on confronting Iran.
Channel 2 on Sunday paraphrased Cohen as asserting that “Today’s Iran is the North Korea of yesterday, and so we need to act now so that we don’t wake up to [an Iranian] bomb.”
Other Israeli security officials, the report said, however, are warning that Israel should not be pushing the US into another Middle Eastern adventure, given what happened when the US tackled Iraq and Saddam’s ostensible weapons of mass destruction over a decade ago.
Netanyahu will for the first time directly address Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei in his speech to the UN, Israeli sources said.
Netanyahu’s speech, scheduled for Tuesday, 8:00 p.m. Israel time, will focus on Iran and be shorter than in previous years, the sources said.
Speaking to reporters on Friday at his hotel in New York after wrapping up a trip to Latin America, Netanyahu said that the main message of his UN speech will be that “Israel will not tolerate an Iranian military presence on our northern borders. An [Iranian] military presence endangers not just us, but also our Arab neighbors.”
Netanyahu has repeatedly warned against Iran’s military ambitions in the area, Tehran’s bid to establish a territorial “corridor” all the way to the Mediterranean, and an increased Iranian presence on Israel’s northern border.
Earlier last week, Netanyahu said Israel wanted to see the 2015 Iran nuclear deal — which offered Iran relief from punishing sanctions in exchange for having it roll back its nuclear program — either amended or canceled altogether.
“Our position is straightforward. This is a bad deal. Either fix it — or cancel it. This is Israel’s position,” said Netanyahu in Buenos Aires.
During his scheduled Monday meeting with US President Donald Trump, Netanyahu is set to present a proposal for rolling back the two-year-old deal, signed by the Obama administration and other P5+1 powers.
Netanyahu is reportedly preparing a specific formula for either scrapping the historic deal or amending it. His proposal will detail how “to cancel or at the very least introduce significant changes” to the accord, a Channel 2 news report said.
On Monday, at 1 p.m. local time, Netanyahu will meet with Trump in the New York Palace Hotel. Both leaders will make brief statements to the press to open the meeting, before continuing their discussion behind closed doors.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump during a joint press statements at the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem, on May 22, 2017. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)
Later in the afternoon, Netanyahu is set to meet the president of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela; the prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe; and Rwandan President Paul Kagame, at the UN.
The prime minister is also scheduled to meet Brazilian President Michel Temer for the first time since the South American country rejected Dani Dayan as Israel’s candidate for ambassador there due to his past links to the settler movement. Dayan now serves as Israel’s consul general in New York. Brazil was notably left out of Netanyahu’s last week’s Latin America trip,
On Tuesday morning, the prime minister is expected to attend Trump’s first address to the UN. A few hours later, at around 1:30 p.m., Netanyahu will deliver his own speech.

Earthquake Assessment For The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

http://cdn.abclocal.go.com/content/wabc/images/cms/automation/vod/929833_1280x720.jpgEarthquake Risk in New Jersey

by Daniel R. Dombroski, Jr.
by Daniel R. Dombroski, Jr.

A 10–fold increase in amplitude represents about a 32–fold increase in energy released for the same duration of shaking. The best known magnitude scale is one designed by C.F. Richter in 1935 for
west coast earthquakes.


An earthquake’s intensity is determined by observing its effects at a particular place on the Earth’s surface. Intensity depends on the earthquake’s magnitude, the distance from the epicenter, and local geology. These scales are based on reports of people awakening, felt movements, sounds, and visible effects on structures and landscapes. The most commonly used scale in the United States is the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale, and its values are usually reported in Roman numerals to distinguish them from magnitudes.

Past damage in New Jersey

New Jersey doesn’t get many earthquakes, but it does get some. Fortunately most are small. A few New Jersey earthquakes, as well as a few originating outside the state, have produced enough damage to warrant the concern of planners and emergency managers.

Damage in New Jersey from earthquakes has been minor: items knocked off shelves, cracked plaster and masonry, and fallen chimneys. Perhaps because no one was standing under a chimney when it fell, there are no recorded earthquake–related deaths in New Jersey. We will probably not be so fortunate in the future.
Area Affected by Eastern Earthquakes

Although the United States east of the Rocky Mountains has fewer and generally smaller earthquakes than the West, at least two factors  increase the earthquake risk in New Jersey and the East. Due to geologic differences, eastern earthquakes effect areas ten times larger than western ones of the same magnitude. Also, the eastern United States is more densely populated, and New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the nation.
Geologic Faults and Earthquakes in New Jersey

Although there are many faults in New Jersey, the Ramapo Fault, which separates the Piedmont and Highlands Physiographic Provinces, is the best known. In 1884 it was blamed for a damaging New York City earthquake simply because it was the only large fault mapped at the time. Subsequent investigations have shown the 1884 earthquake epicenter was actually located in Brooklyn, New York, at least 25 miles from the Ramapo Fault.


More recently, in the 1970’s and early 1980’s, earthquake risk along the Ramapo Fault received attention because of its proximity to the Indian Point, New York, Nuclear Power Generating Station. East of the Rocky Mountains (including New Jersey), earthquakes do not break the ground surface. Their focuses lie at least a few miles below the Earth’s surface, and their locations are determined by interpreting seismographic records. Geologic fault lines seen on the surface today are evidence of ancient events. The presence or absence of mapped faults (fault lines) does not denote either a seismic hazard or the lack of one, and earthquakes can occur anywhere in New Jersey.

Frequency of Damaging Earthquakes in New Jersey

Records for the New York City area, which have been kept for 300 years, provide good information
for estimating the frequency of earthquakes in New Jersey.

Earthquakes with a maximum intensity of VII (see table DamagingEarthquakes Felt in New Jersey )have occurred in the New York City area in 1737, 1783, and 1884. One intensity VI, four intensity V’s, and at least three intensity III shocks have also occurred in the New York area over the last 300 years.


Buildings and Earthquakes

The 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan, is an example of what might happen in New Jersey in a similar quake. It registered a magnitude 7.2 on the Richter scale and produced widespread destruction. But it was the age of construction, soil and foundation condition, proximity to the fault, and type of structure that were the major determining factors in the performance of each building. Newer structures, built to the latest construction standards, appeared to perform relatively well, generally ensuring the life safety of occupants.


Structures have collapsed in New Jersey without earthquakes; an earthquake would trigger many more. Building and housing codes need to be updated and strictly enforced to properly prepare for inevitable future earthquakes.

US Itching To Nuke North Korea

US warns of military option if North Korea nuclear and missile tests continue

Julian Borger in Washington, Justin McCurry in Tokyo and Tom Phillips in Beijing
Friday 15 September 2017 15.51 EDT
The US has warned it could revert to military options if new sanctions fail to curb North Korean missile and nuclear tests, after Pyongyang fired a missile over Japan for the second time in two weeks.
The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, and the national security advisor, HR McMaster, told reporters that the latest set of UN sanctions – imposed earlier this week after North Korea’s sixth nuclear test – would need time to take effect, but they suggested that after that, the US would consider military action.
“What is different about this approach is: we’re out of time, right?” McMaster said on Friday. “We have been kicking the can down the road and we’re out of road. For those who have been commenting about the lack of a military option – there is a military option. Now, it’s not what we prefer to do, so what we have to do is call on all nations to do everything we can to address this global problem, short of war.”
Haley said the North Korea issue could soon become a matter for the Pentagon and the defence secretary, James Mattis.
“We try to push through as many diplomatic options that we can,” the ambassador said, but she noted that Monday’s UN security council sanctions, which capped petrol and oil exports to the regime and banned textile imports, had not deterred Pyongyang from launching a second intermediate range ballistic missile in two weeks over Japanese territory and into the Pacific.
In a unanimous statement late on Friday, the UN Security Council said it “strongly condemned” the missile launch, but did not threaten further sanctions on Pyongyang.
The missile flew further than any missile tested by the regime, triggering emergency sirens and text alerts minutes before it passed over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido on Friday morning.
Flight data shows the missile travelled higher and further than the one involved in the 29 August flyover of Japan, suggesting the regime is continuing to make advances in its missile and nuclear weapons programmes.
A new UN security council session was called on Friday to address North Korean defiance, but Haley said there was little more that UN measures could do to change Pyongyang’s behaviour.
“It will take a little bit of time but it has already started to take effect,” she said. “But what we see is that they continue to be provocative, they continue to be reckless and at that point, there is not a whole lot the security council is going to be able to do from here, when you’ve cut 90% of their trade and 30% of the oil. So having said that, I have no problem kicking this to Gen Mattis, because I think he has plenty of options.”
However, when he was asked about a possible US military response, Mattis said: “I don’t want to talk about that yet.”
He said the North Korean launch was a “reckless act” which had “put millions of Japanese in duck and cover”.
Many strategic analysts argue there is no feasible military option for curtailing North Korean nuclear and missile development, as any pre-emptive attack would be likely to trigger a devastating barrage on Seoul, without any guarantee that all Pyongyang’s missiles and nuclear weapons would be put out of action.
The US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, put the onus on Beijing and Moscow to implement the agreed sanctions to the limit.
“China supplies North Korea with most of its oil. Russia is the largest employer of North Korean forced labour,” Tillerson said in a statement. “China and Russia must indicate their intolerance for these reckless missile launches by taking direct actions of their own.”
North Korea will be a focus of next week’s international summit at the UN general assembly, but China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin will not be attending.
Japan has warned North Korea it risked having no “bright future” and called for an emergency meeting of the UN security council after Pyongyang launched a ballistic missile over Japanese territory for the second time in just over two weeks.
Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, called the launch “absolutely unacceptable”. He said the recent UN resolution banning North Korean textile exports and capping the supply of oil to the country “showed the international community’s unified strong will for a peaceful solution. But despite that, North Korea has again carried out this outrageous conduct.”
He told reporters shortly after arriving back in Tokyo from a trip to India: “Now is the time when the international community is required to unite against North Korea’s provocative acts, which threaten world peace. We must make North Korea understand that if it continues down this road, it will not have a bright future.”
The Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Beijing objected to North Korea’s latest launch but believed diplomacy was the only way to solve the “complicated, sensitive and grim” problem.
“The top priority is now to prevent any provocative acts,” Hua told reporters.
But Hua rejected the theory – advanced, among others, by Trump and Theresa May, the British prime minister – that Beijing held the key to thwarting Kim Jong-un’s nuclear and missile ambitious.
“China is not the focus. China is not the driving force behind the escalating situation. And China is not the key to resolving the issue,” Hua said.
Hua said China had already made “great sacrifices” and “paid a high price” in its bid to help rein in Pyongyang: “China’s willingness and its efforts to fulfill its relevant international responsibilities cannot be questioned.”
In an online editorial, the Communist party-controlled Global Times newspaper said it was the US and South Korea, not China, that needed “to guide North Korea into a new strategic direction” through dialogue.
“An isolated North Korea will be more rational if the international society treats it in a rational way,” argued the newspaper, which sometimes reflects official views. It said attempts to intimidate North Korea with threats or shows of force would fail.

US Looks For War With Iran (Daniel)


US ‘seeking excuses’ to destroy nuclear deal: Iran
PT
The United States is “seeking excuses” to tear up the nuclear deal with Iran by demanding military site inspections, one of the Islamic republic’s top security officials said on Friday.
“Iran has no undisclosed nuclear activity in any geographical location in the country,” the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, said on Iranian state television.
“The issues being raised are media hype by the Americans so that they can refrain from fulfilling their obligations,” he said.
Washington has reportedly demanded inspections of Iranian military sites as part of verifying compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, which restricted Iran’s atomic programme in exchange for an easing of sanctions.
The United Nations has stated there is no obligation to carry out military site inspections unless there are suspicions of illicit activity. It says it has doubled inspections in Iran since the deal and has no evidence that nuclear material has been shifted to military or other sites.
Shamkhani accused the administration of President Donald Trump of “unconstructive and excuse-seeking behaviour… which is an active attempt to damage this international agreement”.
“Iran has merely acted within the framework of agreements and specific guidelines under the JCPOA (nuclear deal) and shall not accept any obligation beyond that,” he said. He echoed Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who tweeted on Thursday that the idea of reworking the nuclear deal was “pure fantasy”.
“The JCPOA is not (re)negotiable. A ‘better’ deal is pure fantasy. About time for the US to stop spinning and begin complying, just like Iran,” Zarif wrote. Zarif is due to meet US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the foreign ministers of other signatories of the nuclear deal on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly next Wednesday.
US President Donald Trump must recertify Iran’s compliance with the deal every 90 days and the next deadline falls on October 15.
On Thursday, he agreed to continue to exempt Iran from nuclear-related sanctions for now. But he slapped new measures against targets accused of cyber attacks or fomenting militancy, and a senior administration official said the extension of sanctions relief was merely a “holding action”.
Hardliners in Washington have been pushing him to pull out of the agreement, saying it has failed to rein in Iran’s “destabilising” behaviour in the region.
Supporters of the deal point out that it never promised anything beyond restrictions on Iran’s nuclear programme, and that reneging would severely undermine Washington’s reputation and make it harder to forge similar agreements with countries such as North Korea.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Small Horn Separates From The Large Horn

926dd-rtxzhc5Iraq's Changing Politics on Iran
Iran Focus
London, 14 Sep - Human Rights activist and former political prisoner in Iran, Hamid Bahrami, wrote a piece for Al Arabiya on how the changing balance of power in Iraq could be detrimental to the Iranian Regime’s bid to take over the Middle East.
The defeat of ISIS has created a power vacuum across the Middle East, but specifically in Iraq, that the Iranian Regime felt entitled to fill, however, many Iraqi politicians are changing their minds about obtaining support from Iran, including famed Shi’ite clerics Ammar Al Hakim and Muqtada al-Sadr.
Bahrami wrote: “After 14 years of internal violent conflicts, part of the pro-Tehran Shi’ite alliance has finally realized that the unconditional dependence on the Iranian regime will further exacerbate the sectarian conflict.”
Al Hakim has stepped down as the leader a pro-Iran Iraqi group, which means that many Iraqi Shi’ite voters will not be backing the plans of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in the upcoming elections.
Meanwhile, al-Sadr, leader of the Sadrist movement, has even decided to visit Saudi Arabia and the UAE, where he will have to choose between supporting Iran or changing his views on Sunni political parties.
Bahrami wrote: “It is agreed that the former Iraqi prime minister, Nouri Al-Maliki’s catastrophic and sectarian policies lead to a deep division among different ethnicities in Iraq. These policies, adopted in coordination with Tehran and its IRGC, were in part based on suppression of the Sunnis and disregarding of their rights.”
He continued: “The weakness of Iraqi army, the frequent use of armed forces to achieve political goals, the direct control of commander of IRGC’s Quds force Qasem Soleimani over Iraqi Shi’ite militias, and eventually, the seizure of nearly one third of Iraqi territory by ISIS, all lead to the recent decision by both of these clerics to distance themselves from the Iranian regime.”This is terrifying to the Iranian Regime, in particular Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, who sent a special envoy to Iraq to meet with Sadr and Grand Ayatollah Sistani; even worse for the Regime, their envoy was refused.
Amir al-Kanani, a spokesperson for the Sadrist movement, said: “Iran’s interference in political affairs is detrimental to Iraq’s national interest … Khamenei’s envoy carries a new sectarian project that Iran provided six months ago.”
Bahrami wrote: “Although the Iranian Supreme Leader got Sistani’s message, it would be naive to believe that the IRGC under Khamenei’s control will give up to the new reality in Iraq and not try to bypass all likely restrictions. The IRGC controls a powerful Shiite militia, known as People Mobilization Units, and it could use it to put pressure on its dissidents. Consequently, will Grand Ayatollah Sistani take real actions if Tehran uses the IRGC to eliminate its opponents in Iraq physically.”
Bahrami continued: “If Sadr, al-Hakim and Sunni parties agree to restrict Iran’s destructive role in Iraq, the balance of power will shift significantly in favour of the Iraqi people and their representatives. Such agreement will require complicated political negotiations and a real willingness from all these parties to compromise in the interest of an independent Iraq.”

Why New York City Will Be Shut Down At The Sixth Seal


Indian Point tritium leak 80% worse than originally reported

Published time: 10 Feb, 2016 22:12Edited time: 11 Feb, 2016 01:51
New measurements at the Indian Point nuclear power plant in upstate New York show levels of radioactive tritium 80 percent higher than reported last week. Plant operator insists the spill is not dangerous, as state officials call for a safety probe.
Entergy, which operates the facility 25 miles (40 km) north of New York City, says the increased levels of tritium represent “fluctuations that can be expected as the material migrates.”
“Even with the new readings, there is no impact to public health or safety, and although these values remain less than one-tenth of one percent of federal reporting guidelines,” Entergy said in a statement.
New York governor Andrew Cuomo raised an alarm last Saturday over the reports of groundwater contamination at Indian Point, noting that the company reported “alarming levels of radioactivity” at three monitoring wells, with “radioactivity increasing nearly 65,000 percent” at one of them.
The groundwater wells have no contact with any drinking water supplies, and the spill will dissipate before it reaches the Hudson River, a senior Entergy executive argued Tuesday, suggesting the increased state scrutiny was driven by the company’s decision to shut down another nuclear power plant.
“There are a number of stakeholders, including the governor, who do not like the fact that we are having to close Fitzpatrick,” Michael Twomey, Entergy’s vice president of external affairs, said during an appearance on ‘The Capitol Pressroom,’ a show on WCNY public radio.
The James A. Fitzpatrick plant is located on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, near Oswego, New York. Entergy said it intended to close the plant once it runs out of fuel sometime this year, citing its continued operations as unprofitable.
Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant on the Hudson river © wikipedia.org
‘65,000% radioactivity spike’: New York Gov. orders probe into water leak at Indian Point
“We’re not satisfied with this event. This was not up to our expectations,” Twomey said, adding that the Indian Point spill should be seen in context.
Though it has never reported a reactor problem, the Indian Point facility has been plagued by issues with transformers, cooling systems, and other electrical components over the years. It currently operates two reactors, both brought on-line in the 1970s.
In December, the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission allowed Entergy to continue operating the reactors, pending license renewal. The facility’s initial 40-year license was set to expire on December 12, but the regulators are reportedly leaning towards recommending a 20-year extension.
By contrast, Reactor 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Pripyat, Ukraine was only three years old when it exploded in April 1986. To this day, an area of 1000 square miles around the power plant remains the “exclusion zone,” where human habitation is prohibited.
The tritium leak at Indian Point most likely took place in January, during the preparations to shut down Reactor 2 for refueling, according to Entergy. Water containing high levels of the hydrogen isotope reportedly overfilled the drains and spilled into the ground.
According to Entergy, tritium is a “low hazard radionuclide” because it emits low-energy beta particles, which do not penetrate the skin. “People could be harmed by tritium only through internal exposure caused by drinking water with high levels of tritium over many years,” an Entergy fact sheet says.
Environmentalist critics are not convinced, however.
“This plant isn’t safe anymore,” Paul Gallay, president of environmental watchdog group
Riverkeeper, told the New York Daily News. “Everybody knows it and only Entergy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission refuse to admit it.”

Pakistan Helps Iran's Nuclear Agenda (Daniel 8)

Pakistan′s indirect role in North Korea′s nuclear program
Asia | DW | 14.09.2017
DW: To what extent North Korea owes its nuclear technology to Pakistan?
Pervez Hoodbhoy: Pakistan did transfer centrifuge technology to North Korea. It did not, however, directly contribute to the program because North Korean nuclear program is essentially based on the extraction of plutonium rather than the uranium centrifugation process.
When did Pakistan's "nuclear transfer" to North Korea begin, and when did it end?
It ended in 2003 when Pakistani scientist A Q Khan was caught in the transfer of nuclear technology and subsequently all nuclear transfer came to an end. It is unclear when it began, but it is possible that it started shortly after former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto came to power in 1989, so in the years after that it must have begun at some point.