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Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Klein-Aaron

Iran Only A Few Weeks Away From Producing Nuclear Bomb Uranium

If Iran breaks its deal with the West tomorrow, the country would be only two to three weeks away from producing enough highly enriched uranium to assemble a nuclear weapon, according to Olli Heinonen, former deputy director of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Heinonen directed the safeguards division of the United Nations body charged with enforcing the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

He was asked Sunday on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” on WABC Radio  about the timeframe in response to statements from Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, who boasted last week that Tehran can nix its deal with the West and resume enriching uranium to 20-percent levels within one day if it so desires.

Heinonen responded that it would take Iran “two, three weeks to have enough uranium hexafluoride high-enriched for one single weapon.”

Continued the former IAEA director: “If they [back out of the deal], which they can technically do, it will take certainly a little bit more than one night to do. But then once they have sorted it out, it would take about two, three weeks.”

Heinonen explained that as time elapses and Iran converts more of its 20-percent enriched uranium to five percent, as is required by the U.S.-backed deal, the two to three week timeframe to produce a nuclear weapon will expand.

He said that if Iran keeps its side of the deal, in six months from now “it will take at least three months” more to enrich enough uranium to assemble a nuclear weapon.

Is U.S. Using Yaalon’s Comments To Induce A Diplomatic Crisis?

In response to outrage from the U.S. over comments made by Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, Israeli diplomatic sources here said they are aware of statements that are “far worse” uttered by Obama administration officials against Israeli leaders, including remarks attacking Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Some of the sources accused the U.S. of focusing on Yaalon’s statements to deliberately prompt a diplomatic crisis in U.S.-Israeli relations.

Earlier in the week, Israel’s Yedioth Aharonot daily reported on remarks allegedly made by Yaalon in private to associates. The unsourced report quoted Yaalon blasting Secretary of State John Kerry as “inexplicably obsessive” and “messianic” in his efforts to achieve a Palestinian state.

Yaalon reportedly told associates that Kerry has “nothing to teach me about the conflict with the Palestinians.” Yaalon was said to have criticized Kerry’s Israeli-Palestinian plan as “not worth the paper it is printed on,” charging it will harm Israel’s security. The comments reportedly caused a diplomatic row with the State Department and White House.

But Israeli diplomatic sources speaking to this column wondered why the U.S. was focusing on Yaalon’s alleged private comments. They said U.S. allies in the Middle East, including the official state-run Palestinian media, routinely release anti-American sentiment.

The sources said they are aware of “far worse” even “shock” comments made by U.S. officials against Israeli leaders, including the prime minister.

Turkey Raids Offices Of Mavi Marmara Flotilla Sponsor

Turkish security forces last week raided the offices of the group that sponsored the infamous Mavi Marmara flotilla that attempted to aid the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip in 2010 and engaged in violent clashes with Israeli soldiers.

The U.S. contingent of the Gaza flotilla counts friends and associates of President Obama among its leaders, including the founders of the Weather Underground terrorist organization, William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, and Jodie Evans, a founder of the radical activist organization Code Pink.

Earlier this week, Turkish forces stormed the offices of the Humanitarian Relief Foundation, or IHH, as part of an Al Qaeda probe in which 25 terrorist suspects were arrested. A relief worker from IHH was among those detained. IHH computers and documents reportedly were seized.

Turkish security organizations accused the IHH of aiding Al Qaeda groups. The IHH previously was accused of transporting weapons to jihadists fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad under the guise of humanitarian aid.

Earlier this month, local media reports stated that an IHH truck was detained attempting to cross the Syrian border with weapons hidden among packages of aid.

IHH is best known as the main sponsor of the May 2010 flotilla to Gaza.

Working with the IHH, the flotilla was organized by the Free Gaza Movement, a coalition of leftist human rights activists and pro-Palestinian groups engaged in attempts to break a blockade imposed by Israel on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

Ayers and Dohrn were close associates for years of President Obama, while Evans of Code Pink was a fundraiser and financial bundler for Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.

In January 2010, Ayers, Dohrn, and Evans provoked chaos on the streets of Egypt in an attempt to enter Gaza with the Free Gaza Movement to join in “solidarity” with the territory’s population and leadership.

The three helped to stir riots after the Egyptian government refused to allow a large number of protesters to enter neighboring Gaza. Eventually, the protesters accepted an Egyptian offer of allowing about 100 marchers into Gaza. Once in the territory, the marchers were reportedly met on the Gaza side by former Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.

At the time of the march, Secretary of State John Kerry, then a senator, wrote a letter in support of a “humanitarian delegation from Massachusetts” to Gaza. Members of Ayers-Dohrn-Evans group documented on their blogs that Kerry’s letter was used at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo to pressure Egypt to let the group into Gaza.

Images of the letter were also posted on the Electronic Intifada website run by Ali Abunimah, who was with Evans’s group in Egypt and who spoke at pro-Palestinian events in the 1990s alongside Obama. In one such event, a 1999 fundraiser for Palestinian “refugees,” Abunimah recalled introducing Obama on stage.

Kerry’s office previously met with Code Pink members. Sarah Roche-Mahdi of Code Pink also is a member of the United for Peace and Justice Palestine Task Force, which met with Kerry’s staffers.

Kerry in 2009 became the most senior U.S. politician to visit the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, although at the time he did not meet with Hamas leaders.

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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