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October 23, 2016 / 21 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘International Atomic Energy Agency’

Iran Deploys S-300 Long Range Missiles at Fordow Nuclear Site

Monday, August 29th, 2016

Iran has deployed Russian-made S-300 long-range missiles in its Fordow nuclear facility, Tehran Times and other Iranian state-run media reported Sunday. State TV showed the missiles and other counter-strike weapons being transported to Fordow.

The Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant (FFEP) is a uranium enrichment facility located 20 miles northeast of the city of Qom. The site is the second Iranian uranium enrichment facility, the other one is in Natanz. In January 2012 the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced that Iran had started producing uranium enriched up to 20%.

Earlier on Sunday, Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in a speech at the Khatam Al-Anbia Air Defense Base, said that “malicious, treacherous, and systematically opposing our independence” are trying to weaken Iran’s defensive capabilities, and so, in response to this threat, “air defense should be in the frontline against this enemy.”

Khamenei stated: “Human will along with indigenous capability should provide a means to thwart the enemies’ plots and they should not let enemies even entertain any encroachments of our borders and sovereignty.” He condemned the “media hype” that followed Russia’s delivery of the S300 missile systems, which he insisted are merely a defensive weapon. He rebuked the US, whose “propaganda about Fordow underground facilities … revealed the very nature of an enemy who would not recognize the right to defend our people. They would only be satisfied when we are rendered defenseless and an easy prey to their invasion,” the Ayatollah stressed.

“The Air Defense base should be armed with diverse technological innovations and techniques; the enemy should understand that if it strikes, it will definitely be stricken by a yet stronger blow, with active defense turning to active assault as well,” Khamenei concluded.

A spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), announced, also on Sunday, plans to build two more nuclear power plants in Bushehr, a city in southern Iran which already has an operational nuclear power plant, built by the Russians and completed in April 2016. The spokesman said: “We try to start construction of the next nuclear power plant in Bushehr within the next one and a half months.”


Head of Mid-East Think Tank Suing Obama over Aid to Nuclear Israel

Friday, August 12th, 2016

Grant Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy (IRMEP), has filed a lawsuit against the entire US government, including President Obama, Secretary Kerry, CIA Director Brennan and Defense Secretary Carter, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief for the $234 billion the US has given Israel in military foreign aid since 1976 — in violation of US law that prohibits aiding countries with nuclear capability who are non-signatories to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Smith insists that his lawsuit is not about foreign policy (which the court would have dismissed outright), but “about the rule of law, presidential power, the structural limits of the US Constitution, and the right of the public to understand the functions of government and informed petition of the government for redress.”

In an article Smith published in Sept. 2014, when the current lawsuit was initially launched (Lawsuit Challenges U.S. “Ambiguity” Toward Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal), he explains his real reasons why Israel must not be allowed to have a nuclear arsenal:

“In a crisis or time of increased tension, Israel can threaten to use its arsenal as a lever to coerce the transfer of US military supplies and other support rather than pursue peaceful alternatives,” Smith argues, adding that “the international community views the US as hypocritical when it cites the NPT in reference to Iran or North Korea.”

Actually, we’ve seen up close how the international community views this “hypocrisy” just a year ago. As soon as it became clear in the summer of 2015 that Iran was going to be allowed to develop its nuclear weapon, Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf states went on a mad dash to acquire their own nukes. Why hadn’t they done the same in all the decades since Israel had allegedly first acquired its own nuclear device? Because they couldn’t imagine a situation whereby Israel would use it against them.

The lawsuit cites the fact that the White House and Israeli government are currently negotiating a new ten-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to serve as the basis for a FY2019-2028 foreign aid package of 4 to 5 billion dollars annually (actually, that’s the Israeli request, so far the most the White House has mentioned is $3.5 billion). In addition, the suit claims, “Congress will soon pass and the President will sign into law the final installment of the current FY2009-2018 foreign aid package. The US Treasury will provide an interest-bearing cash advance in October 2017 that Israel can use to fund its own military-industrial programs and purchase US arms.” That, too is more what Israel has been hoping for and less what the Administration is willing to give. At the moment, the US wants the entire military aid package to be used in American factories.

Smith claims the US aid deal with Israel is in violation of the Symington and Glenn amendments to the Foreign Aid Act of 1961.

The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 was modified by the Symington Amendment (Section 669 of the FAA) in 1976, which banned US economic and military assistance, and export credits to countries that deliver or receive, acquire or transfer nuclear enrichment technology when they do not comply with IAEA regulations and inspections.

The Glenn Amendment was later adopted in 1977, and provided the same sanctions against countries that acquire or transfer nuclear reprocessing technology or explode or transfer a nuclear device.

Noam Chomsky, a vociferous anti-Israel critic, has blamed successive US presidents of violating the law by granting an exception for Israel. The fact is that US presidents have granted similar benefits to India and Pakistan as well.

Smith’s suit says “Defendants have collectively engaged in a violation of administrative procedure … while prohibiting the release of official government information about Israel’s nuclear weapons program, particularly ongoing illicit transfers of nuclear weapons material and technology from the US to Israel.”

The suit claims that “these violations manifest in gagging and prosecuting federal officials and contractors who publicly acknowledge Israel’s nuclear weapons program, imposing punitive economic costs on public interest researchers who attempt to educate the public about the functions of government, refusing to make bona fide responses to journalists and consistently failing to act on credible information available in the government and public domain. These acts serve a policy that has many names all referring to the same subterfuge, ‘nuclear opacity,’ ‘nuclear ambiguity,’ and ‘strategic ambiguity.’”

The Institute for Research: Middle East Policy is an enormous archive of newspaper articles, books, audio, video, lawsuits, and surveys, dedicated to Israel, or, rather, the vilification of the Jewish State. Despite the institute’s name’s reference to being about Middle East policy, it’s all Israel, mostly about the secrets and clandestine policies of Israel. But it’s doubtful the current lawsuit, almost two years in the system by now, will go anywhere in federal court. In the end, the president is permitted to do whatever he or she wants in foreign policy, using good advice and their own intellectual faculties.

Let’s all vote for a president who is endowed with both.

David Israel

14 Senate Democrats Call for Extending Sanctions on Iran

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Tower Magazine website}

Fourteen Democratic senators introduced legislation last week calling for an extension of existing sanctions on Iran, which are set to expire at the end of this year.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D – Md.) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D – N.Y.) are leading the push for renewing the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996, which aims to prevent foreign investment in Iran’s energy sector. Both voiced their opposition to the nuclear agreement with Iran after it was announced.

“After extensive consultations with my colleagues in both chambers of Congress and on both sides of the aisle, it is clear that we need to reauthorize the Iran Sanctions Act before the end of the year,” said Cardin, the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “Doing so is vital if the United States wants to retain a credible deterrent of snap back sanctions.”

Cardin and Schumer called on their colleagues in both chambers to quickly advance the legislation when Congress reconvenes in September.

“It is essential that Congress keep Iran’s feet to the fire to make sure they do not violate the [nuclear deal]. This bill would provide the sanction authority that helps us do just that,” said Schumer, chair of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee.

On Friday, many of the same Democratic Senators who originally supported the nuclear deal wrote a letter criticizing the agreement’s inspection procedures and calling for the International Atomic Energy Agency to release more information from its inspections.

Despite international criticism, including from United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Iran has continued to test ballistic missiles. The Islamic Republic reportedly launched a ballistic missile using North Korean technology on the night of July 11-12, the ninth such test it carried out since reaching a nuclear deal with global powers last year.

Tower Magazine

Secret Document Shows Iran Can Restart Uranium Enrichment in 2027 [video]

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

A document obtained Monday by AP, which is the only part of last year’s nuclear deal between Iran, the US and five other powers that has been kept secret, was described it as an appendix to the nuclear deal, which Iran sent to the International Atomic Energy Agency, describing its plans to restart its uranium enrichment program not after 15 years, as the world has been led to believe, but after only 10 years from the start of the nuclear deal.

The anonymous diplomat who leaked the secret document to AP said that it had been knowingly approved by the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, which then went ahead and lied to their citizens about the actual time constraints on Iran’s nuclear program.

According to AP, the document sets January 2027, 11 years after the deal was implemented, as the date when Iran will be allowed to operate thousands of advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium to levels ranging from use as reactor fuel and for medical and research to being placed in the core of a nuclear warhead. Iran’s new centrifuges, as many as 3,500, will be fewer in number than the current 5,060 centrifuges, but far more efficient, according to the document, allowing Iran to enrich at more than twice the current rate.

Speaking on the nuclear deal’s anniversary Thursday, President Obama said it had succeeded in “avoiding further conflict and making us safer.” But the AP predicted Republicans on the Hill would start voicing their loud objections to Obama’s assessment once they realize that Iran could go back to working on a bomb in 10 years. Israel will surely not be pleased with the news, either.

David Albright, head of the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security, a major resource on Iran’s nuclear program, told AP that the document “will create a great deal of instability and possibly even lead to war, if regional tensions have not subsided.”


Obama Administration Admits Iran Worked on Nuclear Weapons

Monday, June 20th, 2016

The Obama Administration has belatedly come to the realization that Iran really was working on a nuclear weapon of mass destruction, just as Israeli and other intelligence sources said prior to the signing of the nuclear pact with Tehran in 2015. Current and former government officials told the Wall Street Journal that the administration has concluded radioactive particles discovered last year were tied to an Iranian nuclear weapons program, as pointed out by Omri Ceren of the Israel Project.

Two man-made uranium particles discovered in soil samples at the Parchin facility southeast of Tehran by the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency were too small to confirm exactly what kind of nuclear weapons work took place at the site. But they were big enough to make it clear that nuclear weapons-related activity was indeed going on there.

Iranian explanations for their presence — chemical storage for use in developing conventional weapons — were not supported by the evidence of satellite imagery and test results.

The issue was raised in an article written by Jay Solomon for the Wall Street Journal, in which the Obama administration was said to have underlined the discovery mentioned in a 16-page December 2015 report by the IAEA indisputably points to an Iranian weapons program, contradicting denials by Tehran.

On Saturday an Iranian government spokesman in fact denied uranium was found at Parchin, WSJ reported, adding the spokesman quoted a 2005 IAEA report that found no “unusual activities” there.

The terms of the pact signed by Iran with the six world powers last July required Tehran to address the evidence compiled by the IAEA showing that Iran had a program to create a nuclear weapon of mass destruction until at least 2003. Iranian officials repeatedly denied the charge.

In exchange for suspending its nuclear technology activities for a 10-year period, Iran would receive the $150 billion that had been held in frozen assets in addition to international sanctions being rolled back.

Now that Iran is receiving all those benefits, however, Tehran’s lies are also becoming clear. And the critics of the deal who were opposing it from the start are citing this latest news as confirmation that opposition of the deal was justified, and that Obama didn’t go far enough in his demands that Iran come clean on its nuclear activities before lifting sanctions in January.

Evidence of the man-made uranium that was found at Parchin has only low levels of fissionable isotopes, according to WSJ. But this can be used as a substitute for weapons-grade materials in the development of nuclear bombs and can also be used as a component in a neutron initiator — a triggering device for a nuclear weapon, WSJ reported.

But now the IAEA is blocked from any further investigation of the Parchin site, thanks to the deal signed last year. And although the deal forces Iran to allow the agency access to “all” suspected nuclear technology sites, that does not include Iranian military sites — where the weaponry is most likely to be developed.

Hana Levi Julian

Adoption of Nuclear Iran Deal Which ‘Removes all Bans’ Against Iran is Announced

Monday, October 19th, 2015

On the same day that the Speaker of the Iranian Majlis threatened to cease cooperation under the Nuclear Iran Deal should the U.S. or anyone else violate certain conditions, the European Union’s High Representative Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif issued a joint statement calling for a speedy implementation of the Deal.

The statement says:

“Today is Adoption Day of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) related to the Iran nuclear programme. This is another important milestone that brings us a step closer to the beginning of implementation of the JCPOA, to which we are strongly committed. We have respected the timetable set out in the JCPOA, which demonstrates our collective will to stick to its provisions.

Iran will now start the implementation of its nuclear-related commitments with the objective of full and effective completion. The IAEA will make the necessary preparations for the monitoring and verification of these steps.

The EU today adopted the legislative framework for lifting all of its nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions. It will take effect on Implementation Day, simultaneously with the IAEA-verified implementation of agreed nuclear measures by Iran.

The United States is taking action today to cease application of nuclear-related statutory sanctions on Iran effective on Implementation Day when the IAEA has verified implementation of agreed nuclear measures by Iran, as specified in the JCPOA; and is directing all appropriate additional measures be taken to implement the cessation of application of sanctions, including the termination of Executive Orders and the licensing of activities, as specified in the JCPOA.

The Joint Commission foreseen under the JCPOA will now convene for its first meeting at the level of Political Directors on 19 October in Vienna, in order to further advance preparations for implementing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

All sides remain strongly committed to ensuring that implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action can start as soon as possible. To this end, we will make all the necessary preparations.

Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia – plus Germany finalized the text of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the JCPOA, over Iran’s nuclear program in the Austrian capital of Vienna on July 14.

Under the JCPOA, limits will be put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all economic and financial bans against the Islamic Republic.”

Note that last point? The “removal of all economic and financial bans against the Islamic Republic.” All. That isn’t what Obama and Kerry said, is it? One more “in your face” to the naive negotiators.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

US Admin Claims ‘No Self Inspections,’ But Iran Alone Chooses Samples to Inspect

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

The bologna surrounding the Nuclear Iran Deal was sliced even more thinly on Monday, Sept. 21.

Remember the alarms raised when a version of one of the confidential secret side deals obtained and reported on by the Associated Press revealed that Iran would be permitted to inspect its own Parchin military site? At least some of Iran’s nuclear weapons activity is suspected to have taken place at Parchin.

On Monday, most of the headlines about the Parchin inspections revealed that what had been suspected was, in fact, the case.

Tehran said that Iranians “independently collected samples” at Parchin with no non-Iranians present.  They later handed over those samples to members of the International Atomic Energy Agency for analysis.

But it wasn’t only Iran that claimed the samples were chosen solely by Iranians, and without any other “inspectors” present.

“It was done by Iranian experts, in the absence of IAEA inspectors,” said Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation.”

But that doesn’t worry the pretty little heads of the official spokespeople for both the White House and the State Department. Oh, no. You see?  It means that the Iranians did not self-inspect, according to the talking points placed in front of both of them.

How so?

Well, because the samples were delivered to the IAEA inspectors for….inspection! So all those efforts to make the secret side deals look like something nefarious when in fact they are merely super-duper top-secret – so secret no American has been or will be permitted to look at the text or the details of the deals, and that includes Secretary of State John Kerry, U.S. President Barack Obama or even the nuclear physicist Secretary of the Energy Ernest Moniz – agreements between the jolly Iranians and the IAEA.

During the State Department Press Briefing on Monday, State’s Spokesperson John Kirby explained that the U.S. administration is perfectly satisfied with Iran being permitted to choose what samples to gather from (maybe?) the military site widely believed to have been the site of nuclear weapons testing, with no independent oversight.

That argument was apparently a winner for Cong. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL). The DNC chair said she was briefed completely on the details of the inspections process, because she told CNN’s Jake Tapper when announcing her decision to support the deal that the Iranians “absolutely cannot self-inspect.”

The Florida Congresswoman also claimed in that same interview that the inspections regime under the Nuclear Iran Deal are “the most intrusive inspections and monitoring that we have ever imposed or that have ever been agreed to.” One wonders how swampland in Florida is selling these days.

Kirby also restated the official State Department position, which is that it is perfectly comfortable with the fact that the inspections process  to determine whether and how far along Iran’s nuclear weapons program was, is a confidential matter between Iran and the IAEA. That is none of the U.S.’s business, in other words.

Here is the full exchange between State Department Spokesman John Kirby and the AP’s incredulous Matt Lee, with an assist from his colleague Brad Klapper [emphasis added]:

QUESTION: And you don’t have any issue with fact that the inspectors were not allowed in, or that they were not there?

MR KIRBY: I would point you, Matt, to what the director general himself noted, which was that the verification activities at Parchin were conducted in the manner consistent with their standard safeguards practices. So the director general himself made it clear that he was comfortable with the verification process and that it was in keeping with the arrangement that they had made with Iran.

QUESTION: That’s great, but you – so you don’t have a problem with them not being physically present?

MR KIRBY: I’m not going to get into the details of the process itself. That resides inside this confidential arrangement between Iran and the IAEA, so I’m not going to confirm or deny whether inspectors were present here or there. What I am going to say is we’re comfortable that the process was conducted in accordance with the normal procedures and the agreement that the IAEA had already made with Iran.

QUESTION: And so it remains your position that the confidential agreement and whatever it contains is sufficient to investigate? Okay.

MR KIRBY: Absolutely. And again, I’d point you to the fact that Director General Amano made it clear before and I think certainly made the implication today that there’s no self-inspection by Iran in this process.

QUESTION: There – okay. The other thing, at the – that your colleague at the White House seemed to suggest was that the courtesy call that Director General Amano made to Parchin was somehow evidence that – or was evidence that the Iranian military facilities are open and available for IAEA access. Is that really – is that the position of the State Department?

MR KIRBY: Well, in a short answer: yes. I mean, it’s not insignificant that the IAEA and the director general himself – I mean, I don’t know that we would characterize it as a courtesy call –but the fact that he and his team had access to Parchin is not insignificant.

QUESTION: His team, meaning the one person that went with him.

MR KIRBY: Look, I don’t – I’m not going to —

QUESTION: A brief – a brief visit to an empty room at Parchin, you think counts – qualifies as an inspection? That – was that the –

MR KIRBY: It’s not insignificant that they had access to Parchin. The director general himself – and I’m not going to get into the details of his visit or what that – that’s for the IAEA to speak to. But it’s not insignificant that they got – that they were granted access to this.

QUESTION: Is it your understanding that the director general of the IAEA conducts inspections? Or would that normally be done by —

MR KIRBY: I’m not an expert on their —

QUESTION: — lower-level people? MR KIRBY: I’m not an expert on their protocols. I don’t think it’s our expectation that he has to personally inspect everything.

QUESTION: Do you think he got down on his hands and knees and —

MR KIRBY: I’d point you to the director general to speak to his personal involvement. I don’t know that that’s our expectation, that he has to, as you said, get down on his hands and knees. But certainly he had access to Parchin, and that’s not insignificant – the first time that that’s been done. If we had this —

QUESTION: Well, do you recall how big a site Parchin is?

MR KIRBY: I don’t. I’m not an expert on the site itself.

QUESTION: It’s rather large.

QUESTION: It’s pretty huge.

MR KIRBY: Okay. QUESTION: So do you think that two people from the IAEA going into an empty room briefly —


QUESTION: — counts – I’m trying to find out whether you guys think or are trying to say that Amano’s courtesy call, his very brief visit – he even said that it was very brief – counts as some kind of an inspection. That’s all.

MR KIRBY: I would point you to what the IAEA has said about their —

QUESTION: Not even the IAEA said this was an inspection, but your colleague at the White House suggested that the fact that Director General Amano was able to briefly visit one room or one part of the site was evidence that the Iranians have opened up their military sites to IAEA access. And I just want to know if the State Department thinks that it’s – thinks the same.

MR KIRBY: We believe it’s significant that Iran granted access to this facility at Parchin for the first time in the history of this issue, both in his visit and the technical verification activities. What’s more important is we look forward to Iran’s fulling implementing its commitments under the roadmap. That’s what matters here. QUESTION: Would you be confident in this being the standard of inspection going forward?

MR KIRBY: It’s not that that is – this is an issue between Iran and the IAEA, and as we said at the very outset, Brad, that having been briefed on the details of that confidential arrangement, the Secretary remains comfortable that it will allow for the IAEA to get the proper access it needs and the ability, through various techniques, of effectively monitoring.

QUESTION: But you don’t think there needs to be – you’re not saying that whatever the confidential arrangements are of future inspections going forward, that they will have necessarily more access than this?

MR KIRBY: That is between the IAEA and Iran to work out. What matters to us, we’re not going to micromanage the inspection activities of the IAEA. It’s an independent, international agency that can speak for itself about what it will or will not do. And as you know, many of those arrangements are confidential and they won’t speak to them. What matters to us, having been briefed on the protocols, is that we remain comfortable, should this – should Iran continue to meet its commitments in keeping with that arrangement, we believe they will get the access and will get the information they need.

So, according to the Obama Team’s talking points, it does not count as “self-inspection” when the Iranians – with no one watching – choose the samples to be analyzed to determine Iran’s nuclear weapons activity.

And the administration and all the elected officials who support the Nuclear Iran Deal, who are prepared to lift sanctions and turn over a hundred billions of dollars to the world’s greatest sponsor of terrorism, are satisfied with this form of no oversight inspection.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-admin-claims-no-self-inspections-but-iran-alone-chooses-samples-to-inspect/2015/09/22/

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