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December 5, 2016 / 5 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘International Atomic Energy Agency’

Iran Gets Points for Good Behavior in Exceeding Heavy Water Quota

Friday, November 11th, 2016

It turns out that John Kerry’s State Dept. grades Iran on a curve, as can be seen from an exchange between State Department spokesperson Mark Toner and a reporter on Wednesday. The reporter pointed out Wednesday’s IAEA report which found Iran to be in violation of the heavy water stockpile provision, for a second time.

Can Iran still be considered to be adhering to its commitments?

Toner confirmed that, “indeed, the IAEA has observed that Iran has slightly exceeded its 130 metric ton heavy water stockpile limit under the JCPOA by 100 kilograms,” but stressed that “that’s about one-tenth of a metric ton,” which doesn’t sound so bad, until one does the math and realizes it’s about 220 pounds of heavy water.

Heavy water is used as a moderating agent in reactors fueled by natural uranium, so the amount of heavy water Iran has been creating should be more than enough to scare us.

All of which was lost on Toner, who actually told this reporter: “It’s important to note that Iran made no effort to hide what it was doing from the IAEA. During the course of its ongoing heavy water production, Iran produced a little more heavy water than permitted but is now taking steps to address the issue by shipping the excess quantity out of the country, we expect in the coming days. So the IAEA flagged us. Iran made no attempt to hide it, and they’re taking immediate steps to address it.”

Yes, world peace has been secured for 100 years… The sheer absurdity of Toner’s comments was not lost on the pesky reporter, and the following harsh back & forth ensued:

Reporter:  And that’s supposed to make – that’s supposed to be a relief, that they made no effort to hide it?

Toner:  No, I just wanted to – I said —

Reporter:  So it’s okay if they blatantly violate it and don’t try and to – don’t try to cover it up?  I don’t get it.

Toner:  Well, Matt —

Reporter:  It’s a violation, is it not?

Toner:  Well, look, it is – so they exceeded the limits.  They acknowledged it.

Reporter:  Right.  That’s a violation, is it not?

Toner:  Well, again, it’s – but they’re addressing it.  I mean, this is something that —

Reporter:  But did they – so you don’t think – they violated the deal and you can’t – and you won’t say that they violated the deal?  I don’t —

Toner:  So they – again, yes, they exceeded the allowable amount of heavy water that they were permitted.

Reporter:  Is that or is that not a violation of the agreement?  Whether or not they’re taking steps to address it, they still violated it, didn’t they?

Toner:  I’m not sure whether that constitutes a formal violation. I’d have to look into that, to be honest with you. I mean, they certainly exceeded, again, what their – their allowable amount of heavy water.  Whether that constitutes, again, a formal violation of JCPOA writ large, I’m not certain about that.  Again, what’s important here is that this was detected, it was acknowledged, and they’re taking steps to address it.

Thank God, only two more months of this remain…

David Israel

IAEC Director: Middle East Instability Worsened By Non-State Actors Supported by Syria, Iran

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

IAEC Director Ze’ev Senir told participants at the 60th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency on Wednesday that the challenge of nuclear security is of “paramount significance” to Israel “due to the somber reality in the Middle East.”

Senir underlined Israel’s hope that her Arab neighbors, as well as other countries around the world, will begin to collaborate in the effort to combat “nuclear terrorism.”

He emphasized that Israel “continues to follow IAEA guidance regarding the security of nuclear facilities and the protection of nuclear materials. Israel enforces regulations in line with the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) and its amendment.”

Israel has even submitted a report on its national legislative implementation of the Convention, he said. “Israel upholds the highest standard of physical protection measures in its nuclear centers. Advanced security means and procedures are employed in domestic and international transport, as well as import and export processes. Such measures are undertaken in accordance with Israel’s international obligations, and in accordance with our national legislation.”

But for all of that, he said, Israel cannot control the threat of nuclear terrorism beyond her borders — in particular, the current threat to the north.

“Instability in the Middle East has recently been worsened by the presence, and violent activity of non-state actors, supported and funded by countries such as Syria and Iran.

“The access of non-state actors to materials which may be used for non-conventional weapons, combined with the motivation to conduct large-scale acts of violence, present a clear and undeniable threat to global nuclear security,” he said.

“As head of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, I call upon my Arabb colleagues to join forces in professionally addressing this severe challenge.”

Senir also raised the ongoing issue of the existential threat posed by Iran.

“When discussing the instability of our region, we cannot overlook the ongoing concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear program.

“Despite the recent agreement, Iran continues to be a destabilizing force in the Middle East. Its support of terrorist groups and its long-range ballistic missile programs present a real and increasing threat.

“At the same time, we must address Iran’s blatant concealment and duplicity, as demonstrated in their well-known weaponization activities.

“Iran’s commitment to the JCPOA must be evaluation with a long-term perspective, which must include its adherence to its international obligations, as well as transparency in its actions.

“I remind you that in its recent words and deeds, Iran continues to threaten Israel directly and via proxy organizations, such as Hezsbbollah.”

Hana Levi Julian

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.”

JNi.Media

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.”

JNi.Media

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

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-administration-admits-iran-worked-on-nuclear-weapons/2016/06/20/

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