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October 9, 2015 / 26 Tishri, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘Iranian nuclear program’

Russia Claims Iran Ready to Stop Enrichment of 20% uranium

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

Russia says that Iran is ready to stop enriching 20 percent grade uranium, a key ingredient towards making a nuclear weapon, but Iran expects the West to lift economic sanctions in return.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov did not say exactly what Iranian officials agreed to this grand gesture, one day after Iran’s president-elect Hassan Rohani vowed that Iran will continue to enrich uranium. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu previously has warned that the only level of uranium enrichment that Iran should be allowed to produce is “zero percent.”

A higher grade of enrichment is a step closer to producing a nuclear weapon, but lower grade enrichment, needed for fuel roads in the Bushehr nuclear energy plant. Iran’s refusal to allow international inspectors into its nuclear facilities precludes the possibility of knowing how much 20 percent enriched uranium the country already has stockpiled.

“For the first time in many years, there are encouraging signs in the process of settlement of the situation with the Iranian nuclear program,” Lavrov said in the interview to Kuwait’s KUNA news agency. The interview was published on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s site but was not published in Iran.

Lavrov insisted that Iran’s preparedness to stop high-level enrichment of uranium “could become a breakthrough agreement.”

Then he dropped the joker in the deck: Iran’s grand gesture “implies significant reciprocal steps” by the six world powers who have unsuccessfully tried to convince Iran to cooperate with nuclear inspectors to stop its nuclear program.

“The international community must adequately respond to the constructive progress made by Iran, including gradual suspension and lifting of sanctions, both unilateral and those introduced by the UN Security Council. It would be a shame not to take advantage of this opportunity,” Lavrov concluded.

The next step is predictable. The West will demand some kind of evidence that Iran can speak for itself instead of letting Russia act as its mouthpiece.

Step Number Two will be Iran’s demand that sanctions be removed because, after all, how can it trust the West to inspect its nuclear facilities and then find a reason not lift sanctions?

Rohani won’t take office until August, so Iran still has several weeks to enrich more high-grade uranium.

After August, expect another few weeks, or months, of negotiating about how to negotiate an agreement.

By that time, maybe Iran will have enough high-grade uranium for a bomb.

Netanyahu on Iran’s New President: ‘We Wont Kid Ourselves’

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

“We won’t kid ourselves. The international community shouldn’t be tempted into wishful thinking,”  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Sunday after the victory of relatively moderate cleric Hasan Rohani as Iran’s new president..

“We must remember that, anyway, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei sets Iran’s nuclear policy. Iran will be tested by its deeds,” Netanyahu added.

Likud minister Yuval Steinitz, who one chaired the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee, said he doubts that Supreme Leader Ayotallah Ali Khamenei, who “actually manages foreign affairs, national security and Iran’s nuclear program,” will change the path towards acquiring nuclear capability unless enough economic pressure is applied.

Steinitz Warns Iran Will Be Able To Make 30 Nuclear Bombs a Year

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Iran will be able top produce 30 nuclear bombs a year and 100 within the decade, Minister of Strategy, Intelligence and International Relations Affairs Yuval Steinitz told a defense conference this week.

He told the IsraelDefense C5I Conference that Iran could reach the capability of operating 54,000 centrifuges.

“Iran is not North Korea or Pakistan – its nuclear industry is several dozen times bigger than that of those two countries,” he said. “It will be able to enrich enough uranium to produce 20-30 nuclear bombs each year. In addition, it is already enriching tens of thousands of centrifuges at the facility in Qom.

“Within a decade, it could reach more than 100 nuclear bombs. This is not about the risk of ayatollahs with a few bombs stored in the basement, but a genuine danger to the well being of the world.”

Iran Launches Two Uranium Facilities while Talking with West

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inaugurated two uranium processing facilities on Tuesday at the same Western diplomats are trying to jawbone him into surrendering work on uranium enrichment.

Marking “National Day of Nuclear Technology,” Ahmadinejad, via video, launched the production plants in the central province of Yazd.

Two days earlier, European Union Policy Chief Catherine Ashton admitted that Iran and the six world powers “remain far apart” from advancing in negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program.

Western diplomats stubbornly insist it is worthwhile to continue talks with Iran, with one diplomat, speaking anonymously, going so far as to state, “There is enough substance for these negotiations to continue.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Israel on Sunday, negotiations cannot continue forever, but, as usual, no deadline was stated. nor is it clear what the United States would do if a deadline were not met.

Meanwhile, more concerns have been raised supporting Israel’s years-old contention that Iran has been actively working towards producing a nuclear weapon.

Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told a nuclear nonproliferation in Washington that Iran’s refusal to allow nuclear inspectors into the Parchin military base raised serious suspicions.  “We have credible information that Iran continued its activities beyond 2003,” he said. American intelligence previously has claimed that Iran suspended work on nuclear development in that year, while Israel insisted no such halt occurred.

IDF Intelligence Chief: Terror Organizations on the Rise

Friday, March 15th, 2013

Head of the Military Intelligence Directorate Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi spoke at the 13th annual Herzliya Conference on Thursday, where he delivered a comprehensive review of the strategic changes currently shaping the Middle East and the threats that such changes pose to Israel’s national security. THE IRANIAN THREAT

Maj. Gen. Kochavi related to the Iranian nuclear program, and was explicit in describing the great threat that Iran poses to the security of the State of Israel, describing it as Israel’s “primary threat”.

“We estimate that they will continue to advance their nuclear program,” he said, explaining that “Iran does not see a high chance of a military attack by the international community on [their] nuclear facilities.”

Maj. Gen. Kochavi said that the Iranian government is in possession of the necessary infrastructure to procure nuclear weapons. “Right now [Iran] has ten thousand spinning centrifuges and another five thousand have been installed,” he said, adding that “should the [President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] decide to move forward towards a bomb, they already have enough material for five or six bombs.”

Despite the progress of Iran’s nuclear program, Maj. Gen. Kochavi said, the international community still has the power to stop them. “The [international] pressure on Iran is intensifying and the economic sanctions are influencing Iran in the most significant way,” he said, adding that such sanctions will become an ever-more influential factor in the decision making in Iran. CHANGING MIDDLE EAST

The intelligence chief stated the IDF’s Intelligence Directorate has identified three central pillars around which the most significant changes influencing the region revolve: the economic situation, social upheaval and Islamization.

“The social upheaval is here to stay,” Maj. Gen. Kochavi said, referring to the massive political and social changes that have occurred throughout the Middle East in recent years. “It will continue to seethe and bubble and remain the central determining factor in the Middle East,” he said.

He explained that the social upheaval has removed many of the Middle East’s traditional power structures from authority, leaving room for radical Islam to take over. “[The upheaval] is becoming more violent every day, and it is creating a vacuum which is being filled with Islamist and Jihadist political factions,” he warned.

The Head of Military Intelligence said that while political turmoil abounds, governance has vanished and borders are being breached, leaving Israel surrounded by increasingly lawless areas. The lack of control, he says, is leading to the unfettered passage of weapons and munitions. “For the first time in decades Israel has four active borders which could open up from terror attacks,” Maj. Gen. Kochavi said. THE RISE OF TERROR IN SYRIA

Maj. Gen. Kochavi related to the sustained political turmoil in Syria, saying that there too radical Islamism has risen up to fill the void left by political instability. “For some of the [new terror] organizations, Israel is not the focus, but the moment they accomplish their Plan A – the fall of Assad, for instance – they will turn their energy towards Israel,” he said.

Elaborating on the situation in Syria, Maj. Gen. Kochavi said that “it is necessary to think of Syria not as a complete state, but as Assad’s state and the rebels’ state – which includes two thirds of Syria’s populated area.” He added that there are rebel enclaves camped all along the border in the Golan Heights from where they lead the day to day fighting.

“11 of 17 crossings [from Syria into the demilitarized UNDOF zone] are in the hands of the rebels, which enables the passage of refugees, weapons and even Jihadist elements,” Maj. Gen. Kochavi said.

The Head of Military Intelligence went on to say that Hezbollah, a traditional ally of Assad, is concerned that should he lose power, Iran may lose free passage through Syria to arm the Lebanese terror organization – a concern which has caused them to become involved in the conflict.

“Assad is intensifying cooperation with Hezbollah and Iran, which maintain a presence in Syria, and are the primary supports of his regime,” Maj. Gen. Kochavi said. “The damage of Syria’s demise would be very grave for them. Iran would lose its only Arab ally which borders Israel and thus lose the capability to open fire on Israel from Syria,” Maj. Gen. Kochavi said.

A Preview of President Obama’s Stage Show to Israel

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Israel is preparing the red carpet for President Barack Obama, who will have a three-day carefully staged photo-op and an hour or so to entertain a hand-picked audience for an oratorical performance.

A force of 10,000 police officers and security officials will surround President Obama from the time his plane touches down at Ben Gurion Airport next Wednesday until it leaves two mornings later.

Just as he orchestrated his campaign visit to Israel and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in 2008, White House planners have worked it out to make sure America’s Big Boss will stay in neutral territory.

He will visit the Israel Museum, which is full of Muslim, Christian and Jewish displays, giving him the opportunity to show how respectful he is of the world’s three major religions. The highlight will be his observing the Dead Sea Scrolls, which won’t upset the Palestinian Authority since the Scrolls have nothing to do with the re-written Muslim history of Israel.

The tentative schedule of President Obama’s trip does not list the Bethlehem Church of Nativity, which the President previously said he wanted to visit. It is located only a few minutes from Jerusalem, but if he does arrive there, it will require a mammoth security operation that would require “cleansing” the area of any Arab within shooting distance and would probably cause a vicious Arab reaction.

President Obama may view the Iron Dome missile, if a trip to Bethlehem does not override it,  and he will state that  American funding of the defensive weapon against incoming short-range missiles is proof that “Israel has America’s back.”

Obama will make an obligatory trip to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, where the PA security force, undoubtedly backed up by behind-the-scenes Israeli intelligence, will try to keep his subjects out of view so they don’t greet President Obama by burning American flags.

The President will say that his visit demonstrates the United States’ commitment to the Palestinian people, including those in Gaza, where even in his worst nightmare, he would not think of visiting.

Abbas will smile with Obama, which will infuriate the Arab street given the United States’ refusal to accept Abbas’ swipe in the face of the White House by putting another nail in the coffin of the “peace process” and going to the United Nations for de facto recognition of its territorial and political demands.

Abbas will tell Obama he wants to negotiate with Prime Minister Netanyahu, although no one in the press corps will report that Abbas has left nothing on the table to negotiate.

Obama will return to Jerusalem for a gala dinner with President Shimon Peres and will speak to Israelis at the Jerusalem Convention Center for what may be his last opportunity to talk directly to Israel.

After praising Israel to no end, and after mentioning that he will visit Mount Herzl the following day to honor the memory of former Prime Minister and Oslo Accords champion Yitzchak Rabin, and after falling over himself about the emotions he will experience when he visits Yad VaShem the next day, and after saying how much Abbas really wants to make peace if Israel would only let him, he will warn everyone that the alternative to a “two-state solution” is the end of Israel as a Jewish state. He will not note that Abbas’ official maps show all of Israel as “Palestine.”

Obama will try to convince Israelis that Abbas has halted incitement against Israel, without mentioning the endless honoring of suicide terrorists and ongoing PA television programs that remind viewers that Jews are the root of all evil.

Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama will tell each other how much they are working hand-in-hand to stop Iran from reaching nuclear capability, and who knows what they will say to each other behind doors?

Five years ago, Obama visited the Western Wall during his presidential campaign, and back home,  he told Jews in the United States that Jerusalem is the “undivided capital of Israel.” The next day, a furious Arab world forced him to backtrack, and he came up with a line that he really meant it won’t be divided again as it was between 1949 and 1967, the period of the Jordanian occupation when an “apartheid” barbed wire fence kept Jews out of their former homes in the Old City.

Things have changed since then.

Every Jew living in what once was Jordanian-occupied Jerusalem is now an “illegitimate settler,” according to President Obama.

Obama probably would want to declare a “three-faith” solution for Jerusalem with a prayer at an Old City church, a solemn stand at the Western Wall again along with a tour of the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism. But even an announcement that he would want to step foot in the mosque would spark a world-wide Arab demonstration against such a desecration by an infidel, who was born into a Muslim family but is a Christian.

Kerry Beats the Drum for Talks on Iran but War Drums Grow Louder

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told ABC that Iran’s failure to negotiate makes “confrontation more possible,” and hours later, the American delegate to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) accused Iran of “deception, defiance and delay” while it enriches uranium.

Kerry has jumped into his new position with the full character of the State Dept. to solve the world’s problems with talk, but the unusually harsh comments from Joseph Macmanus, the chief U.S. delegate to the IAEA, indicates that the noose is tightening around Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

So far, he seems to believe that the United States is bluffing about a military strike and is making a show to keep Israel quiet.

However, the more the Obama administration, sees Iranian nuclear capability as a threat to the United States, the closer everyone gets to the red line to talk with action and not words.

“I’m not going to get into red lines and timing publicly except to reiterate what the president has said again and again, which is he prefers to have a diplomatic solution,” Kerry told ABC News in Qatar.

“If they keep pushing the limits and not coming with a serious set of proposals or are prepared to actually resolve this, obviously, the risks get higher and confrontation becomes more possible,” he said.

Joseph Macmanus’ comment blew holes into the recent complacency of the international community, which was soothed by Iran’s expression of being interested in  proposals by the world’s six powers.

Even the European Union appears to be getting fed up with Iran.

The EU told the IAEA board in Vienna Wednesday that it “considers … Iran’s procrastination to be unacceptable.”

Iran has refused IAEA requests to visit the Parchin military site, where satellite pictures have shown explosive tests probably were carried out for  nuclear weapons capability.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said this week, not for the first time, that Iran is using the negotiations and talks of negotiations as a camouflage for its nuclear weapons program.

Tehran, of course, insists its nuclear development is only for peace and is counting on more talks to erase any American red lines.

“We are committed to continue our dialogue with the IAEA but at the same time we can’t give a blank check” because of Iran’s national security concerns, Iranian Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh told reporters in Vienna.

Kerry notwithstanding, louder voices are being increasingly heard from the most senior American officials.

Gen. James Mattis, head of U.S. Central Command, told a Senate committee on Tuesday, “I’m paid to take a rather dim view of the Iranians, frankly.”

Looking at the future of a military strike, he stated, “There are number of means to do that, perhaps even short of open conflict. But certainly that’s one of the options that I have to have prepared for the president.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/kerry-beats-the-drum-for-talks-on-iran-but-war-drums-grow-louder/2013/03/06/

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