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July 1, 2015 / 14 Tammuz, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘nuclear weapons’

Israel Has 80 Nuclear Warheads, Says Swiss Research Unit

Monday, June 15th, 2015

Israel has 80 nuclear warheads, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said Monday in a report that estimated the world’s number of warheads fell from 22,600 to 15,850 since 2010.

Most of the drop is due to a reduction in stockpiles in Russia and the United States, it reported. However, the Institute also pointed to “extensive and expensive long-term modernization programs” in both countries.

SIPRI researcher Shannon Kile said in a statement:

Despite renewed international interest in prioritizing nuclear disarmament, the modernization programs under way in the nuclear weapon-possessing states suggests that none of them will give up their nuclear arsenals in the foreseeable future.

The 1968 Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty recognizes three other countries as legally armed with nuclear warheads — China with 260, France with 300 Britain with 215.

Israel, whose policy of “ambiguity” does not admit or deny the presence of nuclear warheads, formerly was estimated by other sources to have at least 200 nuclear warheads.

SIPRI estimates that India has 90-100 warheads and that Pakistan has 100-120 warheads.

North Korea, where the Institute said it was difficult to access “technical progress,” was estimated to have 6-8 warheads.
It added that its estimates are not as reliable for Russia and China as they are for the United States.

“Iran Satellite Linked to ICBMs with Nukes’ – Fox News

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Iran launched in February a satellite with technology that could “contribute” to the development of an inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of carrying a nuclear weapon, Fox News reported.

The report was based on a U.N. panel of experts, which said that Iran intends to launch three more satellites by next March.

A variant of the 1,000-mile range Shabib-3 missile, which is believed to be able to carry a nuclear weapon, was used to launch the satellite

The negotiations between the Obama administration and other P5+1 countries with Iran over its nuclear program do not deal with the ICBMs.

If Iran were to agree and abide by terms of a final agreement, its ICBM program would continue unabated and could allow the Islamic Republic to attack Israel with a nuclear weapon procured from another country, such as North Korea.

Fox News noted that the U.N. panel concluded from an earlier report that a previous satellite launch “was related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons,” in violation of U.N. sanctions.

President Barack Obama is trying to assure Americans, and Israelis, that Iran will not violate terms of the final deal that is supposed to be concluded by the end of this month.

Report: Islamic State Excavating Destroyed Syrian Nuclear Site

Monday, June 1st, 2015

Syrian residents from villages near the destroyed Syrian nuclear site, Al-Kibar, around 60 kilometers from Deir A-Zor report that members of Islamic State (ISIS / Daesh) have been excavating the destroyed Syrian secret nuclear facility.

Syrian Rebels took over the area from Assad’s forced in 2013, and a year later, Islamic State took it over from the Syrian Rebels.

Residents who visited the area also report seeing empty metal barrels, and are now afraid that more radioactive material has been released.

Islamic State may be looking for radioactive materials to make a dirty bomb, or perhaps they may even believe they might find a nuclear bomb underneath the rubble.

In 2007, the Israeli Air Force destroyed the secret Syrian nuclear facility in Operation Orchard, after which the Assad regime quickly removed much of the dirt from the site, and then replaced it, covering it over with tons of new dirt, to hide the facility’s purpose from international inspectors.

At the time, the Syrian regime used civilian vehicles to remove the dirt.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was finally able to confirm in 2011 that the Al-Kibar site was a secret nuclear facility.

In 2009, Germany’s Defense Minister, Hans Ruhle, said that Iran had financed the construction of the nuclear reactor in Syria, and North Korea was supplying the construction material, at a cost of between $1 billion to $2 billion.

The CIA has also said it was a nuclear facility built for military purposes.

Assuming the local reports are true, this is disturbing.

H/T NZIV/Rotter

Obama Trying to Convince Israel to Sign Non-Proliferation Treaty

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

An American official is in Israel to try talk with officials about a regional conference on making the Middle East a nuclear-free zone.

Israel is assumed to have approximately 200 nuclear warheads, if not more, but the government retains a policy of “nuclear ambiguity” in which it does not deny or admit the possession of nukes.

No other country in the Middle East has nuclear power, and Israel’s assumed nuclear stockpile is considered a strong deterrent to enemy Arab countries.

The Arab world has been pressuring American governments for years to force Israel to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which would be an admission the country has nukes and could open the door for Arab countries to insist they also want nuclear power.

Asst. Secretary of State Thomas Countryman is in Israel towards the conclusion of this month’s once-every-five years review conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

A Middle East conference on mass destruction weapons was supposed to take place in 2012 but never came to fruition.

Arab countries have failed to convene a regional conference with terms that are weighted against Israel, which has indicated it might join the NPT if there were peace with the Arab world.

State Dept. spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters on Thursday:

The NPT review process is in its final week in New York. There’s no final text on this issue of the Middle East conference. We are working to ensure that a final text meets our interests and those of Israel. Both the United States and Israel support the creation of a WMD-free zone in the Middle East. We’re closely working with our Israeli partners to advance our mutual interests, including preserving the NPT.

 

North Korea Will Nuke US If It ‘Forces Our Hand’

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

A senior North Korean official told CNN Thursday that the country will use a nuclear weapon to strike the American mainland if the United States “forced their hand.”

The rare interview was conducted with Park Yong Chol, deputy director of the regime-linked DPRK think thank called the Institute for Research into National Reunification.

Park said North Korea needs to continue developing its nuclear arsenal, which he said can hit American soil, to “counter the U.S. threat.”

When questioned about” human rights abuses in North Korea, Park fired back, “The U.S. President and other high-ranking administration officials have acknowledged really severe forms of punishment on inmates in detention. If you talk about human rights in the DPRK, we will talk about human rights in the U.S.”

Park’s threat to use nuclear weapons if the United States “forced its hands” is particularly worrisome because of the country’s close links with Iran and Tehran’s development of a nuclear warhead. North Korea has provided technologies to Iran, and an alleged Israeli strike on a nuclear facility under construction in northern Syria four years ago killed several North Korean scientists.

Park’s claim that North Korea can nuke the United States is not accepted by many American officials, but there is no questioning the threat to U.S. bases in South Korea.

The Breaking Defense website reported that former Pentagon strategist Van Jackson said that American missile defenses in the Pacific are “woefully outgunned” and that Patriot launchers and Navy ships could not defend American bases.

Diplomacy with North Korea not only has failed but also has allowed it to become a nuclear power.

Given North Korea’s close ties with Iran, it is far from certain that the Obama administration is not repeating the same scenario with its negotiations with the Islamic Republic over the future of its nuclear program.

Iran’s Meddling in Iraq, Yemen, Bleeds into Kerry- Zarif NY Nuclear Talks

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

U.S. officials have acknowledged that Iran-supported Shiite violence in Iraq and Yemen has been influencing the talks between the U.S. and Iran on the latter’s nuclear program, AFP reported.

Secretary of State John Kerry said before his Monday talk with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif that he was “confident that Yemen will be mentioned certainly, because Iran is obviously a supportive party to the Houthis.”

Kerry told reporters: “I will certainly urge that everybody do their part to try to reduce the violence and allow the negotiations to begin,” putting the blame for the Yemen situation on “external parties and proxies.”

Iran and the P5+1 group are negotiating against the clock, which ticks its final tock on June 30.

Kerry and Zarif met at the home of Iran’s permanent representative to the UN, after both had addressed a UN conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Kerry told the conference that “the vast majority of the world has come to the conclusion — united around the belief that nuclear weapons should one day be eliminated. Today the race to nuclear arms that once sparked the fear of imminent Armageddon in billions of human beings and hearts, that has been supplanted in a wary but steady march… toward the promise of peace.”

That’s if one doesn’t count the Saudis, whose response to the U.S. treaty talks with Iran has been a vow to get its own nuclear weapons, most likely from Pakistan.

“If we can get there, the entire world will be safer,” Kerry insisted, not addressing the possibility of a Middle East nuclear arms race and war directly resulting from his success.

Obama Finally Forced to Admit Iran’s Nuclear Breakout Time ‘Zero’ in 13 Years

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

It took a lot of pressure and many more speeches and harangues by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu than anyone probably wanted to hear, but at the end of the day, it paid off:

U.S. President Barack Obama was finally forced on Tuesday to admit the truth: In 13 years – if not fewer – Iran’s breakout time to an atomic bomb will be zero.

That means the world will have practically no warning whatsoever as to when Iran actually reaches its nuclear weapons capability – if it has not already done so by then, without telling anyone.

According to a report by the Associated Press, Obama told NPR News that for the first decade following the new deal reached last week with world powers led by the United States in Lausanne, Switzerland, Tehran will be capped at 300 kilograms of enriched uranium. The president insisted this was not enough to convert to a cache of weapons-grade fuel.

But then the president said this:

What is a more relevant fear would be that in Year 13, 14, 15, they have advanced centrifuges that enrich uranium fairly rapidly, and at that point, the breakout times would have shrunk almost down to zero.

By then, restrictions on Iran’s enriched uranium stockpiles will have been eased for the two years prior – in Years 11 and 12 – which means there will already have been two years in which to gather enriched nuclear fuel.

The admission confirms just one of a long list of concerns that Israel’s prime minister had underlined to the U.S. Congress – and to the rest of the world – in his repeated explanations of why “an even greater danger” exists that Iran could “get to the bomb by keeping [this] deal.”

Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz on Monday issued a government statement outlining “the irresponsible concessions given to Iran” in the agreement. The document also showed “how dangerous the framework is for Israel, the region and the world.”

Among the changes demanded by Israel to the current agreement between Iran and world powers prior to the June 30 final deadline (which the United States has ignored):

  • Bar further Iranian research and development on advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges;
  • Significantly reduce the number of centrifuges available to Iran for it to reactivate in violation of the deal;
  • Close down the Fordow underground enrichment facility;
  • Require Iranian compliance in detailing previous nuclear activities with potential military dimensions;
  • Ship Iran’s stockpile of lower-enriched uranium out of the country;
  • Ensure “anywhere-anytime” spot inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The document (click here for the PDF file) also made clear – as has Netanyahu, repeatedly in statements to the media – that the current agreement “ignores the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program to Israel.” The prime minister emphasized that a “better deal” can and must be reached with Iran, “an enemy of the United States whose regime, even during the negotiations, continued to conduct aggression in the region and to call for the destruction of Israel.”

The document pointedly calls attention to the fact that under the current agreement:

  • Not a single nuclear facility will be shut down;
  • Iran is allowed to continued advanced uranium centrifuge enrichment research and development;
  • Iranian intercontinental ballistic missile program development is altogether ignored;
  • Sanctions that could be used to regulate Iran’s compliance are instead removed.

Included in the document are 10 questions aimed at those who negotiated this deal and support its passage into law:

1. Why are sanctions that took years to put in place being removed immediately (as the Iranians claim)? This removes the international community’s primary leverage at the outset of the agreement, and make Iranian compliance less likely.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-finally-forced-to-admit-irans-nuclear-breakout-time-zero-in-13-years/2015/04/07/

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