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August 30, 2015 / 15 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘nuclear’

Russia Claims Iran Nuclear Deal ‘Within Reach’

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters on Thursday that he believes a nuclear deal with Iran is “within reach.”

Lavrov said he is ready to return to Vienna for more talks together with other negotiators for the delegation of world powers led by the United States.

“We are close to a comprehensive agreement,” Lavrov told reporters on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in the Russian city of Ufa. “It is within reach.”

U.S. President Barack Obama made an effort to lower expectations earlier this week, telling lawmakers at a closed-door meeting Tuesday night that “the chances at this point are below 50-50,” according to CNN.com, quoting Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill), a close Obama ally.

Nevertheless, a report by Iranian Press TV claimed this Friday’s deadline might again be blown for a sixth time, and the talks could be extended till next Monday, July 13. A Western official denied the report when questioned by Reuters, however.

Iran Standing Firm on Demands at Nuclear Talks

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

As talks wrapped up for the weekend, Iran had not budged from its refusal to allow “extraordinary” inspections at nuclear sites — in other words, its refusal to allow spot inspections of its military nuclear sites. And if sanctions are re-imposed in response to violations of the agreement – as the deal states now – Iran says it will escalate its enrichment of uranium, the nuclear fuel used to create atomic weaponry.

“We should be realistic,” said the Iranian official who spoke with journalists in Vienna on Thursday on condition of anonymity. He said the standard rules of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that govern access to government information, sites of interest and scientists should suffice in determining whether Iran is using nuclear power for peaceful purposes.

What Iran did commit to as part of the deal was the IAEA “additional protocol” for inspections and monitoring. That protocol allows the agency access “sensitive” information held by more than 120 governments that accept its provisions, and expanded access to declared and undeclared nuclear sites.

What it does not provide, however, is guaranteed free access for spot inspections by monitors at any and all sites they wish. In addition, there are no specific guidelines with regard to military sites. Moreover, the Iranian parliament specifically passed a law two weeks ago prohibiting access to military sites by outsiders – including the nuclear site where weapons research is being carried out at the Parchin base near Tehran.

On Thursday (July 2) IAEA director-general Yukiya Amano issued a statement following his visit to Tehran, saying, “I believe that both sides have a better understanding on some ways forward, though more work will be needed.” According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, the sensitive issue of access by IAEA inspectors to military sites was among the issues covered during Amano’s visit.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond summed it up in a comment on the Twitter social networking site at week’s end that the delegation was “Not at breakthrough moment yet.”

The current deadline for reaching a resolution by the two sides is July 7 – but that doesn’t mean they won’t extend it again. Both sides agreed to extend the most recent deadline – June 30 – despite having said previously that it was a “final, absolutely final” date.

WikiLeaks Reveals Saudi Cable: ‘Iran Sent Nukes to Sudan’

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

Iran may have sent advanced nuclear equipment to Sudan in 2012, according to a cable from the Saudi Arabian embassy in Khartoum revealed by WikiLeaks.

“The embassy’s sources advise that Iranian containers arrived this week at Khartoum airport containing sensitive technical equipment in the form of fast centrifuges for enriching uranium, and a second shipment is expected to arrive this week,” the document was quoted by Reuters as saying. It was allegedly marked “TOP SECRET” and dated February 2012.

More than 60,000 cables and documents released by WikiLeaks were alleged to be official Saudi communications. Riyadh has not commented on the specific documents, and has said they are “probably faked.”

The international watchdog organization publishes news leaks of secret and classified information; it said it will eventually publish up to 500,000 Saudi documents but did not reveal the source.

There were no details about the source of the information, nor was any further evidence made available. The international community is not aware of any nuclear program existent in Sudan, and there have been no previous public reports of Iran having sent any nuclear equipment to the African nation.

However, Iran has in the past used Sudan as a conduit through which to ship weapons to terrorist groups in Gaza and its warships have made the Port of Sudan a routine stopping place in the region.

A Sudanese munitions factory was mysteriously destroyed in October 2012. The government of Sudan claimed the Khartoum factory was blown up in an air strike by Israeli fighter pilots.

Israel declined to comment about the accusation. But senior officials did not hesitate to mention Sudan’s role in serving as a transit point for weapons being shipped from Iran via the Sinai Peninsula to terror groups in Gaza and elsewhere.

In March 2014, Israel intercepted the Klos-C off the shores of Sudan as it was headed to Gaza, laden with long-range M-302 missiles and other weapons shipped from Iran.

Tehran is the second-biggest supplier of arms to the African nation, according to a Small Arms Survey report issued last year. However, until this point, there has been no mention that any of the materials, equipment or weapons were nuclear.

Netanyahu Tells Israelis Military Challenges Due to Iran Are ‘Piling Up’

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Israelis Tuesday in an interview aired on Channel 2 television that the US-brokered deal with Tehran will “pave the way for Iran to atom bombs.”

Speaking at Home Front Command headquarters during the week-long “Turning Point” nationwide military defense drill, Netanyahu said challenges from the rising risks of imminent attacks are “piling up.”

The threat of rocket and missile fire has hung over Israel for decades. Most of the weapons have been supplied to the terror organizations by Iran, both north and south of the border.

“When speaking of the security of the citizens of Israel I rely first and foremost on us only. Proof of the wisdom of this is the agreement emerging between the world powers and Iran,” said the prime minister. He pointed out that the deal would inject billions of dollars into the Iranian economy, in addition to “paving the way for Iran to atom bombs.”

With the funds it receives, Iran “can continue to arm our enemies with high trajectory weapons and other arms, while also arming its own war and terror machine which is acting against us and the Middle East, and which is much more dangerous than the Da’esh (ISIS) terror machine, which is also dangerous,” Netanyahu said.

U.S. President Barack Obama is slated to present his case for the deal with Iran on Israel’s Channel 2 television later in the evening on Tuesday night.

Iran Complains Israel Threatened Nuclear Attack

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon threatened to attack Iran with a nuclear bomb according to Iran’s U.N. ambassador Gholam-Ali Khoshrou.

As a follow-up, an Iranian military official made similar comments in a report Thursday by the regime’s Fars (Read: Farce] News Agency, which added that Ya’alon said Israel “will kill kids” in attacks on Iranian-backed Hezbollah.

Here is what Ya’alon actually said at a conference in Israel last week when he spoke about what steps Israel might have to take to defend itself:

We should be sure that it is a military necessity….

I do remember the story of President Truman, who was asked, ‘How did you feel after deciding to launch the nuclear bombs at Nagasaki and Hiroshima, causing at the end [200,000 fatalities]?’ And he said, ‘When I heard from my officers that the alternative is a long war with Japan, with potential fatalities of a couple of million, I saw that it is a moral decision.’

We are not there yet. But that’s what I’m talking about: certain steps in cases in which we feel like we don’t have the answer by surgical operations or something like that.

Iranian ambassador Khoshrou concluded in a letter to the UN Security General Ban Ki-moon:

These remarks amount to the [Israeli] regime’s unwitting admission of possessing nukes.

Press TV, another Iranian propaganda organ, also decided to rewrite Ya’alon’s remarks and reported Wednesday:

Ya’alon…said that Israel might take certain steps in certain cases like what the US did in ‘Nagasaki and Hiroshima, causing at the end the fatalities of 200,000.’

For good measure, Press TV added, “Khoshrou said that Ya’alon’s explicit threat to use nuclear weapons against Iran like what the US did in Japan, and his threats of waging wars against Lebanon and Gaza further unmask the regime’s aggressive nature.”

A senior Iranian military official made up his own translation of remarks by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon

Fars News Agency reported the official’s remarks on Thursday, hours after the Pentagon announced it is selling Israel $1.2 billion sale of weapons, including bunker buster bombs that might be able to penetrate underground cement bunkers covering some of Iran’s nuclear sites.

Khoshrou’s comments and the Iranian media’s fabrications of what Ya’alon supposedly said are a treasure chest for anyone studying Propaganda 101.

Ya’alon said at the conference last week:

If I have to consider opening fire–killing someone, as a soldier, which I did–or as a commander, or today as a minister…my first consideration is what I call the mirror judgment. Whether I can look at myself in the mirror after approving the operation or executing the operation….And I can tell you, looking back, I can look at myself in the mirror.

Ya’alon admitted that soldiers sometimes engage in crimes during counter-terrorist mauves, and he stated:

In certain cases, of course, there is room for criminal investigations. But we should put the line very clearly. If we are talking about crime, like looting or raping – which didn’t happen since I’ve known the IDF — or shooting not according to the rules of engagement, namely killing, murdering, someone who wasn’t armed or didn’t threaten us, man, woman, [not to mention] kids, then there is room to launch a criminal investigation.

Fars either read the Hebrew version of Ya’alon’s comments, or more likely engaged in some very creative writing in reporting:

Ya’alon threatened that ‘we are going to hurt Lebanese civilians to include kids of the family….

In response to a question about Iran, Ya’alon said that ‘in certain cases,’ when “we feel like we don’t have the answer by surgical operations.’ Israel might take ‘certain steps’ such as the Americans did in ‘Nagasaki and Hiroshima, causing at the end the fatalities of 200,000.’

Iran’s senior military aide Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi warned today that Iran is ready to retaliate if Israel tries to attack. He said:

The Zionists and the US are aware of the power of Iran and Hezbollah, and they know that over 80,000 missiles are ready to rain down on Tel Aviv and Haifa…..The Zionists have many problems and they know that Iran is too powerful for them grapple with.

The most difficult weapon Iran has is its propaganda machine, but eventually, “The truth will out.”

Iran Nuclear Deal Looking Unlikely, Says Merkel

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

A deal to freeze or roll back Iran’s nuclear development program is looking unlikely as a final deadline for talks approaches.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin Tuesday during his state visit to the country the current reality shows no promise of a deal between world powers and Tehran. She added that Iran’s nuclear technology has advanced considerably over the last decade, but said if a comprehensive agreement was reached, it might prevent further development.

Merkel also told Rivlin that Germany remains completely committed to the safety and security of the State of Israel; a diplomatic relationship that has lasted 50 years, officially as of this week.

Both leaders stressed their mutual regard and friendship for each other in their meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, despite differences of opinion on what do regarding Iran.

In his response, Israel’s president said that tougher sanctions are likely to prove more effective in controlling Iran’s race towards the bomb than the current measures that are in place.

Rivlin added that if attacked, Israel reserves the right to defend herself to the best of her ability.

Why sell German arms to Israel?

At a visit to a school in Berlin prior to her meeting with Israel’s president, Merkel was questioned by a student over Germany’s decision to continue to sell arms to the Jewish State.

Merkel answered that Germany is obligated to defend Israel because six million Jews lost their lives under the Nazi regime during World War II.

The question, however, reflects a growing anti-Zionist trend in Germany that one can see in the rising number of anti-Semitic incidents in the country.

The chancellor told the student that Germany continues to believe in a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. She added that she would raise the issue with Israel’s president – which she did – but made it clear that the issue of Israel-PA politics was separate and apart from that of Israel’s defense.

“We sell weapons to Israel, which is often under attack, because we believe that Israel must have the ability to defend itself,” she said.

Earlier this week, Israel and Germany signed an agreement for the purchase from Germany of four new naval vessels to protect Israel’s Mediterranean offshore oil and gas rigs. The reciprocal deal also includes a purchase from Israel of military hardware; most likely that with which the vessels will be equipped before they are delivered.

AIPAC Opposes Iran Nuclear Agreement Act Amendments

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

In an effort to ensure “bipartisan support” for the Iran Nuclear Agreement Act, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is opposing amendments to the bill.

Noah Pollak, executive director for the Emergency Committee for Israel, posted a letter online that was sent to all senators, asking them to oppose proposed changes.

“We know that senators will offer amendments on a wide range of initiatives, many of which AIPAC would ordinarily support,” said the letter.

“However, our paramount consideration during Senate consideration of this bill is to ensure speedy enactment of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Act by preserving its broad, bipartisan support – so that Congress assures itself a seat at the table in deliberations on any nuclear agreement with Iran.”

Among the amendments being considered was one by Republican Senators Tom Cotton and Marco Rubio that would add a requirement for Iran to recognize Israel’s right to exist as part of any nuclear deal.

The two senators added the proposed amendment Thursday as an agreement was being completed on how to deal with some 66 amendments submitted for the bill. The senators are trying to avoid a presidential veto of the measure.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article misidentified Noah Pollak as an AIPAC official.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/aipac-reverses-courses-opposes-iran-bill-amendments/2015/05/02/

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