Each passing day sees more resistance to the Obama Administration’s announced handover of Internet domain supervision to an as-yet undetermined global agency. There’s still plenty of support for the move as well, but the pendulum seems to be swinging against it this week.
“If the Obama Administration gives away its oversight of the Internet, it will be gone forever,” wrote Daniel Castro, a senior analyst with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.
Castro argued that the world “could be faced with a splintered Internet that would stifle innovation, commerce, and the free flow and diversity of ideas that are bedrock tenets of world’s biggest economic engine.”
Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, called the announcement a “hostile step” against free speech.
“Giving up control of ICANN will allow countries like China and Russia that don’t place the same value in freedom of speech to better define how the internet looks and operates,” she said in a statement.
It’s hard to argue with Mr. Castro’s point; there will be no way for the United States to regain oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers once it’s been handed off to some global body. And there are good reasons for Rep. Blackburn to worry about what the composition of that global body might be, as National Journal notes “China, Russia, Iran, and dozens of other countries are already pushing for more control over the Internet through the International Telecommunications Union, a United Nations agency.”
The Administration has promised that it won’t accept foreign governments controlling ICANN, and has specifically promised the International Telecommunications Union won’t be involved. And we all know how calmly and logically these decisions tend to be made, once they’re handed off to the “international community.” Just look at how swimmingly the United Nations’ effort to halt Russian annexation of Crimea is going!
It’s somewhat annoying to hear American supporters of the ICANN handover doing their level best to validate the narrative that their own country can no longer be trusted with oversight of the Internet, while actual users point out that U.S. supervision has been working out quite well, as in these quotes from a Politico story:
If the agency hadn’t relinquished its oversight, the ITU could continue to argue that ICANN functioned as a pawn for the U.S. government, said former Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.), who oversaw the Energy and Commerce subcommittee with jurisdiction over ICANN. “This will reduce the level of global controversy.”
The uncertain path forward still has some in the business community concerned.
“I don’t see how the future ends up being better than the last decade of responsible stewardship by the U.S.,” said Steve DelBianco, executive director of the trade association NetChoice, which counts Yahoo and Facebook as members. “Once the contract leverage is gone, what’s to prevent ICANN from being more significantly influenced by [specific] governments… The devil is in the details.”
So let’s hear those iron-clad, foolproof plans to keep authoritarian regimes from getting their hands on ICANN once America casts it adrift into the uncertain waters of the international community.
Iran now has all the technical infrastructure to produce nuclear weapons should it make the political decision to do, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper wrote in a report to a Senate intelligence committee published Wednesday. However, he added, it could not break out to the bomb without being detected.
In the “U.S. Intelligence Worldwide Threat Assessment,” delivered to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper reported that Tehran has made significant advances recently in its nuclear program to the point where it could produce and deliver nuclear bombs should it be so inclined.
“Tehran has made technical progress in a number of areas – including uranium enrichment, nuclear reactors, and ballistic missiles – from which it could draw if it decided to build missile-deliverable nuclear weapons,” Clapper wrote. “These technical advancements strengthen our assessment that Iran has the scientific, technical, and industrial capacity to eventually produce nuclear weapons. This makes the central issue its political will to do so.”
In the past year alone, the report states, Iran has enhanced its centrifuge designs, increased the number of centrifuges, and amassed a larger quantity of low-enriched uranium hexafluoride. These advancements have placed Iran in a better position to produce weapons-grade uranium.
“Despite this progress, we assess that Iran would not be able to divert safeguarded material and produce enough WGU [weapons grade uranium] for a weapon before such activity would be discovered,” he wrote.
He said the increased supervision and other “transparency” to which Iran has agreed under the new interim deal, reached with the world powers in Geneva in November and finalized last week, could offer earlier warning of a breakout to the bomb. Should Iran cooperate with the interim deal, halt enrichment, and “provide transparency,” then “This transparency would provide earlier warning of a breakout using these facilities.”
Clapper told the Senate committee that the interim deal will have an impact on Iran’s nuclear weapons program’s progress and “gets at the key thing we’re interested in and most concerned about,” namely, Iran’s 20 percent enriched uranium.
Iran had also worked hard to advance its program at the Arak heavy water facility, wrote Clapper. Its ballistic missiles, he noted, of which it has “the largest inventory in the Middle East,” are “inherently capable of delivering WMD.” And its space program gives it the means to develop longer-range missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles.
“We do not know if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons,” Clapper wrote. But he noted that Iran’s overarching “strategic goals” were leading it to pursue the capability to do so.
The national intelligence director reiterated that imposing additional sanctions against Iran would be “counterproductive” and would “jeopardize the [interim] agreement.” He advised that additional sanctions against the Islamic Republic should only be kept “in reserve.”
The report was released a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the interim nuclear agreement only set back the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program by six weeks.
“This agreement merely set Iran back six weeks – no more – according to our assessments, in relation to its previous position, so that the test, as to denying Iran the ability to manufacture nuclear weapons, has been and remains the permanent agreement, if such [a deal] can indeed be achieved,” Netanyahu said at a conference of the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.
Last Wednesday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused the Obama administration of mischaracterizing the terms of an interim nuclear deal. “We did not agree to dismantle anything,” Zarif told CNN.
Zarif repeated that “we are not dismantling any centrifuges, we’re not dismantling any equipment, we’re simply not producing, not enriching [uranium] over 5%.”
The six-month deal freezes key aspects of Iran’s nuclear program, while allowing limited enrichment to continue, in exchange for some economic sanctions relief. It went into effect on January 20.
The next round of international nuclear negotiations with Iran is expected to be held in New York next month, according to officials involved in the planning.
Israel has threatened to attack Iran should it not back off from its alleged pursuit of a military nuclear capability.
On Tuesday, UN nuclear inspectors arrived in Tehran to visit Iran’s Gachin uranium mine for the first time in several years, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said. The visit was part of the framework of a separate deal between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency in November.
Less than a month after it was hailed as “a great diplomatic coup,” the so-called Geneva accord to halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions seems to have come unstuck.
The official narrative in Tehran is that Iran signed nothing. “There is no treaty and no pact,” says Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham, “only a statement of intent.”
Originally, Iran’s official media had presented the accord as a treaty (qarardad) but it now refers to a “letter of agreement” (tavafoq nameh).
The initial narrative claimed that the P5+1 group of nations that negotiated the deal with Iran had recognized the Islamic Republic’s right to enrich uranium and agreed to start lifting sanctions over a six-month period. In exchange, Iran would slow its uranium enrichment and postpone for six months the installation of equipment for producing plutonium, an alternate route to making a bomb. A later narrative claimed that the accord wasn’t automatic and that the two sides had appointed experts to decide the details (“modalities”) and fix a timetable.
On Sunday, an editorial in the daily Kayhan, published by the office of “Supreme Guide” Ali Khameini, claimed that the “six month” period of the accord was meaningless and that a final agreement might “even take 20 years to negotiate.”
It was, therefore, no surprise that Iran decided to withdraw its experts from talks in Geneva to establish exactly how to implement the accord. “Now we have to talk about reviving the talks on modalities,” says Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi.
Translated into plain language, the new Iranian narrative is that talks about implementing an accord that is not legally binding have collapsed and that, in the words of the head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Agency, Ali-Akbar Salehi, there is no change in the rhythm and tempo of Iran’s nuclear project. “Our centrifuges are working full capacity,” Salehi said last Thursday.
Having claimed that he had halted Iran’s nuclear project, Secretary of State John Kerry might want to reconsider. He and his European colleagues, like many of their predecessors, may have fallen for the diplomatic version of the Three Card Monte played by the mullahs since they seized power in 1979.
Khomeinist diplomacy has never aimed at reaching agreement with anyone. Instead, the regime regards negotiations as just another weapon in the jihad (holy struggle) for ensuring the triumph of “true Islam” across the globe.
The regime can’t conceive of give-and-take and compromise even with Muslim nations, let alone a bunch of “Infidel” powers. If unable to impose its will on others, the regime will try to buy time through endless negotiations.
In Three Card Monte, suckers stay in the game in the hope of getting it right next time. A similar hope ensures outsiders’ participation in Khomeinist diplomacy’s version of the trick.
Thus Tehran has been in negotiations with Russia and three other littoral states over sharing the resources of the Caspian Sea since 1992. Talks with Iraq over implementing Resolution 598 of the UN Security Council and reopening the Shatt al-Arab border estuary have been going on since 2004. Other talks over sharing water resources have been going on with Afghanistan since 2003; talks over joint exploitation of gas resources with Qatar have been going on for 25 years.
And for more than 30 years, Iran and the United States have been negotiating the settlement of mutual claims in accordance with the Algiers accord of 1980.
The series of nuclear negotiations that started in 1993 resumed with the European Union in 2002 and have already taken four years in their current format, which opened in 2009.
The tactic of delay has several advantages for the mullahs.
First, hopes of a negotiated solution make it more difficult for anyone to advocate military action to thwart Tehran’s ambitions. As long as talks are going on, “all other options”, the cliché favored by President Obama, remain off the table.
Endless talks also force Iran’s adversaries are forced to sacrifice policy to process. Under the Geneva deal, for example, the US and its European partners not only set the military option aside, but also undertake not to impose additional sanctions. Instead of hiring expensive lobbyists in Washington, the mullahs can use Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Kerry to lobby Congress on their behalf.
The mullahs have reaped other benefits from their three-card trick. The perception that the crisis is cooling down has already halted the Islamic Republic’s economic free fall. The national currency, the rial, lost 80 percent of its value over four years, but now appears to have stabilized.
The mullahs also use the prospect of normalization, especially with the United States, to divert attention from their increasingly repressive rule. While Iranians are bombarded with talk of President Hassan Rouhani’s “diplomatic miracle,” an average of 10 people are executed in Iran every day.
Here is how Khamenei’s daily mouthpiece put it Sunday: “If our centrifuges do not continue to turn, no other wheel shall turn for our dignity, independence, power and security.”
The message from Tehran to Washington is clear: You talk, we act.
I would be very clear, not “clear” like Mr. Let Me Be Clear While I Lie Through My Teeth To You, but truly clear, especially to other nations.
To North Korea I would say, this. The next threat you issue towards us, or our allies will be taken seriously, and will result in your country losing a major military installation of our choosing. A second threat will result in, well, you might not want to even think about that.
To Hamid Karzai I would say. We are leaving, you are on your own, you will not place our military at a disadvantage with moronic rules of engagement that favor terrorists.
To Mexico I would say simply that we are going to seal our border and control who enters. Any group caught smuggling drugs into America will be found and eradicated by any means within our power to bring to bear. Also those drug cartels, which pose, in my view, a threat to Americans living in border states, will be dealt with by YOU, or I will confer with my military leaders and discern the most effective way to eradicate that vermin. And we will do so, and you will stay the Hell out-of-the-way.
To Iran a simple note would suffice. If you continue pursuing nuclear weapons, and thus posing a grave threat to us and our allies, I will not only support Israel in taking your capability out, but the United States military will be taking full part.
To China just this. Dear Chicoms, we will fly our fucking planes where we want WHEN we want, end of discussion! Oh, and about Taiwan, and Japan, do not even think about it.
Finally to the UN just a few words. Get you building the Hell out of America, YESTERDAY!
Ah those special fools, here they go again, seeking peace at any price. Deluding themselves into trusting evil people with evil intentions, to be honest and above-board. Here they go again with their clueless “if we are nice to them…..” strategy. Ed already blogged about this but I wanted to add my two cents worth. I remember watching Liberals in the mid 1970’s as they called for peace with the Soviets. We should cut our military, so as not to frighten the Soviets they opined. We must show them we mean them no harm they said. Even as a child, I was aghast that they did not see that the Soviet Union, and in fact all Communists were bad, very bad, and meant us no good will. I never grasped how anyone could look at a country that was our sworn enemy, a country that had enslaved other countries and committed horrific atrocities, and even consider bowing to them. Years later I still am amazed at the depth of the stupidity of the Left. These are folks who would not only buy ocean front property in Arizona, but demand to pay twice the asking price. The Other McCain has some thoughts
We need not know anything about the details of this “historic deal” to know that it is absolutely worthless. The Islamic Republic of Iran has no respect for law, and cannot be expected to honor any promise it makes, except for its long-avowed purpose to annihilate Israel, to destroy “the Great Satan” and otherwise to carry out its violent worldwide revolutionary jihad against the West.
All the Iranian dictatorship seeks to accomplish by negotiation with the West is to anesthetize its enemies, to render opposition impotent by means of treaties that will postpone the inevitable confrontation until Iran has become stronger and we have become weaker.
Any “deal” with Iran is necessarily a bad deal, and the double guarantee of a bad deal is that it was approved by the Obama administration, which is “historic” only as a monument to incompetence with few parallels in human experience.
“The practical way of looking at things . . . may serve well enough in ordinary, normal times. But our times are not ‘normal’ in the good old Victorian sense, and never will be again. . . . These men, even Halifax, were essentially middle-class, not aristocrats. They did not have the hereditary sense of the security of the state, unlike Churchill, Eden, the Cecils. Nor did they have the toughness of the 18th-century aristocracy. They came at the end of the ascendancy of the Victorian middle-class, deeply affected as that was by high-mindedness and humbug. They all talked, in one form or another, the language of disingenuousness and cant: it was second nature to them — so different from Churchill. . . . It meant that they failed to see what was true, until too late, when it was simply a question of survival.”
– A.L. Rowse, Appeasement: A Study in Political Decline, 1933-39
Maybe it is because the Left denies the existence of evil that they cannot recognize its presence, even when it is so blatant as to be unmistakable.
President Barack Obama agreed to loosen crippling economic sanctions on Iran’s theocracy and to release up to $7 billion in Iranian funds, in exchange for a promise from Iran’s theocratic leaders to not expand its nuclear bomb program.
In a late night speech, Obama suggested that the deal – signed in Geneva, Switzerland – would be ended or expanded after six months, depending on Iran’s decisions.
But critics, including Israel’s prime minister, say any loosening of the sanctions will likely spur a flood of international dealmaking with Iran, and increase lobbing pressure in numerous countries for an end to the sanctions long before Iran’s nuclear bomb program is dismantled.
The deal effectively creates a U.S. and European diplomatic shield around Iran’s nuclear sites, which are likely targets for an Israeli attack.
Israel’s government is responsible for defending its small nation and population of seven million from Iran’s government, which has repeatedly promised to wipe the country off the map.
GOP senators criticized the deal for not dismantling Iran’s program to build nuclear weapons. “Amazing what WH will do to distract attention from O-care,” said a 10:15 pm tweet from Texas Sen. John Cornyn.
“The Geneva Agreement is a defeat for the United States and the West,” said a statement from the Emergency Committee for Israel. “It fails to uphold even the minimum demand of repeated U.N. Security Council resolutions that Iran must stop enriching uranium… Iran will continue its march to nuclear weapons, with perhaps a brief pause in some parts of the program… Congress should make clear that it does not support this deal… [and] Congress should make clear the United States will support Israel if Israel decides she must act to prevent a regime dedicated to her destruction from acquiring the means to do so.”
Iran’s government lauded the deal as international recognition for its expensive program to build a nuclear energy sector to complement its massive oil resources.
“It is important that we all of us see the opportunity to end an unnecessary crisis and open new horizons based on respect, based on the rights of the Iranian people and removing any doubts about the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program,” said Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
“This is a process of attempting to restore confidence,” said Zarif, whose superiors repeatedly promised to wipe Israel off the map, have funded numerous killings of U.S. soldiers in Iraq, funded Hezbollah attacks on Israel and are providing Syria’s government with cash, weapons and soldiers for its civil war.
During the talks, Obama endorsed Iran’s nuclear industry, which the theocrats say is needed to produce electricity for a nation that also could also generate electricity fro its huge oil and natural gas resources.
Obama also acknowledged that Iran’s government has lied and cheated on previous deals.
“We approach these negotiations with a basic understanding: Iran, like any nation, should be able to access peaceful nuclear energy,” he said. “But because of its record of violating its obligations, Iran must accept strict limitations on its nuclear program that make it impossible to develop a nuclear weapon.”
Iran is also a threat to its neighbors, including Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government has repeatedly hinted that it will build a nuclear force if Iran creates a nuclear weapon.
In a late night speech, Obama declared the international deal would open up a path for peace.
“We have pursued intensive diplomacy – bilaterally with the Iranians, and together with our P5+1 partners: the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and China, as well as the European Union,” he said.
“Today, that diplomacy opened up a new path toward a world that is more secure – a future in which we can verify that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful, and that it cannot build a nuclear weapon,” he said.
The terms of the deal “cut off Iran’s most likely paths to a bomb,” he insisted. “Meanwhile, this first step will create time and space over the next six months for more negotiations to fully address our comprehensive concerns about the Iranian program.”
The deal blocks Iran from building many new centrifuges that are used to separate especially less radioactive isotopes of uranium from the more radioactive atoms that are used to fuel first-generation nuclear bombs, dubbed A-bombs.
If Iran actually complies with the deal, it would also prevent the Iranians from starting up a highly radioactive plutonium reactor at Arak. That plutonium reactor can make the highly radioactive fuel for second-generation nuclear bombs, dubbed H-bombs.
But the deal would not stop Iran from nearly completing the plutonium reactor during the next six month stage of negotiations.
Once the Arak reactor is turned on, any missile strike would release large amount of poisonous radioactivity into the atmosphere. The worldwide opposition to any radiation release would likely deter Israel or the United States from striking the reactor once the Iranians start it up.
“While today’s announcement is just a first step, it achieves a great deal,” Obama said his his late-night speech.
“We have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program, and key parts of the program will be rolled back,” he said. “Iran has committed to halting certain levels of enrichment, and neutralizing part of its stockpile. Iran cannot use its next-generation centrifuges – which are used for enriching uranium. Iran cannot install or start up new centrifuges, and its production of centrifuges will be limited.”
“Iran will halt work at its plutonium reactor… New inspections will provide extensive access to Iran’s nuclear facilities, and allow the international community to verify whether Iran is keeping its commitments,” he added.
Obama is determined, come hell or high water, that Iran get a nuclear arsenal. This has been a core goal of the Democrat party for decades.
Excerpted from The Jerusalem Post: US President Barack Obama said Thursday that no matter how powerful the American military, a strike against nuclear facilities in Iran could lead the Islamic Republic to “pursue even more vigorously nuclear weapons in the future.”
“No matter how good our military is, military options are always messy,” Obama said. “Any armed conflict has cost to it.”
At a press conference in the West Wing of the White House, Obama, speaking primarily about changes to his signature health care law, said he hoped Congress would hold off on new sanctions against Iran as negotiations proceeded in Geneva – “if, in fact, we’re serious about trying to resolve this diplomatically.” Keep reading
The deal being worked out between the world powers and Iran is a very bad deal that Israel is not obliged by, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday.
The two met just prior to Kerry flying to Geneva to take part in negotiations of a deal in the works that would have the international community relieve sanctions on Iran in exchange for Iran freezing its nuclear activity for six months.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, British Foreign Secretary William Hague and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle were also asked to arrive at the Swiss city, making the signing of the deal on Friday all the more probable.
“I reminded him of his own words, that it is better not to reach a deal then to reach a bad deal,” Netanyahu said after the meeting. “The proposal being discussed now is a bad deal, a very bad deal. Iran is not asked to dismantle even one centrifuge, but the international community is easing sanctions on Iran for the first time in many years.”
According to Netanyahu Iran is getting everything it wants at this stage, and not giving anything in return, and this at a time when Iran is under intense pressure.
“I call on Secretary Kerry not to be in a hurry to sign, to wait and reconsider,” Netanyahu said. Repeating comments he said Thursday night, Netanyahu called this the “deal of the century” for Iran, but a bad and dangerous deal for the world.
Before meeting Kerry, Netanyahu said that he understands that the Iranians are “walking around very satisfied in Geneva, as well they should be, because they got everything, and paid nothing.”
“They wanted relief from sanctions after years of a grueling sanctions regime. They got that. They are paying nothing because they are not reducing in any way their nuclear enrichment capability,” he said.
Netanyahu, in his harshest comments to date on the matter, said Israel “utterly rejects” the deal, “and what I am saying is shared by many, many in the region whether or not they express it publicly. Israel is not obliged by this agreement and Israel will do everything it needs to defend itself, to defend the security of its people.”
A senior State Department official said on Friday morning that Kerry was committed to doing “anything he can” to narrow differences with Iran over its nuclear program.
“This is a complex process. As a member of the P5+1, he is committed to doing anything he can [to] help narrow these differences,” the official said.
“First step agreement”
The Islamic Republic and the Western allies were working on a draft agreement during talks in Geneva that started on Thursday, ahead of a likely announcement, The Wall Street Journal cited Iranian and Western sources as saying.
Negotiators in Geneva cautioned, however, that work remained to be done in the coming hours in very complex negotiations and that a successful outcome was not guaranteed. Iran rejects Western accusations that it is seeking the capability to make nuclear weapons.
According to the proposed short-term deal, Iran would freeze its nuclear activities for the next six months, allowing for more time to reach a permanent agreement.
The Guardian reported that the “first-step agreement” is understood to include four key points:
* Iran would stop weapons-grade 20 percent uranium enrichment and turn its existing stockpile into oxide, a harmless material.
* Iran would be allowed to continue 3.5% enrichment needed for power stations, but limit the number of centrifuges being used. The deal would, however, not include any demand to remove or disable any other centrifuges.
* While still being allowed to work on its plutonium reactor at Arak, Iran would agree not to activate it for the durations of the six months. The plutonium reactor could provide for another route to nuclear weapon capability.
* Iran would not use its IR-2 centrifuges that are more advanced and capable of enriching uranium three-to-five times faster than the older model.
In exchange for these steps, the US would agree to ease some “reversible” economic sanctions, the Guardian reported, possibly by releasing some Iranian funds frozen in overseas accounts. In addition, the US could possibly relax restrictions on Iran’s petrochemical, motor and precious metals industries.
US President Barack Obama told NBC News on Thursday that while the United States was willing to provide Tehran with “very modest [sanctions] relief,” the sanctions architecture would be kept in place.
Sanctions could be tightened if Iran failed to follow through on commitments, he said.
A new report that says Iran may need as little as a month to produce enough uranium for a nuclear bomb is further evidence for why Israel will take military action before that happens, an Israeli defense official said Friday.
“We have made it crystal clear – in all possible forums, that Israel will not stand by and watch Iran develop weaponry that will put us, the entire Middle East and eventually the world, under an Iranian umbrella of terror,” Danny Danon, Israel’s deputy defense minister told USA TODAY.
Iran is developing and installing new and advanced centrifuges that enable Iran to enrich even low-enriched uranium to weapons grade uranium needed for nuclear weapons within weeks, Danon said.
“This speedy enrichment capability will make timely detection and effective response to an Iranian nuclear breakout increasingly difficult,” he said.
“Breakout” refers to the time needed to convert low-enriched uranium to weapons-grade uranium. On Thursday, the Institute for Science and International Security issued a report stating that Iran could reach that breakout in as little as one month based in part on Iran’s own revelations about its nuclear program.
“If they use all their centrifuges… and their stockpiles of low- and medium-enriched uranium, that would take one to 1.6 months,” said David Albright, president of the institute and a former inspector for the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency.
The report comes as the White House is trying to persuade Congress not to go ahead with a bill to stiffen sanctions on Iran to force it to open up its program to inspection. The White House on Thursday invited senate staffers to a meeting on Iran strategy for negotiations that are to resume next month with Iran, it said.
In discussing Iran strategy, President Obama has said Iran is a year or more away from having enough enriched uranium to make a bomb.
Bernadette Meehan, an spokeswoman for the administration’s National Security Council, said the intelligence community maintains “a number of assessments” regarding potential time frames for Iran to produce enough weapons-grade uranium for one weapon or a testable nuclear device.
“We continue to closely monitor the Iranian nuclear program and its stockpile of enriched uranium,” Meehan said.
In the report, Albright said negotiations with Iran should focus on lengthening Iran’s breakout time. ISIS’ analysis is based on the latest Iranian and United Nations reports on Iran’s centrifuge equipment for producing nuclear fuel and its nuclear fuel stockpiles.
Iran’s stockpile of medium-enriched uranium has nearly doubled in a year’s time and its number of centrifuges has expanded from 12,000 in 2012 to 19,000 today.
Sen. Mark Kirk, an Illinois Republican whose Senate Banking Committee is considering legislation to tighten Iran sanctions, said the report shows that Iran is expanding its nuclear capabilities under the cover of negotiations.
“The Senate should move forward immediately with a new round of sanctions to prevent Iran from acquiring an undetectable breakout capability,” he said. The House has already passed legislation to toughen sanctions.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said his country has no interest in nuclear weapons but that producing nuclear fuel is Iran’s right. However, Iran has blocked international inspectors from some suspected nuclear facilities, making it impossible to determine whether it is complying with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty it has signed.
United Nations inspectors say they have found evidence of a weapons program in violation of Iran’s commitment under the treaty. The USA and the U.N. Security Council have implemented economic sanctions on Iran to persuade it abide by its obligation and verify it is not developing a bomb.
Albright says negotiations with Iran should focus on establishing protocols that lengthen the time period that it would take Iran to convert uranium to weapons grade uranium.
“An essential finding is that they are currently too short and shortening further,” stated the report by the Institute for Science and International Security.
Let us assume I were president the last five years instead of President
Alkinsky, Lennin, Obama. There would be NO Obamcare, no war on coal, no Dodd Frank, no foreign aid for any nation that is not our friend, and no doubt how strongly America supports Israel. Also, this would be my response to the new “moderate” leader of Iran who said this today at the Useless Nations
Iran’s new president Hassan Rohani delivered his address at the UN General Assembly Tuesday, insisting that his country posed no threat to the region or to the world.
The Iranian president listed what he did consider a threat, saying that the Israeli occupation of the West Bank is a form of “structural violence” in which Palestinians are “deprived of the right of return” and in which “intuitional aggression” is implemented against the Palestinian people.
“Palestine is under occupation,” he said. “The basic rights of the Palestinians are tragically violated, and they are deprived of the right of return and access to their homes, birthplace and homeland.”
My response? Mr. Rohani, you are a liar, we know it and you know it. You and I both know why your nation is pursuing nuclear weaponry. You and I both know so stop the BS. This is the way it is. ANY aggression towards the United States, its allies, ESPECIALLY towards Israel, will be met not with a UN resolution, or a strongly worded condemnation from the impotent international community. Rather, any, and I mean ANY threat against the United States, or Israel will be met with a total destruction of your nation’s military capabilities.
Remember those words by Teddy Roosevelt about carrying a big stick? Yeah? Good! Because I will not hesitate to use that stick, and you can bet your ass that when we use said stick, we will us it with such devastating force that no other nation will ever contemplate even thinking about pissing off the United States ever again! Now, get your ass out of my country and tell Putin that he better watch his ass as well. And if he asks why tell him because the president of the United States of “do not fuck with us” said so!
Thank you and may God bless America! Oh, and do not the door hit you on the ass on the way out!
Iran deplored the recent court verdict acquitting U.S. security guard George Zimmerman who killed unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin as a blatant example of racial discrimination.
Last week, a court in the U.S. found Zimmerman not guilty over Martin’s death. Several thousand people marched from Union Square to Times Square in New York after Zimmerman’s exoneration.
“The acquittal of the murderer of the teenage African American once again clearly demonstrated the unwritten, but systematic racial discrimination against racial, religious and ethnic minorities in the US society,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Araqchi said.
He noted that the court ruling has also seriously put under question the fairness of the judicial process in the United States.
“Several months on since a probe was launched (into the murder), the public opinion in the U.S. and across the world expect transparency, an accurate and fair judicial investigation into the case, with due regard to human rights principles for American citizens and a ban on discrimination against minorities in the country,” Araqchi added.
The public views the court ruling as a follow-up to similar incidents such as the suspicious murder of the grandson of former African American Muslim leader Malcolm X, which the U.S. judicial system failed to probe, Araqchi stated.
He said Tehran advises the U.S. government and its judiciary to “seriously abide by” the country’s international and human rights obligations, “particularly with respect to minorities,” and to take practical steps to put an end to its discriminatory conduct.
Zimmerman claimed the fatal shooting, which took place on February 26, 2012, in a small Florida town, was in self-defense.
The controversial ruling sparked angry protest rallies across the U.S., during which protesters burned American flags and held signs reading, “We are all Trayvon Martin,” among other slogans.
The Obama administration, it seems, is not pleased with former Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel’s performance during yesterday’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee. The New York Times quotes an underwhelmed member of the president’s foreign-policy team:
“It’s somewhere between baffling and incomprehensible,” a member of Mr. Obama’s own team of advisers on Iran said on Thursday night when asked about Mr. Hagel’s stumbling performance on the question during the all-day hearing. The worry was evident in the voice of the official, who would not speak on the record while criticizing the performance of the president’s nominee. For those who question whether the no-containment cornerstone of the Obama approach to Tehran is for real, or just diplomatic rhetoric, Mr. Hagel clearly muddled the message, he said.
The account refers to Hagel’s response to a question posed by New Hampshire senator Kelly Ayotte, who asked Hagel whether he stood by remarks he delivered to the Center for Strategic and International Studies in 2007, in which he said that, with regard to American policy toward Iran, “The strategy of containment remain[s] relevant today” and that “this is how we should have handled Saddam Hussein.”
Asked if he still believes containment is an option for dealing with Iran, Hagel said, “No, I don’t now.” The administration’s answer to that question has been “no.” According to theTimes, ”either no one explained that to Chuck Hagel . . . or he forgot it.”
Just what we need another mentally vacuous member of Obama’s cabinet.
The Brenner Brief has the story
Unconfirmed reports are trickling out of the Middle East stating last Monday an explosion rocked theFordo nuclear enrichment facility in Iran. Western news agencies haven’t corroborated the story; however, World News Daily is reporting that Hamidreza Zakeri, formerly a member of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and National Security, has confirmed the facility had been hit.
While accurate information can be difficult to get out of this notoriously secretive regime, there are reportedly over 240 people trapped underground in Iran’s second largest nuclear facility.
Rumors of this being pulled off by Israel are already circulating. Israel has been an outspoken opponent of Iran becoming nuclear capable, and in 1981 Israel was able to dismantle Iraq’s nuclear program through a bombing raid — known as Operation Opera – on largely centralized, above ground facilities.
More at The Brenner Brief, and I will post updates here as I am able
UPDATE!! The Brenner Brief has an update
Earlier this morning, we reported on the apparent bombing of a nuclear facility inIran. We reported on this before many of the major news outlets, including having it up over 12 hours before Breitbart.com posted a link to another site.
Our contributor, Jason Blair, and The Brenner Brief have been questioned via social media today regarding the validity of this story. We stand behind the story, as other news outlets had then and have now reported on it. Of course, we do not have any direct assets in Iran, as only the government would in that closed society. However, several outlets, including reputable direct sources listed in those other stories, have proclaimed that this explosion did indeed take place and that a bombing, or sabotage, of some sort did occur.
So the question is, why isn’t the mainstream media reporting on the Iran bombing story? We have been asked this question in a manner to suggest that because the “MSM” isn’t reporting on it, it cannot be true. Perhaps this is the first story where we have truly done as our slogan suggests: “The Brenner Brief — rendering the mainstream media useless.”
We asked Blair his opinion on the MSM’s failure to report on this. We are not supporting a conspiracy theory and neither is Blair; however, we are thinking through the various reasons why this complete avoidance of the topic by mainstream media could be possible. Blair’s thoughts on the issue are as follows:
If the report is accurate, the explosion would have happened on Inauguration day. The media was focused on that and this topic really didn’t jive with what Obama was looking to push in his inaugural address.
Chuck Hagel, who is being floated for Secretary of Defense, is perceived as being weak on Iran. With this news coming so close to his confirmation there may be a push to try to hold it back from the public. At the same time, I would think those seeking to block his nomination would be leaking this out.
If Israel had anything to do with it, they have a track record of being pretty quiet about this kind of stuff, as seen in their 2007
bombing of a Syrian nuclear reactor. Also important to note – President Bush refused to comment on it when he was confronted on this Operation in a press conference.
I’m pretty sure Iran wants to keep this quiet. They have been stalling on nuclear talks, and this week suggested the talks be pushed out to February. Perhaps they’re a little pre-occupied?
I will post any updates I get
Israel is defending itself, and good for them! Frankly, I hope that if they do commit ground troops, they do not STOP until they eradicate the Hamas vermin. But, of course, the Left is going Berzerk on Twitter. Twitchy has the Tweets of outrage from anti-Semites, fools, and losers who are calling for death to Jews. Go read them all, you will be angry, and disgusted, but is important to understand what type of fanatics we are dealing with here. This is just one example
I dare yall bitches to do that to Iran you zionist devils hitler should have killed you all @IDFSpokesperson
Hate to break it to you there Darth Douchebag, but Iran wants no part of Israel, and neither does Egypt, whose “leaders” are hinting at protecting those poor terrorists in Gaza. More at The Other McCain
Remember: This started last week when Hamas fired more than 100 missiles into Israel. To call Israel’s response an “act of aggression by the Israelis” is simply a lie, the exact opposite of truth. Why does the New York Times feel obligated to publish Iran’s lies? I dunno.
Via Gateway Pundit comes this. Iran fired on one of our drones in International airspace
Ah, yes, that Obama transparency again
Via Gateway Pundit
Klein insists that Israel is trying to “push us” into war. No, Israel is trying to survive. And, I would remind Klein that Iran will not hesitate to strike Israel, and us if at all possible. I might also remind him that Iran will USE nukes if they get the capability to, and that will cause an even BIGGER war, and will likely cost many more lives.
Via Theo I must say I was not, as y’all know for Romney, but he will be so much better than Obama on national security and defense. We get so caught up in economics, and taxes, ad for very good reasons, that we overlook foreign policy. That is a mistake. I believe a President Romney would be a serious upgrade from President Obama on all fronts. And I know who Israel would vote for if they could.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A new book claims Israel’s spy agency dispatched assassins into Iran, as part of a campaign to sabotage the country’s disputed nuclear program.
Israeli operatives have killed at least four Iranian nuclear scientists, including targeting them with operatives on motorcycles, an assassination technique used by the Israeli spy service, the Mossad, according to authors Dan Raviv and Yossi Melman in their book to be published July 9, “Spies Against Armageddon: Inside Israel’s Secret Wars”.
The Mossad agents “excel at accurate shooting at any speed and staying steady to shoot and to place exquisitely shaped sticky bombs” and consider it their hallmark, Raviv said Friday during an interview with both authors.
The hits are part of a series of regular missions deep inside Iran, intended to keep Tehran from developing weapons and following through with threats by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to wipe Israel off the map. U.S. officials have said in the past that they were not involved, and they don’t know who did it.
The U.S. and Israel accuse Iran of seeking nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.
Iran has long blamed the scientists’ killings on Israel, which has remained silent on the matter, but media reports speculated Israel had contracted killers to do the job.
“They don’t farm out a mission that is that sensitive,” so sensitive that Israel’s prime minister has to sign off on it personally, Raviv said. “They might use dissidents for assistance or logistics but not the hit itself. The methodology and training and use of motorcycles is all out of the Mossad playbook. They wouldn’t trust anybody else to do it.”
The Mossad operatives enter and exit Iran through a “multitude” of routes, using a series of safe houses once inside the country that predate the 1979 revolution, the authors said.
In Friday’s interview, co-author Melman said Israel believes the campaign successfully disrupted Iran’s nuclear program not only by taking out key scientists but also dissuading other up-and-coming scholars from joining the program.
Raviv is a CBS News correspondent, and Melman is a well-known Israeli reporter and commentator.
You go Israel
(AP) US envoy to Israel: US ready to strike Iran
Washington’s envoy to Israel says the U.S. has plans in place to attack Tehran if necessary to prevent it from becoming an atomic military power.
In remarks before the Israel Bar Association, Dan Shapiro said the U.S. hopes diplomacy and economic sanctions will pressure Iran to abandon its suspect nuclear program.
He says the U.S. prefers not to resort to military force “but that doesn’t mean that option is not fully available. Not just available, but it’s ready. The necessary planning has been done to ensure that it’s ready.”
While I am sure that the plans are made, contingency plans are there for all sorts of military situations, I must pose the first question that popped into my head. Would such an attack be made to help you know who get you know what in November? It seems an unbelievable question, or at least it would if we were talking about just any other US president. But, we have all seen first hand how Obama pimped the Osama killing, so…………..