Zarif Slams US Sale of Nuclear Technology to Saudi Arabia as Hypocrisy

By Staff, Agencies

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the United States’ attempted sale of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia was hypocritical of Washington.

Zarif’s comment on Twitter on Wednesday followed reports that the administration of US President Donald Trump is trying to bypass US Congress to advance the sale of US nuclear power plants to Saudi Arabia.

“Day by day it becomes clearer to the world what was always clear to us: neither human rights nor a nuclear program have been the real concern of the US,” Zarif wrote in a tweet.

“First a dismembered journalist; now illicit sale of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia fully expose #USHypocrisy,” Zarif added, referring to the killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of Saudi agents, and the new report by a US congressional committee on the planned sale.

The attempt to sell nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia is in violation of US law guarding against technology transfer, the congressional report states.

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IRGC Cmdr.: «Israel» Could Never Win, Netanyahu Should Learn How to Swim

IRGC Cmdr.: «Israel» Could Never Win, Netanyahu Should Learn How to Swim

Local Editor

Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Hossein Salami blasted the “Israeli” prime minister for fabricating the realities on the ground and promoting Iranophobia, and said that Benjamin Netanyahu will take his dreams to grave.

“Netanyahu should know that there is no way for him except fleeing the region and so he needs to learn how to swim in the Mediterranean Sea,” General Salami said on Friday, addressing a group of IRGC commanders and officers in the city of Isfahan in Central Iran.

He underlined that the enemy was planning to create a new Middle East led by the “Israeli” regime, but all their dreams turned sour.

“The US says it has spent some $7 trillion in funding wars across the region, but with the will of God and resistance of nations, it has not been able to gain anything from it and has faced defeat,” Salami added.

“Israel” is estimated to have 200 to 400 nuclear warheads in its arsenal. The regime, however, refuses to either accept or deny having the weapons.

It has also evaded signing the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in flagrant violation of a UN Security Council resolution amid staunch endeavor by the United States and other Western states on international levels in favor of its non-commitment to the accord.

Iran has repeatedly announced that its nuclear program is merely for peaceful purposes and poses no threat to the international peace and security. Iran’s nuclear facilities have been under the constant monitoring of the International Atomic Energy Agency for the last two decades. But a nuclear accord signed by Iran and six world powers in 2015 placed the country under even stricter rules of supervision and inspection.

Yet, the UN nuclear watchdog has underlined in 12 reports under the deal as well as dozens of more reports prior to the endorsement of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that there has never been any anomaly at Iran’s nuclear program to indicate a move or drive towards a military nuclear capability, reasserting that the country’s nuclear program has remained strictly loyal to its stated “peaceful purposes”.

Back in June, the Iranian foreign minister decried the “Israeli” entity’s nukes as a real threat to the Middle East region and the rest of the world, calling for a new focus on the occupying regime’s nuclear arsenal.

Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif posted a message on his official Twitter account, saying although Iran had no nuclear weapons, the entity, which is the sole Middle Eastern country to possess such weapons, continued to “howl” about “fabricated” Iranian “ambitions”.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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United against Precision

By Gilad Atzmon

Yesterday PM Netanyahu, speaking at the UN, insisted that Israel has found the ‘secret atomic warehouse’ where Iran is allegedly “storing massive amounts of equipment and materiel from Iran’s secret nuclear weapons programme.”  Netanyahu failed to provide any evidence to support his claim, nor did he try to substantiate his comic assertion that Iranian government officials, in an attempt to dispose of 15kg of radioactive material, had spread the material around the streets of Tehran.

This is even funnier when you consider that the rest of the world knows exactly where Israel’s nukes factory is. The rest of the world also knows that it is actually Israel that doesn’t allow anyone into its WMD plant in Dimona, Rehovot  or anywhere else.


Not for the first time, Netanyahu also brought some visual aids to illustrate his claims, seeming to believe that those who dwell outside of his ghetto are in desperate need of visual explanations.

The thing that surprised me the most was that Netanyahu was upset about the existence of Hezbollah’s underground precision missile production facilities in Beirut. I had thought that Israel would be delighted to find out that the Hezbollah are attempting at precision so they can hit military, logistic and strategic targets and avoid unnecessary killings of innocent civilians.

I guess that despite my intense efforts and my dedication to the study of the Jewish national project I still struggle to grasp the depth Netanyahu’s rationale.

How Trump & 3 Other US Presidents Protected «Israel’s» Worst-Kept Secret: Its Nuclear Arsenal

20-06-2018 | 15:37

When a delegation of senior “Israeli” officials visited the Trump White House on February 13, 2017, they wanted to discuss several issues with their new American counterparts. Topping the list was a secret letter concerning a subject the “Israelis” had promised the Americans never to discuss publicly-“Israel’s” undeclared nuclear arsenal.


In a recent piece for The New Yorker, I described a tense scene in the West Wing as the “Israeli” delegation-which included “Israel’s” Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer-tried to get the letter signed by President Donald Trump. By all accounts, the American Administration was eager to please the “Israeli” Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, whom Trump had promised to lavish with unprecedented support. But, at that chaotic moment, Trump’s aides felt blindsided by the “Israeli” request. They knew nothing about the existence of any letters and were confused by the sense of urgency coming from the “Israelis”. The Americans had other pressing concerns-later that day, Michael Flynn, the national-security adviser, would hand in his resignation letter-and they didn’t appreciate feeling as though the “Israelis” were telling them what to do…

The White House’s reaction was understandable. There had been a similar moment of surprise eight years earlier, when Barack Obama became President and received a similar request. The very existence of the letters had been a closely held secret. Only a select group of senior American officials, in three previous Administrations, knew of the letters and how “Israeli” leaders interpreted them as effectively an American pledge not to press the “Jewish state” to give up its nuclear weapons so long as it continued to face existential threats in the region. (American officials say the letters weren’t that explicit and fell short of constituting a binding commitment.) When Trump’s aides moved into the White House, they didn’t find any copies of the previous letters left behind by their predecessors. The documents had been sent to the archives. The Israelis, however, had copies.

“Israel” crossed the nuclear threshold on the eve of the Six Day War, in 1967. At that time, it had three nuclear devices, according to Avner Cohen, a nuclear historian at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and the author of two books on the origins of “Israel’s” nuclear program. “Israeli” efforts to build a bomb at the nuclear complex in Dimona had been a source of tension with Washington for nearly a decade. But, by the fall of 1969, when Golda Meir, “Israel’s” Prime Minister, met with Richard Nixon at the White House, “Israel’s” possession of nuclear weapons was a fait accompli and the two sides reached an unwritten understanding: the “Israelis” would not declare, test, or threaten to use their nuclear weapons; and the Americans would not pressure the “Israelis” to sign a landmark international nuclear-nonproliferation treaty known as the N.P.T. (“Israel” never became a signatory and US efforts to inspect Dimona stopped.)

Successive “Israeli: governments abided by the arrangement, which, in Hebrew, is referred to as “amimut,” which means opacity. In English, the arrangement is often referred to as “Israel’s” “policy of ambiguity.” A joint document describing the agreement was never prepared. Instead, each side relied on its own notes, a former official said. President Gerald Ford abided by Nixon’s deal. “Israeli” officials were concerned that Jimmy Carter would chart a different course, but the American position, through the Carter and Reagan Administrations, remained unchanged.

The “Israelis” first started to feel as though the unwritten Meir-Nixon arrangement was no longer sufficient during the Presidency of George H. W. Bush, when, after the first Gulf War, in 1991, world powers talked about the possibility of creating a zone in the Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear arms.

The first iteration of the secret letter was drafted during the Clinton Administration, as part of an agreement for “Israel’s” participation in the 1998 Wye River negotiations with the Palestinians. In the letter, according to former officials, President Bill Clinton assured the “Jewish state” that no future American arms-control initiative would “detract” from “Israel’s” “deterrent” capabilities, an oblique but clear reference to its nuclear arsenal. Later, “Israeli” officials inserted language to make clear to Washington that “Israel” would “defend itself, by itself,” and that it would, therefore, not consider the American nuclear arsenal to be a substitute for “Israeli” nuclear arms. George W. Bush, when he became President, followed Clinton’s lead, signing a similar letter, former officials told me.

Then, in 2009, a new President, Barack Obama, took office. From almost the start, Netanyahu was distrustful of Obama, and vice versa. “With Obama, we were all crazy,” an “Israeli” official told me. That April, Obama delivered an aspirational speech in Prague, setting out “America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” Obama’s advisers subsequently learned “how paranoid Bibi was that Obama was going to try to take away ‘Israel’s’ nuclear weapons,” a former US official told me, adding, “Of course, that was never our intent.” Obama signed an updated version of the letter in May, 2009.

While “Israeli” officials interpreted the letters as an effective commitment by successive American Presidents not to pressure “Israel” regarding its nuclear arsenal, US officials told me that they viewed the letters as less categorical. “It was not a blanket ‘We’ll never ask “Israel” to give up its nuclear weapons.’ It was more, ‘We accepted the “Israeli” argument that they’re not going to disarm under current conditions in the Middle East,” a former US official told me. Avner Cohen, the Middlebury Institute historian, said that US Administrations have been reluctant to give up entirely on the possibility of ridding the region of nuclear weapons if “Israel” were to reach a comprehensive peace agreement with its neighbors, including Iran.

Ahead of a nonproliferation conference in 2010, Netanyahu became concerned, once again, that “Israel” could come under international pressure to disarm. In response, Obama made a public statement that echoed the contents of the secret letters, without revealing their existence. “We discussed issues that arose out of the nuclear-nonproliferation conference,” Obama said, after meeting with Netanyahu on July 6, 2010. “And I reiterated to the Prime Minister that there is no change in US policy when it comes to these issues. We strongly believe that, given its size, its history, the region that it’s in, and the threats that are levelled against . . . it, that ‘Israel’ has unique security requirements. It’s got to be able to respond to threats or any combination of threats in the region. And that’s why we remain unwavering in our commitment to ‘Israel’s’ security. And the United States will never ask ‘Israel’ to take any steps that would undermine their security interests.”

The tense scene in the West Wing over the letter came on the heels of a particularly chaotic transition, from Obama to Trump. Their advisers distrusted one another, and it is unclear if they ever discussed the “Israeli” letters before the Inauguration. So when Ambassador Dermer came to the White House to talk to Michael Flynn about arranging for Trump to sign the letter, Trump’s aides were confused and, initially, said that they needed more time. US officials said that the “Israelis” wanted to limit who could take part in discussions of the letter, citing the need for secrecy. The Americans pushed back. Afterward, senior White House officials huddled together and complained to each other that Dermer had acted as though he owned the White House. Dermer declined to comment on the letter and told me that he does not recall any cursing. Flynn was ousted that night. Later, Trump signed the letter, becoming the fourth US President to do so.

Like Obama’s advisers, Trump’s aides were baffled by the importance that Netanyahu placed on getting the letters signed so quickly. Cohen said that the issue is central for Netanyahu because the nuclear arsenal fuels his “sense of impunity, sense of ‘Israel’ being so powerful, that it can dictate its own terms in the region and beyond.”

Source: The New Yorker, Edited by website team



South front

North Korea Threatens To Call Off Pyongyang-Washington Summit, Slams U.S Approach

North Korea would reconsider its participation in the historical Pyongyang-Washington summit in Singapore planned for June 12, the country’s state-run news agency KCNA reported on May 16.

According to a press statement of North Korean First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Kye-gwan, North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un stated that its country isn’t interested in any negotiations that envisage only unilateral denuclearization without guarantees.

Kim Jong Un criticized the “so-called Libya mode of nuclear abandonment” as this move hadn’t been an “expression of intention to address the issue through dialogue.”

“It is essentially a manifestation of awfully sinister move to impose on our dignified state the destiny of Libya or Iraq which had been collapsed due to yielding the whole of their countries to big powers,” the statement reads.

“It is absolutely absurd to dare compare the DPRK, a nuclear weapon state, to Libya which had been at the initial stage of nuclear development.”

Kim Jong Un called on US President Donald Trump to review their policy towards North Korea:

“If the Trump administration takes an approach to the DPRK-U.S. summit with sincerity for improved DPRK-U.S. relations, it will receive a deserved response from us.”

On May 15, Pyongyang cancelled the May 16 North-South Korean talks “in light of the provocative military” military exercises between the South Korea and the US, KCNA reported.

The large-scale 2018 Max Thunder joint air combat drill throughout South Korea started on May 11 and will last until May 25.

According to the KCNA report, the military exercise “is a deliberate challenge to the Panmunjom declaration and is a deliberate military provocation” and “reflects the unchanging attitude of the US and South Korea to continue ‘maximum pressure and sanctions’ against us.”

On May 15, a spokeswoman for the US Department of State Heather Nauert defended the right to conduct drills and pointed out that Washington would continue planning the meeting with North Korea’s leader:

“We have not heard anything from that government or the Government of South Korea to indicate that we would not continue conducting these exercises or that we would not continue planning for our meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong-un next month.”

According to a press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of North Korea posted on May 15, North Korea’s government took “technical measures for dismantling the northern nuclear test ground of the DPRK in order to ensure transparency of discontinuance of the nuclear test”.

“A ceremony for dismantling the nuclear test ground is now scheduled between May 23 and 25, depending on weather condition,” the document reads.

On April 29, US National Security Advisor John Bolton stated that Washington “is looking at the Libya model of 2003, 2004” for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, according to the interview at the US TV channel CBS News.

In 2003, Libya gave up its nuclear weapons program under the “international community” pressure and transferred its nuclear weapons to the US. In 2011, the US and its NATO allies intervened Libya, backed an armed insurrection and immersed Libya into chaos.

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israel: The Real Middle East Nuclear Threat


There is in fact a Middle Eastern nation that is in fact in control of a vast, undeclared stockpile of nuclear weapons. This nation does have the capability of deploying those weapons anywhere in the region. It is not a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and its arsenal has never been inspected by any international agency. But this nation is not Iran. It’s Israel.



Netanyahu trying to divert attention from israel’s massacre of Palestinian children to Iran’s fictitious nuclear weapons program

Netanyahu: Don’t Look Here Where We’re Shooting Children, Look Over There at Iran

By Juan Cole,

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, a notorious warmonger, serial liar and supremacist racialist who used to lead the closest thing Israel has to a fascist party until parties even more extreme got elected to parliament, is attempting to bamboozle the clueless Trump into getting on a war footing with Iran.

Netanyahu’s breathless announcement that there was a potential weapons aspect to Iran’s nuclear enrichment program has been known for a decade and a half.

Netanyahu even seems to have provoked the White House to issue a communique falsely stating that Iran has a weapons program presently, which it promptly had to retract. The incident is so scary because it shows how easy it is to manipulate the erratic Trump and his not-ready-for-prime-time staff. That sort of thing, David Frum said on Twitter, can cause a war. And he should know.

But the retraction is incorrect, as well. Iran in the distant past had done some things that would be helpful if it had launched a full blown weapons program. It never did launch such a program.

Netanyahu instanced no evidence at all that Iran is out of compliance with the 2015 deal, and UN inspectors continually have affirmed that Tehran *is* in compliance. His allegation that Iran’s recent missiles are designed to be fitted with warheads is simply false.

So why try to put Iran on the front burner of American war-making? It is a desperate attempt on Netanyahu’s part to divert world attention from the ongoing Israeli Apartheid discrimination against the stateless Palestinians, which it militarily occupies (directly with jackboots and colonial settlers on the West Bank, indirectly with military encirclement and the sniping of innocent protesters in Gaza).

In recent weeks, Israeli snipers have used live ammunition to kill some 40 and wound hundreds of Palestinians who were unarmed and peacefully protesting their imprisonment in the Gaza Strip (70% of their families were kicked out of their homes in Israel and now live in squalid refugee camps while European Israelis took over their houses and farmland and are living it up). The sniping victims have including children, journalists, demonstrators distant from the Israeli confinement fence, and worshipers at prayer with the mention of God on their lips. Shooting unarmed people who pose no threat is a war crime, and doing it systematically amounts to a crime against humanity. So too is the crime of Apartheid described in the Statute of Rome as a “crime against humanity,” and Israel manifestly and robustly practices Apartheid against the Palestinians under its military heel.

The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s civilian nuclear enrichment program (to make fuel for reactors generating electricity) was designed to prevent Iran from weaponizing the program.

All nuclear enrichment via centrifuges is potentially dual use. Uranium can be enriched to 5% for reactor fuel, but if scientists keep feeding it through the centrifuges they can enrich it to 95% for a bomb. The Iran deal was designed to keep Iran from making high enriched uranium (HEU).

Iran accepted spot inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency. No country under active inspections has ever developed a nuclear weapon.

Iran vastly reduced the number of centrifuges it has, which means it would take at least a year or even years to make HEU, even if it could do so without the inspectors detecting the signature at the site, which it cannot.

Iran discontinued and bricked in its planned heavy water reactor at Arak. Fissile material builds up on the rods in a heavy water reactor much faster than on a light water reactor, and so the heavy water ones can theoretically aid in making a bomb. Iran no longer even has a plan for a heavy water reactor.

Iran destroyed its stockpile of uranium enriched to 19.5% for its medical reactor. It has no enriched uranium higher than 5%, useful for its three reactors at Bushehr. Iran benefits from nuclear energy because it burns oil for electricity generation, cutting into the money it could make from instead selling it on the open market.

South Korea, Japan and France all use nuclear reactors for electricity generation just as Iran is starting to. France enriches uranium both for that purpose and to make nuclear weapons. If you don’t think Japan could construct a bomb in three weeks if it wanted to, you don’t know Japanese technology (they have a big stockpile of plutonium).

So Netanyahu and the American Right should have sighed in relief, right? Remember, Netanyahu has several hundred actual real nuclear bombs that it could drop on Iran, and Iran has bupkes. Likewise the US is bristling with nuclear warheads. Iran has some old F4 jets Nixon gave them.

In 2007, the National Intelligence Estimate of the CIA assessed that Iran did some experiments with military significance in 2003 but then halted them ever after. The 2011 NIE repeated the conclusion that Iran did not have a weapons program at that time and had not decided to pursue one.

Our sloppy and sometimes propagandistic press keeps talking about Iran’s “nuclear weapons program,” but it is a unicorn. No such thing has ever existed per se, though the experiments and programs Iran pursued as part of its civilian energy program always had potential weapons implications, and Iranian scientists did perform some occasional experiments that might have had weapons purposes.

Because nuclear enrichment is dual use, Iran until 2015 always had the option of going for broke and pursuing a bomb, using know-how gained from the civilian program. That is all the CIA was saying. It was also saying that no such decision had been taken, a conclusion echoed by Israeli politicians like Ehud Barak and by Israeli intelligence.

But the JCPOA forestalled any such decision. Iran could only make a bomb now by kicking out the inspectors and manufacturing thousands of centrifuges, in other words by putting up a huge neon sign saying “I am making a nuclear bomb here.”

Iran’s nuclear enrichment program has also always probably been intended to have deterrent effects against anyone thinking of doing to the country what Bush did to Iraq. I.e. if it was clear someone was planning to invade, Iran could in fact go for broke and try to defend itself.

Since the US right wing and the government of Israel would very much like to see Iran invaded and its government overthrown, and its legs broken, this nuclear latency or the Japan option is an annoyance they would like to remove. It is easier to execute someone if you disarm him first.

But Iran of course is already substantially disarmed, voluntarily. What is going on now is an attempt to pull the wool over people’s eyes about that and to con them into spending $6 trillion on another ruinous Middle East conflict.

That will keep everybody busy while Netanyahu finally succeeds in ethnically cleansing what is left of the Palestinians, his ulterior ultimate goal.


Juan Cole is the founder and chief editor of Informed Comment and Richard P. Mitchell Professor of History at the University of Michigan.

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