U.S. spy agencies: North Korea is working on new missiles

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© Planet/James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International… A May 28 satellite image of a building that U.S. analysts believe is a secret uranium enrichment facility near North Korea’s capital.

 

U.S. spy agencies are seeing signs that North Korea is constructing new missiles at a factory that produced the country’s first intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States, according to officials familiar with the intelligence.

Newly obtained evidence, including satellite photos taken in recent weeks, indicates that work is underway on at least one and possibly two liquid-fueled ICBMs at a large research facility in Sanumdong, on the outskirts of Pyongyang, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe classified intelligence. Continue reading

Iran poised to resume enrichment at deep Fordow facility

 

After Iran warned it will leave the nuclear accord unless benefits are forthcoming, an atomic energy official in Tehran said that uranium enrichment would resume at Fordow – if that happens. Continue reading

Pompeo in stark warning: We won’t let Iran develop a nuclear weapon

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“We’re watching reports that Iran plans to increase its enrichment capacity,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned on Thursday, June 7. “We won’t allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. Iran is aware of our resolve.”

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Iran to increase uranium enrichment. US-Israeli strike on nuclear facilities comes closer

 

Iran is to inform the UN nuclear watchdog in Vienna on Tuesday, June 6, of its decision to increase uranium (UF6) enrichment capacity in response to the US exit from the 2015 nuclear accord. Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi, announcing this, did not mention a date for this process to begin or the grade of enrichment. Supreme ruler Ayatollah Khamenei’s said Monday night: “I have ordered Iran’s atomic energy agency to be prepared to upgrade our (uranium) enrichment capacity” if the 2015 nuclear deal with the world powers falls apart after the US withdrawal. Chairman Ali Akhbar Salehi of the atomic organization forecast this development some days ago. Continue reading

Obama Starts Mid-East Nuke Race As Israel Says Gulf States Pursuing Bombs

Back in October, we asked the following: “Did Obama Just Set Off A Global Nuclear Arms Race By Signing The Iran Deal?

On the surface that seems like an oxymoronic headline. After all, the nuclear accord is supposed to be about curbing nuclear proliferation, not setting off an arms race. Continue reading

As Predicted, the Iran Deal Has Begun to Wreck Global Nuclear Non-Proliferation Efforts

Amid growing indications that Iran does not plan to comply with the July nuclear deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA), there is a new report that the huge U.S. concessions offered to Tehran to get this agreement are already undermining global efforts against nuclear proliferation.

One of the most significant of these concessions allows Iran to continue to enrich uranium even while the JCPOA is in effect. This contradicts years of U.N. Security Council resolutions calling on Iran to halt all uranium enrichment, and previous U.S. policies that have strongly discouraged nations from beginning peaceful uranium-enrichment programs due to the ease with which they can be used to produce weapons-grade nuclear fuel. Continue reading

Russia Will Help ‘Improve’ Iran Centrifuges, Iranian Nuclear Chief Says

Iran’s nuclear chief said Tuesday that Russia is prepared to help “enhance” the country’s uranium-enriching centrifuges.

Iran’s Fars News Agency reported that Ali Akbar Salehi, who heads the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, spoke of Russia’s cooperation following a meeting with the director of Moscow’s Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation, Sergey Kirienko, in Vienna, Austria. Continue reading

The Iran Nuclear Negotiations: U.S. Concession After U.S. Concession

Abstract

The Obama Administration is negotiating a bad deal in the Iran nuclear negotiations. It has violated every rule of good negotiating practice, making concession after concession on both major and minor issues. With each abandoned red line—whether enrichment, ballistic missiles, verification, or sanctions relief—the Administration has resorted to twisted logic and intellectually disingenuous explanations to justify its concessions. A good deal would deny Iran a nuclear weapons capability, prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon in a short amount of time, extend the breakout time, be verifiable, include phased relief of sanctions and guaranteed snap-back provisions. The Administration’s proposed deal fails on all counts.

Delivered July 7, 2015

Since the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) was announced in November 2013, the outcome was clear: Iran would be recognized and accepted as a nuclear weapons threshold state. Of course, Iran’s ballistic missile force—the largest in the region—would not be limited in any way. These were explicit concessions acknowledged by the White House, but explained away in the most convoluted fashion.

No longer would Iran be compelled to abandon its enrichment program. It would only be constrained so as to extend the breakout time for the mullahs to build the bomb that they could then deliver by ballistic missile. And even these constraints would be removed after the agreement expires.

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Plan B For Iran

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If the nuclear negotiations go bad, the U.S. has a backup: Obama can drop the MOP, the world’s largest non-nuclear bomb.

President Barack Obama’s nuclear diplomacy with Iran may yet fail. On Tuesday, exactly one week before a June 30 deadline for an agreement, Iran’s Supreme Leader delivered his latest in a series of defiant statements, setting conditions for a deal—including immediate relief from sanctions, before Iran has taken steps to limit its nuclear program—that Obama will never accept. Secretary of State John Kerry warned last week that the U.S. is prepared to walk away from the talks. And even if a deal is reached, the story is not over. The Iranians may break or cheat on an agreement, and try build a nuclear weapon anyway.

That’s why, at least three times in the past year, a B-2 stealth bomber has taken off from an Air Force base in Missouri and headed west to the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. For these missions, the $2 billion plane was outfitted with one of the world’s largest bombs. It is a cylinder of special high-performance steel, 20 feet long and weighing 15 tons. When dropped from an altitude likely above 20,000 feet, the bomb would have approached supersonic speed before striking a mock target in the desert, smashing through rock and burrowing deep into the ground before its 6,000 pounds of high explosives detonated with devastating force. Continue reading

Phased US-Iran nuclear deal taking shape

If you’ve ever wondered what side the Obama administration is on, it should be pretty clear by now.

They have helped Iran stall over and over again, denied Israel crucial weapons it needs to defend itself and hampered its ability to go on the offensive if it knows it has to strike first to fight for its very existence. By the time 2017 comes around and Barack Obama is out of office, new rules of engagement added to the laws since during his tenure will have been set in stone for America’s military and it will not be able to engage.

Iran gets a free pass and the world over is endangered.

 

GENEVA (AP) — The United States and Iran are working on a two-phase deal that clamps down on Tehran’s nuclear program for at least a decade before providing it leeway over the remainder of the agreement to slowly ramp up activities that could be used to make weapons.

Officials from some of the six-power talks with Iran said details still needed to be agreed on, with U.S. and Iranian negotiators meeting Monday for the third straight day ahead of an end-of-March deadline for a framework agreement. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry joined the negotiations after arriving Sunday. Continue reading

Saudi Arabia May Go Nuclear Because of Obama’s Iran Deal

Last month, America’s top Iran negotiator Wendy Sherman had some bad news for ambassadors from America’s Arab allies. In a meeting with envoys from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other Gulf states, Sherman said that any bargain with Iran would likely leave Tehran, the Gulf states long-time enemy, with the capacity to enrich uranium, according to U.S. officials briefed on the encounter.

Sherman regularly briefs these allies after diplomatic talks with Iran, but in recent weeks those conversations have been different. While most of America’s Middle East allies—with the exception of Israel—have publicly supported the current Iran negotiations, behind the scenes, envoys from the region have expressed grave concerns that Iran could be left with a break out capacity to make the fuel for a nuclear weapon at a time of their choosing. Continue reading

Iran eyes 30 nuclear bombs a year: Israel minister

Essentially what he’s saying the Iranians are doing is building the means of capacity to be able to produce 30 bombs in one shot, instead of cranking out only one and declaring “we are a nuclear power”. They won’t cross the proverbial ‘red line’ until they’re sure they’ll have an arsenal large enough to where no one will dare taking the astronomical risk of retaliation by striking Iranian nuclear sites.

AFP – Iran is working round the clock to enlarge its nuclear infrastructure with the eventual aim of developing an industry capable of building up to 30 bombs a year, an Israeli minister charged on Monday.

Speaking to reporters in Jerusalem, Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said Tehran was “very close” to crossing the red line laid out by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year.

But he said it was biding its time and building uranium-enrichment facilities before making the final push for weapons-grade material. Continue reading

Iran set to expand nuclear activity in underground facility, sources say

IAEA envoy expects to see Iranian efforts ‘jump’ in Fordo site near Qom, located deep inside a mountain to protect it from possible airstrikes.

“I think we will see a jump in the potential state of readiness of the facility,” one Vienna-based envoy said.

Fordo is of particular concern for the West and Israel as Iran is shifting the most controversial aspect of its nuclear work, refining uranium to a level that takes it significantly closer to potential bomb material, to the site.

Estimated to be buried beneath 80 meters of rock and soil, it gives Iran better protection against any Israeli or U.S. military strikes.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak has warned that the Islamic state’s nuclear research could soon pass into what he called a “zone of immunity,” protected from outside disruption.

Full article: Iran set to expand nuclear activity in underground facility, sources say (Haaretz)