Iran eyes nuclear-powered ships after US sanctions move

 

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday ordered the country’s scientists to start work on nuclear-powered ships in response to the expected renewal of sanctions by the United States.

In letters read out on state television, Rouhani criticised the US move as a breach of last year’s nuclear accord and told Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation to start work on “planning the design and production of nuclear fuel and reactors for maritime transport.”

The president said he had also ordered the foreign ministry to prepare a legal complaint to the international committee that oversees the nuclear accord. Continue reading

Iran’s Rouhani: Trump cannot reverse nuclear deal

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday there was “no possibility” of its nuclear deal with world powers being overturned by US president-elect Donald Trump despite his threat to rip it up.

“Iran’s understanding in the nuclear deal was that the accord was not concluded with one country or government but was approved by a resolution of the UN Security Council and there is no possibility that it can be changed by a single government,” Rouhani told his cabinet, according to state television. Continue reading

IRGC Quds Force chief spotted rallying Iran, Hizbullah forces in Syria

https://i1.wp.com/www.worldtribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Soleimanipic1.jpg

Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani

 

The commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force was seen in photos posted on Twitter rallying Iranian and Hizbullah troops in Syria.

Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani is listed as a terrorist by the Untied States and is forbidden under international sanctions from leaving Iran. On Oct. 15, Reuters confirmed Soleimani was present in Syria’s western province of Latakia. Continue reading

Top ayatollah: White House dreaming if it thinks Iran deal will lead to improved ties

The Obama administration is naive if it thinks the nuclear accord will lead to restored relations between the United States and Iran, a top Iranian cleric said on Sept. 24.

“The U.S. wants to say that, following [the conclusion of] the JCPOA, the ice has been broken between the two countries; but that is not the case,” Ayatollah Seyyed Ahmad Khatami said in a sermon following the Eid al-Adha prayers in Teheran. Continue reading

Iran Likely to Produce 600,000 Barrels of Oil Per Day Upon Sanctions Relief

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Iran will likely produce hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil daily by the end of next year once international sanctions on Tehran are fully lifted, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a report on Thursday.

“Iran is also expected to increase production as sanctions are lifted,” the agency’s report read. “EIA estimates that Iran has the technical capability to increase crude oil production by about 600,000 b/d by the end of 2016.”

Continue reading

Iran’s president says nuclear deal achieves goals

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani says his country achieved its main goals in the landmark nuclear deal reached with world powers last month. Continue reading

Is the oil crash a secret US war on Russia?

Lower oil prices, reflected in falling petrol prices at the pump, have been a boon for Western consumers. Are they also a potent US weapon against Russia and Iran?

That’s the conclusion drawn by New York Times columnist Thomas L Friedman, who says the US and Saudi Arabia, whether by accident or design, could be pumping Russia and Iran to brink of economic collapse.

Despite turmoil in many of the world’s oil-producing countries – Libya, Iraq, Nigeria and Syria – prices are hitting lows not seen in years, Friedman writes.

Rather than look at the causes, however, Friedman says to look at the result – budget shortfalls in Russia and Iran – and what it means.

Who benefits? He asks. The US wants its Ukraine-related sanctions against Russia to have more bite. Both the Saudis and the US are fighting a proxy war against Iran in Syria. Continue reading

Korean unification: a rising cost for Beijing

Recently, I argued that China has a strong security interest in delaying Korean unification. At a Korean National Defense University (KNDU) panel event earlier this month, on which I sat, there was near unanimity that China gains both geopolitical advantage as well as regime security by keeping the robust democracies (and militaries) of South Korea, Japan, and the US several hundred miles further back from its border.

But there are costs too. And there is a growing body of evidence that these costs, particularly to China’s reputation, are provoking a ‘track II’ debate on whether to cut North Korea loose. The following are excerpts from my longer KNDU paper on this. Please email me if you would like the full version. Continue reading

Troop Exercises: Turkey Prepares for Retaliatory Syrian Gas Attacks

What would happen if NATO intervenes in Syria? Turkey, for one, fears that it could be attacked with chemical weapons in retaliation. The country has criticised the United Nations for being too hesitant and is willing to take action itself against Assad — without a UN mandate if necessary.

Since the nerve gas attack in Syria last Wednesday, in which hundreds of people were reportely killed near the capital Damascus, politicians and generals in Turkey have been asking a frightening question: If the situation escalates, for example if the US carries out a military strike, would Syria fight back? And would Syrian President Bashar Assad dare to attack Turkey, and therefore NATO, using chemical weapons? Continue reading

Iran Says It Can Live Without Oil Money

Although it’s not known what “Plan B” would be, and being that oil revenues make up half of the government funding (as the article points out), a plausible guess would be on the exporting of nuclear energy since that progam is quite large and developed by now. Only time will tell.

Iran says it may stop exporting oil if international sanctions against it are intensified, adding that it has a contingency plan for running the country without oil revenues.

According to Reuters, Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Ghassemi told reporters in Dubai on Tuesday October 23: “If sanctions intensify, we will stop exporting oil.”

“We have prepared a plan to run the country without any oil revenues,” he added. “So far to date, we haven’t had any serious problems, but if the sanctions were to be renewed we would go for ‘Plan B’.” Continue reading

More Arms For Baghdad: Iraq Buys $4.2 Billion In Russian Weapons

As with most of the dictatorial-run nations in the middle east, this one is sure to turn on the United States in the future. What’s more is that the entire middle east is becoming a radical Islamic caliphate, nation by nation. Iraq looks to be aligning with this bloc.

According to RIA Novosti, a state-controlled Russian news agency, the contract is for 50 Pantsir systems, not 42 – but regardless of that number, it is Russia’s largest arms deal since 2009 and is a huge victory for Russia on the international weapons market, according to the Center for Analysis of Strategy and Technologies, a Moscow-based think tank. The deal may be expanded to include MiG-29 fighter-bombers and other heavy weaponry. Continue reading

Iran’s elite commando force running oil sector, bypassing sanctions

Time and time again, history has proven that third-world economies have no bottom, no matter the amount or severity of sanctions. So long as China and Russia keep backing the Iranian regime, and as long as energy resources are in high demand world-wide, they will likely never be stopped without resorting to war.

WASHINGTON — The United States has determined that the Islamic
Revolutionary Guard Corps was directing Iran’s state-owned oil sector.

The U.S. Treasury Departrment said the state-owned National Iranian Oil Co. was controlled by IRGC, which was helping the firm bypass international sanctions on Teheran’s energy sector.

Treasury said IRGC was increasing its control over National Iranian Oil as the elite military sought clients for Iran’s sanctioned crude oil exports.

“Under the current Iranian regime, the IRGC’s influence has grown within NIOC,” Treasury said on Sept. 24.

Full article: Iran’s elite commando force running oil sector, bypassing sanctions (World Tribune)

UN nuclear agency says Iran blocked attempts to probe alleged atomic arms work in Tehran talks

The double signs of defiance reflected Tehran’s continued resistance to demands that it defuse suspicions about its nuclear activities despite a growing list of international sanctions.

The International Atomic Energy Agency made little progress in talks that ended just three weeks ago, and hopes had been low that a visit by IAEA experts to Iran that ended late Tuesday would be any more successful even before the agency issued its statement.

It was issued early Wednesday, shortly after midnight and just after the IAEA experts left Tehran, reflecting the agency’s urgent wish to tell its side of the story.

Full article: UN nuclear agency says Iran blocked attempts to probe alleged atomic arms work in Tehran talks (Washington Post)

Ahmadinejad: Iran to reveal new nuke achievements

“Within the next few days the world will witness the inauguration of several big new achievements in the nuclear field,” Ahmadinejad told the crowd in Tehran’s famous Azadi, or Freedom, square.

Iran has said it is forced to manufacture nuclear fuel rods, which provide fuel for reactors, on its own since international sanctions ban it from buying them on foreign markets. In January, Iran said it had produced its first such fuel rod.

Apart from progress on the rods, the upcoming announcement could pertain to Iran’s underground enrichment facility at Fordo or upgraded centrifuges, which are expected to be installed at the facility in the central town of Natanz. Iran has also said it would inaugurate the Russian-built nuclear power plant in the southern port of Bushehr in 2012.

Full article: Ahmadinejad: Iran to reveal new nuke achievements (AP)