Hervorgehoben

Brace Yourselves for the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6)

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Brace Yourselves, New Yorkers, You’re Due for a Major Quake

A couple of hundred thousand years ago, an M 7.2 earthquake shook what is now New Hampshire. Just a few thousand years ago, an M 7.5 quake ruptured just off the coast of Massachusetts. And then there’s New York.

Since the first western settlers arrived there, the state has witnessed 200 quakes of magnitude 2.0 or greater, making it the third most seismically active state east of the Mississippi (Tennessee and South Carolina are ranked numbers one and two, respectively). About once a century, New York has also experienced an M 5.0 quake capable of doing real damage.

The most recent one near New York City occurred in August of 1884. Centered off Long Island’s Rockaway Beach, it was felt over 70,000 square miles. It also opened enormous crevices near the Brooklyn reservoir and knocked down chimneys and cracked walls in Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Police on the Brooklyn Bridge said it swayed “as if struck by a hurricane” and worried the bridge’s towers would collapse. Meanwhile, residents throughout New York and New Jersey reported sounds that varied from explosions to loud rumblings, sometimes to comic effect. At the funeral of Lewis Ingler, a small group of mourners were watching as the priest began to pray. The quake cracked an enormous mirror behind the casket and knocked off a display of flowers that had been resting on top of it. When it began to shake the casket’s silver handles, the mourners decided the unholy return of Lewis Ingler was more than they could take and began flinging themselves out windows and doors.

Not all stories were so light. Two people died during the quake, both allegedly of fright. Out at sea, the captain of the brig Alice felt a heavy lurch that threw him and his crew, followed by a shaking that lasted nearly a minute. He was certain he had hit a wreck and was taking on water.

A day after the quake, the editors of The New York Times sought to allay readers’ fear. The quake, they said, was an unexpected fluke never to be repeated and not worth anyone’s attention: “History and the researches of scientific men indicate that great seismic disturbances occur only within geographical limits that are now well defined,” they wrote in an editorial. “The northeastern portion of the United States . . . is not within those limits.” The editors then went on to scoff at the histrionics displayed by New York residents when confronted by the quake: “They do not stop to reason or to recall the fact that earthquakes here are harmless phenomena. They only know that the solid earth, to whose immovability they have always turned with confidence when everything else seemed transitory, uncertain, and deceptive, is trembling and in motion, and the tremor ceases long before their disturbed minds become tranquil.”
That’s the kind of thing that drives Columbia’s Heather Savage nuts.

New York, she says, is positively vivisected by faults. Most of them fall into two groups—those running northeast and those running northwest. Combined they create a brittle grid underlying much of Manhattan.

Across town, Charles Merguerian has been studying these faults the old‐fashioned way: by getting down and dirty underground. He’s spent the past forty years sloshing through some of the city’s muckiest places: basements and foundations, sewers and tunnels, sometimes as deep as 750 feet belowground. His tools down there consist primarily of a pair of muck boots, a bright blue hard hat, and a pickax. In public presentations, he claims he is also ably abetted by an assistant hamster named Hammie, who maintains his own website, which includes, among other things, photos of the rodent taking down Godzilla.

That’s just one example why, if you were going to cast a sitcom starring two geophysicists, you’d want Savage and Merguerian to play the leading roles. Merguerian is as eccentric and flamboyant as Savage is earnest and understated. In his press materials, the former promises to arrive at lectures “fully clothed.” Photos of his “lab” depict a dingy porta‐john in an abandoned subway tunnel. He actively maintains an archive of vintage Chinese fireworks labels at least as extensive as his list of publications, and his professional website includes a discography of blues tunes particularly suitable for earthquakes. He calls female science writers “sweetheart” and somehow manages to do so in a way that kind of makes them like it (although they remain nevertheless somewhat embarrassed to admit it).

It’s Merguerian’s boots‐on‐the‐ground approach that has provided much of the information we need to understand just what’s going on underneath Gotham. By his count, Merguerian has walked the entire island of Manhattan: every street, every alley. He’s been in most of the tunnels there, too. His favorite one by far is the newest water tunnel in western Queens. Over the course of 150 days, Merguerian mapped all five miles of it. And that mapping has done much to inform what we know about seismicity in New York.

Most importantly, he says, it provided the first definitive proof of just how many faults really lie below the surface there. And as the city continues to excavate its subterranean limits, Merguerian is committed to following closely behind. It’s a messy business.

Down below the city, Merguerian encounters muck of every flavor and variety. He power‐washes what he can and relies upon a diver’s halogen flashlight and a digital camera with a very, very good flash to make up the difference. And through this process, Merguerian has found thousands of faults, some of which were big enough to alter the course of the Bronx River after the last ice age.
His is a tricky kind of detective work. The center of a fault is primarily pulverized rock. For these New York faults, that gouge was the very first thing to be swept away by passing glaciers. To do his work, then, he’s primarily looking for what geologists call “offsets”—places where the types of rock don’t line up with one another. That kind of irregularity shows signs of movement over time—clear evidence of a fault.

Merguerian has found a lot of them underneath New York City.

These faults, he says, do a lot to explain the geological history of Manhattan and the surrounding area. They were created millions of years ago, when what is now the East Coast was the site of a violent subduction zone not unlike those present now in the Pacific’s Ring of Fire.

Each time that occurred, the land currently known as the Mid‐Atlantic underwent an accordion effect as it was violently folded into itself again and again. The process created immense mountains that have eroded over time and been further scoured by glaciers. What remains is a hodgepodge of geological conditions ranging from solid bedrock to glacial till to brittle rock still bearing the cracks of the collision. And, says Merguerian, any one of them could cause an earthquake.

You don’t have to follow him belowground to find these fractures. Even with all the development in our most built‐up metropolis, evidence of these faults can be found everywhere—from 42nd Street to Greenwich Village. But if you want the starkest example of all, hop the 1 train at Times Square and head uptown to Harlem. Not far from where the Columbia University bus collects people for the trip to the Lamont‐Doherty Earth Observatory, the subway tracks seem to pop out of the ground onto a trestle bridge before dropping back down to earth. That, however, is just an illusion. What actually happens there is that the ground drops out below the train at the site of one of New York’s largest faults. It’s known by geologists in the region as the Manhattanville or 125th Street Fault, and it runs all the way across the top of Central Park and, eventually, underneath Long Island City. Geologists have known about the fault since 1939, when the city undertook a massive subway mapping project, but it wasn’t until recently that they confirmed its potential for a significant quake.

In our lifetimes, a series of small earthquakes have been recorded on the Manhattanville Fault including, most recently, one on October 27, 2001. Its epicenter was located around 55th and 8th—directly beneath the original Original Soupman restaurant, owned by restaurateur Ali Yeganeh, the inspiration for Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi. That fact delighted sitcom fans across the country, though few Manhattanites were in any mood to appreciate it.

The October 2001 quake itself was small—about M 2.6—but the effect on residents there was significant. Just six weeks prior, the city had been rocked by the 9/11 terrorist attacks that brought down the World Trade Center towers. The team at Lamont‐Doherty has maintained a seismic network in the region since the ’70s. They registered the collapse of the first tower at M 2.1. Half an hour later, the second tower crumbled with even more force and registered M 2.3. In a city still shocked by that catastrophe, the early‐morning October quake—several times greater than the collapse of either tower—jolted millions of residents awake with both reminders of the tragedy and fear of yet another attack. 9‐1‐1 calls overwhelmed dispatchers and first responders with reports of shaking buildings and questions about safety in the city. For seismologists, though, that little quake was less about foreign threats to our soil and more about the possibility of larger tremors to come.

Remember: The Big Apple has experienced an M 5.0 quake about every hundred years. The last one was that 1884 event. And that, says Merguerian, means the city is overdue. Just how overdue?

“Gee whiz!” He laughs when I pose this question. “That’s the holy grail of seismicity, isn’t it?”

He says all we can do to answer that question is “take the pulse of what’s gone on in recorded history.” To really have an answer, we’d need to have about ten times as much data as we do today. But from what he’s seen, the faults below New York are very much alive.

“These guys are loaded,” he tells me.

He says he is also concerned about new studies of a previously unknown fault zone known as the Ramapo that runs not far from the city. Savage shares his concerns. They both think it’s capable of an M 6.0 quake or even higher—maybe even a 7.0. If and when, though, is really anybody’s guess.

“We literally have no idea what’s happening in our backyard,” says Savage.

What we do know is that these quakes have the potential to do more damage than similar ones out West, mostly because they are occurring on far harder rock capable of propagating waves much farther. And because these quakes occur in places with higher population densities, these eastern events can affect a lot more people. Take the 2011 Virginia quake: Although it was only a moderate one, more Americans felt it than any other one in our nation’s history.

That’s the thing about the East Coast: Its earthquake hazard may be lower than that of the West Coast, but the total effect of any given quake is much higher. Disaster specialists talk about this in terms of risk, and they make sense of it with an equation that multiplies the potential hazard of an event by the cost of damage and the number of people harmed. When you take all of those factors into account, the earthquake risk in New York is much greater than, say, that in Alaska or Hawaii or even a lot of the area around the San Andreas Fault.

Merguerian has been sounding the alarm about earthquake risk in the city since the ’90s. He admits he hasn’t gotten much of a response. He says that when he first proposed the idea of seismic risk in New York City, his fellow scientists “booed and threw vegetables” at him. He volunteered his services to the city’s Office of Emergency Management but says his original offer also fell on deaf ears.

“So I backed away gently and went back to academia.”

Today, he says, the city isn’t much more responsive, but he’s getting a much better response from his peers.

He’s glad for that, he says, but it’s not enough. If anything, the events of 9/11, along with the devastation caused in 2012 by Superstorm Sandy, should tell us just how bad it could be there.

He and Savage agree that what makes the risk most troubling is just how little we know about it. When it comes right down to it, intraplate faults are the least understood. Some scientists think they might be caused by mantle flow deep below the earth’s crust. Others think they might be related to gravitational energy. Still others think quakes occurring there might be caused by the force of the Atlantic ridge as it pushes outward. Then again, it could be because the land is springing back after being compressed thousands of years ago by glaciers (a phenomenon geologists refer to as seismic rebound).

“We just have no consciousness towards earthquakes in the eastern United States,” says Merguerian. “And that’s a big mistake.”

Adapted from Quakeland: On the Road to America’s Next Devastating Earthquake by Kathryn Miles, published by Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2017 by Kathryn Miles.

Iran and Pakistan Join Forces (Daniel 8:8)

Image result for rouhani and khanIran and Pakistan to form rapid reaction force at border: Rouhani

GENEVA (Reuters) – Iran and Pakistan will form a joint quick reaction force to combat militant activity on their shared border, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday during a televised news conference with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Khan arrived in Iran on Sunday to discuss security and regional issues, Iranian state TV reported, a day after Islamabad urged Tehran to act against militants behind killings in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province.

Relations between Iran and Pakistan have been strained in recent months, with both sides accusing each other of not doing enough to stamp out militants allegedly sheltering across the border.

“We agreed to increase the security cooperation of the two countries, our border forces, our intelligence forces,” Rouhani said during the conference, which was broadcast live on state TV. “And also to form a joint quick reaction force on the border of the two countries for fighting terrorism.”

Khan said that militant activity at the border could be a source of tension.

“The most important reason why I’m here, Mr. President, is because I felt that the issue of terrorism was going to … increase differences between our countries,” Khan said during the joint press conference. “So it was very important for me to come here and come with our security chief that we resolve this issue.”

A new umbrella group representing various insurgent groups operating in Baluchistan claimed responsibility for an attack on Thursday when 14 passengers were killed after being kidnapped from buses in the province, which borders Iran.

Khan later met Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who said “enemies” backed unrest in border areas.

“The terrorist groups that are the source of insecurity on the border receive money and weapons from enemies and one of the aims of the unrest … is to poison the two countries’ relations,” state media quoted Khamenei as saying.

Iran has accused regional rival Saudi Arabia of funding armed rebels. Saudi Arabia has denied any involvement.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Saturday the training and logistical camps of the new alliance that carried out the attack were based inside Iran and called on Iran to take action against the insurgents.

Shi’ite Muslim Iran says militant groups operate from safe havens in Pakistan and has repeatedly called on Islamabad to crack down on them.

Tehran has stepped up security along its long border with Pakistan after a suicide bomber killed 27 members of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards in mid-February in southeastern Iran, with Iranian officials saying the attackers were based inside Pakistan.

The Sunni group Jaish al Adl (Army of Justice), which says it seeks greater rights and better living conditions for the ethnic Baloch minority, claimed responsibility for that attack.

Separately, Rouhani said during the joint news conference that the Islamic Republic is ready to help with Pakistan’s oil and gas needs.

Reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh, editing by Louise Heavens

We are on a Path to War with Iran

The Path to War with Iran Is Paved With Sanctions

Trump officials will cherry-pick information, package it, and amplify it across a willing echo chamber—exactly as the Bush administration did in the lead up to the Iraq war

Joseph Cirincione

The Trump administration is laying siege to Iran. Taking pages from the Iraq War playbook, senior officials paint a picture of a rogue, outlaw, terrorist regime bent on acquiring nuclear weapons and whose “malign activities” are the cause of all the chaos in the Middle East. They know what they are doing. They have done it before. They are building a case for war.

The “maximum pressure” campaign by the White House, Treasury Department, and State Department accelerated this week with the announcement that the United States would force China, India, Japan, South Korea, and Turkey to cease all imports of Iranian oil or face severe U.S. sanctions. The goal is to cut to zero all of Iran’s oil exports, which account for some 40 percent of its national income. This strategy is unlikely to force the capitulation or collapse of the regime, but it very likely could lead to war.

The United States has already reimposed all the nuclear-related sanctions lifted by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that successfully rolled back and effectively froze Iran’s nuclear program and put it under the most stringent inspections ever negotiated. The goals of the sanctions announced April 22, however, go way beyond nuclear issues.

“We have made our demands very clear to the ayatollah and his cronies,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in remarks to the press Monday morning. “End your pursuit of nuclear weapons. Stop testing and proliferating ballistic missiles. Stop sponsoring and committing terrorism. Halt the arbitrary detention of U.S. citizens.”

All are worthy policy goals. The first, of course, has been met. The National Intelligence Estimate on Iran concluded that Iran ended its nuclear weapons program in 2003. There is no evidence that the program has restarted. Instead, in true Trumpian fashion, the administration simply asserts the counterfactual. It claims that the program has restarted, with slippery phrases about seeking weapons or  references to long-ended activities. The media, overloaded with the Mueller report and a daily cascade of lies, does not challenge these claims.

The Role of Bolton

It is no accident that National Security Advisor John Bolton, the man who declared unequivocally in November 2002, “We are confident that Saddam Hussein has hidden weapons of mass destruction and production facilities in Iraq,” is now the chief strategist behind the drive towards war—with Mike Pompeo happily riding shotgun.

Both are manipulating a distracted and largely uninformed president into a confrontation he may not actually want. Although Trump came into office promising to cancel the JCPOA painstakingly negotiated by the Obama administration and our allies, he was initially held in check by the united front of his military, intelligence, and diplomatic advisors.

Then, Trump ousted Rex Tillerson and replaced him with Mike Pompeo. He fired H.R. McMaster and appointed John Bolton. He accepted the resignation of Jim Mattis as secretary of defense and replaced him with a former Boeing executive more interested in contracts than policy. Bolton has had a clear field ever since. With minimal or no inter-agency discussion, Bolton quickly dispensed with the Iran accord, but he did not stop there.

  1. By Christmas 2018, Bolton had dismantled what remained of U.S.-Iran relations. The United States reinstated all sanctions on Iran that were previously lifted by the Iran accord, and the State Department pulled out of the 1955 Treaty of Amity between the United States and Iran, which provided a “legal framework for bilateral relations.” As a result, Iran’s currency hit a historic low and the country witnessed waves of economic protests. Bolton used his national platform to publicly send bellicose warnings to the regime with statements like, “If you cross us, our allies, or our partners…there will indeed be hell to pay.”

The Terrorism “Connection”

The “maximum pressure” campaign escalated in 2019. When terrorists attacked the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)—an official branch of Iran’s military—killing 27 and wounding 13, the State Department offered no condolences. When widespread flooding devastated Iranian cities and infrastructure, claiming 60 lives in one week, the United States faulted the regime for the “mismanagement that has led to this disaster.”

The campaign hit a crescendo on April 8, 2019—exactly one year to the day after Bolton’s appointment—with the unprecedented move of designating the IRGC a “Foreign Terrorist Organization.” It now appears alongside the Islamic State, al-Qaeda, and Boko Haram on this list. That day Pompeo delivered a statement to the press and public in which the words “terror,” “terrorism,” and “terrorist” appeared 21 times.

This designation brings at least the IRGC and perhaps the entire nation within arm’s reach of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, legislation originally written to provide a legal basis for the invasion of Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11. The 2001 AUMF gives the president wide scope for the unilateral use of force against any parties or individuals associated with the 9/11 attacks, a point not lost on Pompeo.

For over a year, the Trump administration, and Pompeo in particular, has been exaggerating the connection between Iran and al-Qaeda to claim legal justification for military action against Iran under the 2001 AUMF. In 2017, the CIA released additional records from the bin Laden files, ostensibly “to enhance public understanding of al-Qaeda.” Wrote former CIA analyst Ned Price:

But this release by Pompeo wasn’t about transparency. Pompeo is playing politics with intelligence, using these files in a ploy to bolster the case against Iran by reinvigorating the debate on its terrorist ties. While the politicization of intelligence is more than sufficient cause for concern, the fact that he appears to be returning to the Bush administration’s pre-Iraq war playbook underscores the danger. This effort reeks of former vice president Dick Cheney’s consistent false allegations of links between Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and the 9/11 attacks, a nexus the Bush administration debunked only after we had lost too much in blood and treasure.

Bolton, Pompeo, and their allies in and out of government continued to hype the Iran-al-Qaeda link. In May 2018, announcing the U.S. abrogation of the nuclear agreement, Trump made a point of saying that “Iran supports terrorist proxies and militias such as…al-Qaeda.” In a speech at the Heritage Foundation later that month, Pompeo said: “Today we ask the Iranian people: Is this what you want your country to be known for, for being a co-conspirator with Hezbollah, Hamas, the Taliban, and al-Qaeda?”

Experts have disparaged the administration’s claims, noting the longstanding hostility between Iran, a Shia-majority nation, and the radical Sunni group. A definitive New America study published in late 2018 found no evidence that Iran and al-Qaeda collaborated in carrying out terrorist attacks. That hasn’t stopped the administration from continuing the insinuations.

In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Pompeo went out of his way to construct explicit connections between al-Qaeda and the IRGC with multiple statements like: “there is no doubt there is a connection between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Al-Qaeda. Period, full stop.”

Invoking the AUMF

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) zeroed in to the subtext of Pompeo’s repetitive al-Qaeda-Iran connections. If the administration determines a valid link between al-Qaeda and the Iranian government, it may be able to declare war on Iran by using the 2001 AUMF, bypassing Congress entirely. So, Senator Paul pressed Pompeo on that point, asking him if he believes that the 2001 AUMF applies to Iran or Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. Pompeo dodged the question: “I would prefer to leave that to the lawyers, Senator.” Neither Bolton nor Pompeo has yet provided a clear answer.

The administration’s plan is clear: keep beating the twin drums of terrorism and nuclear threat. Bolton and Pompeo will use both to justify more sanctions and more provocations. They have a highly disciplined, coordinated messaging strategy. They establish the following false claim, as Bolton did this January in a conversation with Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel: “Despite getting out of the Iran nuclear deal, despite the sanctions, we have little doubt that Iran’s leadership is still strategically committed to achieving deliverable nuclear weapons.” The claims are then echoed, as this one was in a Twitter video a few weeks later. And again by U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook, in a New York Times op-ed, demanding that Iran “behave like a normal, peaceful nation: end the pursuit of nuclear weapons, stop testing ballistic missiles, stop sponsoring terrorist proxies.” And again this week by Pompeo, in announcing the oil sanctions, when he demanded that Iran “end [its] pursuit of nuclear weapons.”

It does not matter that U.S. intelligence assessments—as well as Israeli intelligence and the International Atomic Energy Agency—confirm that Iran is complying with the JCPOA. Or that Saudi Arabia has likely funded al-Qaeda and other Sunni terrorist groups. Or that the US invasion of Iraq is the principle cause of Middle East chaos today. Trump officials will cherry-pick information, package it, and amplify it across a willing echo chamber—exactly as the Bush administration did in the lead up to the Iraq war.

The real question is whether America will fall for it again.

New York Subways at the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6)

How vulnerable are NYC’s underwater subway tunnels to flooding?

Ashley Fetters

New York City is full of peculiar phenomena—rickety fire escapes; 100-year-old subway tunnelsair conditioners propped perilously into window frames—that can strike fear into the heart of even the toughest city denizen. But should they? Every month, writer Ashley Fetters will be exploring—and debunking—these New York-specific fears, letting you know what you should actually worry about, and what anxieties you can simply let slip away.

The 25-minute subway commute from Crown Heights to the Financial District on the 2/3 line is, in my experience, a surprisingly peaceful start to the workday—save for one 3,100-foot stretch between the Clark Street and Wall Street stations, where for three minutes I sit wondering what the probability is that I will soon die a torturous, claustrophobic drowning death right here in this subway car.

The Clark Street Tunnel, opened in 1916, is one of approximately a dozen tunnels that escort MTA passengers from one borough to the next underwater—and just about all of them, with the exception of the 1989 addition of the 63rd Street F train tunnel, were constructed between 1900 and 1936.

Each day, thousands of New Yorkers venture across the East River and back again through these tubes buried deep in the riverbed, some of which are nearing or even past their 100th birthdays. Are they wrong to ponder their own mortality while picturing one of these watery catacombs suddenly springing a leak?

Mostly yes, they are, says Michael Horodniceanu, the former president of MTA Capital Construction and current principal of Urban Advisory Group. First, it’s important to remember that the subway tunnel is built under the riverbed, not just in the river—so what immediately surrounds the tunnel isn’t water but some 25 feet of soil. “There’s a lot of dirt on top of it,” Horodniceanu says. “It’s well into the bed of the bottom of the channel.”

And second, as Angus Kress Gillespie, author of Crossing Under the Hudson: The Story of the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels, points out, New York’s underwater subway tunnels are designed to withstand some leaking. And withstand it they do: Pumps placed below the floor of the tunnel, he says, are always running, always diverting water seepage into the sewers. (Horodniceanu says the amount of water these pumps divert into the sewer system each day numbers in the thousands of gallons.)

Additionally, MTA crews routinely repair the grouting and caulking, and often inject a substance into the walls that creates a waterproof membrane outside the tunnel—which keeps water out of the tunnel and relieves any water pressure acting on its walls. New tunnels, Horodniceanu points out, are even built with an outside waterproofing membrane that works like an umbrella: Water goes around it, it falls to the sides, and then it gets channeled into a pumping station and pumped out.

Of course, the classic New York nightmare scenario isn’t just a cute little trickle finding its way in. The anxiety daydream usually involves something sinister, or seismic. The good news, however, is that while an earthquake or explosion would indeed be bad for many reasons, it likely wouldn’t result in the frantic flooding horror scene that plays out in some commuters’ imaginations.

The Montague Tube, which sustained severe damage during Hurricane Sandy.

MTA New York City Transit / Marc A. Hermann

Horodniceanu assures me that tunnels built more recently are “built to withstand a seismic event.” The older tunnels, however—like, um, the Clark Street Tunnel—“were not seismically retrofitted, let me put it that way,” Horodniceanu says. “But the way they were built is in such a way that I do not believe an earthquake would affect them.” They aren’t deep enough in the ground, anyway, he says, to be too intensely affected by a seismic event. (The MTA did not respond to a request for comment.)

One of the only real threats to tunnel infrastructure, Horodniceanu adds, is extreme weather. Hurricane Sandy, for example, caused flooding in the tunnels, which “created problems with the infrastructure.” He continues, “The tunnels have to be rebuilt as a result of saltwater corroding the infrastructure.”

Still, he points out, hurricanes don’t exactly happen with no warning. So while Hurricane Sandy did cause major trauma to the tunnels, train traffic could be stopped with ample time to keep passengers out of harm’s way. In 2012, Governor Andrew Cuomo directed all the MTA’s mass transit services to shut down at 7 p.m. the night before Hurricane Sandy was expected to hit New York City.

And Gillespie, for his part, doubts even an explosion would result in sudden, dangerous flooding. A subway tunnel is not a closed system, he points out; it’s like a pipe that’s open at both ends. “The force of a blast would go forwards and backwards out the exit,” he says.

So the subway-train version of that terrifying Holland Tunnel flood scene in Sylvester Stallone’s Daylight is … unrealistic, right?

“Yeah,” Gillespie laughs. “Yeah. It is.”

Got a weird New York anxiety that you want explored? E-mail tips@curbed.com, and we may include it in a future column.

Latest Trump Administration Move on Iran WILL Backfire

Image result for trump iranExperts Warn Latest Trump Administration Move on Iran Could Backfire

President Donald Trump’s decision Monday to end six-month waivers from U.S. sanctions for five countries that have continued buying Iranian oil — the latest turn of the screw in his Administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran — was met with predictable outrage from Tehran.

But some U.S. State Department, Defense and intelligence officials and outside experts warn that the move could backfire by causing ripple effects in countries like China, Turkey and Iraq.

In response to the sanctions, Greece, Italy and, Taiwan had stopped buying Iranian oil, but China, India, Japan, South Korea, and Turkey have continued to import Iranian oil. The economic pressure has reduced Iranian oil exports from more than 2.5 million barrels a day to less than 1 million, discouraged foreign investment, and sent the value of Iran’s currency plummeting and inflation soaring.

Announcing the move in a press briefing, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the decision to end the waivers was “dramatically escalating our pressure campaign in a calibrated way that meets our national security objectives while maintaining well-supplied global oil markets”.

The Administration’s objective, Pompeo said, include prompt Iran to renegotiate the international agreement halting its pursuit of nuclear weapons, halt its ballistic missile tests, and end its support for terrorist groups, which U.S. officials say include Lebanon’s Hezbollah, the Palestinian Hamas, Houthi militias in Yemen, and authoritarian regimes in Syria and Venezuela.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the move, and Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said his country and others would ensure that “the global oil market does not go out of balance.”

Some U.S. and foreign officials and outside experts, however, argue that the escalating attack on Iran’s economy is unlikely to prompt Iran to halt its support for terrorist organizations; force the country’s clerical rulers to renegotiate the deal halting their efforts to develop nuclear weapons; weaken its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its elite Quds Force; or turn everyday Iranians against the Islamic regime.

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there,” says Aaron David Miller, a Mideast expert and vice president at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington. “And what is the Trump Administration strategy toward Iran? Even if it’s regime change or forcing Iran to retrench in the region, this recent move will accomplish neither goal. It might ultimately goad Iran to give the Administration a pretext for military action. But how would this change the balance to America’s advantage?”

Instead, said two U.S. officials who spoke only to the condition of anonymity to criticize the Administration’s Iran policy, the Administration has not given much thought to the likely effects of its Iran policy on oil markets or on the nations, especially China, India, Turkey and Iraq, that now will be sanctioned if they continue to import oil from Iran.

“The Administration has launched a fairly significant initiative without doing the necessary groundwork with the countries that will be most affected,” Suzanne Maloney, an Iran expert at Washington’s Brookings Institution, tells TIME.

Iraq, which remains unstable, host to some remnants of ISIS, and divided on ethnic and religious lines 16 years after the U.S. invasion, is especially vulnerable because imports of Iranian natural gas and electricity are critical to its economy, she says.

Worse, says Maloney, the Administration had signaled since November that the exemptions for buying Iranian oil cut would be made gradually until it abruptly announced they will end on May 2.

Nor, says Maloney, does the Administration appear to have given much thought to how Iran might respond to the latest turn of the screw, which she says are likely to include efforts to disrupt global oil markets when demand reaches its peak this summer.

In a tweet, President Trump said: “Saudi Arabia and others in OPEC will more than make up the Oil Flow difference in our now Full Sanctions on Iranian oil.”

The two U.S. intelligence officials on Monday dismissed Iran’s threats to close the Strait of Hormuz, but said Tehran could retaliate by disrupting Iraqi oil exports or launching cyberattacks on oil and gas production and export facilities in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, or even U.S. or European oil companies, which could send oil prices upward during the vacation season in the U.S. and Western Europe.

The officials said the 2012 Shamoon virus attacks on Qatar’s RasGas and on the Saudi oil company Aramco — an attack then Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta called “probably the most destructive attack that the private sector has seen to date” — were traced to Iran.

Oil prices rose about 3 percent at midday on Monday, but remained far below their October high of $86 a barrel for the benchmark Brent crude.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

The Antichrist Controls Iraq’s Army

Western Iran is in its third week of grievous flooding. Coming to the aide, across the Iraqi border, are terrorists turned Iraqi troops, turned Rec Crescent aide workers. They answer not to the elected government in Baghdad, but to Iran’s ayatollah.

A convoy of 50 vehicles carrying Iraqi Nujaba and Shaabi pmu militia groups entered Iran, marking the first time Iraqi forces have entered Iran since the Iraqi invasion in 1980 ordered by Saddam Hussein. Afghan and Lebanese Shiite militias also joined the relief efforts.

Beginning three weeks ago, Iran’s “Army Ground Force, the irgc [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] and Basij have deployed forces, heavy military machinery, aircraft and boats to the disaster zones,” reported irgc-controlled Tasnim News Agency. On April 12, Iran’s ambassador to Iraq, Iraj Masjedi, confirmed that hundreds of Popular Mobilization Units (pmu) militiamen joined Iranian forces in providing aide. The pmu is an Iraqi, state-sponsored, majority-Shiite, umbrella organization composed of about 40 militia groups. Its original purpose was to combat the emergence of the Islamic State. Now, the organization has become equivalent in power to the actual Iraqi military.

It appears these Iraqi militias responded at the request of Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, commander of the irgc Quds Force. Suleimani, who reports directly to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has been Iran’s instrument in bringing Iraq under Iran’s control. He usually oversees all irgc operations outside the country, but on April 5, the irgc announced that he will be overseeing the relief efforts for the next month.

However, these Shiite fighters from Iraq acted without permission from the Iraqi government. In fact, the government didn’t even know these forces were leaving the country. That is because Iran controls much of the pmu, even though it is now part of the Iraqi military.

Some Iraqi leaders were upset that the Iraqi soldiers were helping in Iran, while Iraq itself suffers from the same flooding. “Since there are those who have provided relief to affected areas in Iran, it is our duty to intensify our efforts to provide relief to our people in Iraq,” Sadrist Movement leader Muqtada al-Sadr said on Twitter, adding that “Iraqis come first.”

How did this takeover happen?

In his free booklet The King of South, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry writes:

The U.S.’s removal of Saddam Hussein in 2003 opened the way for Iran to heavily infiltrate Iraq, providing armaments, financing and training to Shiite militias [pmu], sending thousands of operatives into the country and establishing economic ties with it. Moreover, the most powerful political party in Iraq is allied with Tehran. This could be a decisive factor in causing Iraq to fall under Iran’s control.

Again, this happened in 2014 when the Islamic State suddenly emerged from the shadows and began controlling entire cities and banks. Iran sent many of its highly trained officers into Iraq to train these various Shiite militias that were completely separate from the Iraqi government.

Hirsh Goodman, former vice president of the Jerusalem Post, writes in The Anatomy of Israel’s Survival: “The soldiers themselves may not be Iranian, though Iranian advisers were always there to help. Still, many of the men and all of the senior commanders of these units have been trained in Iran.”

Many of these Iraqi Shiite militias were backed by Iran, or even led by Suleimani himself, during Iraq’s war against the Islamic State. Since the Islamic State has largely been defeated, many of these pmu militiamen have either joined with the Iraqi military or became politicians and helped form the Fatah Alliance in 2018, the second largest political wing in Iraq’s parliament, which is also heavily controlled by Iran. Because of this history, these same militias retain their loyalty to Iran because in their eyes, if it wasn’t for Iran’s support, Iraq would have been conquered by the Islamic State. Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, head of the Shaabi pmu militia, which responded to Suleimani’s request, said that “the Iraqi people will never forget Iran’s support during their fight against Daesh [the Islamic State] and will side with the flood-affected people till the situation is normalized.”

Iran has hundreds of thousands of military personnel, so why invite foreign paramilitary groups and alleged terrorists to help? Reports indicate that the terrorist militias are not there simply to provide aide, but also to help deter rebellion.

Iran not only has significant control of parts of Iraq’s military and politics, but it also has considerable control of its various terrorist proxies throughout the region.

“Modern Islamic movements don’t believe in schools of jurisprudence,” stated Hassan al Turabi, a radical jihadist nicknamed “the Islamic Pope,” in 1994. “[T]hey don’t define themselves as Shia, or Sunni, or of this Sufi order of that Sufi order.” In other words, they are simply classified as radical Islamic terrorists. Though the U.S. does not officially recognize the pmu as a terrorist organization, many know Iran is heavily involved in it. Michael Ledeen writes in The Iranian Time Bomb, “Iran says it wants stability in Iraq, but it isn’t so; the mullahcracy supports the terrorists.”

Iran virtually controls Iraq and several regional proxies. Mr. Flurry declared that Iran is “the king over radical Islam.” In The King of the South, he continues: “Since the early 1990s, we have believed and taught that Iran would lead the radical Islamist world and be the king of the south. Today, Iran is ‘king’ in the Middle East.”

How could the Trumpet know this nearly three decades ago? It is because our forecast is based on Bible prophecy. Daniel 11 foretold of a mighty “king of the south” that would rise up in the last days before the return of Christ and “push” its power, influence and terror throughout the Middle East and eventually against Europe. Iran’s control of radical terrorist organizations and its position as the number one state-sponsor of terrorism is a key aspect of that “push.”

For proof that radical Islam, led by Iran, is this prophesied “king of the south,” request your free copy of The King of the South.

Trump Intent on Pushing Iran Into War (Revelation 6:6)

Trump administration announces all countries importing Iranian oil will be subject to US sanctions

By Devan Cole and Kylie Atwood, CNN

Updated 11:44 AM EDT, Mon April 22, 2019

Washington (CNN) The Trump administration announced Monday that all countries that continue to import Iranian oil will be subject to US sanctions.

In a statement, the White House said President Donald Trump „has decided not to reissue“ waivers regarding sanctions against countries importing Iranian oil when the waivers expire „in early May.“ The exact deadline is May 2.

This decision is intended to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue,“ the statement from White House press secretary Sarah Sanders read.

The development was first reported by The Washington Post.

Speaking Monday at a press conference, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said „the goal remains simple: to deprive the outlaw regime of the funds it had used to destabilize the Middle East for four decades and incentivize Iran to behave like a normal country.“

Noting that oil is „the regime’s No. 1 source of cash,“ Pompeo said that prior to the implementation of US sanctions, Iran was generating „as much as $50 billion annually,“ from oil exports, but that the department estimates the sanctions have „denied the regime well north of $10 million.“

„How long we remain there — at zero — depends solely on the Islamic Republic (of) Iran’s senior leaders,“ he added.

„We have made our demands very clear to the ayatollah and his cronies: end your pursuit of nuclear weapons, stop testing and proliferating ballistic missiles, stop sponsoring and committing terrorism, halt the arbitrary detention of US citizens. Our pressure is aimed at ending these and others and it will continue to accelerate until Iran is willing to address them at the negotiating table,“ Pompeo said.

Countries that continue to import Iranian oil in large amounts include India, China, South Korea, Japan and Turkey. Ahead of today’s announcement South Korean officials told CNN that they had struggled with the US demand because their oil refineries are specifically setup to process crude oil from Iran.

Pompeo also said Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to „ensure an appropriate supply (of oil) for the markets“ in order to make up for the loss of Iranian oil in the global market.

„I can confirm that each of those suppliers are working directly with Iran’s former customers to make the transition away from Iranian crude less disruptive,“ he said.

After the announcement from the US, Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister Khalid al-Falih said the country will coordinate with other oil producers „to ensure the availability of enough oil supplies for consumers and to ensure global oil markets are not knocked off balance.“

The US will also aid the dearth in supply, Pompeo said. The US produced 1.6 million more barrels of oil in 2018 than in 2017, and is on track to increase production in 2019 as well.

But given the ongoing crises in both Venezuela and Libya, which are two major oil supplying countries, there are fears that the US decision will make the oil market more unstable

When asked about the spike in oil process on Monday — as Brent crude prices surged more than 3% to the highest price seen all year — and if the US expects that spike to level out, the State Department would not give a direct answer.

Francis Fannon, the Assistant Secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Energy Resources, explained that „it is hard to conflate“ the Trump administration’s announcement with other factors such as OPEC planning to curtail production. „There’s lots of reasons in terms of what effects oil markets.“

The announcement comes nearly one year after Trump announced the US was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been the most vocal proponent of Trump’s actions against Iran, praised the move Monday.

„The decision of President Trump and the American administration is of great importance to increase the pressure on the terror regime of Iran,“ Netanyahu said in a statement. „We stand by the determination of the United States against the Iranian aggression and this is the right way to stop it.“

Not everyone is in full support of the Trump administration’s muscular posture towards Iran and some worry that the administration is trying to incite a revolution to overthrow the Iranian regime.

On Monday Pompeo said that the US has „not supported any outside group“ — such as the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, known as the MEK. The Trump administration is supporting the Iranian people, he added.

However, last week Pompeo did not issue a firm denial when he was asked if the Trump administration was seeking a military confrontation with Iran, within the contours of the Authorization to Use Military Force legislation. Instead, he left the door slightly ajar.

„The United States and President Trump will act lawfully. He’ll act within his authorities,“ Pompeo said. „Article 2 gives broad powers, the AUMF gives a set of broad powers, but they are — we understand them.“

CNN’s Betsy Klein, Oren Liebermann and Sarah El Sirgany contributed to this report.

Pakistan and Iran Join Nuclear Horns (Daniel 8:8)

Pak PM visits Iran to discuss security, regional issues

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived in Iran on Sunday to discuss security and regional issues, Iranian state TV reported, a day after Islamabad urged Tehran to act against militants behind killings in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province. A new umbrella group representing various insurgent groups operating in Baluchistan claimed responsibility for an attack on Thursday when 14 passengers were killed after being kidnapped from buses in the province, which borders Iran.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Saturday the training and logistical camps of the new alliance that carried out the attack were inside Iran and called for Iran to take action against the insurgents. Iranian TV said that Khan began his two-day visit to Iran, the first since he took office last August, with a stop in the northeastern holy Shi’ite city of Mashhad.

Khan will meet Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani, as well as other officials, in Tehran on Monday. „During the meetings, improving bilateral ties, border security, countering terrorism and regional issues will be discussed,“ state TV said.

Relations between Iran and Pakistan have been strained in recent months, with both sides accusing each other of not doing enough to stamp out militants allegedly sheltering across the border. Shi’ite Muslim Iran says militant groups operate from safe havens in Pakistan and has repeatedly called on Islamabad to crack down on them.

Tehran has stepped up security along its long border with Pakistan after a suicide bomber killed 27 members of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards in mid-February in southeastern Iran, with Iranian officials saying the attackers were based inside Pakistan. The Sunni group Jaish al Adl (Army of Justice), which says it seeks greater rights and better living conditions for the ethnic Baloch minority, claimed responsibility for that attack.

India Prepares to Nuke Pakistan (Revelation 8)

India’s prime minister, currently on a campaign trail for re-election, is talking up nuclear war with neighboring Pakistan again. | Source: Shutterstock

India PM Outrageously Warns Pakistan of Nuclear War after Shocking Sri Lanka Attacks

Ben Brown

By CCN.com: India’s prime minister Narendra Modi doubled down on the nuclear threat against Pakistan this weekend. Speaking on the campaign trail for re-election, he told a packed crowd:

“India has stopped the policy of getting scared by Pakistan’s threats. Every day, [Pakistan] would make claims about having nuclear weapons. Even the media would bring out reports about Pakistan having nuclear weapons. So what do we have? Are we saving them (nuclear weapons) for Diwali?”

“Are We Saving Nukes For Diwali?”

Referring to India’s festival of lights, Diwali, Modi boasted that India’s 140 nuclear warheads are not just for a fireworks show. The comments come less than a week after Modi threatened Pakistan with the “mother of nuclear bombs.”

The incumbent prime minister is ramping up the nuclear threat during a tense election battle in India. Modi’s strong military rhetoric is seen by many as a bid to attract voters. Terrorism and India’s clashes with Pakistan have dominated headlines in the election run-up, and Modi is capitalizing on the fears.

290 Killed in Terrorist Attack in Neighboring Sri Lanka

On the same day, Modi mourned the “bloody game” played by terrorists in neighboring Sri Lanka, where at least 290 were slaughtered in vicious suicide attacks. Modi proclaimed himself the only candidate that could eliminate terrorism from the region.

“In our neighboring Sri Lanka, terrorists have played a bloody game. They killed innocent people… Can you think of any name other than ‘Modi’ who can eliminate terrorism?”

Many on social media have criticized Modi for using terrorist activity and nuclear threats as a ploy to galvanize Indian voters.

Growing Tensions With Pakistan and Terrorism

Tensions have flared between India and Pakistan in recent months after terrorists killed at least 40 Indians in February. Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) claimed responsibility for the attack.

Modi responded by launching airstrikes over the border aimed at Pakistani terrorist camps. A tense arms race has since broken out with military aggression from both sides.

In the most recent exchange, Modi told Pakistan:

“We have the mother of nuclear bombs. I decided to tell [Pakistan], do whatever you want to do but we will retaliate… It is now Pakistan’s turn to weep.”

How Real is India’s Nuclear Threat?

India has up to 140 nuclear warheads according to estimates by the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists:

“India is estimated to have produced enough military plutonium for 150 to 200 nuclear warheads, but has likely produced only 130 to 140.”

India’s is also in the process of updating its nuclear arsenal with a view to launching them via air, sea, and land.

“India continues to modernize its nuclear arsenal, with at least five new weapon systems now under development to complement or replace existing nuclear-capable aircraft, land-based delivery systems, and sea-based systems.”

For now, it remains unclear whether Modi’s nuclear threats against Pakistan are genuine or just empty election rhetoric.

Modi Threatens Pakistan with Nukes

File photo of PM Narendra Modi. (Image: PTI)

In a Warning to Pakistan, PM Modi Says ‚Our Nuclear Button Not Only for Diwali‘

Modi said the then Congress government signed Shimla agreement (in 1972) ‚under global pressure‘ and released over 90,000 prisoners of war (PoW) instead of resolving the Kashmir dispute ‚in lieu of the PoW.‘

PTI

Updated: April 21, 2019, 9:52 PM IST

Barmer: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said India missed a „golden opportunity“ during 1971 war to resolve Kashmir dispute by releasing hundreds of Pakistani troops from the Indian Army’s custody „under global pressure“.

Modi made the observation at an election rally here and said the then Congress government signed Shimla agreement (in 1972) „under global pressure“ and released over 90,000 prisoners of war (PoW) instead of resolving the Kashmir dispute „in lieu of the PoW.“

„Pak troops were in our custody. A big area of Pakistan was also captured by Indian forces during the 1971 war but the Congress government lost it on the table in Shimla agreement and they were released,“ he said.

„The government crumbled under the global pressure, signed the Shimla agreement and the matter was closed. The PoWs and the captured land were released. That was a golden opportunity to resolve the Kashmir dispute in lieu of the PoW,“ he said.

The prime minister said it was a trump card in the government’s hand but the chance was lost and the entire country is facing its repercussions today.

Modi said it was the reason why the Congress leaders do not want nationalism to be an issue.

The prime minister made the statement in the wake of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot highlighting in his recent election rallies the creation of Bangladesh by Indian armed forces after division of Pakistan during the rule of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1971.

He also said India is no more afraid of nuclear threats of Pakistan.

„Otherwise, Pakistan used to give nuclear threats. What do we have? Have we kept it for ‚Diwali‘? (Warna aay din nuclear button hai, ye kehte the. Hamare paas kya hai? Ye diwali ke liye rakha hai kya), Modi asserted.

In an apparent reference to India’s surgical strikes across the Line of Control in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in September 2016 and its air strikes at a terror facility in Balakot in February this year, the Prime Minister said Indian forces killed terrorists across the border without engaging in a war.

„This is called a strong government. We have created fear among terrorist,“ the PM said.

Modi said his government trampled Pakistan’s ego and „forced it to roam around the world with a begging bowl.“

„Hamne Pakistan ki sari hekdi nikal di. Use katora leke dunia me ghumne ko maine majboor kar diya hai,“ he said.

The prime minister said the people are happy and think the Modi government has done the right thing but it is not the case with the Congress leaders and its alliance partners, who think otherwise.

He said his government fulfilled the long-pending demands since Congress rule like One Rank, One Pension for the forces and the National War Memorial in Delhi.

„There was a long-pending demand for a war memorial but the Congress built memorial for their family. They built ‚Samadhi‘ for their family but did not build the war memorial in the memory of jawans who sacrificed their lives for the country, he said.

Referring to Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s alleged statement that „those who are hungry and do not get two-time meals get into Army,“ Modi said it was an insult of jawans and their family members.

Targeting the previous Congress government in the Centre over alleged recurrence of scams in defence sector during their tenure and the lack of modern equipments and weapons for the forces, Modi said, Therefore they (Congress) do not want to talk about the national security.

The PM said there was no progress in the Rafale deal during the Congress rule and despite the MIG planes crashing repeatedly, they did nothing to acquire new fighter jets.

Referring to the issue of Pak refugees in India, Modi said as the Hindus who are in minority in Pakistan faced discrimination there, the government of India made efforts to get Citizenship Amendment bill passed to help them.

„This chowkidaar has also made efforts to get the citizenship amendment law passed for those having the faith in the country (Maa Bharati). The people of this country who chose to live in Pakistan at the time of partition …. started facing atrocities because their faith was different, he said.

The PM said efforts will be made to complete the long-pending work after the government formation on May 23.

Modi said the polls are „very important“ also for those who are going to vote for the first time.

„I appreciate your dreams and am ready to sacrifice my dreams for yours, he added.

Babylon the Great Rejects Nuclear Reason

Sergei Fedyunin / TASS

U.S. Ignored Russia’s Nuclear War Prevention Pact – Reports

The Moscow TimesApril 19, 2019

Russia sent the United States a draft joint declaration on how to prevent nuclear war, only to never hear back from Washington, the Kommersant business daily reported on Friday.

The U.S. and Russia are suspending the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty this summer. The only U.S.-Russia arms control pact limiting deployed nuclear weapons — the New START — expires in February 2021.

“Nuclear war cannot be won and it must never be unleashed,” Kommersant quoted Russia’s draft joint declaration, which was sent to the U.S. in October 2018, as stating.

Similar declarations have been adopted between the U.S. and the Soviet Union in the early 1970s. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reportedly suggested a revival of the nuclear war avoidance pact ahead of U.S. national security adviser John Bolton’s visit to Russia in October 2018.

Andrea Kalan, spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, told the publication that Washington adheres to arms control systems with partners “that honor their commitments responsibly.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov accused the U.S. of routinely ignoring Russia’s inroads on Friday.

Russia’s proposals to the U.S. included “strategic security and stability, cooperation in the fight against cybercrime, and so on,” Peskov said.

“All these Russian initiatives and proposals were in effect left unanswered,” he was quoted as saying to reporters by Kommersant.