Khamanei: Iran Has Nuclear "Rights"

Iran’s supreme leader says will not step back from its nuclear rights

(Reuters) – Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday Tehran would not take one step back „one iota“ from its nuclear rights, on the day Iran begins a new round of talks with world powers on its disputed nuclear program.
He said he would not intervene directly in the talks in Geneva, though he had set „red lines“ for his negotiators.
He also said French officials were „not only succumbing to the United States, but they are kneeling before the Israeli regime“ and said Iran would „slap aggressors in the face in such a way they will never forget it“ without mentioning any specific country.
(Reporting by Marcus George; Writing by Jon Hemming; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

New York Is The Sixth Seal

Earthquakes May Endanger New York More Than Thought, Says Study

Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant Seen As Particular Risk

New York City and a few other parts of the eastern United States stand out on US Geological Survey seismic hazard

New York City and a few other parts of the eastern United States stand out on US Geological Survey seismic hazard maps

Courtesy USGS Earthquake Hazards Program

A study by a group of prominent seismologists suggests that a pattern of subtle but active faults makes the risk of earthquakes to the New York City area substantially greater than formerly believed. Among other things, they say that the controversial Indian Point nuclear power plants, 24 miles north of the city, sit astride the previously unidentified intersection of two active seismic zones. The paper appears in the current issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.
Many faults and a few mostly modest quakes have long been known around New York City, but the research casts them in a new light. The scientists say the insight comes from sophisticated analysis of past quakes, plus 34 years of new data on tremors, most of them perceptible only by modern seismic instruments. The evidence charts unseen but potentially powerful structures whose layout and dynamics are only now coming clearer, say the scientists. All are based at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, which runs the network of seismometers that monitors most of the northeastern United States.
Lead author Lynn R. Sykes said the data show that large quakes are infrequent around New York compared to more active areas like California and Japan, but that the risk is high, because of the overwhelming concentration of people and infrastructure. “The research raises the perception both of how common these events are, and, specifically, where they may occur,” he said. “It’s an extremely populated area with very large assets.”  Sykes, who has studied the region for four decades, is known for his early role in establishing the global theory of plate tectonics.
The authors compiled a catalog of all 383 known earthquakes from 1677 to 2007 in a 15,000-square-mile area around New York City. Coauthor John Armbruster estimated sizes and locations of dozens of events before 1930 by combing newspaper accounts and other records. The researchers say magnitude 5 quakes—strong enough to cause damage–occurred in 1737, 1783 and 1884. There was little settlement around to be hurt by the first two quakes, whose locations are vague due to a lack of good accounts; but the last, thought to be centered under the seabed somewhere between Brooklyn and Sandy Hook, toppled chimneys across the city and New Jersey, and panicked bathers at Coney Island. Based on this, the researchers say such quakes should be routinely expected, on average, about every 100 years. “Today, with so many more buildings and people, a magnitude 5 centered below the city would be extremely attention-getting,” said Armbruster. “We’d see billions in damage, with some brick buildings falling. People would probably be killed.”
Starting in the early 1970s Lamont began collecting data on quakes from dozens of newly deployed seismometers; these have revealed further potential, including distinct zones where earthquakes concentrate, and where larger ones could come. The Lamont network, now led by coauthor Won-Young Kim, has located hundreds of small events, including a magnitude 3 every few years, which can be felt by people at the surface, but is unlikely to cause damage. These small quakes tend to cluster along a series of small, old faults in harder rocks across the region. Many of the faults were discovered decades ago when subways, water tunnels and other excavations intersected them, but conventional wisdom said they were inactive remnants of continental collisions and rifting hundreds of millions of years ago. The results clearly show that they are active, and quite capable of generating damaging quakes, said Sykes.

All known quakes, greater New York-Philadelphia area, 1677-2004, graded by magnitude (M). Peekskill, N.Y., near Indian Point nuclear power plant, is denoted as Pe.

All known quakes, greater New York-Philadelphia area, 1677-2004, graded by magnitude (M). Peekskill, N.Y., near Indian Point nuclear power plant, is denoted as Pe.

Adapted from Sykes et al.

One major previously known feature, the Ramapo Seismic Zone, runs from eastern Pennsylvania to the mid-Hudson Valley, passing within a mile or two northwest of Indian Point. The researchers found that this system is not so much a single fracture as a braid of smaller ones, where quakes emanate from a set of still ill-defined faults. East and south of the Ramapo zone—and possibly more significant in terms of hazard–is a set of nearly parallel northwest-southeast faults. These include Manhattan’s 125th Street fault, which seems to have generated two small 1981 quakes, and could have been the source of the big 1737 quake; the Dyckman Street fault, which carried a magnitude 2 in 1989; the Mosholu Parkway fault; and the Dobbs Ferry fault in suburban Westchester, which generated the largest recent shock, a surprising magnitude 4.1, in 1985. Fortunately, it did no damage. Given the pattern, Sykes says the big 1884 quake may have hit on a yet-undetected member of this parallel family further south.
The researchers say that frequent small quakes occur in predictable ratios to larger ones, and so can be used to project a rough time scale for damaging events. Based on the lengths of the faults, the detected tremors, and calculations of how stresses build in the crust, the researchers say that magnitude 6 quakes, or even 7—respectively 10 and 100 times bigger than magnitude 5–are quite possible on the active faults they describe. They calculate that magnitude 6 quakes take place in the area about every 670 years, and sevens, every 3,400 years. The corresponding probabilities of occurrence in any 50-year period would be 7% and 1.5%. After less specific hints of these possibilities appeared in previous research, a 2003 analysis by The New York City Area Consortium for Earthquake Loss Mitigation put the cost of quakes this size in the metro New York area at $39 billion to $197 billion. A separate 2001 analysis for northern New Jersey’s Bergen County estimates that a magnitude 7 would destroy 14,000 buildings and damage 180,000 in that area alone. The researchers point out that no one knows when the last such events occurred, and say no one can predict when they next might come.
“We need to step backward from the simple old model, where you worry about one large, obvious fault, like they do in California,” said coauthor Leonardo Seeber. “The problem here comes from many subtle faults. We now see there is earthquake activity on them. Each one is small, but when you add them up, they are probably more dangerous than we thought. We need to take a very close look.” Seeber says that because the faults are mostly invisible at the surface and move infrequently, a big quake could easily hit one not yet identified. “The probability is not zero, and the damage could be great,” he said. “It could be like something out of a Greek myth.”
The researchers found concrete evidence for one significant previously unknown structure: an active seismic zone running at least 25 miles from Stamford, Conn., to the Hudson Valley town of Peekskill, N.Y., where it passes less than a mile north of the Indian Point nuclear power plant. The Stamford-Peekskill line stands out sharply on the researchers’ earthquake map, with small events clustered along its length, and to its immediate southwest. Just to the north, there are no quakes, indicating that it represents some kind of underground boundary. It is parallel to the other faults beginning at 125th Street, so the researchers believe it is a fault in the same family. Like the others, they say it is probably capable of producing at least a magnitude 6 quake. Furthermore, a mile or so on, it intersects the Ramapo seismic zone.
Sykes said the existence of the Stamford-Peekskill line had been suggested before, because the Hudson takes a sudden unexplained bend just ot the north of Indian Point, and definite traces of an old fault can be along the north side of the bend. The seismic evidence confirms it, he said. “Indian Point is situated at the intersection of the two most striking linear features marking the seismicity and also in the midst of a large population that is at risk in case of an accident,” says the paper. “This is clearly one of the least favorable sites in our study area from an earthquake hazard and risk perspective.”
The findings comes at a time when Entergy, the owner of Indian Point, is trying to relicense the two operating plants for an additional 20 years—a move being fought by surrounding communities and the New York State Attorney General. Last fall the attorney general, alerted to the then-unpublished Lamont data, told a Nuclear Regulatory Commission panel in a filing: “New data developed in the last 20 years disclose a substantially higher likelihood of significant earthquake activity in the vicinity of [Indian Point] that could exceed the earthquake design for the facility.” The state alleges that Entergy has not presented new data on earthquakes past 1979. However, in a little-noticed decision this July 31, the panel rejected the argument on procedural grounds. A source at the attorney general’s office said the state is considering its options.

Quakes located by instruments 1974-2007. Arrows indivcate the Peekskill-Stamford seismic line and Ramapo seismic zone (RSZ), which intersect near Indian Point. Purple numerals indicate distance in kilometers.

Adapted from Sykes et al.

The characteristics of New York’s geology and human footprint may increase the problem. Unlike in California, many New York quakes occur near the surface—in the upper mile or so—and they occur not in the broken-up, more malleable formations common where quakes are frequent, but rather in the extremely hard, rigid rocks underlying Manhattan and much of the lower Hudson Valley. Such rocks can build large stresses, then suddenly and efficiently transmit energy over long distances. “It’s like putting a hard rock in a vise,” said Seeber. “Nothing happens for a while. Then it goes with a bang.” Earthquake-resistant building codes were not introduced to New York City until 1995, and are not in effect at all in many other communities. Sinuous skyscrapers and bridges might get by with minimal damage, said Sykes, but many older, unreinforced three- to six-story brick buildings could crumble.
Art Lerner-Lam, associate director of Lamont for seismology, geology and tectonophysics, pointed out that the region’s major highways including the New York State Thruway, commuter and long-distance rail lines, and the main gas, oil and power transmission lines all cross the parallel active faults, making them particularly vulnerable to being cut. Lerner-Lam, who was not involved in the research, said that the identification of the seismic line near Indian Point “is a major substantiation of a feature that bears on the long-term earthquake risk of the northeastern United States.” He called for policymakers to develop more information on the region’s vulnerability, to take a closer look at land use and development, and to make investments to strengthen critical infrastructure.
“This is a landmark study in many ways,” said Lerner-Lam. “It gives us the best possible evidence that we have an earthquake hazard here that should be a factor in any planning decision. It crystallizes the argument that this hazard is not random. There is a structure to the location and timing of the earthquakes. This enables us to contemplate risk in an entirely different way. And since we are able to do that, we should be required to do that.”

New York Earthquake Briefs and Quotes:

Existing U.S. Geological Survey seismic hazard maps show New York City as facing more hazard than many other eastern U.S. areas. Three areas are somewhat more active—northernmost New York State, New Hampshire and South Carolina—but they have much lower populations and fewer structures. The wider forces at work include pressure exerted from continuing expansion of the mid-Atlantic Ridge thousands of miles to the east; slow westward migration of the North American continent; and the area’s intricate labyrinth of old faults, sutures and zones of weakness caused by past collisions and rifting.
Due to New York’s past history, population density and fragile, interdependent infrastructure, a 2001 analysis by the Federal Emergency Management Agency ranks it the 11th most at-risk U.S. city for earthquake damage. Among those ahead: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland. Behind: Salt Lake City, Sacramento, Anchorage.
New York’s first seismic station was set up at Fordham University in the 1920s. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, in Palisades, N.Y., has operated stations since 1949, and now coordinates a network of about 40.

Front page, The New York Times, Aug. 11, 1884.  „Convulsion of the earth which shook buildings and drove people from their homes, and caused much alarm.“

New York Times

Dozens of small quakes have been felt in the New York area. A Jan. 17, 2001 magnitude 2.4, centered in the Upper East Side—the first ever detected in Manhattan itself–may have originated on the 125th Street fault. Some people thought it was an explosion, but no one was harmed.

The most recent felt quake, a magnitude 2.1 on July 28, 2008, was centered near Milford, N.J. Houses shook and a woman at St. Edward’s Church said she felt the building rise up under her feet—but no damage was done.

Questions about the seismic safety of the Indian Point nuclear power plant, which lies amid a metropolitan area of more than 20 million people, were raised in previous scientific papers in 1978 and 1985.

Because the hard rocks under much of New York can build up a lot strain before breaking, researchers believe that modest faults as short as 1 to 10 kilometers can cause magnitude 5 or 6 quakes.

In general, magnitude 3 quakes occur about 10 times more often than magnitude fours; 100 times more than magnitude fives; and so on. This principle is called the Gutenberg-Richter relationship.

Lead Author Lynn Sykes

On the study and earthquake risk: “New York is not as prone to earthquakes as California and Japan, but they do happen. This study takes a more realistic look at the possibility of larger ones, and why earthquakes concentrate in certain places. To understand risk, you have to multiply hazard by assets, and vulnerability. When you factor that in, our risk is high. Too much attention has been paid to the level of hazard, and not enough to the risk.  Earthquake hazard is about the same today as in 1609 when Henry Hudson sailed up the River. But earthquake risk is much, much higher today, since the number of people, assets and their vulnerability are so much greater.”
On faults near Indian Point nuclear plant: “We think that the intersection of these two features being so close to Indian Point makes it a place of greater risk than most other points on the map.”

Coauthor Leonardo Seeber

On estimating hazard: “Most people underestimate the hazard here. Any conservative approach will look at geologically similar environments. If you do that, we are similar to Bhuj, India [where a 2001 magnitude 7 quake killed over 15,000 people]. There was no obvious sign of strain there. There is a mystery here to be solved, and we better step back and do our homework.”
On preparing:  “Once you accept that one fault in a family is active, you better consider that all the faults in that family could be active. We need to adapt our structures with that in mind.”

Coauthor John Armbruster

On past and future quakes: “You could debate whether a magnitude 6 or 7 is possible, but we’ve already had three magnitude fives, so that is very realistic.
There is no one now alive now to remember that last one, so people tend to forget. And having only a partial 300-year history, we may not have seen everything we could see. There could be surprises—things bigger than we have ever seen.”

Imam Makes Way For Antichrist

Ayatollah Sistani: Assad and Maliki must go
Ayatollah Sistani: Assad and Maliki must go

Both Iraq and Syria’s leaders should be removed immediately to avoid a devastating Shi’ite-Sunni sectarian split, says Grand Ayatollah Ali Al Sistani, the Gulf Daily News reported.
According to the report, the Shi’ite spiritual leader has voiced his objection to Syrian President Bashar Al Assad staying in power after more than two-and-a-half years of violence. He also feels that Iraq needs a new prime minister – acceptable to all components of its society – for the government to be able to safeguard the country’s interest and unity.
Ayatollah Sistani’s remarks came during a meeting with visiting Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in the holy city of Najaf in southern Iraq, said a cleric from the movement of Shi’ite strongman Moqtada Al Sadr. The minister also later met Al Sadr.
The cleric pointed out that Ayatollah Sistani’s stance may lead to confrontations with Iran’s spiritual leader Ali Khamenei, who backs both Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki and Assad, according to Kuwaiti newspaper Al Siyassa.
Davutoglu, the most senior Turkish official to visit Iraq since the end of 2011 when bilateral relations deteriorated following Turkish approval to keep Iraqi former vice-president Tariq Al Hashimi on its soil, described Ayatollah Sistani as the „safety valve“ of Iraq. He also called him a „global peace man“ who stands against sectarian sedition in Iraq and the region.
The Al Sadr aide pointed out that Tehran supports a third term for Al Maliki and is closely monitoring the Turkish-Iraqi rapprochement. It is thought that Turkey’s extending its hand to Iraqi Shi’ites might help lead to its playing a significant role in soothing sectarian crises in the region and garner Ankara the role of mediator, as it already has good relations with Sunni parties in Iraq. The talks to end sectarian rifts came as a bomber wearing a police uniform detonated an explosives belt in a crowd of pilgrims in the eastern Iraqi city of Al Sadiya, killing 35.

Moqtada al-Sadr: The Antichrist

Profile: Moqtada Sadr

Moqtada Sadr arrives in Najaf (5 January 2011)  
Moqtada Sadr has been studying at a seminary in Iran in the hope of becoming an ayatollah
Moqtada Sadr has been a powerful figure in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Although the situation has changed in the country since the radical Shia cleric went into self-imposed exile in Iran in 2007, he appears to have has lost none of his influence and has maintained his wide support among many of Iraq’s impoverished Shia Muslims.
At times he has called for a national rebellion against foreign troops and sent out his Mehdi Army militiamen to confront the „invaders“ and Iraqi security forces.
At others he has appeared more compromising, seeking for himself a political role within the new Iraq and helping form the national unity government in December 2010.
He returned to Iraq on 5 January 2011. Weeks before the withdrawal of US troops from the country, as negotiations were ongoing between Baghdad and Washington over a possible extension of their mission, he threatened to reactivate the Mehdi Army in case an extension is agreed.
Prayer leader The youngest son of Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Sadiq Sadr – who was assassinated in 1999, reportedly by Iraqi agents – Moqtada Sadr was virtually unknown outside Iraq before the March 2003 invasion.
But the collapse of Baathist rule revealed his power base – a network of Shia charitable institutions founded by his father.

Shia chant in support of Moqtada Sadr at the Kazimiya shrine in Baghdad (24 October 2003) Moqtada Sadr was virtually unknown outside Iraq before the invasion, but quickly gained a following

In the first weeks following the US-led invasion, Moqtada Sadr’s followers patrolled the streets of Baghdad’s Shia suburbs, distributing food, providing healthcare and taking on many of the functions of local government.
They also changed the name of the Saddam City area to Sadr City.
Moqtada Sadr also continued his father’s practice of holding Friday prayers to project his voice to a wider audience.
The practice undermined the traditional system of seniority in Iraqi Shia politics and contributed to the development of rivalries with two of Iraq’s Grand Ayatollahs, Kazim al-Hairi and Ali Sistani.
Moqtada Sadr drew attention to their links with Iran, whose influence on Iraq’s political and religious life his followers resented.

Moqtada Sadr delivers a sermon in Kufa (July 30, 2004) Moqtada Sadr has become a symbol of resistance to foreign occupation

He also called on Shia spiritual leaders to play an active role in shaping Iraq’s political future, something most avoided.
Armed force Moqtada Sadr also used his Friday sermons to express vocal opposition to the US-led occupation and the Iraqi Governing Council (IGC).
In June 2003, he established a militia group, the Mehdi Army, pledging to protect the Shia religious authorities in the holy city of Najaf.
He also set up a weekly newspaper, al-Hawzah, which the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) banned in March 2004 for inciting anti-US violence. The move caused fighting to break out between the Mehdi Army and US-led coalition forces in Najaf, Sadr City and Basra.
The following month, the US said an Iraqi judge had issued an arrest warrant for Moqtada Sadr in connection with the murder of the moderate Shia leader, Abdul Majid al-Khoei, in April 2003. Moqtada Sadr strongly denied any role.

Mehdi Army fighters fire towards US troops in Najaf (16 August 2004) The Mehdi Army was involved in fierce fighting with US forces in August 2004 in Najaf

Hostilities between the Mehdi Army and US forces resumed in August 2004 in Najaf and did not stop until Ayatollah Sistani brokered a ceasefire. The fighting left hundreds dead and wounded.
During the negotiations for a truce, the Americans also reportedly agreed to lay aside the warrant for Moqtada Sadr.
The fierce clashes continued in Sadr City, however, and only ended in October after the Mehdi Army had sustained heavy losses.
Political power Though costly, the violence cemented Moqtada Sadr’s standing as a force to be reckoned with in Iraq.

Iraqi woman votes in Najaf (January 2009) Supporters of Moqtada Sadr have performed strongly in all elections since the 2003 invasion

He became a symbol of resistance to foreign occupation – a counterpoint to established Shia groups such as the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (Sciri) and the Daawa Party.
Despite this, Moqtada Sadr chose to join his rivals‘ coalition for the December 2005 elections – the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA).
The alliance had easily won Iraq’s first post-invasion election the previous January, and with the Sadr Bloc on board again came out on top.
In the months of government negotiations that followed, Moqtada Sadr used his influence to push for the appointment of Nouri Maliki, then Daawa’s deputy leader, as prime minister. In return, his supporters got powerful positions in the cabinet.
At the same time, extremist Sunni Islamist militant groups – increasingly supported by Iraq’s marginalised Sunni Arab minority – had begun to target the Shia community, not just foreign troops.
Insurgents attacked Shia Islam’s most important shrines and killed many Shia politicians, clerics, soldiers, police and civilians.

Iraqi fire fighters extinguish the fire at the site of a car bomb explosion in the Shiite district of Sadr city, in Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, March 12, 2006 In 2006 and 2007, thousands of people were killed as the sectarian conflict raged in Iraq

As the sectarian violence worsened, the Mehdi Army was increasingly accused of carrying out reprisal attacks against Sunni Arabs.
In 2006 and 2007, thousands of people were killed as the sectarian conflict raged. The Iraqi security forces seemed unable to stop the violence, though many blamed this on the infiltration of the interior and defence ministries by the Mehdi Army and other Shia militias.
One Pentagon report described the Mehdi Army as the greatest threat to Iraq’s security – even more so than al-Qaeda in Iraq. Iran was accused of arming it with sophisticated bombs used in attacks on coalition forces.
Showdown Then in early 2007, after US President George W Bush ordered a troop „surge“ in Iraq, it was reported that Moqtada Sadr had left for Iran and told his supporters
In August 2007, heavy fighting broke out between the Mehdi Army and Sciri’s Badr Brigade in Karbala, leaving many dead.

Iraqi soldiers walk past a poster of Moqtada Sadr in Basra (April 2008) In March 2008, the Iraqi government ordered a major offensive against the Mehdi Army in Basra

The internecine fighting was condemned by many Shia, and Moqtada Sadr was forced to declare a ceasefire.
In March 2008, Mr Maliki ordered a major offensive against the militia in the southern city.
At first, the Mehdi Army seemed to have fended off the government’s attempts to gain control of Basra. But within weeks, it had accepted a truce negotiated by Iran, and the Iraqi army consolidated its hold.
US and Iraqi forces also moved into Sadr City, sparking fierce clashes but also eventually emerging victorious.
In August 2008, Moqtada Sadr ordered a halt to armed operations. He declared that the Mehdi Army would be transformed into a cultural and social organisation, although it would retain a special unit of fighters who would continue armed resistance against occupying forces.
Kingmaker He meanwhile devoted his time to theological studies in the Iranian holy city of Qom, in the hope of eventually becoming an ayatollah.

Supporters of anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr gather outside his home in the Shiite city of Najaf, Iraq, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011 Moqtada Sadr returned from Iran in January to the holy city of Najaf to scenes of jubilation

Analysts say the title would grant him religious legitimacy and allow him to mount a more serious challenge to the conservative clerical establishment in Iraq.
At the same time, he built on the gains of the Sadr Bloc in the 2005 elections to increase his political influence. His supporters performed strongly in the 2009 local elections and made gains in the March 2010 parliamentary polls as the Iraqi National Alliance (INA), ending up with 40 seats.
The result made Moqtada Sadr the kingmaker in the new parliament. He toyed initially with backing Mr Maliki’s rival for the premiership, but in June agreed to a merger between the INA and the prime minister’s State of Law coalition.
Then in October, he was finally persuaded by Iran to drop his objection to Mr Maliki’s reappointment in return for eight posts in the cabinet.
Secure in his standing, Moqtada Sadr returned from Iran in January to scenes of jubilation.

All It Takes Is Yellowcake!

Dumped in the desert … Gaddafi’s yellowcake stockpile

Sitting in row after row, each 15 long by four high, the blue barrels are as frightening as any remnant of the Gaddafi regime.

Radioactive material found in a Gadaffi military base near Sabah

A rebel fighter among the yellowcake drums in the warehouse near the city of Sabha. The stockpile was abandoned and unguarded Photo: DAVID ROSE
Some are marked radioactive, as were the open plastic bags alongside.
The powder they contain appears to be yellowcake uranium from neighbouring Niger. Yet when they were discovered by advancing rebel forces last week, they were abandoned, in tumbledown warehouses protected only by a low wall.
Niger mines yellowcake under a strict security regime designed to ensure none of it falls into the hands of illicit networks. But post-Gaddafi Libya affords little or no protection to this vast haul of material, which if refined to high levels of purity is the essential element of a nuclear bomb.
Despite the dangers, international atomic agencies and Libya’s rebels say it will take weeks to put safeguards in place.
There are at least 10,000 drums with a total capacity of two million litres, though most have not been opened and checked for their contents. They are being stored not far from the southern desert city of Sabha.
The International Atomic Energy Agency says it knew that Col Muammar Gaddafi had stockpiled yellowcake uranium near Sabha – a relic of the years when he tried to develop nuclear weapons after obtaining blueprints from the Pakistani scientist, AQ Khan.
“We can confirm that there is yellowcake stored in drums at a site near Sabha in central Libya,” a spokesman said. “The IAEA has tentatively scheduled safeguard activities at this location once the situation in the country stabilises.”
After agreeing to dismantle the programme in 2003, Gaddafi was supposed to have given up all his nuclear technology. He was also supposed to have given up chemical weapons, but it is known he still had mustard gas awaiting disposal.
A WikiLeaks cable disclosed that two years ago he was trying to sell 1,000 metric tons of yellowcake on the world market. No one expected such a valuable commodity to have been left dumped in the desert.
Sabha was an important stronghold for Gaddafi, who spent part of his youth here, and many of the locals are from the Gaddafi tribe. Abdullah Senussi, his security chief, right-hand man and brother-in-law, is from a town 50 miles to the north.
But the city was only lightly defended. A total of 12 rebels died in the fighting, with just one or two parts of the town resisting at all.
Having driven out the remnants of the Gaddafi forces towards the Algerian border, the rebel troops said they were ordered to secure former military bases — a standard practice adopted belatedly to stop weapons stockpiles going missing.
They found the storage facility containing the radioactive drums totally unguarded. “I don’t think it’s ever been guarded,” said Musbah al-Mangoush, an agricultural engineer from the town who escaped Gaddafi’s grip three months ago and returned at the head of a brigade of troops from Benghazi.
“This was a military base until the 1990s, but then it was abandoned. There was no one here.”
In neighbouring sheds are rusting trucks, old fuel tanks, and surface-to-air missiles covered in pigeon droppings.
It is not clear how long the material has been there. Mohammed Othman, whose family owns a farm five miles further up the track away from Sabha, says soldiers were seen unloading trucks in the area a year ago. Mr Mangoush, on the other hand, links the find to what he claims is a high level of miscarriage and deformity in babies in the area, suggesting a longer term presence.
Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the president of the provisional government, the National Transitional Council, said at a press conference on Sunday that a second find of illegal material had been made near the town of Waddan — believed to be mustard gas. “There are weapons believed to be internationally forbidden, and they are under our control,” he said.
The United States previously said that Gaddafi’s yellowcake stocks were held at the town of Tajoura east of Tripoli and were “secure”.
The real site is now guarded by half a dozen rebel troops.
Fighting has moved on to the border town of Ghat, leaving virtually all the south of Libya, with its important oilfields, in the hands of the rebels.
Of Gaddafi himself, there is now no sign.
“Tell us if you find him,” is the commonest response to questions concerning his whereabouts.

Antichrist Talks To Turkey
World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu became the first high-ranking Turkish official to visit the shrine of the slain grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.), Hussein, in the Iraqi city of Karbala for the sacred day of Ashura.
He also spent time in Najaf, where he met with Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. After meeting with Sistani for almost an hour, Davutoglu described him as Iraq’s “safety valve” and a “global peace man”. During the meeting, he stressed that the tragic death of Hussein almost 1,400 years ago was not only heartbreaking for Shi’ites, but for all Muslims all over the world.
Sistani also called for more cooperation between Iraq and Turkey, especially over the sharing of the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers. A total of 22 dams that have been built in Turkey threatens to reduce Iraq’s water supply by 40%. Davutoglu proposed a plan stating an Iraqi water allocation in times of drought, but Sistani suggested UN arbitration to solve the issue. Muqtada al-Sadr also called for more cooperation, as the two discussed tackling the issue of sectarianism in the Muslim world.
Davutoglu also visited the shrine of Ali, the son-in-law and companion of the Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) who was also the father of Hussein.

Antichrist Refuses Present Government

Muqtada al-Sadr: [not] to take a third-Maliki for prime minister

Tuesday, October 12 2 / November 2013 21:55
[Baghdad where]
New leader Moqtada al-Sadr refused to give Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki for a third term.
Sadr said in response to the Súal face him one of his followers about „you will agree to take on Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki for a third term despite all what happened and is happening to the Iraqis because of him, saying,“ Who are they? , But I do not. „
The relationship between the cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has Chiz because of Maliki’s visit recent visit to the United States and attack the chest of the owners in response to the Súal face to him by one of his followers while office issued Maliki’s strongly worded statement accusing him chest killing Iraqis, saying „The right of Moqtada be exercised campaigning early, but it also does not underestimate the minds and memory of Iraqis who are well aware of the killing of their children in light of what was called the [courts] notorious and who was taking royalties and bribes and participated in sectarian strife and the list goes on , also remembers the honorable Iraqis also confronted firmly and strongly particularly al-Qaeda and the influence of Moqtada militia that fostered murder, kidnapping and theft of money in Basra, Karbala, Baghdad and other provinces. „
Sadr has strongly criticized al-Maliki for his visit to the United States by-concluded last Saturday, saying that „he had gone without taking ear or telling parliament and without the advice of friends or partners,“ accusing him of „zero balance in his speech to the largest country in the occupation and it was better for him that yelling its partners in Iraq instead of begging from countries brought Iraq to the bottom of the abyss. „he said.
Addressing the chest Prime Minister Commenting on his visit to the United States „will not be your transactions with America beneficial economic and You are fighting from both serve the people of governors, ministers and others, and you want a third term does not mean تبريرك for your visit, which cost millions of dollars, he turned to the people and admitted Dafk and Pfhlk This is not a defect, but recognition error virtue „.
Was described as a member of the House of Representatives resigned Jafar Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr, the tone of the statement of the office of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who attacked the leader Moqtada al-Sadr بالوقاحة intended for personal national Iraqi longer touch them and the Nile, including the abuse of Iraq and the family of al-Sadr family that her prestige and their national positions and humanity.
The relationship between the Sadrist movement led by Moqtada al-Sadr and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who leads a coalition of state law tense for years. Ended.b_280_189_16777215_0___images_idoblog_up

Conflict Of Interest: Kerry and Iran

Kerry’s Iranian Sugar Daddies 

 By: Kenneth R. Timmerman | Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Among Sen. John Kerry’s top fund-raisers are three Iranian-Americans who have been pushing for dramatic changes in U.S. policy toward the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Most prominent among them is Hassan Nemazee, 54, an investment banker based in New York. Nominated to become U.S. ambassador to Argentina by President Bill Clinton in 1999, Nemazee eventually withdrew his nomination after a former partner raised allegations of business improprieties.

Nemazee was a major Clinton donor, giving $80,000 to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) during the 1996 election cycle and attending at least one of the famous White House fund-raising coffees.

In 2001, at the invitation of Mobil Oil Chairman Lucio Noto, whom he counts as a „personal friend,“ Nemazee joined the board of the American-Iranian Council (AIC), a U.S. lobbying group that consistently has supported lifting U.S. sanctions on Iran and accommodating the Tehran regime. Nemazee tells Insight he „now regrets“ having joined the AIC board and resigned his position after 12 months when he was vilified by Iranian exile groups.

„I’ve never, ever given a speech suggesting rapprochement with the regime,“ Nemazee tells Insight. „Kerry is not calling for a resumption of relations with Iran, nor is he ignoring the regime’s human-rights abuses, its ties to terror, or downplaying the nuclear issues. I haven’t seen that he’s said anything to date that warrants all the concern.“

But Nemazee also acknowledged that he was rethinking his position in the wake of the recent parliamentary elections in Iran. „There is a legitimate argument to be made that the regime has crossed a line and shown they are undemocratic and incapable of reforming,“ he says, „and so there is no benefit to relations or to trading with them.“

The Kerry camp has identified Nemazee as having raised more than $100,000 for the senator’s campaign.

A Nemazee friend in Silicon Valley, Faraj Aalaei, has raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for the Kerry campaign. Aalaei has worked in the telecommunications industry for 22 years and is the chief executive officer of Centillium Communications, a publicly traded company.

Last year, Aalaei married a 35-year-old recent immigrant from Iran named Susan Akbarpour, whom the Kerry campaign also lists as having raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for the campaign.

In just six years since coming to the United States on a tourist visa from Iran, Akbarpour has started a newspaper, a magazine and, most recently, a trade association whose goal, she tells Insight, is to get sanctions lifted and promote U.S. business and investment in Iran.

„Susan Akbarpour was a journalist in Iran, where she was close to Faezeh Hashemi, the daughter of [former president Ali Akbar] Rafsanjani,“ says student activist Aryo Pirouznia. „She has done programs on Iranian television praising Faezeh Hashemi, and demonstrated against pro-freedom groups in California when Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi came to Los Angeles in September 2000.“ Rafsanjani’s daughter was a member of the Iranian Parliament until recently. Her faction, while hailed as „reformists“ by pro-regime activists, has never pressed for an end to clerical rule and is widely believed to have served as a foil for hard-liners such as Hashemi’s own father.

Kharrazi’s trip to California was part of a failed Clinton administration effort to renew ties with the Islamic republic. Iranian-American Jewish organizations were outraged by his visit, which followed on the heels of the show trial of 13 Iranian Jews in Shiraz. Akbarpour was filmed by several Los Angeles-based Iranian TV networks insulting the protesters and supporting Kharrazi. In the Persian-language edition of her monthly newspaper, Iran Today, she printed numerous anti-Semitic articles, Iranian Jewish activists tell Insight.

Akbarpour’s latest trade effort, SiliconIran, was planning to host a gala at the Ritz Carlton’s Laguna Niguel resort in Orange County, Calif., on March 3 as Insight went to press. Among the guests will be fellow Kerry fund-raiser Nemazee.

„I am an actor in U.S. politics,“ Akbarpour boasted to Insight in an interview. „I am a fund-raiser for all candidates who listen to us and our concerns.“

The two candidates Akbarpour said she would „never help“ are President George W. Bush and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), because both have taken a no-nonsense approach to the Iranian regime. Federal Election Commission records show that Akbarpour contributed $1,000 to the Kerry committee in June 2002 and another $2,000 in June 2003.

Akbarpour tells Insight she is not a U.S. citizen. „I came here in 1997 as a tourist and changed my status several times. At one point, I had an H-1 visa. Then I got married last year and got my green card.“ Under federal election laws, permanent residents are allowed to make political campaign contributions. But her June 2002 contribution to the Kerry campaign appears to have been made before she acquired status as a permanent resident.

One immigration lawyer Insight consulted in Los Angeles doubted that Akbarpour could have obtained an H-1 visa, which is reserved for foreign workers sponsored by U.S. companies that need their specialized skills. „At the time, the INS [Immigration and Naturalization Service] was applying a very strict interpretation of the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act and was not allowing any hiring of Iranian nationals. And you couldn’t convert from a tourist visa to an H-1 visa, especially if the tourist visa had already expired.“

Because the United States has no embassy in Tehran, Iranians seeking to visit the United States must travel to Turkey or the United Arab Emirates to apply for a tourist or student visa, then wait several months while a background check is performed.

That experience still rankles Akbarpour, who has put loosening visa requirements for Iranians on the top of her political agenda, along with lifting U.S. sanctions on Iran and getting the U.S. government to open a dialogue with the regime in Tehran. Just by coincidence, those are the top three priorities of the Tehran regime, as well.

„I do believe in getting rid of the clerics,“ she tells Insight, „but not overnight. That would not lead to stability in Iran. I see this as an evolutionary process.“

The FBI opposes loosening visa requirements because the Iranian intelligence ministry (MOIS) has a proven track record of sending intelligence operatives – and even assassins – overseas posing as refugees or legal immigrants. MOIS operatives have murdered Iranian dissidents living overseas, and helped plan and carry out the July 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, killing 86 persons.

But Akbarpour did not think security was a legitimate concern. „I don’t think the MOIS is very good. You give too much credit to these people. They’re not that intelligent,“ she says.

Nor does Kerry worry about loosening visa restrictions. „We have to support the idea that someone who is an American citizen has a right to have their family visit them from anywhere in the world,“ he told Akbarpour at a Jan. 14, 2004, fund-raiser in San Francisco.

Iran: No Deal On Nukes

Iranian nuclear talks end without a deal

Video: Secretary of State John Kerry warns of gaps between Iran and six world powers working on a nuclear agreement.

GENEVA — Two days of marathon negotiations, by far the most direct and extended high-level contact between the United States and Iran in more than three decades, ended early Sunday without agreement on an interim plan on Iran’s disputed nuclear program.
After a tumultuous day of bargaining, diplomats emerged after midnight to acknowledge they had fallen short of a deal that would have required Iran to suspend key parts of its nuclear program in exchange for modest relief on economic sanctions. The sides will try again Nov. 20.


Secretary of State John F. Kerry, who had flown to Geneva at the eleventh hour to try to close a deal, said at a late-night news conference that the talks between Iran and six major powers had been “very productive” and that all sides were determined to continue the efforts.
“We came to Geneva to narrow the differences, and I can tell you without any reservations, we made significant progress,” Kerry said.
“It takes time to build confidence between countries that have really been at odds with each other for a long time now,” he said.
Although a deal had appeared nearly certain a few hours earlier, the talks stalled over technical issues, including details of nuclear concessions required of Iran, and the incentives the Islamic Republic would receive in return. Among the obstacles were disagreements between France and other members of the six-nation bloc known as the P5-plus-1.
Kerry, in a taped interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” that airs Sunday, downplayed the differences between Western governments that emerged on the final day of the talks. “A number of nations – not just the French, but ourselves and others – wanted to make sure that we had the tough language necessary, the clarity in the language necessary to be absolutely certain that we were doing the job and not granting more or doing something sloppily that could wind up with a mistake,” He said.
He forcefully rejected accusations that the deal offered to Iran would have endangered Israeli and other allies in the region by allowing Iran to retain some of its civilian nuclear capabilities. “We are not blind, and I don’t think we’re stupid,” Kerry said. “I think we have a pretty strong sense of how to measure whether or not we are acting in the interests of our country and of the globe, and particularly of our allies like Israel and Gulf states and others in the region.”
Kerry added: “We are absolutely determined that this would be a good deal, or there’ll be no deal. Now, that’s why it’s hard.”
Iran’s chief negotiator, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javid Zarif, gave an upbeat assessment as the talks broke up early Sunday.
“What I was looking for was the political determination, willingness and good faith and readiness in order to end this,” said Zarif, appearing at the podium with the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton. “I think we’re all on the same wavelength, and that’s important. And that gives us the impetus to go forward when we meet again next time.

New York Quake Due Soon

New York City Is Overdue For Large Earthquake: Seismologist

First Posted: 02/16/11 01:22 PM ET Updated: 08/23/11 04:04 PM ET


New York City could start shaking any minute now.
Won-Young Kim, who runs the seismographic network for the Northeast at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said the city is well overdue for a big earthquake.
From Metro New York:

The last big quake to hit New York City was a 5.3-magnitude tremor in 1884 that happened at sea in between Brooklyn and Sandy Hook. While no one was killed, buildings were damaged.

Kim said the city is likely to experience a big earthquake every 100 years or so.
„It can happen anytime soon,“ Kim said. „We can expect it any minute, we just don’t know when and where.“
New York has never experienced a magnitude 6 or 7 earthquake, which are the most dangerous. But magnitude 5 quakes could topple brick buildings and chimneys.
Seismologist John Armbruster said a magnitude 5 quake that happened now would be more devastating than the one that happened in 1884.
„Today, with so many more buildings and people … we’d see billions in damage,“ Armbruster said. „People would probably be killed.“