Iran Preparing For The Final War (Rev 16:13)

Iran’s Supreme Leader: Jihad Will Continue Until America is No More
The Daily Caller

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“Those (Iranians) who want to promote negotiation and surrender to the oppressors and blame the Islamic Republic as a warmonger in reality commit treason,” Khamenei told a meeting of members of parliament, according to the regime’s Fars News Agency.

Khamenei emphasized that without a combative mindset, the regime cannot reach its higher Islamic role against the “oppressors’ front.”

“The reason for continuation of this battle is not the warmongering of the Islamic Republic. Logic and reason command that for Iran, in order to pass through a region full of pirates, needs to arm itself and must have the capability to defend itself,” he said.

“Today’s world is full of thieves and plunderers of human honor, dignity and morality who are equipped with knowledge, wealth and power, and under the pretence of humanity easily commit crimes and betray human ideals and start wars in different parts of the world.”

In response to a question by a parliamentarian on how long this battle will continue, Khamenei said,“Battle and jihad are endless because evil and its front continue to exist. … This battle will only end when the society can get rid of the oppressors’ front with America at the head of it, which has expanded its claws on human mind, body and thought. … This requires a difficult and lengthy struggle and need for great strides.”

Khamenei cited the scientific advancement of the country. “The accelerated scientific advancement of the last 12 years cannot stop under any circumstances,” he said, referring to the strides the regime has made toward becoming a nuclear power.

As reported on May 19 on The Daily Caller, Iran has put up new roadblocks to reaching a deal with the P5+1 world powers over its illicit nuclear program. The powers are the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, plus Germany.

Three days of negotiations in the fourth round of Geneva meetings ended recently without concrete results when the Iranian team presented the country’s new “red lines” — diminishing any hope by the Obama administration to claim victory in its approach to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, according to reports from Iran.

The Obama administration had hoped that with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif showing an eagerness to solve the nuclear issue and address the West’s concerns, there would be a possibility for a negotiated solution. An interim agreement penned last November in Geneva was touted as a “historic nuclear deal.”

Under that agreement, Iran, in return for billions of dollars in sanctions relief, limited its enrichment activity to the 5 percent level with a current stockpile of over 10 tons (enough for six nuclear bombs), converted much of its 20 percent enriched stock to harmless oxide and agreed to allow more intrusive inspections of its nuclear plants by the International Atomic Energy Agency, whose inspections were limited to only agreed-upon facilities.
At the same time, IAEA officials met again with their Iranian counterparts last week in Tehran to discuss information on the work on detonators and needed collaboration by the regime to clear outstanding issues on its nuclear program as part of seven transparency steps Iran had agreed to fulfill by May 15, which has yet to take place.

Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and author of the award winning book “A Time to Betray” (Simon & Schuster, 2010). He serves on the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and the advisory board of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI).

The New Nuclear War: “Geddon Style” (Rev 16)

Pakistan Wants ‘Battlefield’ Nukes to Use against Indian Troops

 
February 6, 2015
Pakistan is continuing to develop tactical nuclear weapons for use on the battlefield against India, a senior U.S. intelligence official said this week.

In providing a worldwide threat assessment to the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Vincent R. Stewart, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, discussed Pakistan’s expanding nuclear delivery systems.

Tactical nuclear weapons are low-yield, short-range nuclear missiles designed for use against opposing troops on the battlefield, rather than against enemy cities like strategic nuclear weapons. Both the U.S. and Soviet Union deployed them in Europe (among other places) during the Cold War, and Washington and Moscow continue to deploy them today. They are not covered  in existing U.S.-Russian arms control treaties like New START.

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In April 2011, Pakistan first tested the Hatf-9 (Nasr) missile, which it called a “Short Range Surface to Surface Multi Tube Ballistic Missile.” In the official statement announcing the test, Pakistan’s military said the Hatf-9 missile was nuclear-capable and had been developed to be used at “shorter ranges.”

“NASR, with a range of 60 km, carries nuclear warheads of appropriate yield with high accuracy, shoot and scoot attributes. This quick response system addresses the need to deter evolving threats,” the statement said. It added that the “test was a very important milestone in consolidating Pakistan’s strategic deterrence capability at all levels of the threat spectrum.”

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Testing continued throughout 2012 and 2013, and Pakistan’s Strategic Forces are believed to have inducted the missile into service following an October 2013 test. Pakistan has continued periodic testing since that time, most recently in September of last year. However, it is unclear whether Pakistan is capable of building nuclear warheads small enough to use on the Hatf-9.

The missile itself is a derivative of the Chinese-made Weishi-2 (WS-2) short-range ballistic missile, which Beijing developed specifically to export. Starting in 2012, Pakistan began firing the Hatf-9 in four missile salvos from what it called a “state-of-the-art multi-tube launcher,” which was also derived from Chinese systems.

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Pakistan developed tactical nukes as a way to counter India’s conventional military superiority. In particular, Islamabad’s tactical nuclear weapons were a response to India’s development of the so-called “Cold Start” military doctrine, which calls for using small and limited excursions into Pakistani territory to respond to Islamabad-sponsored terrorist attacks.

(Recommended: 5 Pakistani Weapons of War India Should Fear)

As one analyst explained “The idea is that smaller nuclear weapons, used on Pakistani soil, would stop invading Indian forces in their tracks.” Similarly, a Pakistani missile expert told local media outlets at the time of the first test: “This is a low-yield battlefield deterrent, capable of deterring and inflicting punishment on mechanized forces like armed brigades and divisions.”

As The National Interest has previously noted, Pakistan’s tactical nuclear weapons are one of the 
most dangerous nuclear threats facing the world today. That’s because fielding tactical nuclear weapons underscores Islamabad’s willingness to use atomic weapons even to counter non-nuclear threats (unlike India, Islamabad does not maintain a no-first-use nuclear doctrine.) Moreover, in order to be effective, Pakistan’s tactical nuclear weapons would have to be kept in a more ready state in order to be usable on short notice. Furthermore, once deployed on the frontlines, the battlefield commanders would likely be granted the authority to use them, raising the danger of a rogue general sparking a nuclear armageddon. Finally, tactical nuclear weapons, especially when deployed, would be more susceptible to theft by any one of the countless terrorist groups that find safe haven in Pakistan.

For these reasons, the U.S. intel community expressed alarm about Pakistan’s development of tactical nukes back in 2013. Stewart’s statement confirms that this remains the case today.

If India Has No Nuclear Safety Standard, Why Will Iran? (Daniel 8:3)

India is busily negotiating bilateral agreements with its nuclear trading partners to assure them that the uranium they supply to India will not end up in Indian nuclear weapons. This is a standard practice for states involved in nuclear cooperation, yet India has set out to weaken the information sharing provisions in its agreements with Canada, the United States, and soon Australia. All three supplier states support India’s bid for membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), but India’s behavior here hardly supports New Delhi’s contention that it is like-minded.

These negotiations follow from an Indian commitment to the United States, pursuant to a bilateral agreement for peaceful nuclear cooperation, to separate its civilian and military nuclear activities. In part on this basis, in 2008 the NSG lifted nuclear trade sanctions against India imposed in 1974 after India had used Canadian uranium, which had been provided to India on condition that it would be used only for peaceful use, to produce plutonium for a nuclear explosive.

Since 2008, foreign suppliers have been permitted to conclude contracts to supply uranium to India. Conditions for this trade are set down in bilateral nuclear cooperation agreements in which India has pledged to use all nuclear materials it obtains from outside suppliers for peaceful purposes. All of the countries which are selling uranium to India are parties to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). That commits them to make sure their exports do not contribute to the manufacture of nuclear weapons in India.

India is not being singled out in this regard. The United States and the European Union, as well as Australia and Canada – in recent decades the world’s two leading uranium producers and exporters – have concluded so-called administrative arrangements with scores of foreign countries that permit supplier states to track the whereabouts of all the uranium they export. Although there is significant diversity in the agreements amongst nuclear trading states about how to share information, they constitute a standard evolved over time to ensure that such trade does not violate international rules.

In the nonproliferation interest, uranium exporters’ nuclear cooperation agreements are designed to ensure that exported uranium is not enriched to weapons-grade, is not re-transferred to third parties, and is not reprocessed to separate plutonium without consent. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards, which may apply to foreign-sourced uranium in India’s civil nuclear program, do not consider the origin of the uranium subject to safeguards. That’s important because some producers whose uranium market shares are on the rise, such as Kazakhstan and some African states, do not scrupulously track the uranium they export. Their uranium safeguards policies put commercial pressure on other supplier states to follow suit in India.

The goal of accounting is to make sure that uranium exported under a peaceful-use pledge is not used for nuclear weapons and to identify nuclear material that is subject to any other obligations agreed with a supplier state. A supplier state can account for its uranium as it moves through India’s fuel cycle, first by identifying (“flagging”) the uranium carrying its obligations, and then by accounting for it at each stage in the fuel cycle, including conversion, fuel fabrication, irradiation, and reprocessing. The accounting is made possible by provision of data on fuel burnup rates, process losses, and other parameters concerning what physically and chemically happens to the uranium as it is used. This data could be provided by India to its foreign uranium suppliers, but India so far has not agreed to provide all the data that was requested by Canada and the U.S. and it may balk at cooperating with Australia, Japan, and other countries.

Canada may try to compensate for lack of Indian cooperation by using some commercial operations data on Canadian-design reactors. The U.S. may fall back on data from fabrication in the U.S. of fuel using U.S.-obligated uranium destined for Indian reactors. Both sets of data may permit some level of assurance that India is using the uranium in peaceful applications and fulfilling its bilateral obligations, but in general fall short of standard practices of information provision.

Next week Australian lawmakers will debate Canberra’s ongoing uranium safeguards discussions with India. They should take note that, unless perhaps all Australian uranium destined for India were to be processed and fabricated into fuel before being exported to India, the U.S. approach would not cover all Australian uranium destined for India. Under its agreement with India, Australia may supply India with bulk uranium as well as fabricated nuclear fuel. Indian cooperation with Australia therefore seems essential to meet the tracking requirements of Australian safeguards policy and the best solution would be for India to provide the information which Australia needs. Again, it is worth reiterating that what is being requested of India is standard practice; New Delhi is not being asked to uphold a higher standard.

Parliamentarians should consider that what Australia requires in its arrangement with India may have signal impact this May when the NPT’s 189 parties review the treaty. They might also consider that the international reputation of Australia’s uranium industry has increasingly depended upon transparent implementation of national policies, including on nonproliferation.

As India’s weight in the world grows, its nuclear industry is forming partnerships with the world’s leading suppliers of power reactors and nuclear fuel. For good reasons, including global warming, India’s foreign partners support this development, and nuclear companies worldwide are eager to seize new business opportunities in selling equipment and uranium to India.

But India and uranium suppliers must know that the separation of military and peaceful-use nuclear activities is a cornerstone of the world’s nuclear governance system. States that dismiss as inconvenient controls designed to verify that separation signal instead that it matters little if their commerce might contribute to production of nuclear weapons. Australia, Canada, and the United States have shown leadership in uranium governance and they should continue to do so – including in the NSG which under the 2008 India exception decision required that all its uranium suppliers account for their exports to India.

Lack of full Indian cooperation with foreign uranium suppliers will damage New Delhi’s case for membership in multilateral trade control bodies like the NSG it keenly wants to join. If India is seeking to weaken standard practices in its bilateral negotiations, what message does that send about its likely behavior were it to be invited to join multilateral regimes? If uranium supplier states are deterred from accounting for their uranium in India, that would inform all NPT parties that have pledged to renounce nuclear weapons that it doesn’t matter whether nuclear goods, sold on condition that they will be used peacefully, might be used to make deadly arms.

Mark Hibbs is a research scholar in the Nuclear Policy Programme at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a think tank in Washington, D.C.

We Are Oh So Close To A Nuclear War (Rev 15:2)

INSIGHT-RPT-Russia’s nuclear strategy raises concerns in NATO

Nuclear Smuggling From Russia

Thu Feb 5, 2015 6:19am EST

* Fears Moscow may be lowering nuclear threshold
* Defence ministers to discuss issue
* Russian patrols, exercises also spur concerns

By Adrian Croft

BRUSSELS, Feb 4 (Reuters) – Concern is growing in NATO over Russia’s nuclear strategy and indications that Russian military planners may be lowering the threshold for using nuclear weapons in any conflict, alliance diplomats say.

NATO officials have drawn up an analysis of Russian nuclear strategy that will be discussed by alliance defence ministers at a meeting in Brussels on Thursday.

The study comes amid high tension between NATO and Russia over the Ukraine conflict and rising suspicions on both sides that risk plunging Europe back into a Cold War-style confrontation.

Western concerns have also been fuelled by increasingly aggressive Russian air and sea patrolling close to NATO’s borders, such as two Russian “Bear” nuclear-capable bombers that flew over the English Channel last week.

The threat of nuclear war that once hung over the world has eased since the Cold War amid sharp reductions in warheads but Russia and the United States, NATO’s main military power, retain massively destructive nuclear arsenals.

Russia’s nuclear strategy appears to point to a lowering of the threshold for using nuclear weapons in any conflict, NATO diplomats say.

“What worries us most in this strategy is the modernisation of the Russian nuclear forces, the increase in the level of training of those forces and the possible combination between conventional actions and the use of nuclear forces, including possibly in the framework of a hybrid war,” one diplomat said.

Russia’s use of hybrid warfare in Ukraine, combining elements such as unmarked soldiers, disinformation and cyber attacks, has led NATO’s military planners to review their strategies for dealing with Russia.

All the NATO countries, except France which is not a member, will meet on Thursday as part of NATO’s Nuclear Planning Group, which NATO officials describe as a routine meeting focusing on the safety and effectiveness of NATO’s nuclear deterrent.

IMPLICATIONS

But all 28 ministers, including U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, will have a broader discussion of Russia’s nuclear strategy over lunch. No immediate action is expected from NATO’s side.
Ministers are likely to ask officials to look into the implications of Russia’s nuclear strategy for the alliance, and only then could there be any consideration of whether any changes were needed to NATO’s nuclear posture.

At a time of heightened tension with the West, Russia has not been shy about reasserting its status as a nuclear power.

President Vladimir Putin pointedly noted last August that Russia was a leading nuclear power when he advised potential enemies: “It’s best not to mess with us.”

A report by the U.S. Congressional Research Service last year said Russia “seems to have increased its reliance on nuclear weapons in its national security concept”.

Russia has embarked on a multi-billion-dollar military modernisation programme and Russia’s top general, Valery Gerasimov, said last week that support for Russia’s strategic nuclear forces combined with improvements in conventional forces would ensure that the United States and NATO did not gain military superiority.

He said the Russian military would receive more than 50 new intercontinental nuclear missiles this year.

In December, Putin signed a new military doctrine, naming NATO expansion as a key risk. Before the new doctrine was agreed, there had been some calls from the military to restore to the doctrine a line about the right to a first nuclear strike.

DOCTRINE

This was not included in the new doctrine, however, which says Russia reserves the right to use nuclear weapons in response to a nuclear strike or a conventional attack that endangered the state’s existence.

NATO’s 2010 “strategic concept” says deterrence, “based on an appropriate mix of nuclear and conventional capabilities, remains a core element of our overall strategy.”

Washington and Moscow have traded accusations that the other has violated a Cold War-era arms control agreement.

The United States accuses Moscow of violating the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty by testing a ground-launched cruise missile. Russia argues that Washington’s use of drones and other intermediate-range arms amounts to a violation of the treaty.

A senior NATO official said Russia’s Zapad exercise in 2013 was “supposed to be a counter-terrorism exercise but it involved the (simulated) use of nuclear weapons”.

The Arms Control Association, a Washington-based advocacy group, estimates Russia has about 1,512 strategic, or long-range, nuclear warheads, a further 1,000 non-deployed strategic warheads and about 2,000 tactical nuclear warheads.

Tactical nuclear weapons can include short-range missiles and artillery shells, mines and bombs.
The United States had 4,804 nuclear warheads as of September 2013, including tactical, strategic, and non-deployed weapons, according to ACA.

Among other NATO allies, France has fewer than 300 operational nuclear warheads and Britain has fewer than 160 deployed strategic warheads. (Additional reporting by Tim Heritage in Moscow; Editing by Giles Elgood)