UK Warns: Do Not Forget About The Third Horn (Daniel 8:8)

Do not forget dangers posed by Pakistan’s nuclear weapons: UK’s ex-Defense Secretary
 

Pakistani Taliban

Pakistani Nuclear Terrorism
WASHINGTON: The global community should not forget the dangers posed by Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and its two new heavy water plants capable of producing 24 atomic warheads a year, a top former British official has said. Liam Fox, the former British Defence Secretary, said the international community should not risk to forget Pakistan, which was not a stable country.

“Here in Washington, with all the focus on Iran at the present time, people seem to have forgotten that Pakistan is sitting on something like 120 nuclear warheads and has recently brought into play two new heavy water plants that will enable them to produce about 24 nuclear warheads a year from now on,” he said.

“It is the nuclear problem that nobody seems to want to acknowledge and talk about in detail,” he said yesterday.

“This is a worry,” Fox said at an event organised by the think-tank Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“We’ve got to the rise of transnational terrorism. It’s nothing new, but it changes its manifestations. And of course, the worry that we have is that this nuclear proliferation in places like Pakistan will find its way into the terrorists’ game,” he said.

Identifying Pakistan as the risk of being a failed states, the former official noted that he said it “not out of malign intent”, but because of sheer instability.

“Most of us politically are used to dealing with our opposite numbers. But in a country like Pakistan, where, frankly, we’re never really sure who’s in charge, whether it’s the politicians, the military, or the ISI, we have to develop a whole range of relationships,” said Fox, who currently a Member of British Parliament.

US Chief: Iran, Not ISIS, Is Our Greatest Threat (Daniel 8)

U.S. Centcom Chief: ‘Iran Represents the Most Significant Threat’

WASHINGTON—Gen. Lloyd Austin, the top commander of U.S. military efforts against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), told a congressional panel that Iran poses the “most” serious threat to the region he oversees.“Iran represents the most significant threat to the Central Region… Iran continues to pursue policies that threaten U.S. strategic interests and goals throughout the Middle East,” declared Gen. Austin in written testimony prepared for a March 3 hearing held by the House Armed Services Committee.“Chronic instability, disenfranchised populations, and weak regional governments provide new footholds for a resilient and expanding global jihadist movement and an ideal environment for Iran and its allies to aggressively undermine U.S. regional goals,” later added Gen. Austin, who serves as the commander of U.S. Central Command (Centcom).
Centcom’s area of responsibility (AOR) known as the “Central Region” covers at least 18 countries in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia, including Iraq and Afghanistan.

Gen. Austin acknowledged that Iranian-backed militant forces have been engaged in Iraq and Syria.
The “most concerning” aspect of the Iranian threat is that the Shiite majority nation uses the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps-Qods Force, Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security, and “proxy actors” such as the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah and the Palestinian terror group Hamas to “engage in malign activity,” he said.

He pointed out that Iran has fomented unrest in Syria and Iraq where a U.S.-led coalition is combating ISIS. Iran is reportedly helping Kurdish and Shiite militias in their fight against ISIS in Iraq.

“During the past year, [Iran] primarily focused on Sunni groups in the Iraq and Syria-based conflict (including the moderate opposition in Syria) by bolstering the Syrian and Iraqi governments and overseeing engagements involving its own militant forces. Iran also maintains the ability to expand the scope of its activities,” explained Gen. Austin. “This is troubling as Iranian malign influence is enflaming sectarian tensions that are all too often exploited by violent extremist elements in the region.”

Gen. Austin testified before the House panel on the same day that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered an address to Congress against Iran’s nuclear program, warning that Iran will always be a threat to the United States.

“When it comes to Iran and ISIS, the enemy of your enemy is your enemy,” Netanyahu told U.S. lawmakers.

Despite the outcome of the nuclear talks the United States and five other countries (P5+1) are having with Iran, the U.S.-Iran relationship will remain challenging, according to Gen. Austin.

“Our diplomats are working diligently to negotiate an acceptable agreement with respect to Iran’s nuclear program, and we hope that they will be successful,” the general told lawmakers. “But, regardless of the outcome of the P5+1 discussions, our relationship with Iran will remain a challenging one, as we are very concerned by their unhelpful behavior in a number of areas.”

“One of the key opportunities that exist with respect to Iran is the prospect of an acceptable agreement regarding Iran’s nuclear program,” he later explained. “If the P5+1 are able to reach a long-term resolution, that would represent a step in the right direction and may present an unprecedented opportunity for positive change in the Central Region.”

Obama wants Iran to verifiably freeze its nuclear program for at least 10 years, a deal that Netanyahu and members of the president’s own party find unacceptable.

“While we remain hopeful that the two sides will eventually reach an acceptable deal, it is presently unclear how things will play out,” testified Gen. Austin. “We have to be prepared for what comes next. We will be prepared.”

“In addition to its nuclear program, Iran has a significant cyber capability, as well as the largest and most diverse ballistic missile arsenal in the Middle East… Iran is able to strike targets throughout the region with increasing precision using creatively adapted foreign technologies to improve its missile arsenal,” he warned. “It also has increased its anti-access area- denial air defense capabilities. Iran is improving its counter-maritime capabilities (e.g., mines, small boats, cruise missiles, submarines), which serve to threaten the flow of global commerce in the Strait of Hormuz.”

Iran is considered a state-sponsor of terror by the United States.

The First Horn Is About To Be Shattered (Daniel 8:7)

Iran’s Khamenei, suffering from cancer, rumored to be in critical condition

AFP
March 5, 2015
Report citing Western intelligence said Khamenei’s doctors give him just two years to live

The Center for Preserving and Publishing the Works of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei/AFP\

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is rumored to have been hospitalized in critical condition according to Arabic media reports, just days after a report by Le Figaro stated that doctors had given Khamenei only two years to live.

The report can not be immediately verified but Le Figaro, citing Western intelligence officials, reported Wednesday that the 76-year-old leader, is suffering from stage four prostate cancer which has spread to other parts of his body.

The 75-year-old cleric, who has ruled since the death in 1989 of the Islamic republic’s founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini underwent prostate surgery in September which official Iranian news said had been successful.

As Iran’s supreme guide, Khamenei has the final word on all matters of state and his authority far exceeds that of the country’s elected politicians, including President Hassan Rouhani.

Khamenei’s powers include direct control of the regime’s media apparatus — through state television and radio — and thus he would have personally taken the decision to publicize his surgery.

Speculation about the leader’s health has previously circled during periods of public silence from him but in recent weeks he has made numerous speeches and public appearances.

Before being appointed as head of state 25 years ago, Khamenei served as president for almost eight years during the Iran-Iraq war.

In 1981, he survived an assassination attempt which left his right arm paralyzed.

Khamenei’s powers in military matters are particularly important, as he can pronounce peace or declare war by mobilising the armed forces of which he is effectively commander-in-chief.

Iran’s Assembly of Experts, comprised of 86 religious figures elected by the people, is responsible for appointing the supreme leader and monitoring his actions.

The head of state is granted an indefinite term but the assembly has the power to dismiss him.
(with AFP)

What Iran’s Nuclear Program Looks Like (Daniel 8)

Nuclear Iran
Iran-Nuclear-Talks
Harvard University Press
04 March 2015

As has been noted, the fierce debate over a potential nuclear agreement with Iran—which reached a fever pitch this week with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the United States Congress—amounts to an argument over nuclear fission being deliberated in an arena dominated by politics, not by knowledge of physics. Such knowledge is essential, though, both for assessing Iran’s current nuclear capacity to the extent we can, and for gauging the likelihood that Iran’s actual intentions align with those stated. 

Theoretical physicist Jeremy Bernstein, known for his accessible science writing in the New Yorker and elsewhere, wrote Nuclear Iran last year to fill the need for a brief but complete discussion of the Iranian nuclear program from its inception to the present. The book offers lay readers a history of the sort of centrifuges used to produce the weapons-grade uranium needed for bombs, a discussion of the completely different technology required to produce plutonium and to use it in a nuclear weapon, and a blending of the technical and human aspects along the way. The piece below, adapted from the postscript to Nuclear Iran, compacts that science into a concise presentation of the state of Iran’s nuclear program and the potential for any agreement to contain it. 

—–

The negotiations with Iran about its nuclear program are in process as I write this. The outcome is uncertain. But I would like to try to make the issues clear. To do this I will consider two limiting cases, neither one of which has any chance of being adopted but which serve as a useful foil for the discussion.

  • Case 1: Iran agrees to give up its entire nuclear program.
  • Case 2: Iran does not agree to give up any of its program but does agree to enhanced inspections.

To discuss Case 1 we need to specify what Iran’s nuclear program is. I begin with reactors. To characterize a reactor, it is useful to specify three elements:

  1. The power output
  2. The fuel
  3. The moderator

I begin with the power output. This is usually measured in watts—a unit of energy produced per second. The practical units for reactors are millions of watts (megawatts) and billions of watts (gigawatts). If the reactor is used to produce electricity, then two kinds of power produced are distinguished—thermal power and electrical power. The thermal power is the actual power that is produced in the fission process. This is generally converted into heat, which may boil water, making steam, which in turn runs the turbines that produce electricity. About two-thirds of the thermal energy is lost for various reasons in this process, hence the watts electric are about a third of the watts thermal.

I will deal here only with watts thermal so we can compare various reactors. The fuel for these reactors are ceramic uranium pellets placed in rods. The fissile isotope is uranium 235, so we must specify what percentage of uranium 235 there is in the pellets. In the Iranian reactors this ranges from about 3.5 percent to 90 percent, which is weapons-grade. Finally we must specify the moderator. The neutrons produced in fission move at about a tenth of the speed of light. As quantum mechanical objects they have a wave nature as well as a particle nature. If the neutrons are slowed, their wavelength increases, and this increases the probability for the production of fission. The slowing down is done by a “moderator.” We shall specify the moderators for the Iranian reactors.

At the present time there are six functioning reactors in Iran, two others under construction, and plans for others. I will begin with the Tehran Research Reactor. Nominally it generates 5 megawatts of power. The fuel rods are kept in a swimming pool of ordinary water that acts as both a moderator and a coolant. At the present time the reactor uses about 19 percent enriched uranium. The Iranians are under way in producing the fuel elements for it. This reactor was originally powered by 93 percent enriched weapons-grade uranium. It appears that about 7 kilograms remain. These are highly irradiated and are apparently stored on site. For reference, about 50 kilograms of pure uranium 235 constitutes a critical mass. Uranium taken from a reactor makes a poor explosive.

The nerve center of the entire Iranian nuclear program is, as far as I am concerned, in Isfahan. It is here that yellow cake uranium is converted into uranium hexafluoride—hex—and the enriched hex is converted into useful solids that can be used in uranium fuel pellets for reactors and the like. The construction of the fuel elements is also done here. If this center were to stop functioning, the entire Iranian program would come to a halt. There are four functioning reactors on this site, all of them small. There is a subcritical reactor—meaning that the chain reaction going on in it is not self-sustaining—that uses graphite as its moderator. It was built by the Chinese, as were the other three reactors in Isfahan. This reactor seems to be used for training purposes. There is a zero-power heavy-water-moderated reactor that presumably uses natural uranium in its fuel elements. It is used for research on heavy-water applications. In principle all work on heavy water is prohibited, but the Iranians do it anyway. There is a light-water reactor that also is subcritical and used for training purposes. The most interesting of these reactors is a 30-kilowatt light-water reactor, which produces neutrons used to make medical isotopes. What is interesting about this reactor is that the fuel elements consist of weapons-grade uranium supplied by the Chinese. About 900 grams of this uranium is required to operate this reactor, which is not much, but the fact that this is weapons-grade is something to think about. The one functioning power reactor is at Bushehr. This also uses light water as a moderator and coolant. It is producing about 1 gigawatt of power. The fuel elements are 3.5 percent enriched uranium supplied by the Russians.

Two reactors are known to be under construction. All external observers agree that the only possible function for the 40-megawatt heavy-water reactor at Arak is to produce plutonium and that any agreement must change the configuration of this reactor. Finally there is a 360-megawatt power reactor that is being built by the Iranians with external aid. It is again a light-water-moderated reactor that will presumably use low enriched uranium.

There are two underground centrifuge facilities—at Natanz and Fordow. The Natanz facility is designed to hold some 25,000 centrifuges, some of which are of the latest design, replacing the original Pakistani models. At the time of the start of the negotiations, the unit had produced about 11,000 kilograms of hex enriched up to 5 percent. This sounds like a lot, until one realizes that operating a power reactor of reasonable size requires about 75,000 kilograms of uranium, 25,000 of which are replaced every two years. If the Iranian program is designed to fuel power reactors, it looks like a very small dog chasing a very large truck. This enrichment continues during the talks. On the other hand, the enrichment to 20 percent has been suspended as part of the interim agreement, and some of the existing stock has been downblended. At Fordow there are some 3,000 centrifuges, which have produced about 250 kilograms of 20 percent enriched uranium. This production is also frozen.

In addition to this there are production facilities for manufacturing new centrifuges and producing heavy water, as well as some uranium mines. The notion that all of this is somehow going to be made to vanish seems absurd. Equally absurd is the notion that none of it is going to be made to vanish. This would be a continuation of the present unsatisfactory situation. These are the two extremes the negotiators must find a path between.

Saudi Arabia Already One Of Ten Nuclear Horns (Daniel 7)

Kerry travels to Riyadh to reassure Gulf on Iran nuclear deal

Saudi Arabian Nuclear Missiles

Saudi Arabian Nuclear Missiles

Debka
March 3, 2015

US Secretary of State John Kerry was traveling Wednesday to Saudi Arabia to try to assure Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members that an Iran nuclear deal would not lead to regional instability. He meets their foreign ministers Thursday at the Riyadh Air Base and Saudi King Salman and Saudi foreign and interior ministers later at the king’s ranch northwest of Riyadh. DEBKAfile: If Kerry hoped to discourage Gulf states from entering into a nuclear race with Iran, he is too late. Saudi Arabia has already signed a nuclear-sharing pact with Pakistan and bought nuclear-capable ICBMs from China.