Seven Questions For The Seven Bowls Of Wrath (Rev 16)

Seven key questions about the Iran nuclear negotiations

Iran's Amazing Centrifuge Capabiity

Iran’s Amazing Centrifuge Capabiity

Then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran inspects centrifuges at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in March 2007. How many centrifuges Iran should be allowed to run is a key point in the current nuclear negotiations. (Iran’s Presidency Office / European Pressphoto Agency)

By PAUL RICHTER

The deal in the works would limit the number of centrifuges Iran runs and reduce its uranium stockpile

Supporters of a negotiated deal say it would limit Iran more than a military strike or further sanctions
Opponents of a deal say tougher sanctions would force Iran to make more concessions
The U.S. and five other world powers have negotiated with Iran almost nonstop for 18 months in an effort to subject that country’s nuclear program to international controls.

If the talks succeed, Iran would accept limits on its nuclear efforts. In return, it would get relief from some economic sanctions imposed by the U.S., Europe and the United Nations.

The deal is complex, and negotiators have emphasized that no provisions are agreed to until a final agreement has been reached. U.S. officials contend that the deal could look quite different from what’s been reported publicly so far. Here are some of the major issues:

How many centrifuges would Iran be allowed to operate?

Centrifuges are complex machines that spin uranium gas at high speeds in order to separate fissionable uranium from nonfissile material. The enriched uranium they produce can be used to fuel reactors to generate power or, if enriched to a high level, as fuel for a bomb.

Iran is known to have about 19,000 IR-1 centrifuges, often referred to as first-generation machines because they are less sophisticated than newer models. They are installed at two uranium-enrichment facilities at Natanz and Fordow.

Last summer, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said the country ultimately needed the enrichment capacity of 190,000 first-generation centrifuges to fuel a domestic nuclear-power industry.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long demanded that Iran’s enrichment facilities be entirely dismantled, although this month, he signaled for the first time that he could accept Tehran being allowed a very limited enrichment capacity.

Negotiators are considering allowing Iran to maintain somewhere between 6,000 and 8,000 centrifuges for the duration of the deal. Iran would not be allowed to deploy newer centrifuges that can enrich uranium more quickly.

What other restrictions would be placed on Iran’s nuclear stockpile?

Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium would be cut sharply from about 8,000 kilograms the country has now to perhaps below 1,000 kilograms. Negotiators have discussed shipping much of the material to Russia to limit Iran’s access to it.

The six world powers also want to limit the way Iran’s centrifuges are connected in groups called cascades. That’s designed to limit their output.

The overall goal is to limit Iran’s production and stockpiling of enriched uranium so that the country would need 12 months to produce enough fissile material to fuel one bomb. That period is called the “breakout time.” Currently, Iran’s breakout time is estimated to be two or three months.

What sort of nuclear research activities would Iran be barred from conducting?

The six world powers want to restrict Iran’s ability to develop higher-capacity centrifuges, because such devices would allow them to generate more enriched uranium more quickly and shorten the breakout time. This has been a hotly disputed issue because Iran views nuclear research as a point of national pride and says no other country has to live with such restrictions.

The U.S. and its allies say Iran should be subject to unprecedented restrictions given its history of efforts to evade international nuclear rules.

What sort of monitoring would Iran have to accept?

Western officials want to impose tougher monitoring than any country has ever faced, and they say they want this scrutiny to last indefinitely. They want regular access to all of Iran’s enrichment sites and also to uranium mines and all other sites related to nuclear production. They also want quick access to Iran’s military sites. That may be difficult to negotiate, because the Iranian Revolutionary Guard corps has consistently refused access to inspectors from the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog agency.

How long would the deal last?

Negotiators have been discussing a deal that would last about 10 years, with restraints on Iran being lifted gradually during an additional period of five or so years. U.S. officials say, however, that rigorous monitoring of Iran would last indefinitely, and they hint that other restrictions might remain in place after the 10-year period.

Long-lasting restrictions could be resisted strongly by Iran because its leadership has promised the public repeatedly that before long, the country will be treated like any other nation that has signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Last year, Iran was insisting that the deal could last only about seven years.

How quickly would economic sanctions be lifted?

Some sanctions would be eased quickly, including some imposed by the European Union and perhaps some U.S. sanctions that President Obama can waive using his executive authority. But the world powers want to keep substantial sanctions in place for years, lifting them as Iran proves that it will live up to the terms of the deal.

Iran needs enough sanctions relief right away to generate the kind of economic boost that its public hopes to see from the deal. Iran has also been pushing for quick relief from United Nations sanctions. Those are less onerous than U.S. or European sanctions but are important in part because they lend international legitimacy to the sanctions imposed by the Western countries.

What’s the bottom line on whether the deal is good or not?

The argument from the Obama administration is that a negotiated deal that limits what Iran can do and imposes strict monitoring is the best approach considering the alternatives.

Preventing Iran from gaining nuclear capability for more than 10 years provides more security than a military strike, they say. A military strike, even if it worked, would only set the Iranian program back by two or three years after which Iran would probably halt all U.N. inspections and go full tilt to obtain the bomb, U.S. officials say.

A negotiated deal would also accomplish more than additional sanctions, the White House contends. Officials note that Iran’s leaders have continued to expand the nuclear program even as the U.S., Europe and the U.N. imposed crippling sanctions in the last few years.

Many members of Congress, the Israeli government and some outside experts, however, dispute the administration’s argument about sanctions. They contend that further blows to Iran’s economy would force the country to make more concessions.

For more on U.S. foreign policy, follow @RichtPau on Twitter.

WW3 Edging Closer (Revelation 16)

Is WW3 edging closer? Vladimir Putin to station missiles and nuclear bombers in Crimea

Threat: Putin attends meeting of the Russian Pobeda (Victory) Organising Committee in the Kremlin today
Threat: Putin attends meeting of the Russian Pobeda (Victory) Organising Committee in the Kremlin today
Russian leader Vladimir Putin today announced plans to station missiles and nuclear-capable bombers in Crimea as the country continues to ‘coerce’ its neighbours.

Putin is to keep first-strike missiles in the Baltic state amid tensions with the West as Russia boasts its resurgent military power.

Russian military exercises this week range from the Arctic to the Pacific Ocean and involve tens of thousands of troops, the Defence Ministry said.

It was also revealed Iskander missiles will be sent to Russia’s Kaliningrad region bordering Nato members Poland and Lithuania as part of the manoeuvres.

Saudis Preparing For New Middle East Order (Dan 7:7)

As nuclear deadline nears, fears Saudi may try to match Iran

Saudis' Parade Nuclear Bomb

Saudis’ Parade Nuclear Bomb

By Ian Timberlake

Riyadh (AFP) – Fears that Shiite Iran will remain a potential nuclear threat under a mooted international deal have raised concerns that Tehran’s Sunni rival Saudi Arabia could seek its own atomic capability.

As the March 31 deadline for talks between Tehran and world powers approaches, an influential Saudi prince has suggested his country will respond in kind if a final deal leaves open the possibility of a nuclear Iran.

Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal warned this month that a deal between Tehran and the so-called P5+1 powers (Britain, France, China, Russia, the United States plus Germany) could spark a nuclear race in the region.

“I’ve always said whatever comes out of these talks, we will want the same,” Prince Turki, the kingdom’s former intelligence chief and ex-envoy to Washington, told the BBC.

“So if Iran has the ability to enrich uranium to whatever level, it’s not just Saudi Arabia that’s going to ask for that.

“The whole world will be an open door to go that route without any inhibition, and that’s my main objection to this P5+1 process,” he said.

Negotiators are trying this week in Switzerland to reach a deal over Iran’s nuclear programme, which Tehran insists is peaceful but which world powers fear will give the Islamic republic a nuclear weapon.

Under a landmark November 2013 interim deal, Tehran stopped expanding its nuclear activities in return for minor relief from sanctions which have crippled its economy.

– Regional rivals –

Tehran and the international group are still far apart on key issues including the future size of Iran’s capacity for uranium enrichment, a process which can make nuclear fuel but also the ingredients for a bomb.

As the deadline nears, Washington appears to have abandoned demands that Iran completely dismantle its nuclear activities, raising fears in the Gulf, where Saudi Arabia has long vied with Iran for regional influence.

“There is a concern that Saudi Arabia and perhaps other states in the region may now seek similar capabilities” to Iran’s, said Mark Fitzpatrick, director of the non-proliferation and disarmament programme at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.

“Seeing how costly this has been for Iran, however, I expect the kingdom will think twice about going down such a route.”

The oil-rich region is already looking to diversify its energy sources with nuclear power. The first of four reactors being built for the United Arab Emirates by a South Korea-led consortium is to come online in 2017.

Saudi Arabia, the Arab world’s largest economy, this month signed a preliminary deal for technical and other nuclear cooperation with South Korea.

Still, experts said that even if Arab Gulf states develop atomic energy, they would be a long way from possessing nuclear weapons.

With most lacking technology for nuclear enrichment, if they wanted to quickly acquire weapons-grade material they would have to buy it, said Anthony Cordesman of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

– ‘Jeopardising’ ties with US –

“Then the only way they could turn it into weapons, given their technology base, would be to have access to the weapons designs of a country like Pakistan,” he said.

Asaad al-Shamlan, a political science professor at Riyadh’s Institute of Diplomatic Studies, said he sees no basis for “speculation” that Riyadh is pursuing nuclear power as a way of countering Iran.

“I don’t think it’s geared towards that,” he said, adding that the economic case for nuclear power is forceful in a country which consumes much of its own petroleum resources for electricity.

Still, he said a nuclear deal that leaves Iran with “latent capability” — the potential to quicky develop nuclear weapons from a peaceful programme — would raise concerns among Gulf countries.

“One of the options is for the GCC countries to try to acquire at least an equal capacity for such latent capability,” Shamlan said, referring to the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council.

But politically that would be far from simple.

“It’s very easy to say ‘Oh, let’s go for a latent capability’,” Shamlan said.

“But I think that has to be addressed within the framework of the strategic relationship with the West, how to address this question without jeopardising the close relationship with United States.”

The Beast Of The Sea Speaks Blasphemous Words (Rev 13:6)

Cheney: Obama Is ‘Worst President in My Lifetime’

Dick Cheney  Speech
Former VP speaks to ‘Playboy’ about race, torture, military

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2015 8:37 AM CDT
 
(Newser) – Dick Cheney spends his days sipping lattes in custom-ordered Starbucks cups surrounded by military history and political biography books in his study in Virginia—and apparently brewing over how President Obama has ruined the country. In an interview with Playboy, the former vice president describes the changes since his time in office.

  • On Ferguson: Cheney says Michael Brown’s killing shouldn’t be thrown “all over on the burden of race, or racial inequality, or racial discrimination.” He adds, “I don’t think it is about race. I think it is about an individual who conducted himself in a manner that was almost guaranteed to provoke an officer trying to do his duty.” He adds he’s “disappointed” with the Obama administration’s response to protests.

Putin Ready To Go Nuclear (Dan 7:7)

Putin Says Russia Was Ready to Activate Nuclear Arsenal Over Crimea

putin-looks-down-600x400-ts412
Mar 16, 2015
Los Angeles Times | by Carol J. Williams

REPORTING FROM MOSCOW — Russia would have activated its nuclear arsenal if necessary a year ago when its troops secured the Crimean peninsula and carried out a referendum on the strategic peninsula’s secession from Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a documentary that aired Sunday.

In the report timed to Monday’s anniversary of the referendum, “Crimea: Path to the Motherland,” Putin justifies Moscow’s seizure of the Black Sea territory as necessary to protect Russians and military bases from what he described as a nationalist junta that had taken power in Kiev.

Putin accused the United States of masterminding the three-month uprising in the Ukrainian capital that ended with the ouster of Kremlin-allied President Viktor Yanukovich, who has since taken refuge in Russia.

While the documentary was clearly prerecorded, it served to project a vibrant and defiant image of the Russian president, who hasn’t been seen in public for more than a week, spurring rumors that he is sick or has been deposed in a palace coup.

The Kremlin website on Sunday also carried a message of condolence from Putin on the death of Russian writer Valentin Rasputin.

The documentary covered the year since the March 16 referendum in which 97 percent of voters among Crimea’s two million residents were said to have supported secession. Two days later, Putin issued a decree annexing the peninsula, which is home to Russia’s Black Sea fleet and Soviet-era air bases.

Part of the operation to secure Crimea from the unrest that has spread across eastern Ukraine since Yanukovich was deposed on Feb. 21, 2014, included the deployment of K-300P Bastion coastal defense missiles to demonstrate Russia’s willingness to protect the peninsula from military attack, Putin said in one excerpt of the documentary, set to air Sunday night on Rossiya-1 television.

“We deployed them in a way that made them seen clearly from space,” Putin said of the missiles.

He also said the Russian military had been prepared to put nuclear weapons on alert if necessary.
Putin said he personally ordered the Crimean operation to protect the Russian community there.

“We cannot let the people be pushed under the steamroller of the nationalists,” he said of the decision made immediately after Yanukovich fled Kiev.

But he insisted that Russia first conducted an “emergency public opinion poll” to ascertain what the people of Crimea wanted in the way of a relationship with the new government in Kiev. He said 75 percent of those asked before the referendum expressed the desire to be reunited with Russia.

“Our goal was not to take Crimea by annexing it. Our final goal was to allow the people to express their wishes on how they want to live,” Putin said.

Crimea was conquered by czarist Russia in the late 18th century and remained part of the Russian Federation after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. But in 1954, Ukrainian-born Soviet leader Nikita S. Khrushchev ceded the peninsula to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. At the time, the gesture had little strategic significance, since the two republics had common armed forces and were within the same country.

Crimea became part of independent Ukraine amid the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union, a fact that has grated on Russian nationalists ever since.

Putin’s annexation of Crimea has been met with euphoric support in Russia, where state-run media coverage casts the Ukrainian political and security conflicts as the work of anti-Russian fascists and U.S. and Western European backers.