Obama Is Correct, About Three Months (Revelation 15:2)

  
How long would it take Iran to develop nukes? No one knows the answer for sure

By Kristina Wong

Experts aren’t sure how long it would take Iran to develop a nuclear weapon.

The timeframe is key to the debate surrounding the administration’s negotiations with Iran and other countries on a nuclear deal that would place limits on Iran’s program in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.

The Senate this week approved legislation that will allow Congress to review a deal — and to vote to disapprove it. The House will take up the bill next week.

A key factor that lawmakers will consider is the risk that Iran will obtain nuclear weapons, and they will want to know whether any deal negotiated with Iran is extending the time Tehran would need to develop a bomb.

“How far along is Iran in the weaponization process?” Rep. Eliot Engel (N.Y.), the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said at an April hearing. “If Iran were to enrich enough fissile material to achieve a ‘breakout,’ how long would it then take them to then build a warhead and mate it to missile? We must have answers to these questions.”

The Obama administration has warned that Iran needs just two or three months of “breakout time,” or, time it would take for Iran to have enough fissile material to build a nuclear weapon.

But it would still take more time for Iran to create a weapon.

“What this means is that even if Iran crosses that line, it would still have a long way to go to have a nuclear weapon it can use, let alone a stockpile of nuclear weapons,” said Ariane Tabatabai, an associate at the Belfer Center’s International Security Program.

President Obama said in March 2013 that it would take over a year for Iran to actually develop a nuclear weapon.

The year-long assessment tracks with an estimate from Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. In a September 2012 address at the United Nations, he indicated it would take about a year for Iran to develop a bomb.Later that year, he switched to the earliest time estimated to get enough fissile material, which at the time he said was “six months.”

People get confused between the two definitions, of getting enough material and developing a bomb, said Frank Von Hippel, professor and co-director of Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security.

There are multiple steps to getting a nuclear bomb, and producing enough weapons grade uranium is just the first step, said Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists.

Iran would also have to develop a warhead, get the uranium into the warhead, and have a way to deliver it, he said. Even then, it’s not clear whether the weapon would work, since Iran has never done any nuclear weapons testing.

Experts say they can’t assess how close Iran is to actually completing those steps, without knowing what past research it has done, and how far it went.

The agreement being negotiated is supposed to address the issue, commonly referred to as “past military dimensions” of Iran’s nuclear program.

Lawmakers have called for answers on how long it would actually take.

“We need to know how far along Iran progressed in their weaponization so that we can understand those consequences as it relates to other breakout time issues,” Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), co-sponsor of the Iran bill, said Thursday.

Negotiators last month reached a framework agreement on a deal that would extend Iran’s breakout time to a year. Negotiators are not trying to fill in all the details on a deal by June 30.

“The breakout time has become the main criterion for judging how much Iran scales back its nuclear program under a deal but it is far from being fully reliable,” said Tabatabai.

The “worst case assumption” is that Iran could build a nuclear bomb as soon as Iran obtains enough weapons-grade uranium, Von Hippel said.

He said Iran has done some research on warhead design, but without knowing how far it got, it’s impossible to know.

“Nobody knows the answer,” he said.

The Deal That Will Never Happen (Ezekiel 17)

 Beyond the Iran Nuclear Deal

THE EDITORIAL BOARD
MAY 9, 2015

President Obama’s meeting with Arab leaders this week is an opportunity to reassure the deeply skeptical Gulf states that America’s engagement and probable nuclear deal with Iran is not a threat but an opportunity for regional stability.

Iran is a Shiite nation; the Gulf states are majority Sunni, and the closer Iran and the big powers get to a deal (the self-imposed deadline is June 30) the more anxious the Sunni leaders have become. On this score, Mr. Obama can offer a convincing response: an Iran restrained by a strong and verifiable nuclear agreement is a lot less threatening than an unfettered Iran.

But there is another aspect to the deal that has unsettled Gulf leaders. In exchange for limitations on its nuclear program, Iran will be freed from economic sanctions, thus unleashing billions of dollars in frozen assets and new foreign investments. The Gulf states fear this could strengthen Iran’s influence in the region and give it more resources to support militant groups like Hezbollah and continue its meddling in Iraq, Yemen and Syria, where, with Russia, it is a major enabler of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.

They also worry that the United States, eager to end three decades of hostility with Iran, can no longer be counted on to guarantee their security. Here Mr. Obama’s answer is a bit more complicated. He is expected to make more explicit the security assurances, but he should flatly reject any idea of a formal pact similar to that of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization that some Arab leaders have pressed for. The United States must be extremely cautious about being dragged into Middle East conflicts.

Getting the balance right won’t be easy. It is one thing for Mr. Obama to say the United States will defend Saudi Arabia against an invasion by Iran. But what would America’s responsibility be if Iran uses proxies to stir trouble in Saudi Arabia, which is a more plausible scenario? There should be a clear understanding that America will not defend any of these regimes against their domestic political opponents.

The United States has already sold billions of dollars in weapons to the Gulf states and held scores of joint military exercises. More aid, and more joint exercises, lie ahead. The most important step now is to integrate the Gulf nations’ military systems so they can better defend themselves.

Iran is not the only threat the Gulf states face, or even the main one. As Mr. Obama told The Times’s Thomas Friedman, there are internal threats — “populations that, in some cases, are alienated, youth that are underemployed, an ideology that is destructive and nihilistic, and in some cases, just a belief that there are no legitimate political outlets for grievances.” Few people see democracy taking root in the region anytime soon, but the political systems have to be made more inclusive, including for Islamists.

There is one other important point Mr. Obama can make: Iran is too often discussed as a force to be contained. Iran’s history certainly does not inspire confidence. But as Ellen Laipson, president of The Stimson Center, a think tank, has argued, the nuclear deal should be seen as “a great moment of opportunity” for the Arabs (with Israel’s tacit agreement) to embark on new regional ventures with Iran on energy, climate change, water scarcity and arms control.

If the nuclear deal is completed, the administration would try to encourage Iran to play a more constructive role in Syria. Many are skeptical that this will produce results, but testing the possibility of expanded cooperation beyond the nuclear deal is certainly worth the effort.

Antichrist threatens to attack US interests (Rev 13)

The Hypocrites Of Babylon (Ezekiel 17)

Hypocrisy

Who are the hypocrites?

(CNN) The past few weeks have brought a head-spinning display of pronouncements from people claiming to speak on behalf of “freedom.” Of those pretending to defend basic rights for everyone, it’s hard to judge who’s the most egregious and insincere. So here are my nominees for the most hypocritical defenders of human rights of recent days.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei unleashed a barrage of tweets, gleefully rubbing his virtual hands at the anguish in the United States. “Power with cruelty isn’t favored by #Islam. #Police should embody justice and mercy by being potent,” he tweeted.
Clearly, the Ayatollah makes a fine distinction between police and other “law and order” groups such as Iran’s infamous Basij militias, who help the ayatollahs keep control when people protest about, say, stolen elections. The Ayatollah’s worries about abuse of power could be more usefully channeled toward well-documented human rights violations that are endemic in Iran, a place where his power is nearly absolute.
You know who else is worried about the police killing an innocent man in Baltimore? ISIS. Yes, the self-described Islamic State, which slaughters Christians, Yazidis and any Muslim who disagrees with it, posted pictures of black and white jihadis play-sparring to let us know that “In the Islamic state is no difference between black and white.”
ISIS is known for its brutality.

North Korea’s news agency carefully downplayed the notion of protesting against injustice. But its Baltimore story explained that Americans “are human butchers without equals.”
In Turkey, where the increasingly autocratic government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was internationally criticized for its violent suppression of anti-government protests, an Erdogan loyalist, the mayor of Ankara, put on an undiplomatic show of schadenfreude, calling out the State Department’s Marie Harf, “Where are you stupid blonde, who accused Turkish police of using disproportionate force?”
These statements of purported support for targets of reprehensible police actions in the United States have nothing to do with concern for the victims. The hypocrisy is an effort to score political points and blunt criticism against regimes with continuing human rights violations in countries where abuses have triggered no prosecutions, self-examination or change in behavior.
The self-proclaimed free speech defenders who actually promote hate.
When two gunmen opened fire in Garland, Texas, trying to make their way into a hall hosting a cartoon contest about the Prophet Mohammed, there was little doubt what their ideology would turn out to be. The shooters, who were killed, are the ones responsible for the attack. No one should be the target of assassins because of the cartoons they draw or the contests they promote.
That said, the event organizer, Pamela Geller, and her American Freedom Defense Initiative are a study in hypocrisy. They claim to defend free speech — a right worth defending — but instead they foment hatred. Geller holds that all Muslims are potential enemies. Her Stop the Islamization of America group claims that “The U.S. constitution is under attack.”
Her views and tactics have been repudiated by the Anti-Defamation League and even right-wing conservatives are speaking against her.
When Geller compared herself to civil rights hero Rosa Parks, someone — was it Fox’s Martha McCullum or the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue — suggested Geller should act in a “Christian way,” an awkward plea for interfaith tolerance.
The PEN writers who support free speech — unless they don’t like it.
When the respected writers’ group PEN decided to award its Freedom of Expression Courage honor to the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, it seemed an obvious choice. Charlie Hebdo displayed immeasurable courage when it continued publishing despite an earlier firebombing and threats over cartoons that many Muslims found deeply offensive. The courage was beyond doubt, as was proven in January when Islamic radicals killed a dozen people in the magazine’s offices.
At the time, everyone declared “I am Charlie.” But now six prominent writers — Francine Prose, Teju Cole, Michael Ondaatje, Peter Carey, Rachel Kushner, Taiye Selasi — have decided Charlie should not be honored. It turns out they believe free speech should be respected only when one approves of its content, which is precisely what those who oppose free speech argue.
These critics accuse the magazine of having an anti-Islam agenda. But that is patently false. Ten years of covers prove Charlie’s agenda is opposing dogmatism. Cringe-worthy cartoons mocking Christian and Jewish dogma are just as common. Islam is a less-frequently mocked religion. The president of the anti-racism group SOS Racisme called Charlie “the greatest anti-racist weekly in the country.”
The writer Salman Rushdie — whose writings prompted Iran to issue a fatwa, a religious ruling, which called for his killing — fulminated against the writers who decided to boycott the PEN award event, saying, “I hope nobody ever comes after them.” He called them “Six authors in search of a bit of character.”
Amnesty International defends human rights for most people.
Amnesty International normally acts as a force for good and has arduously defended many against human rights abuses, so it is with no small amount of displeasure that I note its regrettable demonstration of hypocrisy.
When the organization held its annual meeting last month, members raised motions to sharpen the pursuit of its mission to protect human rights around the world. Every one of the proposals won approval — except one.
A motion calling on the group to combat an epidemic of anti-Semitism spiraling in the United Kingdom was the only resolution defeated at the meeting. The proposal would have Amnesty support the recommendations from a British study that found record high and rising levels of anti-Jewish violence. It had nothing to do with Israel or the Palestinians, the usual explanation given for dismissing charges of anti-Semitism in Europe.
Amnesty, which approved motions to defend Colombian trade union members, Guatemalan rule-of-law violations, and other issues, explained, “We can’t campaign on everything.” With that, Amnesty became a finalist in my hypocrites list.

Putin Is Ready For A Nuclear War (Dan 7:7)

Russia vs. USA: Is Putin Ready For A Nuclear War?
Posted By: Polina TikhonovaPosted date: May 08, 2015 07:50:01

As NATO tickles the Kremlin’s nerves by launching military drills on Russia’s doorstep, and the Kremlin, for its part, is preparing for the World War 2 victory celebrations on May 9, military analysts are evaluating the risks of a possible war between Russia and the West.
Russia has recently made the moves that can be interpreted as ‘threatening’ to the United States. Russia’s leadership has initiated a process to modernize all of its warheads as well as launch systems.
The Kremlin’s nuclear update process also includes the replacement of Soviet-era intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) with new rocket launch systems and the developments of a cutting-edge deadly Borei-class ballistic missile submarine.
It will take Russia approximately ten years to upgrade two of its older ballistic missile submarine classes to the newly updated Borei class, which is likely to feature advanced electronics as well as other developments.
However, the US is not pulling up the rear. The US is also set to upgrade its nuclear forces and launch platforms in an aim to turn its arsenal into a more intimidating machine without the need to manufacture new warheads.
It is estimated by the Congressional Budget Office that over the coming decade, the US’s nuclear plans will involve about $348 billion total. Although, with the rising threat from Russia’s side, the number might double or triple.

Tensions between NATO and Russia grow

The news come as NATO has recently ordered its forces to flex muscles on Russia’s doorstep by launching large-scale military drills, which will include thousands of troops and are taking place in Estonia, Lithuania (both the Baltic states) and Norway. The operation, which is codenamed Dynamic Mongoose, involves forces from the United States, Britain, Germany, Latvia, Poland and Sweden.
The military drills were launched on Monday and are expected to last for two weeks.
Will Russia, with its 2,000 units of military hardware and about 80,000 troops participating in the massive World War 2 victory parade May 9 in Moscow’s Red Square, be tempted to respond to such “threatening to Russian sovereignty” and “downplaying the Russia’s role in the world” moves?
ValueWalk asked this question one of the experts of ‘Voennaya Analitika’ analytic center, Ivan Shevchenko, who has also participated in the military operation against pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine.
“As difficult as it might be for Russia to resist the temptation, I don’t believe Putin is ready to initiate an all-out war against Ukraine or any other neighboring state on May 9. In my opinion, Putin prefers doing everything gradually, as if he is hesitating at every step or thinking every step through – that is Putin’s tactic. And he’s good at it,” Shevchenko expressed his opinion.
While most of the Western – and not just Western – countries declined Putin’s invitation to take part in the World War 2 victory celebration in Moscow, it will include Cuba, the only American state to take part in the event, Brazil, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Norway, all former Soviet states in the Asia-Eurasia region, and some other countries.
“The leaders who will be with Putin on the reviewing stand will not be mere guests,” wrote the opposition magazine The New Times. “For Russians it will be a map of the world which is able to confront American diktat.”
Shevchenko believes that while attending the parade, the countries that will be attending it are likely to gather for a group meeting in order to discuss “a possible cooperation plan against the US.”
“What we’ve seen during the past half a year is that Russia is not relying on its pro-Russian rebels as much as it relies on its diplomatic actions to destabilize the situation in Ukraine, the EU, and as a result, with the ‘domino effect’, in the US,” Shevchenko said.
In Shevchenko’s opinion, a nuclear war between Russia and the US is not something that ‘will definitely happen’, but rather something that a few years ago was impossible but now turned out to be ‘possible’.
“When Western people look at Russia now, they see Putin all over it. Today, Putin is in every inch of Russia’s essence, and what he believes to be the next ‘right’ move, he will do it. And the world will have to deal with the consequences of one man’s doings. That, of course, if the West doesn’t stop him with non-military means, or military means for that matter, until it’s too late,” Shevchenko said.
However, according to Russia’s most influential foreign policy expert, Fyodor Lukyanov, Russia is not interested in annexing any more countries or testing NATO’s Article V, which means that all member-states would come to the aid of an attacked ally.
When Max Fisher, the foreign editor at Vox, asked Lukyanov about the possibility of “dangerous misunderstandings,” he said that the big conflict “might happen,” adding that “one step, another step, and reciprocity can become very dangerous.”
Lukyanov also stated that “Russia feels very vulnerable, although maybe a little bit less since the improvement of conventional forces.” And according to him, it is widely believed that the only guarantee for Russian security, sovereignty and existence is the nuclear deterrent.
The interview was concluded with Lukyanov saying that “in general” he doesn’t think Russian people “are in the mood of launching a war.”
“Rather, the perception is that somebody would try to undermine Russia as a country that opposes the United States, and then we will need to defend ourselves by military means.”
May 9 is near, and the question is: will Russia find “the need” to defend itself on this occasion? Will Putin view the absence of most of the world’s leaders at the parade as a ‘fascism encouraging’ action?