East Coast Still Unprepared For The Sixth Seal (Rev 6:12)

East Coast Earthquake Preparedness

By By BEN NUCKOLS

Posted: 08/25/2011 8:43 am EDT

WASHINGTON — There were cracks in the Washington Monument and broken capstones at the National Cathedral. In the District of Columbia suburbs, some people stayed in shelters because of structural concerns at their apartment buildings.

A day after the East Coast’s strongest earthquake in 67 years, inspectors assessed the damage and found that most problems were minor. But the shaking raised questions about whether this part of the country, with its older architecture and inexperience with seismic activity, is prepared for a truly powerful quake.

The 5.8 magnitude quake felt from Georgia north to Canada prompted swift inspections of many structures Wednesday, including bridges and nuclear plants. An accurate damage estimate could take weeks, if not longer. And many people will not be covered by insurance.

In a small Virginia city near the epicenter, the entire downtown business district was closed. School was canceled for two weeks to give engineers time to check out cracks in several buildings.

At the 555-foot Washington Monument, inspectors found several cracks in the pyramidion – the section at the top of the obelisk where it begins narrowing to a point.

A 4-foot crack was discovered Tuesday during a visual inspection by helicopter. It cannot be seen from the ground. Late Wednesday, the National Park Service announced that structural engineers had found several additional cracks inside the top of the monument.

Carol Johnson, a park service spokeswoman, could not say how many cracks were found but said three or four of them were “significant.” Two structural engineering firms that specialize in assessing earthquake damage were being brought in to conduct a more thorough inspection on Thursday.

The monument, by far the tallest structure in the nation’s capital, was to remain closed indefinitely, and Johnson said the additional cracks mean repairs are likely to take longer. It has never been damaged by a natural disaster, including earthquakes in Virginia in 1897 and New York in 1944.

Tourists arrived at the monument Wednesday morning only to find out they couldn’t get near it. A temporary fence was erected in a wide circle about 120 feet from the flags that surround its base. Walkways were blocked by metal barriers manned by security guards.

“Is it really closed?” a man asked the clerk at the site’s bookstore.

“It’s really closed,” said the clerk, Erin Nolan. Advance tickets were available for purchase, but she cautioned against buying them because it’s not clear when the monument will open.

“This is pretty much all I’m going to be doing today,” Nolan said.

Tuesday’s quake was centered about 40 miles northwest of Richmond, 90 miles south of Washington and 3.7 miles underground. In the nearby town of Mineral, Va., Michael Leman knew his Main Street Plumbing & Electrical Supply business would need – at best – serious and expensive repairs.

At worst, it could be condemned. The facade had become detached from the rest of the building, and daylight was visible through a 4- to 6-inch gap that opened between the front wall and ceiling.

“We’re definitely going to open back up,” Leman said. “I’ve got people’s jobs to look out for.”

Leman said he is insured, but some property owners might not be so lucky.

The Insurance Information Institute said earthquakes are not covered under standard U.S. homeowners or business insurance policies, although supplemental coverage is usually available.

The institute says coverage for other damage that may result from earthquakes, such as fire and water damage from burst gas or water pipes, is provided by standard homeowners and business insurance policies in most states. Cars and other vehicles with comprehensive insurance would also be protected.

The U.S. Geological Survey classified the quake as Alert Level Orange, the second-most serious category on its four-level scale. Earthquakes in that range lead to estimated losses between $100 million and $1 billion.

In Culpeper, Va., about 35 miles from the epicenter, walls had buckled at the old sanctuary at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, which was constructed in 1821 and drew worshippers including Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and J.E.B. Stuart. Heavy stone ornaments atop a pillar at the gate were shaken to the ground. A chimney from the old Culpeper Baptist Church built in 1894 also tumbled down.

At the Washington National Cathedral, spokesman Richard Weinberg said the building’s overall structure remains sound and damage was limited to “decorative elements.”

Massive stones atop three of the four spires on the building’s central tower broke off, crashing onto the roof. At least one of the spires is teetering badly, and cracks have appeared in some flying buttresses.

Repairs were expected to cost millions of dollars – an expense not covered by insurance.

“Every single portion of the exterior is carved by hand, so everything broken off is a piece of art,” Weinberg said. “It’s not just the labor, but the artistry of replicating what was once there.”

The building will remain closed as a precaution. Services to dedicate the memorial honoring Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. were moved.

Other major cities along the East Coast that felt the shaking tried to gauge the risk from another quake.

A few hours after briefly evacuating New York City Hall, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city’s newer buildings could withstand a more serious earthquake. But, he added, questions remain about the older buildings that are common in a metropolis founded hundreds of years ago.

“We think that the design standards of today are sufficient against any eventuality,” he said. But “there are questions always about some very old buildings. … Fortunately those tend to be low buildings, so there’s not great danger.”

An earthquake similar to the one in Virginia could do billions of dollars of damage if it were centered in New York, said Barbara Nadel, an architect who specializes in securing buildings against natural disasters and terrorism.

The city’s 49-page seismic code requires builders to prepare for significant shifting of the earth. High-rises must be built with certain kinds of bracing, and they must be able to safely sway at least somewhat to accommodate for wind and even shaking from the ground, Nadel said.

Buildings constructed in Boston in recent decades had to follow stringent codes comparable to anything in California, said Vernon Woodworth, an architect and faculty member at the Boston Architectural College. New construction on older structures also must meet tough standards to withstand severe tremors, he said.

It’s a different story with the city’s older buildings. The 18th- and 19th-century structures in Boston’s Back Bay, for instance, were often built on fill, which can liquefy in a strong quake, Woodworth said. Still, there just aren’t many strong quakes in New England.

The last time the Boston area saw a quake as powerful as the one that hit Virginia on Tuesday was in 1755, off Cape Ann, to the north. A repeat of that quake would likely cause deaths, Woodworth said. Still, the quakes are so infrequent that it’s difficult to weigh the risks versus the costs of enacting tougher building standards regionally, he said.

People in several of the affected states won’t have much time to reflect before confronting another potential emergency. Hurricane Irene is approaching the East Coast and could skirt the Mid-Atlantic region by the weekend and make landfall in New England after that.

In North Carolina, officials were inspecting an aging bridge that is a vital evacuation route for people escaping the coastal barrier islands as the storm approaches.

Speaking at an earthquake briefing Wednesday, Washington Mayor Vincent Gray inadvertently mixed up his disasters.

“Everyone knows, obviously, that we had a hurricane,” he said before realizing his mistake.

“Hurricane,” he repeated sheepishly as reporters and staffers burst into laughter. “I’m getting ahead of myself!”

___

Associated Press writers Sam Hananel in Washington; Alex Dominguez in Baltimore; Bob Lewis in Mineral, Va.; Samantha Gross in New York City; and Jay Lindsay in Boston contributed to this report.

Trump Finalizes the End to the Iran Deal

U.S. reimposes all Iran sanctions lifted under nuclear deal

It’s the second batch of penalties reimposed since President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in May.

Nov. 2, 2018 / 9:05 AM MDT

By Erik Sherman

The White House announced Friday it is reimposing economic and trade sanctions on Iran, starting at midnight on Sunday. The move is intended to change the country’s politics through economic pressure on its ability to sell oil. But the impact is likely to be small on world markets, and even possibly reduced, for now, on Iran itself.

When President Donald Trump announced in May that the U.S. would pull out from the multi-party Iran nuclear deal and resume sanctions, global oil markets reacted quickly. Prices topped $85 a barrel, a four-year high. But the rally faded as markets digested the news and planned for the immediate future.

Following Friday’s announcement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, crude oil prices on Friday were actually down, not up. Brent crude oil was at around $72 a barrel and U.S. light crude was at just over $68, both down by around 18 percent since early October.

The reason is that Iranian production is a “tertiary” factor at best right now, according to Chirag Rathi, a consulting director with market research firm Frost & Sullivan.

The biggest issue affecting oil prices is the tension between the U.S. and China, which is causing a “global trade war,” said Rathi. When economic activity slows, there is less demand for oil, reducing price pressures — and the U.S. and China are the world’s two largest oil consumers.

The second major factor is domestic oil production, which has continued to climb, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration figures. Also, U.S. stocks of crude oil have been climbing. The additional supply strengthens the effect of lowered demand on prices.

For now, possible little effect on Iran

Although the intent of the sanctions is to hurt Iran economically, two factors may undermine the intent, at least in the short run. One is the list of eight countries that are reported to be on the exemptions list the administration has acknowledged.

Countries such as China, India, South Korea, and Japan have all sought waivers and are rumored to have received them, with promises to limit imports. So, for now, exemptions have “downgraded the effect of the sanctions,” Rathi said.

The executive order of Aug. 6, 2018 that reimposed sanctions contained an exemption for natural gas, “only if the financial transaction is solely for trade between the country with primary jurisdiction over the foreign financial institution and Iran, and any funds owed to Iran as a result of such trade are credited to an account located in the country with primary jurisdiction over the foreign financial institution.”

President Barack Obama’s 2013 executive order had identical language.

Iran produces much more natural gas than oil, noted Eric Anderson, a political scientist and former senior intelligence analyst for the CIA. “There’s a larger market for natural gas than straight raw oil product,” Anderson told NBC News. “The reason is natural gas is readily convertible into energy production of electricity.”

It may be that the exception is a way to undercut Russian influence in Europe, as the country is also a significant exporter. But the results could help insulate Iran from some of the effects of the sanctions.

Inflaming the Iranian Nuclear Horn

Strangulation Of Persia: Why Trump’s Iran Policy Will Backfire

November 1, 2018Guest

by Sina Azodi

Over the past four decades, U.S.-Iranian relations have experienced frequent periods of hostility. The Trump administration, however, has escalated tensions, going as far as threatening Iran with war. The administration is under the false impression that by strangling Iran’s economy through sanctions and applying a “maximum pressure policy” it can force Iran to capitulate to its demands or face the possibility of its collapse. This is either a dangerous misjudgment or a calculated decision to go to war with Iran that will have devastating ramifications for regional stability and U.S. interests.

Prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese ambassador to the United States warned that “Japan is being placed under severe pressure by the United States to yield to the American position…..it is preferable to fight rather than to yield to pressure.” Imperial Japan concluded that, under severe U.S. economic pressure, only military action could alter the situation. Although Japan was eventually forced to sign an unconditional surrender, once the survival of a state is at stake, the perceived military and political benefits of an attack could outweigh a suffocating demise.

While the Trump administration works to cut Iran’s oil exports to zero, Iranian officials have repeatedly warned that, if Iran cannot export its oil, they will halt other countries’ oil shipments from the Persian Gulf. Surely, any attempts by Iran to close the Strait of Hormuz will provoke a U.S. military response. Recently, General Hossein Alayi, a former commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) noted that “if Iran can shut down the strait of Hormuz, America can reopen it…. Iran must analyze the costs and benefits of such an action.” Under extreme pressure, Iranians may conclude that the “political and military” benefits of closing the Strait of Hormuz outweigh the costs and act upon their threats. The ensuing war will be disastrous for everyone, including the United States.

It may seem “irrational” for Iran to provoke a direct confrontation with the United States. However, Iran’s cost-benefit analysis is unique in the sense that, under foreign pressure, it will not act on the basis of what Western observers call “rationality.” Iran is an ancient civilization with deep roots in Persian nationalism and Shia teachings, both of which denounce capitulation and honor sacrifice in the face of oppression. In the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), the strategically isolated Iran fought eight years to repel the internationally backed Saddam Hussein. Iranians retain a bitter memory of this lopsided conflict.

Newly declassified documents released by the National Security Archive reveal that America’s allies in both Europe and in the Persian Gulf have previously warned the United States of the dangers of attempting to isolate Iran or pursue a regime collapse. In a cable from the U.S. embassy in Abu Dhabi to Washington, an Emirati official wrote that “If Iran were pushed over the brink … the aftermath could pose risks for the entire region,” and if seriously threatened “it might try to retaliate.” He further cautions against attempts at precipitating regime collapse by suggesting that the “ensuing instability will create serious problems for the region.”

The Trump administration’s  current maximum-pressure policy to force Iran to capitulate to its long list of demands also affects Iran’s domestic politics in ways that undermine American interests in the long term. First, as the United States tightens the noose around Iran’s mismanaged economy, competing factions of Iran’s political establishment are converging to address the external pressure. Recently, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called on different political factions to “unite against [US] economic and political pressure.” Meanwhile, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei recently urged state institutions to support President Rouhani’s fight against U.S. pressure.

Second, the current U.S. strategy will simultaneously undermine the position of pro-engagement factions and set the stage for the return of Iranian hardliners who oppose any engagement with the West, especially the United States. Another State Department cable quotes former French President Jacques Chirac’s warning that “It would be very dangerous to isolate Iran totally…. experience proves that the U.S. embargo benefits only the extremists.”

The rise of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power in 2005 was the product of another pressure policy on Iran. When Iran’s reformist President Mohammad Khatami initiated a détente with the United States, the Bush administration not only dismissed Iran’s overtures but put Iran on the Axis of Evil list. “Some people at the White House rewarded Iranians with a President that went on for eight years. He gave me an early retirement. Now I am back from the dead,” Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif noted in 2014.

The Trump administration may not care about the rise of hardliners in Iran or, worse, welcomes the development as a pretext for war. President Trump’s national security team is comprised of well-known Iran hawks, such as National Security Advisor John Bolton, who not only dismiss any negotiations with America’s enemies but see war with Iran as a desirable outcome. U.S.-Iranian relations are already on a worrisome trajectory; war is not unimaginable. The rise of hardliners in Iran could escalate tensions even further, making the outbreak of a conflict even more likely.

The Trump administration’s approach to Iran is a dangerous shift from the long practiced “carrots and sticks” to a “no carrots and only sticks” approach. For a nationalistic country like Iran, which over the course of its long history has never bowed down to its adversaries, it is simply inconceivable to negotiate under circumstances that resemble a humiliating capitulation to a bullying adversary.

Sina Azodi is a PhD student in political science and a graduate researcher at University of South Florida’s Center for Strategic and Diplomatic Studies. He received his BA & MA from Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter @azodiac83

Congress Lowers the Nuclear Threshold

ARMS CONTROL TODAY

November 2018

By Kingston Reif

Congress voted to fund a Trump administration proposal to develop of a small number of low-yield nuclear warheads for submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) despite strong opposition from Democrats.

The Trump administration wants a new low-yield nuclear warhead for submarine-launched ballistic missiles, which critics warn could lower the threshold for nuclear use. Above, the Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Tennessee returns to its homeport at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga., following a routine patrol mission. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

The disapproval of Democratic lawmakers, particularly in the House, presages a contentious fight over whether to deploy the weapon if Democrats retake that chamber in the midterm elections.

Congress approved $87.5 million for the warhead as part of the fiscal year 2019 energy and water and defense appropriations bills. President Donald Trump signed both bills into law as part of two larger appropriations packages on Sept. 21 and Sept. 28, respectively.

Fiscal year 2019 began on Oct. 1. Before this year, Congress had not passed more than one appropriations bill before the start of the fiscal year since 2007.

The Trump administration’s Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) report released in February called for the development of two additional low-yield nuclear capabilities primarily to counter Russia’s alleged willingness to use or threat to use tactical nuclear weapons on a limited basis to stave off defeat in a conventional conflict or crisis, a strategy known as “escalate to de-escalate.” (See ACT, March 2018.) Russia possesses a larger and more diverse arsenal of such weapons than the United States.

In addition to the low-yield SLBM warhead, the administration wants to develop a nuclear-armed, sea-launched cruise missile (SLCM) that could be available for fielding within the next decade.

According to the NPR report, the development of the two options “is not intended to enable, nor does it enable, ‘nuclear war-fighting.’” Rather, expanding U.S. tailored response options will “raise the nuclear threshold and help ensure that potential adversaries perceive no possible advantage in limited nuclear escalation, making nuclear weapons employment less likely,” according to the report.

Critics maintain that the report misconstrues Russian nuclear doctrine and that additional low-yield options are unnecessary.

The fiscal year 2019 budget request for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a semi-autonomous agency within the Energy Department, included $65 million for modification of a small number of 100-kiloton W76-1 SLBM warheads so that they detonate at a less powerful yield. The Defense Department requested $22.6 million for developing the low-yield variant. (See ACT, April 2018.) The department plans to spend a total of $48.5 million on the effort over the next five years.

Congress provided $1 million in fiscal year 2019, the same as the budget request, to begin an analysis of the performance requirements and costs to pursue development of the new SLCM.

Democrats in the Senate and House offered several amendments to this year’s national defense authorization bill and energy and water and defense appropriations bills that would have curtailed funding for and required more information from the Trump administration about the low-yield warhead.

For example, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) in May offered an amendment to the energy and water bill in the Senate appropriations committee that would have eliminated the $65 million requested by the NNSA for the low-yield SLBM warhead. The amendment was defeated by a vote of 12–19. Three Democratic senators joined every Republican in opposing the amendment.

In June, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) offered an amendment to the energy and water bill on the House floor that also would have eliminated the NNSA request for the low-yield warhead. The amendment failed by a vote of 177–241, with all but 15 Democrats supporting the amendment.

Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), the ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee who would become chairman if the Democrats win back the House, has been one of the most vocal congressional critics of the low-yield warhead and the Trump administration’s nuclear weapons policy more broadly.

“I think that the Republican Party and the [Pentagon’s] Nuclear Posture Review contemplates a lot more nuclear weapons than I and most Democrats think we need,” Smith said at a conference in Virginia in September.

“We also think the idea of low-yield nuclear weapons are extremely problematic going forward, and when we look at the larger budget picture, that is not the best place to spend the money,” he added.

The defense appropriations law supports and, in several cases, increases funding above the Trump administration’s proposed budget request for programs to sustain and rebuild nuclear-armed missiles, submarines, and bombers and their supporting infrastructure.

The law provides a $200 million increase above the budget request of $3.7 billion for the program to build a fleet of 12 new ballistic missile submarines. The law also funds an additional $50 million above the budget request of $615 million for the long-range standoff weapon program to replace the existing air-launched cruise missile, and $69 million above the request of $345 million for the program to replace the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile with a missile system called the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent.

The energy and water law provides $11.1 billion for nuclear weapons activities conducted by the NNSA, an increase of about $90 million above the budget request and $500 million more than last year’s appropriation.

On missile defense, Congress approved $11.3 billion for the Missile Defense Agency, an increase of $1.4 billion from the budget request of $9.9 billion. The additional funds include $126 million for enhanced discrimination capabilities, $85 million to support using lasers to intercept missiles in their boost phase, and $46 million for hypersonic missile defense efforts.

The defense law does not include funding to begin developing a space-based ballistic missile defense interceptor layer. The fiscal year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act requires the Defense Department to pursue such a layer regardless of whether the long-delayed missile defense review recommends such an action. (See ACT, September 2018.)

The reasons for the delay in the completion of the review, originally expected to be released in February, are unclear.

The defense law provides $617 million more than the budget request to support and accelerate offensive and defensive hypersonic research and prototyping efforts to maintain U.S. technology superiority and ability to fight and win a possible future war with Russia and China. The speed, flight altitude, and maneuverability of such weapons result in less warning time than in the case of higher-flying ballistic missiles and make them much more difficult to target with missile defenses. (See ACT, January/February 2018.)

Congress also approved the Pentagon’s budget request of $48 million for research and development on and concepts and options for conventional, ground-launched, intermediate-range missile systems in response to Russia’s alleged violation of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Trump announced in October that he plans to withdraw the United States from the treaty due to Russia’s violation and to counter China, which is not a party to the agreement.

The energy and water law includes $1.4 billion for core NNSA fissile material security and nonproliferation efforts, an increase of about $150 million from the budget request. The additional funding supports stepped-up efforts to secure and eliminate radiological materials that could be used in a so-called dirty bomb and to minimize the use of highly enriched uranium to produce molybdenum-99, a medical isotope.

Posted: November 1, 2018

Another Nuclear Facility in Iran (Daniel 8:4)

ARMS CONTROL TODAY

November 2018

By Kelsey Davenport

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed what he described as a secret nuclear warehouse in Iran and publicly called for International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors to visit the site, putting pressure on the international watchdog agency that could hamper its independence.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, addressing the United Nations, uses a visual aid to highlight his allegations about a “secret atomic warehouse” in Tehran. His comments were misleading, according to two U.S. intelligence officials cited by Reuters. (Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Netanyahu’s allegations come as the United States is pressuring countries to support its sanctions on Iran and as the remaining P4+1 parties (China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United Kingdom) to the July 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran are taking steps to work around the coercive U.S. measures and preserve the accord. (See ACT, October 2018.)

Speaking at the UN General Assembly on Sept. 27, Netanyahu described the facility in central Tehran as a “secret atomic warehouse for storing massive amounts of equipment and material from Iran’s secret nuclear weapons program.” Netanyahu called on IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano to “do the right thing” and inspect the warehouse “immediately” before Iran finished clearing it out.

Amano pushed back in an Oct. 2 statement, saying that the agency does not take any information at “face value.” Although Amano did not mention Netanyahu directly, he said that all material, including that received from third parties, is subject to a rigorous and independent assessment. Further, Amano said that IAEA nuclear verification work “must always be impartial, factual, and professional” and that the agency’s independence is “of paramount importance.”

Netanyahu’s remarks garnered headlines around the world, but it remains unclear whether the facility is of interest to the IAEA. Still, Netanyahu’s comments could complicate work by the agency. IAEA inspectors should visit the facility if their assessment determines that an inspection is warranted. Yet, if inspectors visit the site now, it may appear as if the IAEA is acting at Israel’s behest, which would jeopardize the agency’s credibility and independence.

Brandishing a picture of the facility, Netanyahu charged that Iran removed 15 kilograms of radioactive material from the warehouse in August. It is not clear if Netanyahu was referring to uranium, plutonium, or another radioactive material. Possession of undeclared uranium or plutonium would violate Iran’s safeguards agreement and the multilateral nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, but radioactive materials used for a variety of purposes, including medical and industrial activities, are not subject to the same restrictions.

U.S. intelligence officials also disputed Netanyahu’s description of the facility and said his comments were misleading. One intelligence official quoted by Reuters on Sept. 27 said that the facility has been known to the U.S. intelligence community for some time and is full of documents, not nuclear equipment. The officials said that “so far as anyone knows, there is nothing in it that would allow Iran to break out” of the nuclear deal any faster. Iranian officials immediately denounced Netanyahu’s accusation as a farce, and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on Sept. 30 that Netanyahu is “desperately seeking to find a pretext to create hype” about Iran’s nuclear program.

This is the second time Netanyahu has publicly revealed what he describes as secret information tied to Iran’s nuclear weapons program. In February 2018, Israel stole archival material from a facility in Iran that appears to document activities related to the country’s nuclear weapons development and shared the information with several states and the IAEA.

Netanyahu publicly revealed that the raid took place and released some details from the stolen material at a press conference in April, just weeks before U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear agreement and reimpose sanctions, despite Iran’s compliance with the provisions of the deal. Israel is one of the few states that encouraged Trump to withdraw from the accord.

In his Sept. 27 speech, Netanyahu claimed that the IAEA “has still not taken any action” following up on the archival material and “has not demanded to inspect a single new site.”

The information shared publicly confirms what the IAEA and the U.S. intelligence community already concluded, that Iran had an organized illicit nuclear weapons program that it abandoned in 2003, although some activities continued. The IAEA reported in 2015 that it had no evidence of nuclear activities with military dimensions after 2009.

Netanyahu’s allegation that the IAEA has done nothing appears to be at odds with the U.S. assessment.

During the IAEA Board of Governors meeting on Sept. 11–14, Nicole Shampaine, an official at the U.S. mission in Vienna, told the board that the United States supports the agency’s “careful assessment of the newly acquired archive materials.” She said any “concern” related to undeclared nuclear activities or material must be pursued and the United States has “full confidence” in the IAEA and its inspectors “to do so appropriately.”

If any of the archival material indicated that Iran pursued illicit nuclear activities after the nuclear deal was concluded, it is likely that the Trump administration would have accused Iran of violating the agreement and its safeguards obligations under the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), given Trump’s animosity toward the accord.

The U.S. State Department released a report in April that concluded Iran is in compliance with its NPT obligations and, through 2017, with the Iran nuclear deal.

Posted: November 1, 2018