Sr. Bette Ann Jaster says the governor must make public the results of a risk assessment for a fracked-gas pipeline that runs by Indian Point. Video by Nancy Cutler/lohud Wochit
China’s DF-41 nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missiles Photograph:( AFP )
The New START treaty was signed between Russia and the United States in 2010 and came into force in February 2011. The treaty expires in February next year.
China on Friday rejected joining the nuclear arms limitations talks with the US declaring that the Trump administration was “neither serious nor sincere”.
“China’s objection to the so-called trilateral arms negotiation is very clear, and the US knows it very well. However, the US is persistent with the issue and even distorted China’s position,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a press briefing.
The New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) nuclear pact is between Russia and the United States, but the Trump administration has insisted on China joining the talks. The treaty was signed between Russia and the United States in 2010 and came into force in February 2011. The treaty expires in February next year.
The New START treaty had replaced the Treaty of Moscow (SORT), which was to expire in 2012.
Zhao pointed out that the United States should respond to Russia’s call to extend the New START treaty.
“The international community sees it clearly. The US can fool no one. We are urging the US to respond to Russian appeal to renew the New START Treaty and on that basis continue the further reduction of its large nuclear arsenal in order to create conditions for other nuclear powers to take part in the nuclear disarmament talks,” Zhao asserted.
Earlier, Fu Cong, the head of China’s foreign ministry’s department of arms control had said that his country was ready to join the disarmament talks only if the US reduced its nuclear arsenal to match China level.
Some officials say that a joint American-Israeli strategy is evolving — some might argue regressing — to a series of short-of-war clandestine strikes.
By David E. Sanger, Eric Schmitt and Ronen Bergman
July 10, 2020
As Iran’s center for advanced nuclear centrifuges lies in charred ruins after an explosion, apparently engineered by Israel, the long-simmering conflict between the United States and Tehran appears to be escalating into a potentially dangerous phase likely to play out during the American presidential election campaign.
New satellite photographs over the stricken facility at Natanz show far more extensive damage than was clear last week. Two intelligence officials, updated with the damage assessment for the Natanz site recently compiled by the United States and Israel, said it could take the Iranians up to two years to return their nuclear program to the place it was just before the explosion. An authoritative public study estimates it will be a year or more until Iran’s centrifuge production capacity recovers.
Another major explosion hit the country early Friday morning, lighting up the sky in a wealthy area of Tehran. It was still unexplained — but appeared to come from the direction of a missile base. If it proves to have been another attack, it will further shake the Iranians by demonstrating, yet again, that even their best-guarded nuclear and missile facilities have been infiltrated.
Although Iran has said little of substance about the explosions, Western officials anticipate some type of retaliation, perhaps against American or allied forces in Iraq, perhaps a renewal of cyberattacks. In the past, those have been directed against American financial institutions, a major Las Vegas casino and a dam in the New York suburbs or, more recently, the water supply system in Israel, which its government considers “critical infrastructure.”
Officials familiar with the explosion at Natanz compared its complexity to the sophisticated Stuxnet cyberattack on Iranian nuclear facilities a decade ago, which had been planned for more than a year. In the case of last week’s episode, the primary theory is that an explosive device was planted in the heavily-guarded facility, perhaps near a gas line. But some experts have also floated the possibility that a cyberattack was used to trigger the gas supply.
Some officials said that a joint American-Israeli strategy was evolving — some might argue regressing — to a series of short-of-war clandestine strikes, aimed at taking out the most prominent generals of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and setting back Iran’s nuclear facilities.
The closest the administration has come to describing its strategy of more aggressive pushback came in comments last month from Brian H. Hook, the State Department’s special envoy for Iran. “We have seen historically,” he concluded, “that timidity and weakness invites more Iranian aggression.”
The next move may be a confrontation over four tankers, now making their way to Venezuela, which the United States has vowed will not be allowed to deliver their cargo of Iranian oil in violation of United States sanctions.
But in the short term, American and Israeli officials are betting that Iran will limit its retaliation, as it did after an American drone in January killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, one of Iran’s most important commanders.
While some American officials expressed fears that the killing of General Suleimani would lead Iran to initiate a war against the United States, the C.I.A. director, Gina Haspel, reassured them that the Iranians would settle on limited missile attacks against American targets in Iraq — which so far has turned out to be correct. Iran’s limited response could be an incentive for further operations against it.
In addition, some American and Israeli officials, and international security analysts, say that Iran may believe that President Trump will lose the November election and that his presumptive Democratic rival, Joseph R. Biden Jr., will want to resurrect some form of the negotiated settlement that the Obama administration reached with Tehran five years ago next week.
A satellite image of the destruction at Natanz, as seen on July 4.via Institute for Science and International Security
“Today, if you are Iran, why compromise with an administration which may only have a few months left?’’ asked Karim Sadjadpour, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
FM Lavrov says ‘concerned’ about US refusal to reaffirm impossibility of nuclear war, its low-yield nuclear arms buildup
Elena Teslova |10.07.2020
The risk of a nuclear war has risen significantly in recent years because of the US unwillingness to reaffirm its impossibility, the Russian foreign minister said on Friday.
“We are particularly concerned about the two-year-old refusal of the Americans to reassert the fundamental principle, the postulate that there can be no winners in a nuclear war, and, accordingly, it can never be unleashed,” Sergey Lavrov said during his speech at the video conference of Primakov Readings Forum in Moscow.
He argued that Washington is destroying the international arms control mechanism to have “hands free in choosing means of pressure, including force, at any point of the globe — don’t matter what the price is” with the ultimate goal of getting the global dominance and win “in what they call the rivalry of major powers.”
“This is particularly disturbing against the background of doctrinal shifts in the attitudes of the American political leadership, which now allow limited use of nuclear weapons,” Lavrov said.
Washington takes practical steps to support the doctrinal shifts, developing and increasing the low-yield nuclear arsenal, he added.
Lavrov said the US used “Russian threat” to make necessary amendments, saying Russia has a secret part of its military doctrine, which the minister denied.
For Moscow’s requests to reaffirm the impossibility of a nuclear war, handed in written, Washington responds that it is still examining the document, but by their comment the Russian side perceive that it would like to weaken the categoricalness of this axiom, he said.
In the recent years, the US called off its sign under a number of arms control treaties, including the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, Open Skies, Anti-Ballistic Missile treaties, considered as pillars of international security.
The last existing agreement — Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty — will expire in 2021 and Lavrov predicts that the US will not agree to expand it.
Hassan MahmoudiJuly 9, 2020
Iran’s Natanz nuclear plant. Photo Credit: Tasnim News Agency
An accident took place on Thursday, July 2, 2020, at a part of Iran’s atomic facilities. The Iranian authorities say it was a fire in an under-construction silo at the campus of the facility.
In lack of crystal-clear explanations, various reports point to a potential ‘sabotage’; Reuters mentioning some.
Natanz atomic facility is a part of Iran’s ‘underground facilities’ aimed at enriching uranium. It is located near Natanz in Isfahan Province, central Iran. To save the centrifuges from a ‘potential bombardment’ in this facility, 30 feet of armor-plated cement is used.
It is for more than two decades that Tehran has longed for acquiring the atomic bomb. Thus, accessing and obtaining the technology and facility required to produce a nuclear bomb has always been and still is on the regime’s agenda of expansionism. During these two decades, the regime has tried to fulfill its uranium enrichment project through maneuvers, clandestine work, deception, negotiations, threats, bargains and blackmailing so that it would have the upper hand and would be able to talk in a language of force and threat with the world, especially with the region’s countries.
In 2018, President Trump withdrew from JCOPA which granted the regime a legal and legitimate mask to carry on its clandestine operations for achieving nuclear bombs.
In February of 2004 following the revelation of some of Tehran’s atomic activities, the regime’s Security Council held a meeting, presiding over by Khamenei himself. In this meeting, they pursued international pressures regarding Iran’s atomic project and how to thwart them. Khamenei concluded: “Currently Europe is focused on convincing Iran to stop its project for nuclear bomb production. As US is involved in Iraq, she must treat Iran gently. We can conclude that there is no will to refer the Islamic Republic’s case to the United Nations Security Council. We must seize this opportunity to make our atomic bomb.”
While the international community is focusing on stopping the production of atomic fuel by mullahs regime, it is after making the centrifuges operational to the point that it can reach plutonium asap as the main element for an atomic explosion.
In his interview with IRNA state-run news agency on October 15, 2015, Hashemi Rafsanjani (1934-2017), a co-founder of the Islamic Republic said: “…We always had this in mind that if one day we are under threat we can use the (atomic bomb) if necessary…We talked with Pakistanis. There was this atomic scientist, Mr. Abdol Qader-Khan… In my visit to Pakistan, I asked to meet him…Anyway, they accepted to give us a hand in that…A part of our nuclear activities was at the time that we were still in war (Iran-Iraq war)…Then, we all thought that we must be armed with a preventing element; the war wasn’t to end and in our defense policies we considered Imam’s (Khomeini) saying that the war might last 20 years…The first enrichment took place in Amir-Abad, somewhere they built, using what we obtained from Pakistan, they assembled it and I went there for a visit.”
So even 20 years ago, it was clear that Tehran’s atomic project was not just a project. It was a strategy to guarantee the regime’s preservation. In more than two decades, at least 100 billion dollars of Iran’s national wealth has been squandered to achieve that.
But while as a member of the National Coronavirus Committee has put is, 18 million Iranians, about 20% of the population is infected with this virus, the people of Iran do not need and atomic weapon, that is only for preserving the mullahs in power.
To obtain such a weapon, Tehran deprives various strata of the society of their assets and salaries, it does not even pay the nurses who sacrifice their lives amid coronavirus pandemic. Not only that, but also answers them with batons, torture, and bullet when they ask for their paychecks.
People of Iran are done with this regime. Their compatriots abroad are to hold their yearly global summit on July 17, 2020, to put an end to all this pain and to announce their platform incongruence with the people of Iran.
JERUSALEM (JTA) — Three rockets were fired into southern Israel from Gaza on Sunday afternoon, sounding the Code Red alert system but causing no injuries or damage, according to the Israel Defense Forces.
The rockets landed in open fields. No group in Gaza claimed responsibility, though Israel generally hold Hamas, which controls the coastal strip, responsible for such attacks.
The IDF responded later on Sunday night, launching airstrikes on Hamas military targets in Gaza.
The Israeli military on Thursday imprisoned two leading members of the Palestinian Hamas group in the occupied West Bank.
Witnesses told Anadolu Agency that the Israeli army carried out an attack on Ramallah and al-Bireh provinces.
In addition to clashes happening between dozens of young Palestinians and the army forces, Hamas leaders Jamal al-Tawil and Hussein Abu Kwaik were detained in the city of al-Bireh and in the Beitunia town of Ramallah, correspondingly, during attacks.
According to the eyewitnesses, the Israeli army used live missiles and rubber bullet as well as sound bombs and tear gas during conflicts.
The Israeli army usually halts scores of Palestinians in the West Bank, saying that they are wanted by the Israeli security services.