Nuclear Disaster Brews Before the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)​

February 27, 2020

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D, NY-17), Thursday, said that a report by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Inspector General reveals that NRC failed to properly analyze the safety impact of the placement of a natural gas pipeline near the Indian Point Energy Center as part of the process for the pipeline’s approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

“The IG findings show outrageous failings by an agency charged with the important responsibility of protecting the health and safety of our communities,” Lowey said.  “This report indicates repeated failings to use proper analysis by the same commission that oversees the decommissioning of Indian Point.  NRC must immediately explain to our communities the risks they face as a result of the agency’s faulty processes and take steps to protect the public from any dangers that have resulted from the pipeline’s approval and installation.”

The IG report indicated that FERC relied upon NRC to assess the impacts of the pipeline that now traverses Indian Point property as part of the Algonquin Incremental Market Project.

Lowey has written to NRC Chairman Kristine Svinicki calling for an immediate briefing in the wake of the IG report’s release.  She said the report is all the more alarming at a time when the NRC must ensure the safety of local residents as Indian Point’s nuclear plants are decommissioned.

“The NRC must do its job to protect the public first and foremost,” Lowey said. “As we work to mitigate the impact of the decommission of Indian Point on our communities, we simply must have reliable partners to ensure that we don’t face increased environmental and public safety concerns.”

Westchester County Executive George Latimer, meanwhile, called the NRC’s action “a gross failing on the part of the agency that is charged with keeping this community and the families that live here safe.” He said it is “particularly appalling when coupled with the fact that this is the same agency charged with overseeing the decommissioning of Indian Point – a process that is occurring right now.”

Lattimer said he wants the NRC to come to Westchester to tell its residents

“that they have failed them, and to explain what steps they are taking to protect the public from the pipeline that now crosses the Indian Point property as part of the Algonquin Incremental Market Project.”

Israel cannot stop Iran from attaining nuclear weapons

Ex-Mossad chief: Israel cannot stop Iran from attaining nuclear weapons – Middle East Monitor

July 24, 2020 at 11:52 am

The former head of the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad, Shabtai Shavit, said Israel cannot prevent Iran from joining the nuclear weapons club, however it can deter it from using the bomb.

In a lengthy interview with the Times of Israel, Shavit said: “I’m not one of those who say that the moment they [the Iranians] have a bomb they will physically threaten Israel’s existence. No. But a state with the bomb can use it to create all kinds of axes of influence to advance its interests.”

Shavit explained that Tehran wants to enhance its nuclear capabilities just like North Korea did to create immunity for itself, not only against Israel but also against the US, Turkey and mainly Iraq.

“They [Iranians] didn’t emerge with flying colors from the eight-year [Iran-Iraq] war [in the 1980s]. The results of the war were the trigger for the Iranians to make the strategic decision to go for the whole gamut of non-conventional weapons — not only nuclear. Nuclear, ballistic missiles, chemical weapons, biological, cyber… Cyber too, in professional terminology, is part of the non-conventional armory,” he added.

The New Nuclear Space War

Russia says US and UK ALSO developing secret space weapons

By Raven Saunt For Mailonline 16:08 24 Jul 2020, updated 17:50 24 Jul 2020

• US and UK condemned Russia for threatening peace in space on Thursday 

• Accused the Kremlin of firing a projectile ‘with characteristics of a weapon’

• It was first time the Ministry of Defence called out Russian activity of this sort

But Moscow today hit back and accused US and UK of making similar weaponry

Russia has claimed that the US and UK are developing secret space weapons as it dismissed accusations of test-firing an anti-satellite weapon in orbit. 

Moscow issued its response earlier today after being furiously condemned by the United States Space Command for a ‘concerning’ act that they said had threatened peace in space. 

The Kremlin called reports it launched the anti-satellite device as ‘propaganda’ and in turn accused the US and UK of making their own moves to develop similar weaponry.

The US and UK ‘naturally keep silent about their own efforts,’ it said, claiming the countries had ‘programmes on the possible use of ‘inspector satellites’ and ‘repair satellites’ as counter-satellite weapons.’

Russia was forced to dismiss the accusations after the USSC on Thursday warned that their actions warranted a ‘real, serious and increasing’ threat against US systems.    

The head of Britain’s Space Directorate, Air Vice-Marshal Harvey Smyth, also reacted, tweeting that ‘actions of this kind threaten the peaceful use of space.’

The Russian foreign ministry insisted on Moscow’s ‘commitment to obligations on the non-discriminatory use and study of space with peaceful aims.

‘We call on our US and British colleagues to show professionalism and instead of some propagandistic information attacks, sit down for talks,’ the ministry said in a statement.

The US said that Russia conducted a ‘non-destructive test of a space-based anti-satellite weapon’.

‘Clearly this is unacceptable,’ tweeted US nuclear disarmament negotiator Marshall Billingslea, adding that it would be a ‘major issue’ discussed next week in Vienna, where he is in talks on a successor to the New START treaty.

The Russian foreign ministry said tests carried out by the country’s defence ministry on July 15 ‘did not create a threat for other space equipment and most importantly, did not breach any norms or principles of international law.’

Commenting earlier today on the accusations, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia supports ‘full demilitarisation of space and not basing any type of weapons in space.’

The US Space Command said the test consisted of Russia’s satellite called Cosmos 2543 injecting an object into orbit.

Russian state media reported in December that a satellite called Cosmos-2542, which was launched in November 2019 by the Russian military, ejected another smaller satellite once in space.

The Russian defence ministry said the inspector-satellite was meant to ‘monitor the condition of Russian satellites,’ but state daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta said it could also ‘get information from somebody else’s satellites.’

The system is the same one that Space Command raised concerns about earlier this year, when it manoeuvred near a US government satellite, said General Jay Raymond, head of US Space Command.

‘This is further evidence of Russia’s continuing efforts to develop and test space-based systems, and consistent with the Kremlin’s published military doctrine to employ weapons that hold US and allied space assets at risk,’ Raymond said in a statement.

Echo of Reagan’s 1983 ‘Star Wars’

When Ronald Reagan proposed a network of space lasers to knock out incoming nuclear missiles, the scheme was almost immediately dubbed ‘Star Wars’.

Addressing his nation on television in 1983, he said the ‘Strategic Defense Initiative’ was not an act of aggression but a sign that the United States was prepared to defend itself.

The two-term American leader asked: ‘What if free people could live secure in the knowledge that their security did not rest upon the threat of instant US retaliation to deter a Soviet attack, that we could intercept and destroy ballistic missiles before they reached our own soil or that of our allies?’

After the Cold War came to an end, funding for the Strategic Defence Initiative was cut. The scheme was reorganised and renamed several times.

It is the latest example of Russian satellites behaving in a manner ‘inconsistent with their stated mission,’ the Space Command statement added.

‘This event highlights Russia’s hypocritical advocacy of outer space arms control,’ said Christopher Ford, a US assistant secretary of state for arms control.

The statement also came as China launched a rover to Mars on Thursday, a journey coinciding with a similar US mission as the powers take their rivalry into deep space.

Britain and America condemned the Kremlin for a ‘concerning’ act they said threatened peace in space on Thursday.

The weapon’s debris alone threatens the satellites the world depends on, according to the head of the UK military’s space directorate.

Moscow fired the weapon from its Cosmos 2543 satellite last week. It did not target another spacecraft but came close to a Russian satellite.

A US statement said the launch was ‘another example that the threats to US and Allied space systems are real, serious and increasing’.

It is the first time the British and American military have publicly accused the Kremlin of carrying out an anti-satellite weapons test in space.

The Russians have in the past conducted low-level tests with weapons in orbit but nothing of this size.

One UK defence source said: ‘This is using a satellite as a space weapon. It is a step in the direction of turning space into a new frontline.’

A second added: ‘They’ve crossed a line when it comes to the scale of this.’

Britain depends on satellites in many crucial areas, including communications, navigation via satnav devices and weather forecasting. Ministers have previously said an enemy state could affect the ability of the emergency services to respond to urgent incidents by taking out satellites.

In a statement released yesterday, Air Vice-Marshal Harvey Smyth, chief of the MoD’s space directorate, said: ‘We are concerned by the manner in which Russia tested one of its satellites by launching a projectile with the characteristics of a weapon.

‘Actions of this kind threaten the peaceful use of space and risk causing debris that could pose a threat to satellites and the space systems on which the world depends. We call on Russia to avoid any further such testing.

‘We also urge Russia to continue to work constructively with the UK and other partners to encourage responsible behaviour in space.’

Cosmos 2543 was launched into space on a Soyuz rocket that took off from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in north-west Russia on November 26.

It was combined with a second satellite, which split from it 11 days after the launch.

In a telephone phone call last night, US President Donald Trump expressed hope to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that they could avoid ‘an expensive three-way arms race’ between the US, China and Russia.

In a statement, Washington said the launch of the weapon was further evidence of Russia’s efforts to develop and test space-based systems.

General John Raymond, head of US space command, said it was ‘consistent with the Kremlin’s published military doctrine to employ weapons that hold US and allied space assets at risk’. The US State Department has raised concerns that Russian satellites display characteristics of a ‘space-based weapon’.

Dr Christopher Ford, the US assistant secretary of state, said: ‘This event highlights Russia’s hypocritical advocacy of outer space arms control, with which Moscow aims to restrict the capabilities of the United States while clearly having no intention of halting its own counterspace program.’

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told the House of Commons on Wednesday that the UK was ‘deeply vulnerable’ in space.

He added: ‘The threat against space is regretfully real, our adversaries are weaponising space and we are deeply vulnerable in the West from those types of actions because we rely so much on space assets.’ 

‘This is further evidence of Russia’s continuing efforts to develop and test space-based systems, and consistent with the Kremlin’s published military doctrine to employ weapons that hold US and allied space assets at risk.’

The UK said the launching of the projectile  ‘with the characteristics of a weapon’ and warned that it could ‘threaten the peaceful use of space’.

It is the first time the Ministry of Defence has called out Russian activity of this sort. 

The head of the UK’s space directorate, Air Vice-Marshal Harvey Smyth, said: ‘We are concerned by the manner in which Russia tested one of its satellites by launching a projectile with the characteristics of a weapon.

‘Actions of this kind threaten the peaceful use of space and risk causing debris that could pose a threat to satellites and the space systems on which the world depends.

‘We call on Russia to avoid any further such testing.

‘We also urge Russia to continue to work constructively with the UK and other partners to encourage responsible behaviour in space.’   

The press release from US space command today, added: ‘Last week’s test is another example that the threats to U.S. and Allied space systems are real, serious and increasing. 

‘Russia’s development and testing of orbital weapons highlights the importance of establishing the U.S. Space Force as a new branch of the armed forces and the U.S. Space Command as the nation’s unified combatant command for space. 

‘It is a shared interest and responsibility of all spacefaring nations to create the conditions for a safe, stable, and operationally sustainable space environment.’

The New Cold War Will Turn Hot (Revelation 16)

Could the New Cold War turn hot?

MoneyControl   • Jul 25, 2020 01:58 PM IST

By Praveen Swam

As a new Cold War is descending on Asia, it’s critical to anticipate what happens if it turns hot.

Europe’s Great Powers barely noticed the shots: notwithstanding the claims of legions of pop-historians, the two epoch-changing .380-calibre pistol rounds fired on a Sarajevo side-street one summer afternoon in 1914, weren’t heard around the world. Focussed on the conflict in Ireland, Britain showed scant interest in the killings in the Balkans.

Inside its isolationist cocoon, the United States chose to know little and care less. French newspapers much preferred the story of Henriette Cailaux, the wife of a prominent politician, who had just shot dead Le Figaro’s editor for fear he might publish her intimate correspondence.

Weeks after the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, heir-presumptive to the throne of the Empire of Austro-Hungary, bands cheerfully played on Europe’s streets, as its young men marched into an abyss that would claim the lives of  10 million soldiers and seven million civilians.

As a New Cold War descends on our world, one lesson of the First World War is more important than others: leaderships are prone to overestimate their ability to anticipate crisis, and to contain them should they break out. “If there is a general war”, the great Prussian leader Otto von Bismarck prophesied in 1888, “it will be over some damn fool thing in the Balkans”. No-one had time, though, to worry about damn-fool-things.

In 1914, Europe was more economically integrated at any time in its history; received wisdom held this made war near-impossible. Technology, military thinkers asserted, made long, grinding wars impossible. Ensconced in an elaborate system of continental alliances, Europe’s leaders thought the balance of power between their blocs was assured. Little imagination is needed to see the New Cold War will shape geopolitics in coming decades. Effective thinking on the consequences of this contestation must begin with liberation from conventional wisdom.

Faced with the realisation that China will not be a benign collaborator in a world order where the United States has primacy — the cherished hope of Presidents since Richard Nixon reached out to Mao Zedong in 1972 —Washington has begun to turn to a programme of strategic containment.

The Delicate Balance of the Shi’a Horn (Daniel 8:8)

Delicate relationship care of Iraq and Iran

For two months he is in office. Earlier this week, Mustafa Al-Kadhimi has traveled to a visit to Tehran. As a “turning point” in relations between the two countries, the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani described the visit. “We are still ready to stand side by side with the Iraqi Nation and for us for stability in Iraq and the Nation as a whole to use,” said Rouhani.

Al-Khadimi said the show of Solidarity. “Iraq will not allow any side a danger for Iran to run out,” he explained. Coined these words were mainly to the killing of the commander of the Iranian Al-Quds brigades, Qassem Soleimani, in January of this year by an American drone. Last weekend, the Iranian had traveled foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Baghdad. There, he went also to that place, to the Soleimani died.

the orchestration of the two visits had a clear message to the Iranian leadership signalled that it has not forgotten the killing Soleimanis. On the other Kadhimi made it clear that the Iraq wool tie such actions of the USA in the future where possible.

Khamenei: “The US is an enemy”

However, the Iraqi head of government of the United States is also dependent. Despite the continued troop withdrawal of the Americans, this will keep your Hand via the government Kadhimis in Washington as an affable and reasonable interlocutor.

The spiritual leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, reminded his host once again to the fact that Soleimani had died on Iraqi territory. “(The Americans) have killed your guests in your home. Then, you have confessed to the crime in the open.”

Though Khamenei is insured, he did not want to interfere in the internal Affairs of Iraq. But at the same time, he called on Kadhimi, a in January, the draft law adopted to implement the expulsion of American forces from Iraq. “The USA is an enemy,” said Khamenei further. “You do not support independent, powerful Iraq”.

Much is likely to depend from an Iranian point of view of the relationship between Iraq and the United States will develop in the coming months. Ways to take on the political and public life in the neighbouring country of influence, has of Iran. He supports several Shiite militia groups, such as Kataib Hezbollah and the Badr organization. In particular, the Badr group, the influence is enormously rich.

“So that Iran will secure a far-reaching military and political influence to prevent that the neighboring state could be a military threat to their country,” writes middle East expert Azadeh Zamirida of the Berlin science and politics Foundation (SWP). “At the same time, Tehran contributes to the creation of own structures in the neighbouring country, inevitably, to hamper the stabilisation of Iraq.”

In recent times, more and more Iraqis turned against this influence. During the protests last fall, they called the religious and political unity of their country – a Signal to Iran, to keep the Iraqi issues out. With discomfort, many Iraqis are watching the foreign policy course of the government in Tehran, how he fight with Saudi Arabia, for example, in the power. Yemen is a cautionary tale of how easily a third-party state to the stage of the power struggle between two foreign actors can be, with disastrous consequences for the population.

Tehran’s new friends in Iraq

This Position has made it increasingly Moqtada Al-Sadr, one of the most influential Shiite leader in Iraq, to own. Although Sadr controlled indirectly via the movement sent deputies around 50 seats in the national Assembly. But since then he’s been known to nationalist positions, diminishes his influence among his followers. During his visit to Baghdad last week Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif refrained from outdoor, accordingly, at a Meeting with Al-Sadr.

If Iran wants to bring his political positions in Iraq for the expression, use it now to another, more radical group, said in an analysis of the political magazine, the Arab Weekly, namely the Al-Fateh Alliance. “Both in terms of the future of the U.S. armed forces in Iraq, such as the ongoing escalation against the Saudi end-Arabia complies with its tough rhetoric, the ideas of Khamenei and the Islamic revolutionary guards”, – stated in the Arab Weekly.

In dealing with the USAspielt the Iraq from an Iranian point of view, a further role: It may help to bypass the US sanctions. In the year 2019, Iran has exported to the state news Agency IRNA, according to goods to the value of nearly nine billion dollars in Iraq. Both countries planned well, these amount to up to 20 billion dollars to expand.

once again, Iraq is to travel of pilgrims to Iran. Their number was decreased in the course of the Corona pandemic, massive- a huge loss for Iran, the information of the Qatari news channel Al-Jazeera estimates that every year approximately five billion dollars of the pilgrims deserves.

author: Kersten Knipp

*The contribution of “Delicate relationship care of Iraq and Iran” is published by Deutsche Welle. Contact with the executives here.

Of Course the Iranian Uranium Enrichment Plant at Natanz Was Sabotaged

Was the Iranian Uranium Enrichment Plant at Natanz Sabotaged?

Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Raphael Ofek

July 24, 2020

Anti-aircraft guns guarding the Natanz Nuclear Facility, Iran, image via Hamed Saber – Wikimedia Commons

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,658, July 24, 2020

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: According to the international media, the fingerprints of Israel and the US are all over the recent series of explosions at strategic targets throughout Iran—notably the Natanz uranium enrichment plant, which had been used to assemble advanced centrifuges. The demolition of that site would likely result in a one- to two-year delay in Tehran’s nuclear program.

Both Israel and the US have a clear interest in halting Iran’s dogged quest for the Bomb, and both likely possess technological and intelligence capabilities sufficiently advanced to allow them to inflict severe damage on Iran. Thus it cannot be ruled out that one or both were involved in the explosions. What’s more, the Stuxnet virus, a malicious computer worm that hit about 1,000 Iranian centrifuges in 2010, has been attributed to a joint effort by American and Israeli intelligence agencies.

However, a question mark remains over the source of the recent explosions, especially the destruction of an underground workshop for the development and assembly of advanced centrifuges at the Natanz complex. Was the blast triggered by a timing device inside the site or by cyberattack? If the former, this reinforces the announcement made by the Iranian opposition group “Panthers of the Homeland” that its people were responsible for the explosion.

The Natanz blast embarrassed the Iranian regime, which refrained from pointing fingers at either Israel or the US. Tehran initially claimed it was an accident, probably over fears of being drawn into a direct confrontation that could expose Tehran’s intelligence, military, and economic weaknesses. The regime nevertheless issued a threatening response: “Any country that is held responsible for an explosion at a nuclear enrichment center in Natanz … should expect a strong Iranian retaliation.”

It is not difficult to understand why they would take this tone. The explosion at Natanz struck the flagship of Iran’s nuclear project. In November 2019, the president of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization participated in the installation and operation of a new array at Natanz containing 30 advanced IR6 centrifuges. An Iranian spokesman said, “We can produce 5%, 20%, 60%, or any other percentage of enriched uranium.” (Sixty percent enrichment is the springboard for nuclear weapons).

Because Iran possesses the necessary expertise to make advanced centrifuges and its supply of them was probably not all stored at Natanz, the blast is not likely to have severely disrupted the regime’s advanced centrifuge program. It could, however, slow the deployment of the latest models of these machines by one to two years. Regardless, this was a good time to carry out an attack (if it was one), as the latest IAEA report revealed that Iran has put a vast amount of effort into developing advanced centrifuges.

If Israel was indeed involved in the Natanz explosion, it was likely meant to signal to Tehran that Jerusalem intends to use all means at its disposal to halt the Iranian nuclear project. Beyond causing immediate damage, a strike of this kind (if that is what it was) signals that Israel’s long arm can reach anywhere in Iran.

This is not an idle threat. Much of the information in Iran’s nuclear archive, which was hijacked by the Mossad a couple of years ago, relates to Iranian elements involved in the nuclear effort—from individuals in the political, scientific, and operational systems to sites where nuclear weapons development activities were carried out. In addition, the spy satellite system Israel operates, which was recently supplemented by the Ofek 16 satellite, allows Jerusalem to detect any suspicious activity, whether on the surface or below it. With this capability, the Israeli intelligence service will be able to continue to surprise Iran.

Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Raphael Ofek, a BESA Center Research Associate, is an expert in the field of nuclear physics and technology who served as a senior analyst in the Israeli intelligence community.