Earthquake activity in the New York City area


Although the eastern United States is not as seismically active as regions near plate boundaries, large and damaging earthquakes do occur there. Furthermore, when these rare eastern U.S. earthquakes occur, the areas affected by them are much larger than for western U.S. earthquakes of the same magnitude. Thus, earthquakes represent at least a moderate hazard to East Coast cities, including New York City and adjacent areas of very high population density.

Seismicity in the vicinity of New York City. Data are from the U.S. Geological Survey (Top, USGS) and the National Earthquake Information Center (Bottom, NEIC). In the top figure, closed red circles indicate 1924-2006 epicenters and open black circles indicate locations of the larger earthquakes that occurred in 1737, 1783 and 1884. Green lines indicate the trace of the Ramapo fault.

As can be seen in the maps of earthquake activity in this region(shown in the figure), seismicity is scattered throughout most of the New York City area, with some hint of a concentration of earthquakes in the area surrounding Manhattan Island. The largest known earthquake in this region occurred in 1884 and had a magnitude of approximately 5.For this earthquake, observations of fallen bricks and cracked plaster were reported from eastern Pennsylvania to central Connecticut, and the maximum intensity reported was at two sites in western Long Island (Jamaica, New York and Amityville, New York). Two other earthquakes of approximately magnitude 5 occurred in this region in 1737 and 1783.The figure on the right shows maps of the distribution of earthquakes of magnitude 3 and greater that occurred in this region from 1924 to 2010, along with locations of the larger earthquakes that occurred in 1737, 1783 and 1884.


The NYC area is part of the geologically complex structure of the Northern Appalachian Mountains. This complex structure was formed during the past half billion years when the Earth’s crust underlying the Northern Appalachians was the site of two major geological episodes, each of which has left its imprint on the NYC area bedrock. Between about 450 million years ago and about 250 million years ago, the Northern Appalachian region was affected by a continental collision, in which the ancient African continent collided with the ancient North American continent to form the supercontinent Pangaea. Beginning about 200 million years ago, the present-day Atlantic ocean began to form as plate tectonic forces began to rift apart the continent of Pangaea. The last major episode of geological activity to affect the bedrock in the New York area occurred about 100 million years ago, during the Mesozoic era, when continental rifting that led to the opening of the present-day Atlantic ocean formed the Hartford and Newark Mesozoic rift basins.

Earthquake rates in the northeastern United States are about 50 to 200 times lower than in California, but the earthquakes that do occur in the northeastern U.S. are typically felt over a much broader region than earthquakes of the same magnitude in the western U.S.This means the area of damage from an earthquake in the northeastern U.S. could be larger than the area of damage caused by an earthquake of the same magnitude in the western U.S.The cooler rocks in the northeastern U.S. contribute to the seismic energy propagating as much as ten times further than in the warmer rocks of California. A magnitude 4.0 eastern U.S. earthquake typically can be felt as far as 100 km (60 mi) from its epicenter, but it infrequently causes damage near its source. A magnitude 5.5 eastern U.S. earthquake, although uncommon, can be felt as far as 500 km (300 mi) from its epicenter, and can cause damage as far away as 40 km (25 mi) from its epicenter. Earthquakes stronger than about magnitude 5.0 generate ground motions that are strong enough to be damaging in the epicentral area.

At well-studied plate boundaries like the San Andreas fault system in California, scientists can often make observations that allow them to identify the specific fault on which an earthquake took place. In contrast, east of the Rocky Mountains this is rarely the case.  The NYC area is far from the boundaries of the North American plate, which are in the center of the Atlantic Ocean, in the Caribbean Sea, and along the west coast of North America. The seismicity of the northeastern U.S. is generally considered to be due to ancient zones of weakness that are being reactivated in the present-day stress field. In this model, pre-existing faults that were formed during ancient geological episodes persist in the intraplate crust, and the earthquakes occur when the present-day stress is released along these zones of weakness. The stress that causes the earthquakes is generally considered to be derived from present-day rifting at the Mid-Atlantic ridge.

Earthquakes and geologically mapped faults in the Northeastern U.S.

The northeastern U.S. has many known faults, but virtually all of the known faults have not been active for perhaps 90 million years or more. Also, the locations of the known faults are not well determined at earthquake depths. Accordingly, few (if any) earthquakes in the region can be unambiguously linked to known faults. Given the current geological and seismological data, it is difficult to determine if a known fault in this region is still active today and could produce a modern earthquake.As in most other areas east of the Rocky Mountains, the best guide to earthquake hazard in the northeastern U.S. is probably the locations of the past earthquakes themselves.

The Ramapo fault and other New York City area faults

The Ramapo Fault, which marks the western boundary of the Newark rift basin, has been argued to be a major seismically active feature of this region,but it is difficult to discern the extent to which the Ramapo fault (or any other specific mapped fault in the area) might be any more of a source of future earthquakes than any other parts of the region.The Ramapo Fault zone spans more than 185 miles (300 kilometers) in New YorkNew Jersey, and Pennsylvania. It is a system of faults between the northern Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont areas to the east. This fault is perhaps the best known fault zone in the Mid-Atlantic region, and some small earthquakes have been known to occur in its vicinity. Recently, public knowledge about the fault has increased – especially after the 1970s, when the fault’s proximity to the Indian Point nuclear plant in New York was noticed.

There is insufficient evidence to unequivocally demonstrate any strong correlation of earthquakes in the New York City area with specific faults or other geologic structures in this region. The damaging earthquake affecting New York City in 1884 was probably not associated with the Ramapo fault because the strongest shaking from that earthquake occurred on Long Island (quite far from the trace of the Ramapo fault). The relationship between faults and earthquakes in the New York City area is currently understood to be more complex than any simple association of a specific earthquake with a specific mapped fault.

A 2008 study argued that a magnitude 6 or 7 earthquake might originate from the Ramapo fault zone, which would almost definitely spawn hundreds or even thousands of fatalities and billions of dollars in damage. Studying around 400 earthquakes over the past 300 years, the study also argued that there was an additional fault zone extending from the Ramapo Fault zone into southwestern Connecticut. As can be seen in the above figure of seismicity, earthquakes are scattered throughout this region, with no particular concentration of activity along the Ramapo fault, or along the hypothesized fault zone extending into southwestern Connecticut.

Just off the northern terminus of the Ramapo fault is the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, built between 1956 and 1960 by Consolidated Edison Company. The plant began operating in 1963, and it has been the subject of a controversy over concerns that an earthquake from the Ramapo fault will affect the power plant. Whether or not the Ramapo fault actually does pose a threat to this nuclear power plant remains an open question.

India told to prepare for a nuclear war (Revelation 8 )

Muslims will be saved: Pakistan warns India of “nuclear war” once again

Digital Desk

Islamabad/New Delhi: Pakistani administration has once again prophesied a “nuclear war” against India, with its cabinet minister saying there will be a “bloody and final war”. 

In an interview to Pakistan-based Samaa TV on Wednesday, Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said, “If Pakistan gets attacked by India, there is no scope for a conventional war. This will be a bloody, final and nuclear war.”

Islamabad has “small” and “perfect” weapons, that will save Muslim lives and target other regions. He also said that Pakistan’s weapons can also reach the Indian state of Assam, adding that next 4-6 months will be very critical, in a reference to elections in the United States. 

The railway minister also said there will an upcoming block that include countries like China, Russia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and added that Pakistan should be a part of this arrangement. 

Rashid also spoke on Pakistan army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa’s visit to Saudi Arabia, where he said Pak-Saudi ties are back to “normal” now.

When asked why Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman didn’t meet Bajwa, Rashid said Salman “is a very important person, but, most of the issues were already settled from here”. 

Another fact about the Iranian nuclear horn (Daniel 8:4)

Abadeh is Marivan: A Key Iranian Former Secret Nuclear Weapons Development Test Site


by David Albright, Sarah Burkhard, and Frank Pabian

August 28, 2020

The Abadeh site, which Iran razed in July 2019, is the Amad Plan’s Marivan site, an important test site responsible for conducting large-scale high explosive tests for developing nuclear weapons. This report provides an introduction to the Marivan location and its activities based on information in the Nuclear Archive, a significant portion of which was seized by Israel in 2018 and shared widely. A Farsi-language slide set from the archive obtained recently by the Institute, containing ground photos of a large-scale test, enabled the Institute to independently evaluate, geo-locate, and, in light of other Archive reporting, ultimately confirm the Abadeh site as Marivan.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has raised concerns about the existence of “Marivan” starting before 2011, but did not know the location of the site at that time. More recently, after learning of the location of the site in the Nuclear Archive, and discovering more of the high explosive tests done at the site, in 2019 and 2020, the IAEA repeatedly asked Iran to visit this site, as a location involved with undeclared nuclear material and activities. 1 On a recent trip to Iran, the IAEA’s Director General obtained an Iranian commitment to allow the inspectors access to this site (identified by Iran as near Shahreza, which is just north of Abadeh) as well as another one engaged in the past with undeclared nuclear material and activities (reportedly near Tehran). 2,3 Although a welcome commitment, Iran granting access is just the beginning. It remains unclear if these visits will resolve the outstanding questions that the IAEA has related to safeguards in Iran and, in particular, to the broader issue of access to military sites and Iran’s lack of a complete safeguards declaration. Lack of full cooperation in allowing access to the sites, failure to answer the IAEA’s questions, and inhibiting the taking of environmental samples should lead the Board of Governors to refer the issue to the UN Security Council for further action. Member states and the IAEA should also use overhead imagery to scrutinize the sites, particularly the Marivan site, to ensure that Iran does not carry out additional sanitization activities that could interfere in the inspections and sampling. Finally, it is once again worth noting the usefulness and importance of the Nuclear Archive in identifying Iran’s undeclared nuclear sites, materials, and activities. Acceptance of the IAEA visits reveals Iran’s increasing inability to deny the authenticity and legitimacy of the information in the Nuclear Archive.


The Amad Plan, Iran’s crash nuclear weapons program in the early 2000s, conducted its larger high explosive tests related to the development of nuclear weapons at the Marivan site. The site’s location, long unknown to Western intelligence, the IAEA, and the public, is a mountainous region of central Iran, about 24 kilometers north of the town of Abadeh. Information in the archive shows that the Marivan site undertook work linked to implosion testing for nuclear weapons.

The IAEA discussed this site in a June 2020 report alleging Iran’s undeclared nuclear material and activities, describing this site as one “where outdoor, conventional explosive testing may have taken place in 2003, including in relation to testing of shielding in preparation for the use of neutron detectors.” 4 The IAEA also emphasized that this site had been razed in July 2019. After the Amad Plan and up until the razing, the site had changed little, suggesting that Iran may have continued to use the site or intended to reactivate it at some point up until its discovery by Israel, which, as was likely also expected, resulted in a subsequent IAEA enquiry. That Abadeh remained intact for so long also facilitated the use of post-2003 satellite imagery to evaluate the site.

The location of the Marivan site was first made public on September 9, 2019 by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who revealed at a press conference the existence of this previously clandestine nuclear weapons development site. However, he did not at the time identify it as the Marivan site, but merely as a site connected to the Amad Plan engaged in conducting “experiments to develop nuclear weapons.”5 The Prime Minister went on to say that once Iran became aware of Israel becoming witting to the existence of the site, the Iranians quickly destroyed the entire site in July 2019. Figure 1 is taken directly from the Prime Minister’s presentation, showing the site before and after its razing.

Figure 1. Prime Minister Netanyahu used these before and after pictures of Abadeh to show the site’s abrupt razing in July 2019.

Nuclear Archive

The Nuclear Archive contains extensive information about the Marivan site. The information includes ground photographs and descriptions and results of nuclear weapons-related testing. In particular, the archive shows that the Amad Plan’s nuclear weaponization effort, Project 110, used the Marivan site to conduct tests of large scale hemispherical multi-point initiation (MPI) systems, including one such test in 2003 known to the IAEA. The archive also indicates that the site was used for several such experiments, and can now be identified as one of four sites previously engaged in nuclear weapons component testing. 6 During one two-month period, between February 20 and April 20, 2003, based on an Iranian document from the archive, four tests under Project 110 were conducted at Marivan. 7 There could have been other large-scale Project 110 tests at the site after this time period.

The archive information also suggests that Marivan was the designated Amad location for conducting a cold test, the testing of the assembled nuclear explosive device without weapon-grade uranium. This critical test could determine that the nuclear explosive device would work when outfitted with nuclear explosive material and a neutron initiator, typically the last test before building the nuclear weapons. This type of test is also suggested by the IAEA reference to the explosive testing of shielding for neutron detectors, equipment critical to determine the success of the firing of the cold device, in particular detecting neutrons from the neutron initiator. Although a cold test avoids the use of nuclear explosive material, it would still likely involve the presence of nuclear material, namely natural uranium in shielding or as a surrogate material for the weapon-grade uranium.

The Institute recently obtained parts of a Farsi-language slide set from the archive about a Marivan test, possibly the large-scale 2003 test mentioned above or a similar one, containing ground photographs. The information confirms the test site as part of the Abadeh location and demonstrates its use for implosion testing. This slide set is discussed and analyzed in a later section of the report.

Overview of Marivan

Figure 2, an October 2015 Google Earth image, provides a perspective view of the overall Marivan site at Abadeh. The figure shows the general layout of the site: a cluster of key buildings hidden behind a hill from view from the main access road, with a security checkpoint at the entrance. The Abadeh development site was evidently established to conduct outdoor experiments involving greater amounts of high explosives than was possible in the indoor explosive chambers at Parchin and Sanjarian. 8 Newly acquired ground images now indicate that at least one high explosive experiment was conducted northeast near a hillside, further away from the main building cluster. Another area that the Institute had originally judged to have been suitable as an outdoor testing location for tests involving larger amounts of high explosives and optical diagnostic equipment is located in the north-northwest of the Marivan site. 9

Figure 2. The layout of the identified Marivan site at Abadeh before razing was consistent with ground photos and the reporting of secret high explosives testing for nuclear weapons development. Based on correlations with the available ground photos from the Nuclear Archive, the likely area of at least one circa 2003 outdoor high explosives test is in the northeast at the base of a steeply sloped hillside.

2003 MPI Test at Marivan

Prior to the seizure of the Nuclear Archive, information became public about a large-scale hemispherical MPI test in 2003 at Marivan. 10 And even before that, prior to 2011, a member state had shared information with the IAEA that describes this experimental setup, which aimed to measure the time of arrival of the detonation front, 50 kilograms of Composition B explosives in the form of a shell placed inside a hemispherical shock generator system. (The shock wave generator is a multi-point initiation system, which has the purpose of uniformly initiating a spherical shell of high explosives, or the “main charge,” which in turn compresses the nuclear core made from weapon-grade uranium to achieve a supercritical mass for a nuclear explosion. 11) The time of arrival of the detonation front at the outer surface of this 50 kilograms shell of explosives was measured by using many hundreds of fiber optic cables drilled into a thin hemispherical shell or holder in close proximity of the inner surface of the explosives. The other end of each of the cables was attached to a panel. The light signals were then transmitted via air to a fast-acting camera with a rotating mirror, likely a framing camera, at a safe distance from the explosion. On firing, the exploding bridgewires ignited the PETN explosives in the channels of the shell, setting off the explosive pellets in the holes in the shell (shock wave generator), in turn initiating the outer surface of the Composition B shell. The detonation front traveled through the main charge and on exiting the inner surface produced light, which was transmitted via the fiber optic cables and was captured on the film of the high-speed camera.

This description with less detail is in the 2011 IAEA report:

Information provided to the Agency by the same Member State referred to in the previous paragraph [not included here] describes the multipoint initiation concept referred to above as being used by Iran in at least one large scale experiment in 2003 to initiate a high explosive charge in the form of a hemispherical shell. According to that information, during that experiment, the internal hemispherical curved surface of the high explosive charge was monitored using a large number of optical fibre cables, and the light output of the explosive upon detonation was recorded with a high speed streak camera. It should be noted that the dimensions of the initiation system and the explosives used with it were consistent with the dimensions for the new payload which, according to the alleged studies documentation, were given to the engineers who were studying how to integrate the new payload into the chamber of the Shahab 3 missile re-entry vehicle (Project 111). 12

There is one publicly available picture from the archive that apparently shows a model of this experimental system using optical fibers (Figure 3). This model shows a hemispherical object representing the external side of the multi-point initiation system, where inside would be the high explosives and an inner surface, or holder, where the fiber optic cables would connect. The fiber optic cables exiting the hemisphere and the panel can also be seen. (The archive contains many images of actual hemispherical configurations for this type of test as well as other hemispherical high explosive tests related to developing implosion-based nuclear weapons. However, those images, in addition to a considerable amount of other information, were judged as nuclear weapons-sensitive and not made public by Israel.)

Figure 3. Model of an experimental system in the Nuclear Archive representing what appears to be a shock wave generator and high explosives, with a diagnostic system using fiber optic cables, to measure time of arrival of a detonation front in the main charge.

The IAEA also highlighted V.V. Danilenko’s involvement in this initiation system and diagnostic equipment in its 2011 report:

The Agency has strong indications that the development by Iran of the high explosives initiation system, and its development of the high speed diagnostic configuration used to monitor related experiments, were assisted by the work of a foreign expert who was not only knowledgeable in these technologies, but who, a Member State has informed the Agency, worked for much of his career with this technology in the nuclear weapon programme of the country of his origin. 13

The IAEA recognized that the diagnostic system used in this MPI test is similar to one Danilenko presented in two papers in the early 1990s at a conference on high-speed photography and photonics. In their papers, Danilenko and his colleagues from the Federal Nuclear Center, the All-Russian Institute of Technical Physics (VNIITF), presented an optical technique in which fiber optic cables are used to capture the time of arrival of an explosive shock wave on a fast camera. 14 VNIITF was created as a back-up facility for the All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Experimental Physics (VNIIEF) and contained expertise in the entire spectrum of work connected with the design and development of nuclear weapons.

Archive Document Supports Large-Scale MPI Test at Marivan

The Institute only very recently acquired some pre-and post-test ground images—part of a slide presentation obtained from the Iranian Nuclear Archive—reported to be of a nuclear weapons development related high explosives experiment at Marivan (Abadeh), circa 2003. This information has similarities to the large-scale MPI test discussed above. The test may have involved a large-scale MPI test that used the diagnostic technique developed by Danilenko and his colleagues, discussed above and in earlier Institute publications and represented in the hemispheric model shown in Figure 3. Figure 4, below, shows a schematic from one of Danilenlko et al’s papers that shows the basic structure of this system, illustrating it with one fiber optic cable labeled “light guide”. In actuality, there would be hundreds.

Figure 5 is a slide from the Archive slide presentation, the entirety of which is titled “Marivan Test Results.” The caption reads, “Figure 18, The positioning of the detector on its base and its placement behind the shield.” The photo in the center of the slide is a ground image showing a detector in shape of a white rectangular case, possibly containing the panel in the Figure 4 schematic that could be where the fiber optic cables end. The panel is situated in front of a metal sheet. Figure 6 shows the pre-test set-up of the metal sheet at the outdoor testing area, near what is labeled in Farsi as the “explosion point.” The photorecorder or fast camera is not shown in the available ground imagery, but could have been installed in a nearby structure identified in satellite imagery about 40 meters from the possible explosion location, which would also be consistent with the 40 meter distance specified in the Figure 4 schematic (see Figure 10).

Further ground photos from the slide presentation show the aftermath of the explosion and the impact of the blast on some of the equipment, including on the metal (probably steel) shield, which is bent inwards after the explosion. Figure 7 is a slide showing remnants of the detector housing and other equipment blown as far as 9 meters in one direction, and 12 meters in another direction. Some of these additional ground images were used to geo-locate the testing area in Google Earth via terrain matching.

Figure 4. Schematics from Danilenko et al.’s report on a fast, fiber optic diagnostic system. “Electrodetonator” is another name for a shock wave generator. Note the lines on the photo from a raster system. As can be seen, the camera is placed at a safe distance of 40 meters from the explosion. Reprinted from: “Multichannel optical fiber system to measure time intervals in investigations of explosive phenomena,” see footnote 14.

Figure 5. The title repeats the title of the slide presentation, “Marivan Test Results.” The caption reads, “Figure 18, The positioning of the detector on its base and its placement behind the shield.” The slide is part of a slide set from the Iranian Nuclear Archive, translated by the Institute. The white case in the foreground could contain or correspond to the panel used as part of the detection and transmission of the light signals from an MPI test.

Figure 6. A close up of the photo in slide 17 of the Nuclear Archive slide set titled “Marivan Test Results.” The caption of the slide (not shown) reads “The location of the explosion and the positioning of the metal shield (protective panel) in front of it.” The white Farsi annotation in the photo labels the “explosion point”, marked by an asterisk. English translation and annotations by the Institute.

Figure 7. Slide 20 of the Nuclear Archive slide set titled “Marivan Test Results.” The caption reads, “The throwing of the set of the base and three steel plates and detector to the distances of 9 and 12 meters.”

Geo-locating the Testing Area

The Institute undertook an effort to geo-locate the testing area by correlating the scenes of the backgrounds in three ground photos with what can be derived from perspective terrain views in Google Earth. The ground photos were found to be consistent with an area at Marivan (Abedeh) at the base of a steep hill and at a safe distance northeast from the main cluster of buildings. While the images were of insufficient detail and scope to exclusively limit the location to only that area, we are presenting this correlation in the hope that it might prove useful to any future investigations, particularly to any future IAEA onsite visit.

Figure 8 provides an overview of the area that best matches the pre- and post-test ground images shown in Figures 6 and 7. Figure 9 provides a Google Earth perspective view from ground level looking to the south (bottom), which correlates reasonably well with the post-test ground photo (top).

Figure 8.An overview of an outdoor area at the identified Marivan Development Site near Abadeh, northeast of the main cluster of buildings and consistent with background terrain observed in the ground photos of the testing location.

Figure 9. A direct comparison of the terrain as viewed in a ground photo from the Nuclear Archive slide set “Marivan Test Results” (above) and in Google Earth (below). The Google Earth terrain model is not perfect, e.g., the nose of the hill does not adequately mask the buildings near the security checkpoint, which in reality are nearly completely hidden in the ground photo.

Figures 10 and 11 are close-up satellite images of the identified possible test location that provide new labeling for some of the associated structures nearby should this indeed be a high explosives testing location. Those structures could include a possible camera building that is uphill to the north west of, and approximately 40 meters from, the identified possible test location. There is also a possible firing/diagnostics building nearby with what was a circular tank, for unknown purposes, which is located between the two buildings. Most interestingly, a possible cable trench between the testing location and the possible firing/diagnostics building can be seen.

Figure 10. Buildings near the possible outdoor testing area, before Iran razed/damaged them in July 2019, could have included a camera building and a fire control/diagnostics building.

Figure 11. A January 2006 Maxar Technologies satellite image showing a possible trench for cabling running from the primary possible fire control/diagnostics building to the possible outdoor testing location.

Figure 12 shows some personnel tracking in the immediate area post-2016 through 2018 and some new, small structures along the ridge top of the adjacent steeply rising mountain to the east, possibly for improved site security. Figure 13 shows the remnants of the buildings near the possible experimental location, razed by Iran in July 2019.

Figure 12. A 2018 Google Earth image shows a previously faint trail well worn, as well as structures not visible in a June 2016 image, indicating at least light activity at the site as recent as post-2016.

Figure 13. Iran razed the Marivan site abruptly in July 2019, including several key features near the possible outdoor high explosives testing area.

Another Potential Outdoor High Explosives Test Area

Figure 14, a January 2012 image, focuses on an area located northwest of the Marivan site that could have also been involved in such high explosives testing. The area, labeled “possible outdoor test area,” consists of two candidate facilities. The first one, now labeled as the “secondary possible firing/diagnostics building,” exhibited some of the characteristics one might expect for a hydrodynamic test facility with a fire control room section situated behind a potential camera recording section facing an open pad that could be used to conduct high explosives testing at close range uphill and away from the rest of the site. The primary building has a middle section with no walls, making it look like the fire control section would be shock isolated (the center section was effectively just a corridor) from the camera room section, which would be taking the main shock from any explosive detonations. A tertiary possible firing/diagnostics building (a single, small, outlier building) is located in a small isolated valley to the north of the primary one.

Figure 14. A close-up of the previously identified possible outdoor high explosives testing area when the area was intact before razing that occurred in July 2019.

Struggle to Locate Marivan

Putting all the pieces together of Iran’s nuclear weapons efforts is complicated, made more difficult by Iran’s incessant dissembling and falsehoods. Marivan is no exception.

The IAEA earlier published erroneous information about the location of the Marivan site based on a presumption that the name was that of a location rather than a project. The 2011 IAEA special report 15 reported on information supplied by an unnamed member state suggesting that the region of Marivan (on the western border of Iran) might be the location for large-scale multipoint high hemispherical explosives testing conducted in 2003. The original IAEA information described a specialized test of a multi-point initiation (MPI) system “at Marivan”.

Subsequent reporting shows that the IAEA no longer believed that association of Marivan was suggestive of the region of Marivan, but rather that it was the name of a development project as is now known from the Nuclear Archives. 16

According to a 2015 IAEA report: “The Agency has reassessed that this experiment was conducted at a location called ‘Marivan’, and not conducted in ‘the region of’ Marivan [as previously reported].” 17

Evidently the original information received by the IAEA did not contain the site’s location, and initially its location was confused with the region of Marivan, near the Iraqi border, a confusion upon which Iran tried to capitalize, urging the IAEA to inspect the Marivan region on numerous occasions, 18 resulting in the dismissal of the existence of the whole site even by some Western voices in the non-proliferation community, both at the time, 19 and as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was being finalized in late 2015. 20 For example, Iran appeared eager to allow the IAEA to visit the Marivan region in 2014, when Iran’s Ambassador to the IAEA, Reza Najafi, expressed Iran’s readiness to give the IAEA “one managed access” on a “voluntarily basis” to Marivan, adding “such alleged experiments could easily be traced if the exact site would be visited.” 21 The identification of Abadeh as being the location of “Marivan” was only established after the dissemination of the Nuclear Archive in 2018.22 It took repeated requests by the IAEA and considerable international pressure, including an IAEA Board of Governors Resolution, before Iran agreed to allow a visit. While the issue of access is hopefully resolved, the underlying issue of the incompleteness of Iran’s nuclear declaration about Marivan and a host of other sites and activities, all previously dedicated to a covert, and illegal, nuclear weapons program, is far from settled.

1. David Albright, Sarah Burkhard, Frank Pabian, and Andrea Stricker, “Iran Defies the International Atomic Energy Agency: The IAEA’s Latest Iran Safeguards Report,” Institute for Science and International Security, June 10, 2020,

2. “Joint Statement by the Director General of the IAEA and the Vice-President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Head of the AEOI,” August 25, 2020,

3. “Natanz’s incident an act of sabotage: AEOI spokesman,” ISNA, August 24, 2020,

4. IAEA, NPT Safeguards Agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran, GOV 2020/30, June 5, 2020. ↩

5. Raphael Ahren, “Netanyahu reveals site where Iran ‘experimented on nuclear weapons development,” The Times of Israel, September 9, 2019,

6. David Albright and Sarah Burkhard, “Intensive Nuclear Weapons Component Testing Campaign during the Amad Plan,” Institute for Science and International Security, March 5, 2020,

7. “Intensive Nuclear Weapons Component Testing Campaign during the Amad Plan.” ↩

8. More details about the Parchin and Sanjarian sites can be found in: David Albright, Sarah Burkhard, Olli Heinonen, and Frank Pabian, “New Information about the Parchin Site,” Institute for Science and International Security, October 23, 2018, and David Albright and Olli Heinonen, “Shock Wave Generator for Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program,” Institute for Science and International Security, May 7, 2019,

9. David Albright, Sarah Burkhard, and Frank Pabian, “The Alleged Nuclear Weapons Development Site near Abadeh, Iran,” Institute for Science and International Security, June 10, 2020,

10. David Albright, Paul Brannan, Mark Gorwitz and Andrea Stricker, “ISIS Analysis of IAEA Iran Safeguards Report: Part II – Iran’s Work and Foreign Assistance on a Multipoint Initiation System for a Nuclear Weapon,” November 14, 2011, Institute for Science and International Security,

11. Details about Iran’s shock wave generator can be found in: “Shock Wave Generator for Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program,”

12. IAEA, Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran, GOV/2011/65, November 8, 2011,

13. IAEA Director General, Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran, GOV/2011/65. ↩

14.Nicolai P. Kozeruk, V. V. Danilenko, and I. V. Telichko, “Optical fiber gauges for gas-dynamic investigations,” Proc. SPIE 1801, 20th International Congress on High Speed Photography and Photonics (January 1, 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.145759;; and Nicolai P. Kozeruk, V. V. Danilenko, Boris V. Litvinov, P. P. Lysenko, I. V. Sanin, S. V. Samylov, V. I. Tarzhonov, and I. V. Telichko, “Multichannel optical fiber system to measure time intervals in investigations of explosive phenomena,” Proc. SPIE 1801, 20th International Congress on High Speed Photography and Photonics (January 1, 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.145729;

15. IAEA, Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran, GOV/2011/65. ↩

16. Intensive Nuclear Weapons Component Testing Campaign during the Amad Plan,

17. IAEA Director General, Final Assessment on Past and Present Outstanding Issues regarding Iran’s Nuclear Programme, GOV/2015/68, December 2, 2015,

18. Iran’s former Ambassador to the IAEA, Reza Najafi said, “Such alleged experiments could easily be traced if the exact site would be visited.” See: “Iran Offers IAEA Access to Marivan Site,” Tasnim News Agency, November, 21, 2014,



21. “Iran Offers IAEA Access to Marivan Site,” November 21, 2014. ↩

22. The ground images were acquired by the Institute on August 26, 2020. ↩

The swarming of the China nuclear horn (Daniel 7)

US, China Developing “Super Swarm” Drones With Destruction Power Equivalent To Nuclear Weapons

By EurAsian Times Global Desk

August 28, 2020

With the US and China leading the development of swarming drone capabilities, they are now looking at not just swarming techniques but also counter swarming tactics. Experts have argued that some drones that are under development are capable of sufficient destructive power to count as Weapons of Mass Destruction.

According to Isaac Kaminer, an engineering professor at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School who is an expert in the subject of swarming and counter swarming tactics, large-scale adversarial swarms are already an imminent threat. He suggested that stopping a swarm is not simply a matter of driving enough missiles or bullets at it; instead, the swarm has to be outsmarted.

A swarm with 10,000 or more drones must have extremely high levels of autonomy,” said consultant Zak Kallenborn talking to the Forbes. “No human being could handle the amount of information necessary to make decisions.“

Kaminer defines a ‘Super Swarm’ with large numbers and multiple modes like air, surface, and subsurface threats. The US Navy has already performed offensive swarm operations with its LOCUST drone swarm developed by Raytheon.

According to the developer of LOCUST drone swarm, dozens of small unmanned aircraft systems fly together, filling the sky. Some are collecting information. Some are identifying ground targets. Others might attack the same targets.

“They fly together like a flock of birds, tracking their positions and maintaining their relative positions in the air. Human operators are not needed for every flying drone; instead, they direct the flock as one.”

Currently, the drones are controlled remotely by humans which limits the capabilities both due to the demand for personnel and bandwidth restrictions. Only a few numbers can be used. However, if swarming algorithms are developed it would allow the drones to control itself and hence much larger number can be used increasing its lethality.

It works similar to a swarm of birds or insects. Every member adheres to the same rules to follow cohesion without colliding with each other. This will allow it to work without any central control.

David Hambling, who is also the author of ‘Swarm Troopers: How small drones will conquer the world’, wrote that such a swarm can be defeated by taking advantage of its internal rules – if these can be figured out.

“For example, an entire swarm whose members all have a collision-avoidance rule can be ‘herded’ by a few outsider drones or may be fooled into running into each other. If the members of the swarm are all programmed to attack what they see as the highest-value target in range, then they can all be decoyed into attacking the same dummy.”

The biggest challenge for the US comes from China who is also developing swarming capability as a means of asymmetric warfare, to counterpoise the US advantage in aircraft carriers. Last year, satellite images posted on the Chinese internet displayed a lineup of several drones including the Sharp Sword stealth drone and the Wing Loong Reaper.

Considering the fast pace of development of such technologies it is important to have international laws in place. “The opportunity to develop global norms and treaties around drone swarms and other autonomous weapons is now, “ says Kallenborn. “Collective limits on the number of armed drones in a swarm would reduce the risk to civilians and national security.”

The speed of the Russian nuclear horn (Daniel 7)

New details emerge of Russian hypersonic weapons and intended deployments

Credit: Shutterstock

Russia’s recently announced Kh-32 upgrades will provide Russia with expanded hypersonic strike capability, with the dual-use missile to be deployed as an anti-ship weapon to complement the hypersonic Kinzhal’s primary use against land-targets. With a range of up to 1000km and a high explosive warhead which can pierce the hull of most warships, and the potential to overcome ship-based air-defense systems.

The revelation that this solution is Kh-32 based indicates Russian hypersonic weapons use will be very specifically targeted in roles and deployments, in addition to pointing to the stop-gap nature of this particular solution, says William Davies, Associate Analyst at GlobalData. This particular Kh-32 upgrade being launched from modified SU-30s means this is a viable hypersonic air-launched munition for other Su-30 operators such as China, India, Vietnam, Malaysia, Algeria, with the platform being significantly more widely proliferated than the MiG-31 that carries the Kinzhal.

In particular, the upgrade will provide frontal aviation units deploying SU-30s with the capability to strike naval vessels including aircraft carriers from outside their defensive umbrellas. The development of the Kh-32 as a widely deployed anti-ship missile would strengthen Russia’s area-denial capabilities, complementing the use of other hypersonic solutions. The Kh-32 is initially being deployed on Su-30s but it could potentially be deployed on other modified platforms and could provide a number of other frontline aircraft with hypersonic strike capabilities, such as the Su-34 and Su-24.

Russia has previously mounted the Kinzhal on the MiG-31K, but despite it having a larger range, it was designed for use on land targets making the upgraded Kh-32 a significant boost to Russia’s offensive hypersonic capabilities. The Kh-32 can be employed with nuclear or non-nuclear warheads, but given its application as an anti-ship missile, its application is likely to be non-nuclear in nature despite the DoD categorizing it as a nuclear weapons delivery system.

GlobalData is this website’s parent business intelligence company.

Germany confirms the nefariousness of the Iranian horn (Daniel 8:4)

Iran’s regime has used German territory for surveillance and assassination operations targeting Iranian dissidents, pro-Israel advocates and Israeli and Jewish institutions.

The domestic intelligence agency for the German state of Saarland added new weight to intelligence reports from its sister states that previously confirmed the Islamic Republic of Iran sought technology for weapons of mass destruction and missile carrier systems during time period of 2019.The Jerusalem Post reviewed the 112-page intelligence report, which was released last week, titled “Overview of the situation” that addresses security threats faced by the small West German state Saarland.

“Iran, Pakistan and, to a lesser extent Syria, made efforts to procure goods and know-how for the further development of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems,” wrote the intelligence officials for the Saarland.

“Delivery system” is typically defined as the capability to launch missiles. Israel, the United States and many Gulf nations believe Iran’s clerical regime seeks to develop nuclear weapons.The Post contacted the Saarland domestic intelligence agency regarding the nature of the illicit proliferation material that Iran sought in 2019. Katrin Thomas, the spokemwoman  for the domestic intelligence agency wrote the the Post by email on Friday that “the Protection of the Constitution in Saarland does not pass on any information on the activities of groups or individuals.The Protection of the Constitution is the formal name of the Saarland domestic security service.”

The report said that “The intelligence services of these countries are present with varying staffing levels at the respective official and semi-official representations in Germany and maintain so-called legal residencies there. This refers to the operational bases of a foreign intelligence service, disguised in an official (e.g. embassy, consulate general) or semi-official (e.g. press agency, airline) representation in the host country as a starting point for intelligence activities.”

According to the Saarland intelligence document, “The intelligence staff there, supposedly working as diplomats or journalists, conduct open or covert information gathering themselves or provide support in intelligence operations that are carried out directly by the headquarters of the intelligence services in their home countries. In addition, intelligence services also carry out operations without their legal residences being involved. The focus of their respective procurement activities is based on current political requirements or economic priorities.”

The intelligence officials noted that China and Iran replicate Russia’s brutal tactics in targeting dissidents and opponents within the federal republic. “The Iranian and Chinese intelligence services are also active in this field.”

The report says that for Iran to achieve its goal, “selected people from the opposition movement are approached with the aim of a commitment to intelligence cooperation. In the event of rejection, the persons concerned or their relatives living in their home country are often threatened with reprisals.”

Iran’s regime has used German territory for surveillance and assassination operations targeting Iranian dissidents, pro-Israel advocates and Israeli and Jewish institutions.

Germany’s 16 federal states have their own local domestic intelligence service. Each state releases an annual report documenting threats to the democratic order of the state.

The Saarland noted the apparent illicit nuclear weapons activities of Pakistan in Germany and elsewhere abroad. “Pakistan also operates an extensive nuclear and carrier technology program and continues to endeavor to expand and modernize, in order to retain a serious deterrent potential against the ‘Arch enemy’ India.”

The report stated that “Although Pakistan is largely technically self-sufficient, it needs some key components (including control technology) that are procured abroad.”

Counter-terrorism experts have long accused Pakistan of sponsoring and protecting terrorist movements such as the Taliban.

Multiple German intelligence reports from various states have established Iran’s illicit nuclear and missile procurement activities covering 2019. In a section titled “Proliferation,” the 181-page Baden-Württemberg state intelligence agency document reviewed by the Post states that Iran, Pakistan, North Korea and Syria are “still pursuing” such efforts.

“They aim to complete existing arsenals, perfect the range, applicability and effectiveness of their weapons and develop new weapon systems,” the report said. “They try to obtain the necessary products and relevant know-how, among other things, through illegal procurement efforts in Germany.”

“The term ‘proliferation,’” the report continued, “refers to the further spread of atomic, biological, and chemical weapons of mass destruction –­ or the products and know-how required to manufacture them –­ and corresponding delivery systems.”

The federal German domestic security agency disclosed in its July report that “the BfV [federal domestic intelligence service] was only able to find occasional indications of Iranian proliferation-related procurement attempts for its nuclear program. Such indications arise when the methodological approach to the procurement of goods, [and] their application also in a nuclear program and/or available knowledge about the final recipient respective to the inquiring point indicate a potential procurement background relevant to proliferation.”

Former US acting director of intelligence Richard Grenell authored a stinging indictment of Germany’s government for its failure to vote in favor of an extended weapons embargo against Iran’s regime, a deadly adversary of the United States, Israel and the West.

Writing in his The Hill column in August, Grenell, a former ambassador to Germany, said: “This was a particularly troubling decision by Germany, which recently took the bold step of circumventing EU policy by designating the entirety of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. Germany also regularly reaffirms its special commitment to the security of Israel, the country most threatened by Iranian arms.

“Germany’s decision not to prevent Iran from importing Chinese and Russian weapons systems is so consequential for Hezbollah’s resourcing capacities that it effectively neutralizes the positive step Berlin had taken by revising its Hezbollah policy,” he wrote.

75 years of Hiroshima, Nagasaki atomic bombings equals destruction

75 years of Hiroshima, Nagasaki atomic bombings:Destruction or deterrence

Seventy five years ago to the month, ‘Little Boy’ and’ Fat Man’, changed the world as we see it. Not only did they usher in destruction on an unprecedented scale but they were truly disruptive and affected not only modern warfare but also economies, international relations and technology.

Over the years advances have taken place not only in technology but also in the means of delivery thereby considerably increasing the lethality, range, guidance, accuracy and reliability across delivery platforms. (Reuters photo)


Seventy five years ago to the month, ‘Little Boy’ and’ Fat Man’, changed the world as we see it. Not only did they usher in destruction on an unprecedented scale but they were truly disruptive and affected not only modern warfare but also economies, international relations and technology. After the detonation of the first nuclear device in July 1945, Robert Oppenheimer, the ‘father of the atomic bomb’ quoting Krishna from the ‘Bhagavad Gita’ had said: “Now I am become death, the destroyer of the worlds”. The impact of those blasts is still reverberating around the world. This was now the new normal, and the world was thrown into the nuclear age irrespective of who possessed nuclear weapons.

The mushroom cloud that killed and injured thousands of people and destroyed large parts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki became a symbol of horror. It was unlike any other weapon used before with unimaginable horrors and effectively changing the course of human history. The ability to deliver these weapons of mass destruction over long distances, in the shortest period of time is frightening and has transformed both strategies and warfare. No longer was there any territorial immunity due to distances. Long-range vectors and precision-guided missiles brought in the change. Missile Launchers no longer needed to be located in Cuba, Italy and Turkey to constitute a threat as was the case in 1962.

Over the years advances have taken place not only in technology but also in the means of delivery thereby considerably increasing the lethality, range, guidance, accuracy and reliability across delivery platforms. Though, the overall numbers of warheads have decreased considerably, due to a series of agreements mainly between the US and erstwhile USSR, they are still sufficient to destroy everything on Planet Earth.

Fortunately, none of these weapons has been used since World War II, though the world has seen few occasions when adversaries were close to ‘pressing the nuclear button’. But have these decades led to a sense of complacency in the world, believing that these weapons will only serve as a deterrent and not be used in anger?

Nuclear weapons have since been used for deterrence, which begs to question are these weapons meant to prevent wars or to fight wars? And are we prepared for the consequences of their use in the event prevention fails?

The strategic concept of deterrence is aimed at preventing conflict. It follows that a country may use nuclear weapons when its core national interests are threatened. As stated in the ‘Dictionary of Modern Strategy and Tactics’, “deterrence is a state of mind brought about by the existence of a credible threat of unacceptable counteraction”. Nuclear deterrence removes the optimism about the positive outcome of a conflict and hence is considered to be an effective tool to diffuse a conflict situation. Its failure poses an existential threat to mankind.

Though deterrence has been defined in various ways, it essentially seeks to induce caution in others by a threat of destructive retaliation. The concept is simple but its application is vast and is guided by numerous factors including deterrence by denial and punishment; and direct and extended deterrence, which is aimed at discouraging adversaries from attacking their allies.

The root of a deterrent strategy lies in capability. Capability manifests itself in the armed forces of a nation, modernized, suitably equipped, highly trained and backed by doctrines ready to execute their tasks should deterrence fail. This leads to credibility; the realization by the opponents that the threat would be executed if the red lines are crossed. The ambiguity, of course, surrounds the ‘red lines’ of each country; at times imagined to be more fragile than they actually are.

Bernard Brodie, the American strategist who is considered the architect of the nuclear deterrent theory, saw the usefulness of nuclear weapons not in their deployment but in the threat of their deployment. In his famous book ‘ The Absolute Weapon: Atomic Power and World Order’ he stated; “Thus far the chief purpose of our military establishment had been to win wars from now on it must be to avert them. There can be no other purpose. “

As per the SIPRI Report of 2020, nine nuclear countries which possess 13400, nuclear weapons of which 1800 were in a state of high readiness. What the report also highlights is the ongoing replacement of retired warheads and modernization by few countries. However, none of these figures can be considered accurate due to the low levels of transparency that surround these weapons.

We are all aware of the force ratios needed to overcome an opponent in a conventional conflict. These are also dictated by the terrain and the type of equipment. However, what is the credible threat ratio of nuclear weapons? At the time of the Cuban crisis, it was estimated by scholars that the US had built up a ratio of 9:1. They had a huge advantage not just in numbers but in quality and deployment as well.

At the height of the Cold War, the stockpile of nuclear weapons between the US & the USSR accounted for 98 % of the global nuclear arsenal, with a destructive power equivalent to three million Hiroshima bombs; it was so large that it was meaningless.

Richard Simpkin stated in ‘Race to the Swift ‘, weapon systems have a’ fifty-year cycle’ by when new technologies usher in the next transformative change. However, nuclear weapons have their own set of rules and one thing is definitive, we are not sure where we presently stand.

Ironically, nuclear weapons continue to be developed incorporating the latest technologies for delivering the maximum destructive power and not for deterrence as weapons cannot be designed for such a concept. The complete platforms needed to destroy an intended target in accordance with the parameters and conditions set forth. Such paradoxes, while being intellectually stimulating for a debate represent a choice between life and death and hence cannot be exercised.

Presently, we are witnessing a sudden surge in nuclear threats, which are manifesting themselves by strong statements issued by the leaders of various countries. This is in spite of the fact that for the last seventy-five years conflicts have been fought in the subnuclear domain. It only reinforces their attendant dangers as nuclear weapons continue to remain an integral part of international policies and military strategies.

Recently, Imran Khan the Pakistan Prime Minister, whose strategic assets include both nuclear weapons and terrorist organisations, threatened nuclear war over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act at the First Global Refugee Forum in Geneva. He had earlier made a similar threat while referring to the removal of Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir, while speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2019. The Indian response was appropriate, by calling it brinkmanship and not statesmanship.

Does this show that Pakistan doubts India’s nuclear capability? On the contrary, it only reflects their uncertainty in to winning a conventional war. Hence to make up for their weakness, they have to resort to nuclear threats.

Keeping nuclear weapons and the difficult to manufacture materials needed to make them out of terrorist hands is critical to world security. An issue we all have to face is that these weapons in the hands of terrorists /non-state actors and rogue states, who are not governed by any established rules could destabilise the world as we know it.

As Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar had said,” the relationship between a ‘ deteree’ and ‘deterrer’ is based on rationality. The former has the conviction that he risks disproportionate hostile action and the latter has to have transparency in confirming the reality of these risks so that strategic miscalculation is avoided. The exceptional feature of this is the roles are reversible, provided it is in the common interest to maintain stability“. One wonders how this reasoning can apply to terrorist and rogue state threats.

In response to North Korea’s rhetoric and testing of ballistic missiles, President Trump had famously declared from his golf resort in Aug 2017,” they will be met by fire and fury like the world has never seen.” A statement like this against a country acquiring nuclear weapons and the subsequent release of the US Nuclear Posture Review in 2018, that called for building new types of nuclear weapons and integrating them with conventional war plans brought out the core and enduring function these weapons continue to occupy as far as strategies and warfighting doctrines are concerned. The importance of the threat of nuclear weapons in dictating terms has still not evaporated.

In October 2018, President Putin, while speaking in Sochi had stated, “Any aggressor, should know that retaliation is inevitable, and they will be annihilated. And we as martyrs will go to paradise, while they would simply perish because they wouldn’t even have time to repent their sins.”

As George Perkovich in his recent article in ‘War on the Rocks’ stated, “there are two dramatic ways in which the nuclear age could end: annihilation or disarmament, while one ending is undesirable the other unachievable.”

The truth is that wars must remain in the conventional and not the nuclear domain. The principle articulated by Ronald Reagan in his State of the Union Address in 1984, and also echoed in his joint statement with Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985, succinctly sums up everything “A nuclear war cannot be won must never be fought”. It is therefore imperative that the nuclear genie must forever remain in its bottle.

(The author is an Indian Army Veteran. Views expressed are personal.)