Why We Are In Trouble At The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Why NRC Nuclear Safety Inspections are Necessary: Indian Point

Dave Lochbaum

This is the second in a series of commentaries about the vital role nuclear safety inspections conducted by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) play in protecting the public. The initial commentary described how NRC inspectors discovered that limits on the maximum allowable control room air temperature at the Columbia Generating Station in Washington had been improperly relaxed by the plant’s owner. This commentary describes a more recent finding by NRC inspectors about animproper safety assessment of a leaking cooling water system pipe on Entergy’s Unit 3 reactor at Indian Point outside New York City.

Indian Point Unit 3: Leak Before Break

On February 3, 2017, the NRC issued Indian Point a Green finding for a violation of Appendix B to 10 CFR Part 50. Specifically, the owner failed to perform an adequate operability review per its procedures after workers discovered water leaking from a service water system pipe.

On April 27, 2016, workers found water leaking from the pipe downstream of the strainer for service water (SW) pump 31. As shown in Figure 1, SW pump 31 is one of six service water pumps located within the intake structure alongside the Hudson River. The six SW pumps are arranged in two sets of three pumps. Figure 1 shows SW pumps 31, 32, and 33 aligned to provide water drawn from the Hudson River to essential (i.e, safety and emergency) components within Unit 3. SW pumps 34, 35, and 36 are aligned to provide cooling water to non-essential equipment within Unit 3.

Fig. 1 (Source: Nuclear Regulatory Commission Plant Information Book) (click to enlarge)

Each SW pump is designed to deliver 6,000 gallons of flow. During normal operation, one SW pump can handle the essential loads while two SW pumps are needed for the non-essential loads. Under accident conditions, two SW pumps are needed to cool the essential equipment. The onsite emergency diesel generators can power either of the sets of three pumps, but not both simultaneously. If the set of SW pumps aligned to the essential equipment aren’t getting the job done, workers can open/close valves and electrical breakers to reconfigure the second set of three SW pumps to the essential equipment loops.

Because river water can have stuff in it that could clog some of the coolers for essential equipment, each SW pump has a strainer that attempts to remove as much debris as possible from the water. The leak discovered on April 27, 2016, was in the piping between the discharge check valve for SW pump 31 and its strainer. An arrow points to this piping section in Figure 1. The strainers were installed in openings called pits in the thick concrete floor of the intake structure. Water from the leaking pipe flowed into the pit housing the strainer for SW pump 31.

The initial leak rate was modest—estimated to be about one-eighth of a gallon per minute. The leak was similar to other pinhole leaks that had occurred in the concrete-lined, carbon steel SW pipes. The owner began daily checks on the leakage and prepared an operability determination. Basically, “operability determinations” are used within the nuclear industry when safety equipment is found to be impaired or degraded. The operability determination for the service water pipe leak concluded that the impairment did not prevent the SW pumps from fulfilling their required safety function. The operability determination relied on a sump pump located at the bottom of the strainer pit transferring the leaking water out of the pit before the water flooded and submerged safety components.

The daily checks instituted by the owner included workers recording the leak rate and assessing whether it had significantly increased. But the checks were against the previous day’s leak rate rather than the initial leak rate. By September 18, 2016, the leakage had steadily increased by a factor of 64 to 8 gallons per minute. But the daily incremental increases were small enough that they kept workers from finding the overall increase to be significant.

The daily check on October 15, 2016, found the pump room flooded to a depth of several inches. The leak rate was now estimated to be 20 gallons per minute. And the floor drain in the strainer pit was clogged (ironic, huh?) impairing the ability of its sump pump to remove the water. Workers placed temporary sump pumps in the room to remove the flood water and cope with the insignificantly higher leak rate. On October 17, workers installed a clamp on the pipe that reduced the leakage to less than one gallon per minute.

The operability determination was revised in response to concerns expressed by the NRC inspectors. The NRC inspectors were not satisfied by the revised operability determination. It continued to rely on the strainer pit sump pump removing the leaking water. But that sump pump was not powered from the emergency diesel generator and thus would not remove water should offsite power become unavailable. Step 5.6.4 of procedure EN-OP-14, “Operability Determination Process,” stated “If the Operability is based on the use or availability of other equipment, it must be verified that the equipment is capable of performing the function utilized in the evaluation.”

The operability determination explicitly stated that no compensatory measures or operator manual actions were needed to handle the leak, but the situation clearly required both compensatory measures and operator manual actions.

The NRC inspectors found additional deficiencies in the revised operability determination. The NRC inspectors calculated that a 20 gallon per minute leak rate coupled with an unavailable strainer pit sump pump would flood the room to a depth of three feet in three hours. There are no flood alarms in the room and the daily checks might not detect flooding until the level rose to three feet. At that level, water would submerge and potentially disable the vacuum breakers for the SW pumps. Proper vacuum breaker operation could be needed to successfully restart the SW pumps.

The NRC inspectors calculated that the 20 gallon per minute leak rate without remediation would flood the room to the level of the control cabinets for the strainers in 10 hours. The submerged control cabinets could disable the strainers, leading to blocked cooling water flow to essential equipment.

The NRC inspects calculated that the 20 gallon per minute leak rate without remediation would completely fill the room in about 29 hours, or only slightly longer than the daily check interval.

Flooding to depths of 3 feet, 10 feet, and the room’s ceiling affected all six SW pumps. Thus, the flooding represented a common mode threat that could disable the entire service water system. In turn, all safety equipment shown in Figure 2 no longer cooled by the disabled service water system could also be disabled. The NRC estimated that the flooding risk was about 5×10-6 per reactor year, solidly in the Green finding band.

Fig. 2 (Source: Nuclear Regulatory Commission Plant Information Book) (click to enlarge)

UCS Perspective

“Leak before break” is a longstanding nuclear safety philosophy. Books have been written about it (well, at least one report has been written and may even have been read.)  The NRC’s approval of a leak before break analysis can allow the owner of an existing nuclear power reactor to remove pipe whip restraints and jet impingement barriers. Such hardware guarded against the sudden rupture of a pipe filled with high pressure fluid from damaging safety equipment in the area. The leak before break analyses can provide the NRC with sufficient confidence that piping degradation will be detected by observed leakage with remedial actions taken before the pipe fails catastrophically. More than a decade ago, the NRC issued a Knowledge Management document on the leak before break philosophy and acceptable methods of analyzing, monitoring, and responding to piping degradation.

This incident at Indian Point illustrated an equally longstanding nuclear safety practice of “leak before break.” In this case, the leak was indeed followed by a break. But the break was not the failure of the piping but failure of the owner to comply with federal safety regulations. Pipe breaks are bad. Regulation breaks are bad. Deciding which is worse is like trying to decide which eye one wants to be poked in. None is far better than either.

As with the prior Columbia Generating Station case study, this Indian Point case study illustrates the vital role that NRC’s enforcement efforts plays in nuclear safety. Even after NRC inspectors voiced clear concerns about the improperly evaluated service water system pipe leak, Entergy failed to properly evaluate the situation, thus violating federal safety regulations. To be fair to Entergy, the company was probably doing its best, but in recent years, Entergy’s best has been far below nuclear industry average performance levels.

The NRC’s ROP is the public’s best protection against hazards caused by aging nuclear power reactors, shrinking maintenance budgets, emerging sabotage threats, and Entergy.Replacing the NRC’s engineering inspections with self-assessments by Entergy would lessen the effectiveness of that protective shield.

The NRC must continue to protect the public to the best of its ability. Delegating safety checks to owners like Entergy is inconsistent with that important mission.

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Renewed Tensions Before the First Nuclear War (Revelation 8 )

Renewed Tensions At The China-India Border

September 3, 2020  in China / Current Events / India / Pakistan by Lucy Xu

Fresh provocations emerged at the Sino-Indian Border in Ladakh on August 30, renewing concerns that hostilities will erupt between the two countries. The Himalayan border in dispute has long been a point of discontent between China and India. While an official border line had never been demarcated, the two sides had generally come to an agreement on maintaining peace and patrol. This was until the June confrontation earlier this year, which culminated in a deadly melee, killing 20 Indian soldiers and unknown number of Chinese troops.

With regard to the August stand-off, China asserted that the Indian Army had taken “pre-emptive action” against the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA). A spokesman for the Western Theatre Command of the PLA labelled the move as a display of “blatant provocation”. The Indian Defence Ministry has responded that China had in fact initiated the dispute, by “carry[ing] out provocative military movements” around the border known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

It is believed that the source of the renewed tension is China’s desire to shift the territorial status quo in Ladakh. Under the dominant and nationalistic leadership of Prime Minister Modi, India is unlikely to agree to the new terms, however there are fears that India will not have the military or economic power to enforce their position. Bharat Karnad, an Indian national security expert, has stated that it is “the PLA’s call” whether or not a Sino-Indian war will erupt.

There are fears that if the conflict is not resolved, and tensions build, India may end up fighting a two-front war against collusive military and nuclear allies Pakistan and China. Pakistan’s and China’s strategic and territorial interests with regard to India have coalesced in recent years and may lead to a joint collaborative declaration against India. Indian General Bipin Rawat has cautioned against reliance on the nuclear deterrence theory, warning that “credible (nuclear) deterrence does not take away the threat of (conventional) war.”

Between June and August this year, five rounds of Indian and Chinese military commander negotiations were undertaken. However, as suggested in the most recent August clash, the talks have done little to ease the tensions. No third country has yet emerged to mediate the conflict of interests. While the lack of progress from diplomatic talks between China and India may seem disheartening, former Foreign Secretary of India, Shyam Saran, has encouraged patience during these negotiations. He notes that there was a similar stand-off in 1987 between the Indian Army and the PLA, which took eight years of peace talks to finally resolve in 1995. It is still very much within the realm of possibility for a resolution to emerge. As it was stated by Al Jazeera reporter, Katrina Hu, in the Global Times, “there has been an acknowledgement from China that India is also an important neighbour – a lot of trade is done with India and they would like to maintain peace.”

China’s Nuclear Weapons Plot (Daniel 7)

South China Sea: Beijing’s ‘nuclear weapons plot’ in contested region revealed

SOUTH CHINA SEA tensions have resulted in the threat of Chinese nuclear weapons, an expert warned as Beijing pursues supremacy in the region.


PUBLISHED: 15:16, Fri, Aug 21, 2020

UPDATED: 15:17, Fri, Aug 21, 2020

Several countries claim territorial rights in the South China Sea, which has become one of the most hostile regions on the planet. China and the US have increased their military presence in the region in recent years, but one expert warned of the threat of Chinese nuclear submarines. In 2014, China deployed the Jin-class ballistic missile submarine for the first time, each armed with 12 JL-2 nuclear missiles. Operating from a state-of-the-art base near Sanya, on Hainan island’s southernmost tip, Jin class submarines started patrolling the depths of the South China Sea.

But in order to be within range of the US, they had to be able to break out into the Pacific Ocean.

Roughly contiguous to China’s “nine-dash line” territorial claim in the South China Sea, the continental shelf drops to a deep basin of around 4,000m, offering better cover for submarines.

That is why some experts believe the deeper waters of the South China Sea, and China’s enhanced anti-submarine efforts there, may offer a bastion for Chinese submarines in the future.

Analyst Alexander Neill warned in 2016 that nuclear submarines are central to China’s plans in the region.

South China Sea: Submarines are armed with nuclear weapons (Image: getty)

He said in his BBC article: “Mounting concern within the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) over the vulnerability of its land-based nuclear deterrent and the ability to deliver a retaliatory second strike has prompted China to place some of its nuclear warheads on board submarines.”

A similar warning was made in a report by US group Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, studying China’s island bases in the South China Sea.

The group says that some buildings “host what are most likely anti-aircraft guns”, which have visible gun barrels in satellite images, while others are probably what it terms close-in weapons systems.

READ MORE: South China Sea: Pictures prove ‘Beijing is serious’ about weapons

South China Sea mapped (Image: getty)

AMTI said: “These gun and probable close-in weapons systems emplacements show that Beijing is serious about defence of its artificial islands in case of an armed contingency in the South China Sea.

“Among other things, they would be the last line of defence against cruise missiles launched by the United States or others against these soon-to-be-operational air bases.”

China’s Defence Ministry said its deployment of military equipment was “legitimate and lawful” despite having agreed not to militarise the South China Sea.

The Spratly islands form the epicentre of the complex disputes, as China occupies seven features, and has heavily militarised its portion of the archipelago.

South China Sea: A base in Spratly Islands (Image: getty)

South China Sea bases mapped (Image: getty)

But Beijing is not alone on the islands. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan have also staked claims in the Spratly chain, making the region the most complex and contested piece of the South China Sea puzzle.

Described by many as “island fortresses”, China has engulfed the South China Sea with man made island bases, and has been accused of forming them specifically for military purposes.

The moving of its aircraft carriers, airstrips and weapons into the region has earned the cluster of bases the nickname: “The Great Wall of Sand.”

Some photographs showed cargo ships and supply vessels, which the newspaper said appeared to be delivering construction materials to the China-controlled islands.

Others show runways, hangars, control towers, helipads and radomes as well as a series of multistorey buildings that China has built on reefs.

While China continues its relentless surge for military dominance, the US has regularly aggravated China by sending warships and aircraft carriers through waters Beijing deems to be its own.

Good luck extending the New START nuclear pact

Extending the New START nuclear pact will help stabilize US-Russia relations

By: Daniel DePetris

This video grab shows the launch of what Russian President Vladimir Putin referred to as one of the country’s nuclear-powered intercontinental cruise missiles. (RU-RTR Russian Television via AP)

There aren’t many bright spots in U.S.-Russia relations these days. But just as arms control negotiations had a stabilizing impact on the geopolitical rivalry between Washington and Moscow during the Cold War period, strategic stability talks today could help arrest the yearslong degradation in this critical, bilateral relationship.

Last month, U.S. and Russian national security officials met in Vienna for follow-up discussions on nuclear doctrine, transparency and verification. Moscow describes previous talks in July as “professional,” a word you don’t usually hear expressed by the Kremlin.

The dialogue comes at an especially tense time in the broader U.S.-Russia relationship, with the trust deficit the highest it has been since the early 1980s. Weeks ago, U.S. and Russian ground forces engaged in an altercation in northeast Syria. U.S. and Russian pilots continue to intercept one another from the Black Sea and Mediterranean to airspace off the Alaskan coast.

China plans to double nuclear arsenal, Pentagon says

China plans to double its stockpile of nuclear warheads in the next decade, including those designed to be carried atop ballistic missiles that can reach the United States, the Pentagon said in a new report.

Fortunately, there is still time for both nuclear superpowers to reintroduce some guardrails in their relationship. However, none of this is likely if the Trump administration continues to tie the extension of the New START accord to a more ambitious and unrealistic arms control agreement between Washington and Moscow. And it will be impossible if Washington insists on China’s participation.

With the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty dead and buried, and the Open Skies Treaty on life support (Washington signaled its intent to withdraw from Open Skies in May after months of internal debate), the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty is the only mechanism keeping the world’s two largest nuclear powers from expanding their arsenals. The Russians are on record supporting an extension of the agreement for an additional five years, and it is not hard to see why.

New START caps the number of U.S. and Russian deployed strategic nuclear warheads at 1,550, and limits the number of deployed nuclear-capable bombers and land-based and submarine-launched missiles to 700 apiece.

Just as important, the accord also provides the U.S. and Russia with significant access and information about one another’s strategic arsenals, a transparency that enhances each nation’s confidence about compliance.

American and Canadian fighter jets from North American Aerospace Defense Command escorted two Russian surveillance planes in the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone recently. The Tu-142 aircraft remained in the airspace for about four hours.

With a COVID-19 pandemic affecting the lives of tens of millions of people worldwide and the global economy suffering its most serious shock in over a decade, the last thing the world needs is a new arms race between two powers that already possess over 90 percent of the global nuclear stockpile. This, however, is precisely what the result could be if the Trump administration continues to hold out and waste time.

There are two main problems with the administration’s current approach.

The first is practical: There is simply not enough time to negotiate a new strategic stability agreement — trilateral or otherwise — before New START expires in February 2021. To believe U.S. negotiators could entice a reluctant China to the table and negotiate the highly complicated military technicalities associated with nuclear transparency and verification as well as dispute resolution mechanisms in six months is to believe the impossible can happen. It took Washington and Moscow nearly three years and more than a few headaches before U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev signed the IMF Treaty — an accord that consisted of only one class of missiles. The probability of negotiating a nuclear agreement that includes more weapons systems, more participants and more stringent verification protocols in less than one-fifth of the time is about as great as winning the Powerball jackpot.

The second is China. Over the past year, Chinese officials have been persistent in their opposition to a trilateral U.S.-Russia-China arms control accord and have described it as a transparent bid to kill New START. This is anything but a surprise; with a nuclear arsenal one-twentieth the size of Washington’s and one-twenty-second the size of Moscow’s, it makes absolutely no sense for Beijing to join such a negotiation. The nuclear disparity is too lopsided for China to even consider putting its own stockpile on the table.

The longer Washington persists with this delusional negotiating position, the more unnecessary risk it is choosing to accept.

There is no question China is a rising power, seeking to enlarge the quantity of its arsenal and modernize the quality of its nuclear deterrent. The U.S. Defense Department’s projection that Beijing will double its nuclear arsenal in the next decade could very well come to pass. It is also an indisputable fact that Russia is continuing to diversify its own nuclear capability and relying on its missile program to an even greater degree for external defense. All of these difficult issues will eventually need to be addressed in what will inevitably be long, arduous, extremely frustrating diplomacy.

The job, however, would be infinitely more complicated if Washington allowed the last remaining nuclear accord between the U.S. and Russia to wither on the vine.

A straightforward, unconditional extension of New START won’t please everyone — particularly those who hope to establish a new arms control system that accounts for the 21st century weapons platforms and technology. But it’s likely the best outcome the U.S. could expect in the short term.

Saving New START from expiring would add time to the clock, preserve a portion of an otherwise decaying strategic stability regime, and help Washington and Moscow put the brakes on a struggling bilateral relationship before it falls over the cliff.

Daniel R. DePetris is a fellow at Defense Priorities and a columnist for the Washington Examiner.

DOD Official Outlines Babylon the Great’s Nuclear Strategy

DOD Official Outlines U.S. Nuclear Deterrence Strategy

Sept. 2, 2020 | BY David Vergun , DOD News

There is broad, bipartisan support for the modernization of the nuclear triad, which includes bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarines and the systems that control them, a Defense Department expert said.

Robert Soofer, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for nuclear and missile defense policy, also said support is more divided for the creation of W76-2, which is a class of low-yield, tactical nuclear warhead that is different from those in the nuclear triad. An example would be a submarine-launched ballistic missile nuclear warhead.

To understand the divide over support for W76-2, one must have an understanding of the two schools of thought on the best approach to nuclear deterrence, Soofer told the Air Force Association Mitchell Institute’s Nuclear Deterrence Forum today.

Each school of thought has its advocates, including members of Congress, interest groups and think tanks, he noted.

The first school of thought is known as simple nuclear deterrence, sometimes referred to as minimum deterrence. The thought is that deterrence is best achieved with a limited number of nuclear weapons that, for example, could destroy a certain number of an adversary’s cities, Soofer said. The viability of the deterrence is created by an adversary’s fear of uncontrolled nuclear escalation.

The second school of thought is known as complex nuclear deterrence. This recognizes that nuclear deterrence can be more complicated, requiring an understanding of the adversary and various scenarios that could play out, he said. This strategy also pays close attention to the nuclear balance and places a premium on ensuring the survivability of nuclear forces that can threaten the adversary. 

The complex nuclear deterrence approach has been the basis of U.S. nuclear policy since about the 1960s, and it rests on presenting the president with a number of options and capabilities — particularly in a regional conflict — that would deter Russia’s nuclear use in any scenario, he said.

This is particularly important since Russia has expanded its nuclear capability, and has espoused a doctrine of limited first use, meaning the use of low-yield tactical nuclear warheads, Soofer said.

Having W76-2 capability demonstrates to Russia that the U.S. has taken practical steps to ensure that adversaries can derive no benefit from even limited nuclear use, he said.

There is a very high bar that must be met before the president, who is the only one who can order the use of nuclear weapons, will contemplate the use of W76-2 warhead, or any other nuclear weapon for that matter, Soofer said.

Having a range of nuclear weapons capabilities not only deters nuclear attacks, but it also deters large-scale conventional and biological and chemical attacks and reassures allies and partners, he said.

That is why the U.S. has not adopted a “no use first” policy when it comes to using nuclear weapons, he said, adding that circumstance for first use would have to be extreme, meaning to defend the vital interest of the U.S., allies and partners.

The objectives of the U.S. nuclear strategy are two-fold, he said. “First and foremost is to deter war, both conventional and nuclear; second, should nuclear deterrence fail, [is] to deter further nuclear use and hopefully bring the war to an end before the worst imaginable nuclear catastrophe unfolds.”

Therefore, the U.S. nuclear strategy doesn’t rely solely on massive and immediate attacks against an adversary, he said, though the U.S. maintains this capability to deter adversaries from contemplating a first strike against the United States. “Massive attacks would represent the failure of our nuclear strategy. Rather, our nuclear strategy as articulated in the [2018] Nuclear Posture Review calls for tailored deterrence with flexible capabilities, including an appropriate mix of nuclear capability and limited, graduated response options — something administrations over the last six decades have valued,” Soofer said.

In sum, U.S. nuclear strategy is one of resolve and restraint, he said. “Our limited use of nuclear weapons in response to a Russian or Chinese attack is intended to demonstrate resolve, convincing the adversary that it has really miscalculated when it contemplated the use of nuclear weapons.”

The strategy also communicates restraint, sending a message to the adversary that it has much more to lose if it continues down the path of nuclear escalation, he said.

Iranian Horn Uses Torture as Punishment

Amnesty International: Iran Uses Torture as Punishment

Editor01September 2, 2020

In its latest report about human rights violations in Iran, Amnesty International revealed the new scope of exercising torture and ill-treatment against detainees of the November 2019 protests

By Pooya Stone

On September 2, Amnesty International (AI) revealed the new scope of harrowing torture and other ill-treatment against detainees of the November 2019 protests in Iran. In mid-November 2019, the Iranian government hiked the gasoline prices by 200 percent. In response, many citizens flooded the streets of over 190 cities across all of Iran’s 31 provinces, demanding the authorities suspend the plan.

However, the rulers violently cracked down on peaceful protesters with live ammunition, heavy machineguns, snipers, armored vehicles, and helicopters. The state security forces, Revolutionary Guard (IRGC), the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), and plainclothes agents murdered at least 1,500 demonstrators in public. They also left over 8,000 injured and captured around 12,000 others for participating in protests.

Top officials, including the supreme leader Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani, praised security forces’ performance against barehanded citizens. They called protesters “rioters and hooligans” who should have been suppressed. High-ranking officials gave a badge of “honor” to ruthless police officers, IRGC members, and judicial officials for saving the state from collapse.

Notably, at dawn on November 17, in his first public position about the protests, Khamenei rejected any kind of concession before public demands. “No wise person who loves his country, who loves his suitable life, would help these [protesters]. These are ‘hooligans’!” He also admitted, “Some people are worried or angry over this decision [gasoline prices hike], or it’s to a detriment, or they think it is, and they are unhappy,” the state-run TV Channel wired Khamenei’s remarks on the day.

Later, on December 23, Reuters revealed that Khamenei had ordered IRGC commanders to suppress the protests at all costs. “Special Report: Iran’s leader ordered a crackdown on unrest – ‘Do whatever it takes to end it,’” Reuters titled.

Of course, what happened on the streets and in public is not the entire story. Despite quelling the protests, the interrogators and judicial officials continued the crime against thousands of detainees. Officials have yet to announce the real number of victims and inmates, which allows them to exercise any torture and ill-treatment against prisoners and add to the number of fatalities.

In its report, Amnesty International noted that Iranian authorities use torture as a punishment, intimidation, and humiliation. They are practically torture captives to hear what they want. Afterward, they file enforced confessions as evidence and issue severe sentences like death sentence against offenders in a collaboration with judicial officials.

The organization listed several crimes committed by Iranian security forces, prosecutors, and interrogators follow as:

Widespread torture including beatings, floggings, electric shocks, stress positions, mock executions, waterboarding, sexual violence, forced administration of chemical substances, and deprivation of medical care

• Hundreds subjected to grossly unfair trials on baseless national security charges

• Death sentences issued based on torture-tainted “confessions”

“Instead of investigating allegations of enforced disappearance, torture, and other ill-treatment and other crimes against detainees, Iranian prosecutors became complicit in the campaign of repression by bringing national security charges against hundreds of people solely for exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly, while judges doled out guilty verdicts on the basis of torture-tainted ‘confessions,’” said Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

The report also added that the detainees include children as young as ten and injured protesters and bystanders arrested from hospitals while seeking medical care for gunshot wounds. “Hundreds have since been sentenced to prison terms and flogging and several to the death penalty following grossly unfair trials which were presided over by biased judges behind closed doors, frequently lasted less than an hour, and systematically relied on torture-tainted ‘confessions,’” the report indicated.

However, this is not the first time that Iranian authorities show such cruelty against inmates. In July and August 1988, the same authorities and judicial officials like the judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi, the current Justice Minister Alireza Avaei, former Justice Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi, and many others were involved in the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, mostly member and supporters of the Iranian opposition Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK).

“The execution of imprisoned opponents, including those who had already been tried and were serving their prison terms, was the biggest massacre of political prisoners since World War II,” Baroness Boothroyd, Former Speaker of the House of Commons pointed out at the call for justice summit on July 19.

In fact, the international community’s indifference versus the Iranian government’s horrible crime in 1988 has emboldened the ayatollahs to continue their crimes and intensify their oppressive measures against the society, in particular dissidents and protesters.

“The 1988 massacre not only lays bare the international community’s inexplicable failure to uphold and defend international law enacted to prevent genocides and massacres but also highlights a worrying culture of impunity for serious human rights‘ abusers in Iran,” said David Jones, British MP, former Secretary of State for Wales, at the videoconference in commemoration of the 1988 massacre’s victims on August 22.

In this context, it is imperative that human rights organizations, including the United Nations and its affiliated bodies, exert pressure on the Iranian government to release all protesters immediately. They must also dispatch a fact-finding delegation in Iran to inspect human rights violations facts.

On August 31, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), urged the international community to intervene immediately to stop execution in Iran. “I urge the international community, especially the United Nations Secretary-General and other human rights organizations to intervene immediately to stop the executions, secure the release of the prisoners, and prevent a major humanitarian catastrophe in prisons Iran,” Rajavi tweeted.

Hamas threatens more arson balloons outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Hamas threatens more arson balloons

A senior Hamas official told Al-Aqsa TV on Tuesday that Hamas would “allow” Israel two months to promote certain projects in the Gaza Strip and allow foreign funds to be transferred, and then re-examine the situation to see if Israel was keeping its commitments.

If not, Khalil al-Haya said, Hamas was “ready and willing to go back to balloon attacks and [attacks by] other methods.”

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