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

Why NRC Nuclear Safety Inspections are Necessary: Indian PointDave LochbaumThis 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 BreakOn 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.Support from UCS members make work like this possible. Will you join us? Help UCS advance independent science for a healthy environment and a safer world.

‘Do not wage war against your people’: Antichrist to militias

‘Do not wage war against your people’: Sadr to militias

Zhelwan Z. Wali

Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr drives a car as he joins anti-government demonstrations in Najaf on October 29, 2019. Photo: AFP

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr took to Twitter on Wednesday to condemn civilian deaths in a recent rocket attack in Baghdad.

“Do not wage war against your people and nation, and do not bombard them and kill them for no reason,” Sadr wrote.

“Brothers, do not shift your gun barrel, which was pointed at our enemy, now at the chest of our brothers and people,” he said.

Three women and two children were killed on Monday after a Katyusha rocket hit a home near Baghdad International Airport.

Sadr’s tweet came moments after a roadside bomb hit a civilian vehicle at Baghdad International Airport according to the Iraqi Security Media Cell. No one was hurt. 

The cleric warned on  Monday that Iraq will plunge into “civil war”, or witness an internal Shiite conflict should “suspicious parties” continue attacks in the country.

Sadr has led the Saraya al-Salam (Peace Brigades) militia, part of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF, or Hashd al-Shaabi in Arabic), since 2014 and has pushed for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq.

“I am not of those people who is afraid of threats and menaces… but some foreign forces want revenge upon our Iraq and its security, integrity and sovereignty,” Sadr added.

The US has told Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi that it will close its Baghdad embassy and withdraw all troops if attacks on foreign actors continue. 

“I was the first who opposed the existence of the American forces which are occupying Iraqi territory, and I am the son of the one who chanted in the grand mosque of Kufa ‘no, no to the USA’,” Sadr wrote.
Convoys driven by Iraqis and contracted by the US-led coalition have come under almost daily attacks in recent months at the hands of pro-Iranian Shiite militias. Baghdad airport is also frequently targeted, as it hosts a coalition base.

The US Embassy and Iraqi military bases hosting coalition troops have been repeatedly targeted since the US assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad in January.

It is believed that the Iran-backed Islamic Front for Resistance inside Iraq (al-Muqawama) is responsible for the attacks. Its aim is to force US troops to withdraw from the country and units of the group have claimed responsibility for similar attacks.

Diplomatic missions have also come under attack. A British diplomatic vehicle hit an IED in Baghdad earlier this month and a blast at an English-language institute in Najaf’s city centre on September 18 caused substantial material damage.

The attack on the British embassy vehicle was condemned by Sadr and the commander of Iranian-backed militia Kataib Hezbollah, Abu Ali al-Askari.

Diplomatic targets are more often hit by missiles within Baghdad’s Green Zone, home to foreign diplomatic offices and Iraqi government buildings. Two Katyusha rockets fired at the American embassy in mid-September were intercepted by a US air defense system. Three mortars landed in the area last week.

Kadhimi on Tuesday slammed armed groups who target diplomatic missions in Baghdad.

“There are ongoing mortar attacks to destabilize the situation, the latest was of which was an attack which resulted in the killing of five innocent civilians including a woman and children,” he said.

“The European Union’s mission in Iraq is also thinking of leaving, and this is because of insecurity in the Green Zone,” Kadhimi said, agreeing that continued threats to them make them unable to “continue work in Iraq.”

“They are not blaming the Iraqi government for that, but lack of security in Iraq,” he added.

“Closure of the embassies in Iraq means closing down the economic, cultural and military cooperation at a time that we are facing huge challenges,” the premier decried.

Numerous foreign missions met with Kadhimi on Wednesday to discuss the ongoing attacks. 

“We underlined our support for Iraq and its people, our respect for Iraqi sovereignty and our desire to see a stable and secure Iraq” read an official statement, expressing “deep concern” at the rise “in the number and sophistication of attacks against diplomatic premises in Iraq.”

The winds of God‘s wrath continue: Jeremiah 23

The historic hurricane season isn’t over yet: The 24th named storm is likely in the next few days

CNN — The Atlantic hurricane season has exhausted the English alphabet and now is working on the Greek alphabet.

A system moving north toward the Yucatán Peninsula and west of Cuba is likely to become the 24th named storm of the season. The system is not very strong now, but the National Hurricane Center (NHC) has given it a 70% chance of developing into a named storm in the next five days.

If the system does get named it will become Tropical Storm Gamma, the third letter in the Greek alphabet. The NHC has resorted to using the Greek alphabet for only the second time in recorded history because the original list of 21 names has been used this season.

Atlantic hurricane season has already been very active, but it’s not over yet. Technically the season does not end until November 30, but some years storms have continued well after that.

Ultimately, the latest disturbance is not expected to become a major hurricane, but certainly it is worth watching especially if it moves into the Gulf of Mexico and strengthens. It will have some dry air and wind shear to contend with in the Gulf, but other systems have been able to overcome those same inhibitors as long as the Gulf waters remained very warm. The sea surface temperatures are above normal right now in the southern Gulf of Mexico and western Caribbean Sea.

October storms are not rare

During an average season, we see about two named storms in October and one in November. Which means that if this were a “normal” hurricane season, we would still likely have a few more storms possible through the end of November. But this year is not a “normal” season. It has been forecast for months to be very active.

“If you are looking at other notable October storms that have impacted the Gulf Coast in recent years, look no further than Hurricane Michael which formed in the same area of concern we are watching today,” says Michael Guy, CNN meteorologist.

Hurricane Michael formed southeast of the Yucatán Peninsula on October 1, 2018, strengthened into a named storm on October 7, and then made landfall as a Category 5 hurricane near Mexico Beach, Florida, just three days later.

So far this season, we have seen 23 named storms. The average for an entire season is 12.

Back in August, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) updated the hurricane season forecast and called for 19 to 25 named storms. Prior to this, the agency had never forecast up to 25 storms in a season.

Every named storm so far this season, except for three (Arthur, Bertha, and Dolly), set their own personal record for earliest named storm in recorded history.

Peak of hurricane season in the Atlantic

Two armed Palestinians cross from outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Two armed Palestinians cross border from Gaza into Israel


Two armed were arrested by soldiers after they infiltrated into Israel from the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday.The two men threw a grenade that did not explode toward troops who arrived at the scene after the suspects crossed the fence from the Hamas-run coastal enclave.The soldiers who arrived at the scene responded by firing and arresting the two suspects, who were armed with a knife, wire cutter and another inactive grenade. There were no casualties.The suspects were questioned before they were detained.

The infiltration took place several hours after an unarmed Palestinian infiltrated into Israel and was detained by soldiers.

In early September, soldiers thwarted a possible terrorist attack after an armed Palestinian infiltrated into southern Israel near Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha, which is located near Khan Yunis in southern Gaza.

Troops who arrived at the scene detained the man near the fence and found a suspected explosive device and knife nearby. The explosive device was inspected by sappers, and the man was taken for further questioning.

Due to the pressure caused by the coronavirus pandemic, tensions rose in southern Israel over the summer with hundreds of incendiary and explosive balloons launched from Gaza and more than 100 retaliatory airstrikes by Israel against Hamas.

A ceasefire mediated by Qatar reportedly included a pledge to carry out several infrastructure projects in Gaza, increasing the Qatari cash grant to thousands of Palestinian families, reopening all the border crossings with Israel and expanding the fishing zone.

In addition, there would also be an increase in fuel supply to the power plant in the Gaza Strip to solve the electricity crisis there. Other reports quoted sources close to Hamas as claiming that the understandings also require Israel to facilitate the entry of medical supplies and medicine into the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of the increase in the number of coronavirus cases.

Like Israel, Gaza is dealing with a renewed coronavirus outbreak.

Though the blockaded enclave was able to keep the number of cases to single digits during the first wave, 2,911 cases and 21 deaths have now been reported.

Coercing the China nuclear horn is risky: Daniel 7

Trying to compel China into arms talks risky, says Russian analyst

The United States is seeking update global security frameworks for the 21st century. China’s reluctance to join discussions on limiting nuclear weapons, however, could be increasing the chances of a new arms race.

It’s no secret that United States arms negotiators want China to be part of any new pact to limit nuclear weapons. But Moscow is refusing to work with Washington to cajole China into participating in talks. A leading Russian arms control expert, writing recently in the journal Russia in Global Affairs, a periodical that often reflects Kremlin viewpoints, claimed that trying to compel China to agree to limitations on its nuclear arsenal could do more harm than good.

Alexander Savelyev, chief research fellow at the Primakov Institute in Moscow, argued that if China were to accede to Washington’s wishes and join Russia and the United States in a new strategic arms limitation framework, Beijing would need to alter its nuclear doctrine from a “no-first-use” policy to a “launch on warning” stance. Such a shift could have a destabilizing impact on global security, he contended.

“China, if it agrees to the drafting and signing of a nuclear arms control treaty, will certainly have to depart from the principle of no-first-use of nuclear weapons,” Savelyev wrote. “This may also trigger an enhanced arms race and induce China to adopt more aggressive nuclear arms concepts.”

China’s chief hang-up about accepting limits on nuclear arms is connected to the concept of transparency. In terms of numbers, China currently lags behind the United States and Russia when it comes to nuclear warheads and delivery systems. Thus, secrecy and subterfuge are essential elements of Beijing’s nuclear doctrine: To retain a retaliatory nuclear capacity, China is extremely tight-lipped on precisely how many nukes it possesses, and where they are deployed.

U.S. negotiators have made it clear that any future arms control agreement would require a strong verification component to ensure compliance and build mutual trust. Accordingly, to fulfill the terms of a potential pact, Chinese leaders would have to submit to verification procedures that undermine their existing “hide-and-seek” approach to maintaining a nuclear deterrent. Savelyev portrayed the verification issue as an insurmountable obstacle for China.

“Even if such a [hypothetical] agreement did not impose any obligations on China requiring reduction of its nuclear potential, Beijing would be expected to provide exhaustive information about its nuclear weapons and deployment sites,” Savelyev writes. In order to retain a retaliatory strike potential in a situation where the information about the deployment sites of China’s nuclear forces has been disclosed […] China would have to exert major efforts to ensure the invulnerability of at least some of them.”

Although writing as independent expert, Savelyev’s analysis adheres to Russia’s official position on Chinese participation. Russian leaders have stated that while Moscow would welcome Chinese participation, Russia will not exert any pressure on Beijing to join the process. Despite a great disparity in their bilateral balance of trade, Russia in recent years has come to consider China as a strategic partner in efforts to counter U.S. global influence.

U.S. negotiators aren’t holding their breath while waiting for their Chinese counterparts to come to the table. They have put on hold the idea of China joining talks to extend an existing treaty, known as New START, which caps the number of warheads and delivery systems that each signatory can possess. Instead, U.S. officials are focusing attention on prolonging this bilateral deal with Russia. Even with the China stumbling block removed, talks are stalled and the clock is running out: If the United States and Russia can’t settle their differences over an extension, New START will expire in early February. The expiration of the pact could open the way for a new, highly destabilizing arms race, some experts worry.

The official Chinese position is that Beijing will start negotiating only after the United States and Russia have reduced their own nuclear arsenals to a level commensurate with China’s. Such a stance is dismissed out of hand by U.S. experts as unrealistic and is widely viewed as an indication that China is not interested in engaging the United States.

Given Beijing’s secrecy, there’s no way to be sure precisely how many nuclear warheads China possesses. A recent Pentagon report highlighted a discrepancy in China’s words and actions in the area of arms control. China is engaged in a robust strategic arms build-up aimed at improving its ability to project power abroad, the report asserted, adding that its rapid modernization efforts include the development of nuclear-armed strategic bombers and submarines. Within a decade, China is expected to at least double its stockpile of nuclear weapons, exceeding the “minimal deterrent” level that is specified in China’s existing nuclear doctrine.

While the United States may be willing to extend New START without Chinese participation, officials in Washington remain insistent that China needs to join the arms control process in the not-too-distant future. The wrangling over China’s inclusion in arms-control frameworks comes at a time when Beijing is becoming much more militarily assertive in bordering areas, including Central Asia and the South China Sea.

Beijing’s strategic footprint in Central Asia has expanded significantly in the past few years, prompted ostensibly by sporadic incidents of resistance among minority Muslims to Han Chinese rule in western China. China has established a vast re-education camp system for members Muslims in western China, citing a need to contain what it characterizes as terrorism.

A prominent symbol of China’s emerging forward defense strategy to contain Islamic militant activity is a small military base in Tajikistan, situated not far from the point where the Tajik, Afghan and Chinese frontiers converge. The recent Pentagon report indicated that Chinese officials are interested in expanding the country’s military presence in Tajikistan.

The strength of the Russian nuclear horn: Daniel 7

Russia’s military strength ‘is at its highest since the Cold War’

By Tim Stickings For Mailonline 14:06 01 Oct 2020, updated 14:31 01 Oct 2020

•Russia’s ‘high-technology’ forces are in a ‘high state of readiness’, a new report by a British think-tank says

• Moscow has upgraded its nuclear equipment and wants to develop new hypersonic and underwater missiles 

• The report says Russia’s military is more capable than at any time since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 

Russia’s military might is at its greatest since the Cold War with its nuclear weaponry and air forces gaining particular strength, a report by a British think-tank says. 

A decade-long revamp has given the Kremlin a well-equipped military in a ‘high state of readiness’ with upgraded aircraft and a ‘high-technology’ army based on professional recruits rather than conscription. 

Moscow has the world’s largest nuclear warhead stockpile and has upgraded its equipment in the last 10 years – and is now pursuing hypersonic missiles and nuclear ‘torpedoes’ to modernise its doomsday devices. 

The overhaul has made Russia’s military ‘more capable today than at any time since the end of the Soviet Union’, the International Institute for Strategic Studies says, emboldening Vladimir Putin to spread his influence in Ukraine, Syria and elsewhere.

With relations strained between Russia and the West, the institute’s Strategic Dossier warns that the revamped army is a ‘capable military tool that Moscow has demonstrated a willingness to use or to threaten the use of’. 

Russia’s military spending is dwarfed by America’s but the Kremlin possesses the world’s largest nuclear warhead stockpile and a new report says Moscow’s military might is at its highest point since the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991

The report traces the overhaul back to the ‘near-debacle’ of Russia’s five-day war with Georgia in 2008, when Moscow ‘struggled to defeat’ the small ex-Soviet republic. 

Russia’s conventional forces had long been under-funded after the collapse of the USSR and the resulting economic crisis, with only missiles given sufficient attention. 

Russia fought bloody wars in Chechnya in the 1990s, and the Georgia campaign in 2008 ‘exposed shortcomings in equipment and training’, the report says. 

In response, a new State Armament Programme approved in 2010 led to a massive increase in spending and upgrades to equipment including combat aircraft and land-attack cruise missiles for the Russian navy. 

‘The upshot of the near debacle in Georgia in 2008 was a reform and modernisation programme that over the course of the following decade has seen a revamped military intervene successfully in Crimea, wage a covert campaign in eastern Ukraine and rescue the government of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s civil war,’ it says. 

‘Though significantly smaller than their Soviet predecessors, these forces are better equipped, with professional personnel increasingly prevalent. 

‘Elements are held at high readiness, and Moscow has left behind the era of mass mobilisation, where units would be rapidly brought to strength with reservists. 

‘Today, Russia fields capable conventional armed forces, which Moscow has been willing to use operationally, as well as one of the world’s two largest strategic arsenals.’ 

The modernisation efforts have ‘ultimately provided Moscow with a credible tool for pursuing its national policy goals’, the report adds.  

New introductions include the Su-57 stealth fighter which was conceived as a rival to America’s F-22 Raptor and made its first appearance at a Red Square parade in 2018.

Russia has tested the fighter jet in Syria and plans to have three Su-57 regiments in place by 2028, joining a fleet of more than 1,500 combat aircraft. 

However, there was a setback last December when one of the jets crashed in the far east of Russia in an accident blamed on a steering system fault.  

Meanwhile, the Soviet-era fleet of Su-27 fighters has been given a modern variant, the Su-35, with gives the air force its ‘most capable fighter/ground-attack aircraft’. 

Russia has also sold Su-35s to China in a deal worth more than $2billion and has held talks about a further sale to Turkey.  

Moscow’s total fleet of 4,163 aircraft across its army, navy and air force is the second-largest in the world and the same goes for its supply of transport aircraft and combat helicopters.

Careful Iran: Trump Will Wage War on You

Iran: Trump Would Never Dare Wage War on Us

September 30, 2020

In an address to the Iranian parliament on Tuesday, IRGC General Hossein Salami said there is no possibility of a US war against Iran since the road to military action on the country is closed.

“We have prepared the capacities for military victory over the enemy, and have sometimes imposed our tactical resolve on them,” the commander said.

Pointing to the US economic and psychological war against the Iranian people, the IRGC commander said the US is neither able nor willing to settle the problems in Iran.

“Even if we make up with the US, it will harm us again,” he stated, describing the notion of compromise with the US as a “political deception”.

The leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has been on record multi times saying that Iran will not hold talks with the US, either bilaterally or multilaterally.

“If the US backs off from its call, repents, and returns to the nuclear treaty it has breached, then it will be able to join the gathering of the parties to the deal who hold meetings and talk with Iran, otherwise no negotiations will take place between the officials of the Islamic Republic and the Americans at any level, not in New York and not anywhere else,” Ayatollah Khamenei said earlier this month.