Israeli occupation army attacks Palestinian farmers outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Israeli occupation army attacks Palestinian farmers in the Gaza Strip, forces them to leave their lands

Israeli occupation tanks infiltrating the Gaza border and destroying lands. (File photo)

GAZA, Monday, February 8, 2021 (WAFA) – The Israeli occupation army attacked this morning Palestinian farmers working in their lands in the north and south of the Gaza Strip and forced them to leave the area, reported WAFA correspondent.

He said that Israeli soldiers stationed at the borders east of Gaza City opened fire and shot smoke grenades at farmers working on their lands close to the borders east of Zaytoun neighborhood, who were forced to leave their land to avoid being harmed.

In the south of the Gaza Strip, soldiers opened fire with their automatic rifles at farmers east of Khan Yunis as they were working on their border area lands and at shepherds in the area forcing them to leave it without anyone being hurt, said WAFA correspondent.

Israel does not allow Palestinians to be within 300 meters from the borders, which it unilaterally declared as a buffer zone, and often opens fire at the farmers and whoever reaches those areas.


The Korean Nuclear Horn Continues to Grow

N Korea developed nuclear weapons programme in 2020: UN report

Monitors believe Pyongyang is using money stolen in cyber-hacks to fund the programme and might be getting help from Iran.

North Korea maintained and developed its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes throughout 2020 in violation of international sanctions, helping fund them with some $300m stolen through cyber-hacks, according to a confidential United Nations report seen by the Reuters news agency on Monday.

The report by independent sanctions monitors said Pyongyang “produced fissile material, maintained nuclear facilities and upgraded its ballistic missile infrastructure” while continuing to seek material and technology as for those programmes from abroad.

A US State Department spokesperson said on Monday the administration of President Joe Biden, who took office last month, planned a new approach to North Korea, including a full review with allies “on ongoing pressure options and the potential for any future diplomacy.”

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and former US President Donald Trump met three times in 2018 and 2019, but failed to make progress on US calls for Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons and North Korea’s demands for an end to sanctions.

In the past year, North Korea displayed new short-range, medium-range, submarine-launched and intercontinental ballistic missile systems at military parades, the UN report noted.

It said an unnamed member state had assessed that, judging by the size of North Korea’s missiles, “it is highly likely that a nuclear device” could be mounted onto long-range, medium-range and short-range ballistic missiles.

The Member State, however, stated it is uncertain whether the DPRK had developed ballistic missiles resistant to the heat generated during re-entry,” into the atmosphere, the report said, using the acronym for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, North Korea’s formal name.

While there were no nuclear or ballistic missile tests in 2020, Pyongyang “announced preparation for testing and production of new ballistic missile warheads and development of tactical nuclear weapons.”

North Korea’s UN mission in New York did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.

Cooperation with Iran?

North Korea blew up tunnels at its main nuclear test site, Punggye-ri, in 2018, saying it was proof of its commitment to end nuclear testing. However, an unidentified member state told the UN monitors there were still personnel at the site, showing it had not been abandoned.

According to an unidentified country, North Korea and Iran have resumed cooperation on long-range missile development projects, including the transfer of critical parts, the monitors said. The most recent shipment was last year, they said.

In a letter in December to the UN sanctions monitors, annexed to the report, Iran’s UN Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi said a preliminary review of the information given to it by the monitors indicated that “false information and fabricated data” may have been used in their investigation.

North Korea has been subject to UN sanctions since 2006. They have been strengthened by the 15-member Security Council over the years in a bid to cut off funding for Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

The UN monitors assessed that in 2020 North Korea-linked hackers “continued to conduct operations against financial institutions and virtual currency exchange houses to generate revenue” to support its nuclear and missile programmes.

According to one member state, the DPRK total theft of virtual assets, from 2019 to November 2020, is valued at approximately $316.4 million,” the report said.

In 2019, the sanctions monitors reported that North Korea made at least $370m by exporting coal, which is banned under UN sanctions. But last year, they said coal shipments appeared to have been largely suspended since July 2020.

The already isolated northeast Asian nation imposed a strict lockdown last year to curb the spread of the coronavirus from neighbouring China. The slump in trade has further damaged an economy already struggling with the burden of international sanctions.

Khamenei Plays Bluff with Babylon the Great

Khamenei Says U.S. Must Move First on Iranian Nuclear Deal

Golnar Motevalli

February 7, 2021, 2:41 AM MST

Renegotiation isn’t on the table, Iran’s foreign minister says

Iran’s Supreme Leader said the U.S. must effectively remove all sanctions on his country’s economy before the Islamic Republic will agree to scale back its atomic work and help revive the beleaguered multinational nuclear deal.

In comments reported on state TV news and published on Twitter using the hashtag “the final word,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that if “all sanctions are removed in practice, not just in words or on paper,” then Iran will return to full compliance to the 2015 nuclear accord — once it’s verified for itself that the penalties have “properly” gone.

The side with the right to set conditions to #JCPOA is Iran since it abided by all its commitments, not US or 3 European countries who breached theirs.

If they want Iran to return, US must lift all sanctions. We’ll verify & if it’s done properly, we’ll return to our commitments.

— (@khamenei_ir) February 7, 2021

“This is the Islamic Republic’s definite policy,” Khamenei said. “All of the country’s officials have consensus over it and we will not depart from this policy.”

President Joe Biden’s administration is weighing an easing Iran’s economic pain without lifting Trump-era sanctions — something that is likely to face fierce political pushback in Washington. Iran has threatened to end its voluntary compliance with intrusive international nuclear inspections if sanctions aren’t lifted within the next three weeks.

Read more: Iran Claims No Knowledge of Oil Cargo U.S. Wants to Seize

People familiar with Biden’s thinking on Iran policy said he may sign an executive order reversing Trump’s 2018 decision to quit the multinational accord, Bloomberg reported on Saturday.

‘Failed Policies’

In a state television interview on Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said his country expects the U.S. to “return to full compliance and the terms that were agreed by the UN Security Council.” Earlier on CNN, he urged Biden to “break with failed policies of President Trump” and return the U.S. to the deal.

“It is for the United States to return to the deal, to implement its obligations,” Zarif said on “Fareed Zakaria GPS”. “It’s a decision that President Biden and his advisers need to take.”

He demanded that the U.S., if it rejoined the pact, give guarantees that it wouldn’t leave a second time, and rejected the suggestion that talks could be reopened. On Iranian television, Zarif also criticized the European Union, admonishing it for allowing the U.S. to weaken the nuclear deal and dismissing efforts by French President Emmanuel Macron to broker regional talks and a dialogue with Saudi Arabia.

“The entire nuclear deal is non-negotiable, because it was fully negotiated,” Zarif said on CNN.

Read more: Biden Weighs Easing Iran’s Pain Without Lifting Key Sanctions

Securing approval for an International Monetary Fund loan application and providing coronavirus relief are likely to be much more easily achieved than addressing layers of sanctions and terrorism designations imposed under Donald Trump.

The U.S. has insisted that Iran should first return to full compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the nuclear deal is known.

Iran restarted production of the more highly enriched uranium on Jan. 4 as it pushes back against sweeping U.S. economic penalties. The decision alarmed European signatories to the 2015 deal, which curbed Tehran’s enrichment activities in return for sanctions relief.

Biden told CBS in an interview aired Sunday that he won’t lift sanctions until Iran stops enriching uranium, though a complete enrichment ban isn’t part of the nuclear deal. Biden has previously called on Iran to reduce its enrichment activity to within the accord’s limits.

Responding to Biden’s comments, Zarif told Iranian state TV that it appeared that his government “hasn’t completely decided on what it wants to do and is saying things that are general, baseless and unfounded”.

Khamenei’s comments on Sunday are the strongest signal yet that Iran will not accept anything other than the U.S. first committing to a full reversal of Trump-era policies before changing course on its nuclear activity.

The U.S. and European countries have no right to impose conditions on Iran because they hadn’t complied with any of their obligations under the 2015 accord, Khamenei said, according to state TV.

— With assistance by Arsalan Shahla

(Updates with Zarif comments in sixth paragraph and 14th paragraphs.)

The Iran Nuclear Horn is already winning

Iran is already winning

The ayatollahs are smiling

Behnam Ben Taleblu

The popular Persian proverb, ‘the spatula has hit the bottom of the pot’ artfully explains the erosion of luck, capability, or financial wherewithal. With the inauguration of President Joe Biden however, Iranian officials may soon cease using the phrase. Although mistrust of and enmity with America on a bipartisan basis remain, regime elites understand that the new administration is eager to score a diplomatic win, spiting its predecessor, while assiduously avoiding a military confrontation. Taken together, these sentiments offer the Islamic Republic a path to victory even before negotiations commence.

So how did we get here?

Since leaving the Iran nuclear deal —the JCPOA — in May 2018, the Trump administration employed unilateral sanctions to dry-up Iranian revenues and push it towards the negotiating table. On limited occasions, Washington resorted to using military force, as demonstrated in January 2020 with the killing of Iran’s chief terrorist, Qassem Soleimani, or elsewhere in Iraq in response to the killing of American soldiers by pro-Iran militias. The administration also continued supporting Iranian protestors, who were taking to the streets more often and more aggressively than in years past. This policy, known as ‘maximum pressure’, produced substantial macroeconomic contraction and domestic political pressure for Tehran. When married up with Israel’s military pushback in Syria, and what many assume to be Israel’s targeted killing of Iran’s top military nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the policy landed some powerful blows.

However, Tehran’s desire to maintain its revolutionary agenda was so intense that despite dwindling revenues, it engaged in an escalatory contest of wills with Washington, a contest that it now believes it has won. No clearer indication of this sense of victory exists than the recent statement by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani proclaiming, ‘Tyrant Trump’s political career and his ominous reign are over today and his “maximum pressure” policy on Iran has completely failed… Trump is dead but the nuclear deal is still alive’.

Despite the departure of Trump and his maximum pressure policy, the Islamic Republic continues to shun direct engagement with the new administration. Instead, it is upping the ante. As Tehran learned during the previous iteration of nuclear talks (2013-2015), taking risks, drawing red lines, overvaluing concessions, and changing the goal posts, work. This January, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei produced a list of conditions and demands, some of which include financial compensation and sanctions relief independent of any American return to the JCPOA.

In addition to still proliferating weapons, Tehran is also modernising its ballistic missile arsenal – the largest in the Middle East. Worse, the country’s nuclear coercion continues, in the hope of coaxing the Biden administration into early sanctions relief. According to open-source estimates, Iran now has enough domestic low-enriched uranium to make one to two nuclear bombs, should it decide to do so. This January, Tehran took a step towards that decision as it resumed enrichment of uranium to 20 per cent purity – technically considered highly enriched uranium – at its underground Fordow facility.

While members of the new Biden administration have rhetorically begun to pump the brakes on the idea of a speedy JCPOA re-entry, Iranian escalation is designed to expedite it, driving the matter of premature sanctions relief to the top of Biden’s agenda by growing the risks of military conflict and diplomatic failure. In short, Iran is engaging in a policy of extortion and it is working.

On the political front, many pro-engagement voices are clamouring about the need to act fast to resurrect a non-proliferation agreement that was ‘working’. Some even contend that JCPOA re-entry can lay the foundation for a better deal. But no building can be erected on a sordid foundation. A return to the JCPOA, even if only in the quest for a ‘longer and stronger’ agreement, as some Biden appointees suggest, means that if Washington unwinds the bulk of its sanctions for limits on Tehran’s nuclear program, it will have little to no non-kinetic leverage left to address Iran’s missiles or support for terrorism. For an administration that shuns deeper engagement or military conflict in the Middle East, dispensing with this national security tool too early would raise, rather than lower, the prospects of conflict.

Worst of all, rejoining the JCPOA absent any improvements upfront would restore an outdated and inaccurate framing of the Iran threat: nuclear über alles. During the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, the Iran threat was primarily addressed through the prism of counter-proliferation policy. It was the Trump administration that corrected this narrow view and merged the nuclear, missile and regional tracks in a bid for a comprehensive agreement. Abandoning this approach would be akin to a reduction of US goals toward Iran, which is exactly what the regime wants. How do we know? Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad-Javad Zarif, said as much in his recent op-ed in Foreign Affairs.

While there are other areas, such as pauses in regional arms sales, where developments may be viewed as a win for Iran, it is on the economic front where the Islamic Republic’s gains are the most concrete. In November 2020, Iran’s rial began to appreciate on the free market relative to the US dollar. The strengthening of the rial continued in mid-January, hinting at the prospect of potentially better economic times ahead. According to Bloomberg News, the rial ‘lost 80 per cent of its value against the dollar over the course of Trump’s presidency’. Bloomberg also reported that Iranian oil production was growing in January, which builds on reports from late 2020 about a slight rise in oil sales by Iran to China. With the election of Biden, black-hat buyers, traders and shippers may again feel confident taking risks that ultimately redound to the benefit of Iran’s bottom line.

Ultimately, the more money Iran has upfront, the more watered-down US sanctions become, the less resolute America will appear and the less effective Biden’s diplomatic approach will be. Time will tell if engagement with American partners and allies, which is currently underway, can help the new administration reverse this dynamic and capitalsze on existing sanctions leverage to render Iran’s wins, however real, short-lived.

Behnam Ben Taleblu is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) in Washington D.C. where he focuses on Iranian foreign and security policy.

The Growing Chinese Nuclear Horn: Revelation 7

China’s drive for military supremacy: Beijing’s armoury of weapons and the terrifying missiles so high-tech that they are almost impossible to stop 

By Ian Birrell And Glen Owen For The Mail On Sunday

09:18 07 Feb 2021, updated 18:33 07 Feb 2021

China is spending huge sums to create hypersonic missiles that will go so fast (up to twenty times the speed of sound) that military chiefs believe they will be invulnerable to any form of defence.

Indeed, some analysts fear that human capability to respond to such lethal weapons will be inadequate and that the only way to protect against them would be to rely on artificial intelligence and computer systems.

Travelling several miles a second as they deliver surprise attacks within minutes of being launched, they have been described as a ‘game-changer’ for warfare.

Although America, too, has such Star Wars-style weapons in development, General John E. Hyten, commander of US Strategic Command, told a Senate committee three years ago: ‘We don’t have any defence that could deny the employment of such a weapon against us.’

Such missiles, capable of carrying nuclear warheads, would deliver precision attacks on people, vehicles and buildings.

To test such weapons, the Beijing government said three years ago it was building a wind tunnel that simulated conditions up to 25 times the speed of sound. And a contractor has said it has carried out a six-minute test flight for a hypersonic missile.

The complexities of developing hypersonics – using sophisticated sensors, guidance systems and innovative propulsion methods – have been compared to building the atomic bomb.


This is a revolutionary material with enormous defence and manufacturing potential. One atom thick and the thinnest and lightest material known to man, it conducts heat, absorbs light, stretches and is 200 times stronger than steel.

It was invented by researchers in 2004 at Manchester University – with China’s President Xi Jinping having made an official visit to their lab.

Among its military applications are as coatings on ballistic missiles, wiring in hypersonic vehicles exposed to high temperatures, camouflage of vehicles and body armour for troops.

Chinese troops take part in marching drills ahead of an October 1 military parade to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China at a camp on the outskirts of Beijing, China, on September 25, 2019

Chinese reports suggest that the Z-10 attack helicopter – a rival to Boeing’s Apache – has been equipped with graphene armour developed at the Beijing Institute of Aeronautical Materials. The institute has ties to three universities in Britain, where it collaborates on two centres specialising in research into the use of graphene in the aerospace industry.

Chinese media have reported plans to use graphene coatings on military installations on artificial islands built in the South China Sea, an area where Beijing has controversially deployed Jin-class ballistic missile submarines armed with nuclear missiles.

Norway intelligence warns about new nuclear weapons technology developed by the Russian Nuclear Horn

Norway intelligence warns about new nuclear weapons technology developed by Russia

Technology runs ahead of international arms treaties and several of the new systems are tested and will be deployed near Norwegian territory in the north.

Objectives with such tailored weapons could be to easier penetrate missile defense systems, or to compensate for conventional inferiority, according to the annual report from Norway’s Intelligence Service (NIS).

Several of the new weapons do not fit into the traditional framework of arms control treaties.

Last week, Russia and the United States in a last-minute call agreed to extend the New Start Treaty by another five-year period. The treaty is a successor to previous negotiations on the reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms between the Soviet Union and the United States.

Although the global stockpile of nuclear weapons has been substantially reduced, the picture is way more complex than during the Cold War, the NIS report presented on Monday said.

In a phone interview, Chief of the Norwegian Intelligence Service, Vice Admiral Nils Andreas Stensønes, elaborated.

“It is our worry that the New Start Treaty is not sufficient enough to cover the new technological developments,” Stensønes said and added the agreements should be updated.

Two nuclear weapon systems of particular worry are the Poseidon and the Burevestnik.

The Poseidon is a nuclear-powered, nuclear-tipped underwater mega-drone. Burevestnik, which NATO designates as SSC-X-9 Skyfall, is a nuclear-powered cruise missile with global reach and the ability to counter future missile defense systems. 

None of the systems are yet ready, but testing and development take place in northern Russia, areas the Norwegian Intelligence Chief defines as “near Norwegian territory,” that be the Barents Sea, White Sea, Kola Peninsula and Novaya Zemlya.

The Barents Observer has previously reported about the 2019 disastrous test in the White Sea when a Burevestnik explosion outside Nenoksa test range was followed by a radiation spike in Severodvinsk, a city 40 kilometers to the east. The missile was reportedly tested at Novaya Zemlya in 2017, 2018, and possibly also this winter.

It has been unclear where and how testing of the Poseidon nuclear-powered drone takes place, but a previously published photo shows the Akademik Aleksandrov, a ship sailing special missions for the Main Directorate of Deep-Sea Research, en route out of Severodvinsk with the mega-drone onboard. Nuclear submarines to carry the Poseidon, like the Belgorod and the Khabarovsk, are currently under testing and construction at the yards in Severodvinsk.

Significant risk

Nuclear activities in Norwegian neighboring areas constitute a significant risk, the Norwegian intelligence report reads.

Vice Admiral Nils Andreas Stensønes. Photo: Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvaret

Vice Admiral Stensønes said the new weapons are difficult to counter as “they fly low or travel underwater.”

The report points to three reasons why Russia feels threatened, making the country’s nuclear deterrence more important.

Firstly, Russia claims NATO has changed patterns from normal patrols and intelligence gatherings to simulated attacks on Russian targets, including with strategic bombers. Part of the Russian narrative is that NATO is coming closer to its borders. Secondly, Moscow accuses NATO of introducing new areas of warfare, like the use of digital operations and militarization of the space, potentially being used to attack Russian ballistic missiles before launch. Thirdly, Russia blames the United States for undermining the global security balance and arms control treaties, by that pushing the world towards a new nuclear arms race.

The Norwegian Intelligence Service rejects the above listed misguided narrative that NATO is causing insecurity.

Moscow, however, considers an undermining of the strategic balance as an “existential threat” that could justify the use of nuclear weapons.

Tactical nukes

Last year, Kremlin for the first time published a policy paper on nuclear deterrence policy guidelines. The paper hints that should Russia face the prospect of being defeated in a conflict with NATO, the use of tactical nuclear weapons could be an option aimed for the purpose of escalation for de-escalation.

The Norwegian annual intelligence report is spelling out the shift in policy: “Russia has no self-imposed restriction on non-first use” [of nuclear weapons].

Okolnaya Bay near Severomorsk in the Kola Bay holds one of the naval storages for nuclear weapons. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Newspaper Izvestia on Sunday listed Russia’s new strategic weapon systems aimed to ensure the country’s security from potential threats. Most of the weapons are either under testing or deployed in the north. Novaya Zemlya, the White Sea and the Barents Sea are Russia’s most important testing areas for these new weapons.

On the Kola Peninsula are nuclear warheads stored at a large national-level facility and at several smaller base-level facilities.

These storages hold a large number of nuclear warheads to both non-strategic and strategic nuclear weapons, according to the Norwegian intelligence report.

“The storages are adequately secured, but transport of nuclear warheads by train and on-road pose a risk of incidents that could cause releases of radioactivity.”

In peacetime, the report says, is it only the strategic forces that normally have nuclear warheads deployed. “The majority of nuclear weapons are in storage and will first be transferred to military units in times of possible conflict.”