Columbia University Warns Of Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Earthquakes May Endanger New York More Than Thought, Says StudyA study by a group of prominent seismologists suggests that a pattern of subtle but active faults makes the risk of earthquakes to the New York City area substantially greater than formerly believed. Among other things, they say that the controversial Indian Point nuclear power plants, 24 miles north of the city, sit astride the previously unidentified intersection of two active seismic zones. The paper appears in the current issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.Many faults and a few mostly modest quakes have long been known around New York City, but the research casts them in a new light. The scientists say the insight comes from sophisticated analysis of past quakes, plus 34 years of new data on tremors, most of them perceptible only by modern seismic instruments. The evidence charts unseen but potentially powerful structures whose layout and dynamics are only now coming clearer, say the scientists. All are based at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, which runs the network of seismometers that monitors most of the northeastern United States.Lead author Lynn R. Sykes said the data show that large quakes are infrequent around New York compared to more active areas like California and Japan, but that the risk is high, because of the overwhelming concentration of people and infrastructure. “The research raises the perception both of how common these events are, and, specifically, where they may occur,” he said. “It’s an extremely populated area with very large assets.” Sykes, who has studied the region for four decades, is known for his early role in establishing the global theory of plate tectonics.The authors compiled a catalog of all 383 known earthquakes from 1677 to 2007 in a 15,000-square-mile area around New York City. Coauthor John Armbruster estimated sizes and locations of dozens of events before 1930 by combing newspaper accounts and other records. The researchers say magnitude 5 quakes—strong enough to cause damage–occurred in 1737, 1783 and 1884. There was little settlement around to be hurt by the first two quakes, whose locations are vague due to a lack of good accounts; but the last, thought to be centered under the seabed somewhere between Brooklyn and Sandy Hook, toppled chimneys across the city and New Jersey, and panicked bathers at Coney Island. Based on this, the researchers say such quakes should be routinely expected, on average, about every 100 years. “Today, with so many more buildings and people, a magnitude 5 centered below the city would be extremely attention-getting,” said Armbruster. “We’d see billions in damage, with some brick buildings falling. People would probably be killed.”Starting in the early 1970s Lamont began collecting data on quakes from dozens of newly deployed seismometers; these have revealed further potential, including distinct zones where earthquakes concentrate, and where larger ones could come. The Lamont network, now led by coauthor Won-Young Kim, has located hundreds of small events, including a magnitude 3 every few years, which can be felt by people at the surface, but is unlikely to cause damage. These small quakes tend to cluster along a series of small, old faults in harder rocks across the region. Many of the faults were discovered decades ago when subways, water tunnels and other excavations intersected them, but conventional wisdom said they were inactive remnants of continental collisions and rifting hundreds of millions of years ago. The results clearly show that they are active, and quite capable of generating damaging quakes, said Sykes.One major previously known feature, the Ramapo Seismic Zone, runs from eastern Pennsylvania to the mid-Hudson Valley, passing within a mile or two northwest of Indian Point. The researchers found that this system is not so much a single fracture as a braid of smaller ones, where quakes emanate from a set of still ill-defined faults. East and south of the Ramapo zone—and possibly more significant in terms of hazard–is a set of nearly parallel northwest-southeast faults. These include Manhattan’s 125th Street fault, which seems to have generated two small 1981 quakes, and could have been the source of the big 1737 quake; the Dyckman Street fault, which carried a magnitude 2 in 1989; the Mosholu Parkway fault; and the Dobbs Ferry fault in suburban Westchester, which generated the largest recent shock, a surprising magnitude 4.1, in 1985. Fortunately, it did no damage. Given the pattern, Sykes says the big 1884 quake may have hit on a yet-undetected member of this parallel family further south.The researchers say that frequent small quakes occur in predictable ratios to larger ones, and so can be used to project a rough time scale for damaging events. Based on the lengths of the faults, the detected tremors, and calculations of how stresses build in the crust, the researchers say that magnitude 6 quakes, or even 7—respectively 10 and 100 times bigger than magnitude 5–are quite possible on the active faults they describe. They calculate that magnitude 6 quakes take place in the area about every 670 years, and sevens, every 3,400 years. The corresponding probabilities of occurrence in any 50-year period would be 7% and 1.5%. After less specific hints of these possibilities appeared in previous research, a 2003 analysis by The New York City Area Consortium for Earthquake Loss Mitigation put the cost of quakes this size in the metro New York area at $39 billion to $197 billion. A separate 2001 analysis for northern New Jersey’s Bergen County estimates that a magnitude 7 would destroy 14,000 buildings and damage 180,000 in that area alone. The researchers point out that no one knows when the last such events occurred, and say no one can predict when they next might come.“We need to step backward from the simple old model, where you worry about one large, obvious fault, like they do in California,” said coauthor Leonardo Seeber. “The problem here comes from many subtle faults. We now see there is earthquake activity on them. Each one is small, but when you add them up, they are probably more dangerous than we thought. We need to take a very close look.” Seeber says that because the faults are mostly invisible at the surface and move infrequently, a big quake could easily hit one not yet identified. “The probability is not zero, and the damage could be great,” he said. “It could be like something out of a Greek myth.”The researchers found concrete evidence for one significant previously unknown structure: an active seismic zone running at least 25 miles from Stamford, Conn., to the Hudson Valley town of Peekskill, N.Y., where it passes less than a mile north of the Indian Point nuclear power plant. The Stamford-Peekskill line stands out sharply on the researchers’ earthquake map, with small events clustered along its length, and to its immediate southwest. Just to the north, there are no quakes, indicating that it represents some kind of underground boundary. It is parallel to the other faults beginning at 125th Street, so the researchers believe it is a fault in the same family. Like the others, they say it is probably capable of producing at least a magnitude 6 quake. Furthermore, a mile or so on, it intersects the Ramapo seismic zone.Sykes said the existence of the Stamford-Peekskill line had been suggested before, because the Hudson takes a sudden unexplained bend just ot the north of Indian Point, and definite traces of an old fault can be along the north side of the bend. The seismic evidence confirms it, he said. “Indian Point is situated at the intersection of the two most striking linear features marking the seismicity and also in the midst of a large population that is at risk in case of an accident,” says the paper. “This is clearly one of the least favorable sites in our study area from an earthquake hazard and risk perspective.”The findings comes at a time when Entergy, the owner of Indian Point, is trying to relicense the two operating plants for an additional 20 years—a move being fought by surrounding communities and the New York State Attorney General. Last fall the attorney general, alerted to the then-unpublished Lamont data, told a Nuclear Regulatory Commission panel in a filing: “New data developed in the last 20 years disclose a substantially higher likelihood of significant earthquake activity in the vicinity of [Indian Point] that could exceed the earthquake design for the facility.” The state alleges that Entergy has not presented new data on earthquakes past 1979. However, in a little-noticed decision this July 31, the panel rejected the argument on procedural grounds. A source at the attorney general’s office said the state is considering its options.The characteristics of New York’s geology and human footprint may increase the problem. Unlike in California, many New York quakes occur near the surface—in the upper mile or so—and they occur not in the broken-up, more malleable formations common where quakes are frequent, but rather in the extremely hard, rigid rocks underlying Manhattan and much of the lower Hudson Valley. Such rocks can build large stresses, then suddenly and efficiently transmit energy over long distances. “It’s like putting a hard rock in a vise,” said Seeber. “Nothing happens for a while. Then it goes with a bang.” Earthquake-resistant building codes were not introduced to New York City until 1995, and are not in effect at all in many other communities. Sinuous skyscrapers and bridges might get by with minimal damage, said Sykes, but many older, unreinforced three- to six-story brick buildings could crumble.Art Lerner-Lam, associate director of Lamont for seismology, geology and tectonophysics, pointed out that the region’s major highways including the New York State Thruway, commuter and long-distance rail lines, and the main gas, oil and power transmission lines all cross the parallel active faults, making them particularly vulnerable to being cut. Lerner-Lam, who was not involved in the research, said that the identification of the seismic line near Indian Point “is a major substantiation of a feature that bears on the long-term earthquake risk of the northeastern United States.” He called for policymakers to develop more information on the region’s vulnerability, to take a closer look at land use and development, and to make investments to strengthen critical infrastructure.“This is a landmark study in many ways,” said Lerner-Lam. “It gives us the best possible evidence that we have an earthquake hazard here that should be a factor in any planning decision. It crystallizes the argument that this hazard is not random. There is a structure to the location and timing of the earthquakes. This enables us to contemplate risk in an entirely different way. And since we are able to do that, we should be required to do that.”New York Earthquake Briefs and Quotes:Existing U.S. Geological Survey seismic hazard maps show New York City as facing more hazard than many other eastern U.S. areas. Three areas are somewhat more active—northernmost New York State, New Hampshire and South Carolina—but they have much lower populations and fewer structures. The wider forces at work include pressure exerted from continuing expansion of the mid-Atlantic Ridge thousands of miles to the east; slow westward migration of the North American continent; and the area’s intricate labyrinth of old faults, sutures and zones of weakness caused by past collisions and rifting.Due to New York’s past history, population density and fragile, interdependent infrastructure, a 2001 analysis by the Federal Emergency Management Agency ranks it the 11th most at-risk U.S. city for earthquake damage. Among those ahead: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland. Behind: Salt Lake City, Sacramento, Anchorage.New York’s first seismic station was set up at Fordham University in the 1920s. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, in Palisades, N.Y., has operated stations since 1949, and now coordinates a network of about 40.Dozens of small quakes have been felt in the New York area. A Jan. 17, 2001 magnitude 2.4, centered in the Upper East Side—the first ever detected in Manhattan itself–may have originated on the 125th Street fault. Some people thought it was an explosion, but no one was harmed.The most recent felt quake, a magnitude 2.1 on July 28, 2008, was centered near Milford, N.J. Houses shook and a woman at St. Edward’s Church said she felt the building rise up under her feet—but no damage was done.Questions about the seismic safety of the Indian Point nuclear power plant, which lies amid a metropolitan area of more than 20 million people, were raised in previous scientific papers in 1978 and 1985.Because the hard rocks under much of New York can build up a lot strain before breaking, researchers believe that modest faults as short as 1 to 10 kilometers can cause magnitude 5 or 6 quakes.In general, magnitude 3 quakes occur about 10 times more often than magnitude fours; 100 times more than magnitude fives; and so on. This principle is called the Gutenberg-Richter relationship.

How Obama and Biden will lead us to nuclear war: Revelation 16

Biden’s Foreign Policy: New Administration, Old Missteps

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 2,006, April 25, 2021

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Three months after Joe Biden entered the White House, his administration is exhibiting symptoms of naiveté, misunderstanding, and disregard for past failures in its foreign policy. These issues are of particular concern to Israel. 

To stop the Iranian race to nuclear weapons, the Obama administration made mistakes in both the negotiation process and the nuclear deal it ultimately reached with Iran in 2015. Barack Obama was overly eager to reach an agreement, and though he repeatedly warned Iran that all options were on the table, it was clear he had no intention of taking military steps. This hardened Iran’s positions and eventually yielded a compromise that worked to the advantage of the Islamic regime.

The same problems have emerged again today. President Biden is going out of his way to appease Iran in an effort to restore the 2015 nuclear agreement, which imposed restrictions on the Iranian regime’s program to develop nuclear weapons.

Biden removed the Houthis (Iran-backed Shiite forces fighting the Saudi-backed Yemeni government) from a list of countries and organizations supporting terrorism. He assumed this move would reduce the violence inside Yemen and against Saudi Arabia so the severe humanitarian crisis caused by the civil war could be addressed. The result was exactly the opposite. Encouraged by Tehran, the Houthis intensified their attacks, especially on Saudi Arabia.

In February, Biden gave the go-ahead for a measured attack on a pro-Iranian militia base on the Syria-Iraq border in retaliation for an attack on a US base in Iraq. He also, however, reduced American forces in the Gulf.

Biden’s spokesmen leaked a claim to the American media that Israel attacked Iranian ships smuggling oil and weapons into Syria. More recently, they leaked information on an alleged Israeli attack on the Saviz, an intelligence ship owned and operated by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), in retaliation for Iranian attacks on two Israeli-owned commercial ships. In doing this, Biden signaled that even if negotiations fail, he will not countenance an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities and opposes an Israeli military strike. As it did in 2015, the US administration is tacitly reassuring Iran that it need have no fear of a military attack. Because it has received this reassurance, Tehran will feel free to take tougher positions in the negotiations.

Democrats often tout human rights as a central value in their foreign policy decision-making, but their highly selective application of this principle raises questions. When Secretary of State Antony Blinken presented the 2020 State Department Report on Human Rights, he named countries seriously violating human rights such as Myanmar, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Syria, but omitted Iran. The report also significantly reduced the number of Iranian citizens who were murdered, wounded, and detained by the IRGC during the 2019 mass protests against the regime. A similar phenomenon occurred in 2009, when the Obama administration refrained from condemning the Iranian Islamic regime for brutally suppressing mass protests against the rigging of the presidential elections. The motivation in both cases was to avoid enraging the Islamist regime and undermining the nuclear negotiations.

All these missteps have only toughened Iran’s positions. The regime has agreed not to direct talks but to indirect pre-negotiation talks with the US in Vienna, with the other powers that signed the 2015 deal acting as mediators. This tactic is designed to prevent the US and its European allies from forming a united front. Iran has also begun enriching uranium with state-of-the-art rapid centrifuges, a move that is driving it closer toward the bomb. This is hardly a gesture in the direction of compromise and agreement; it is exactly the opposite.

Iran is insisting on two preconditions for negotiations with the US. First, it wants all sanctions imposed by President Donald Trump to be lifted, including those related to issues other than the nuclear program, such as violations of human rights. Second, it demands a return to the terms of the 2015 agreement without any changes or amendments. Iran is thus signaling to the US that it expects concessions before it agrees to begin negotiations. In a timid response, the Biden administration said Iran doesn’t have to be the first side to make a concession.

Vis-à-vis international organizations, President Biden is reversing US policy. Secretary of State Blinken announced that the US will rejoin the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and lift the personal sanctions Trump imposed on Fatou Bensouda, the outgoing prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague (ICC). Trump imposed sanctions on Bensouda and her team over her decisions to investigate the US and Israel for alleged war crimes in Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories, respectively.

Trump rightly withdrew the US from the UNHRC because it is a ludicrous, highly politicized body dominated by countries that are among the world’s worst violators of human rights, such as China, Russia, Cuba, Pakistan, Libya, Venezuela, and Somalia. The UNHRC is also an antisemitic body. It has one agenda item just for Israel and another for the rest of the world. It often publishes biased and false reports on Israel—and it is upon these reports, among other things, that Bensouda based her decision to investigate Israel.

Secretary of State Blinken explained that the return of the US to the UNHRC is intended to fix its poor performance and deficiencies from within. This is a waste of time. Blinken has clearly learned nothing from similar policy failures in the past. The current UNHRC was formed in 2006 after its predecessor, the Human Rights Committee, was dismantled because it was highly politicized and constantly failed to deal with the issues for which it had been founded. The Bush administration was unimpressed with the name change and demanded significant reforms of the UNHRC’s structure and conduct. The Council refused, and Bush decided to keep the US out of it.

The Obama administration reversed this policy, claiming that the US was joining the Council to repair it from the inside. But nothing changed. Trump demanded changes in the Council’s functioning, was rebuffed, and withdrew the US from its ranks in 2018. The Biden administration’s return to the Council indicates the resurrection of naive assumptions that have been proven wrong time and again.

When lifting the sanctions imposed on ICC Prosecutor Bensouda, Blinken reiterated Washington’s criticism of her decision to investigate the US and Israel but argued that the way to deal with it is through talks and persuasion rather than sanctions. This, too, is a self-deluding belief. Blinken ignored Bensouda’s endemic hostility to the US and Israel and her clear attempt to force the investigations on her successor, Karim Khan, two months before her retirement.

Blinken should have conditioned the lifting of sanctions on Bensouda on her refraining from opening the investigation of Israel and leaving the decision to her successor. He didn’t do this. If Khan decides to continue the investigation of Israel, equal treatment of states requires that he either open an investigation of the US as well or prove the saying “might is right,” which would cause even more damage to the dysfunctional ICC.

Biden is reversing Trump’s decisions to stop several hundred million dollars’ worth of annual US aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian Refugees. Here, too, opportunities for necessary and long overdue reforms have been missed. Biden could have conditioned the resumption of aid on the PA’s setting up transparency procedures that would clearly verify where the money goes. A significant portion of international aid to the Palestinians lands in the pockets of their leaders. Since Biden opposes the ICC’s preoccupation with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he could have demanded that the Palestinians withdraw their complaint to the ICC, which was filed in flagrant violation of the Oslo Accords and was behind the ICC’s decision to investigate Israel.

As a recent investigation showed, UNRWA is a corrupt institution that perpetuates the Palestinian refugee problem and allows its institutions to conduct antisemitic incitement against Israel. Biden could have demanded the abolition of UNRWA and the transfer of treatment of the Palestinians to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the agency that handles refugees from everywhere else in the world.

Biden’s policies follow the values and principles of the Democratic Party—but for the most part, appeasement of foreign actors achieves exactly the opposite results from those intended. This is not how a superpower should project influence and deterrence against extremist authoritarian regimes like Iran and corrupt international organizations like the UNHRC and the ICC. Trump left Biden with leverage in terms of pressure and influence, but instead of using it to achieve US foreign policy goals, Biden has been giving it away for free. Biden’s missteps on Iran, the Palestinians, and international organizations are jeopardizing Israel’s key national interests and will therefore require a calculated and cautious approach.

Eytan Gilboa has been a professor of political science and communication and is a senior research associate at the BESA Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University.

Israel Pounded from outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Southern Israel pounded by dozens of rockets in overnight strikes from Gaza

At least 36 rockets fired at regular intervals from 11pm to 6am, causing damage but no injuries; IDF attacks several Hamas targets in Strip in response, before announcing return to routine in all border communities on Saturday morning

Jerusalem tension triggers Gaza-Israel fire exchange
The rocket sirens blared throughout the night in the Eshkol, Sha’ar HaNegev, Sdot Negev and Hof Ashkelon regional councils and on Saturday morning they sounded in the city of Ashkelon as well.
The IDF said its aircraft and tanks retaliated by striking multiple targets belonging to Hamas, the terror group that rules Gaza, including rocket launchers, unspecified underground infrastructure and a military base.
On Saturday morning, the IDF lifted security restrictions and said that residents of the south could return to their normal routine.
Hamas said the rockets were fired in response to the recent clashes between Arabs and Jews in East Jerusalem.
The Hamas military wing warned Israel “not to test” its patience shortly before the rocket fire began.
“The new Zionist aggression on the Gaza Strip is a desperate attempt to break the willpower of our people and its continued resilience,” Hamas stated following the IDF strikes in Gaza.
“Our people and its resistance are united with our people in Jerusalem in their campaign against the Zionist occupation and in their defense of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
The terrorist group did not claim responsibility for any of the rocket fire, a small paramilitary group affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said it fired some of the projectiles.
Throughout Friday night, thousands marched across the Gaza Strip to call on the militant groups in the Strip to continue firing the rockets.
In response to the rocket fire, Shaar HaNegev Regional Council leader Ofir Libstein said: “The rocket fire during the night reminds us that the peace is temporary and fragile. This morning we located a strike within the grounds of [a] kibbutz and miraculously there were no casualties.”

Gadi Yarkoni, head of Eshkol Regional Council, added that, “as far as we know, the attacks took place in response to the events in Jerusalem. The unbearable ease with which the Gaza organizations permit themselves to fire at adjacent Israeli localities to try to harm civilians is outrageous.”

In Jerusalem, tensions have been higher than usual during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Protests turned violent on Thursday with scores of arrests and injuries.
The unrest resumed on Friday night, when Arab youths gathered outside the walled Old City and scuffled with hundreds of Israeli police in riot gear.
The protesters pelted stones at police firing water cannons while others hurled rocks at an Israeli court building and smashed security cameras.
The Palestine Red Crescent said eight Palestinians were injured. Israeli police said the unrest later extended to a nearby Palestinian neighborhood with Palestinians hurling fire-bombs at officers and throwing stones at Israeli vehicles and homes.
Three Palestinians were arrested and four officers were injured.
In the West Bank, Palestinians clashed with Israeli troops around military checkpoints near West Bank cities. The Border Police said it dispersed hundreds hurling stones and fire-bombs.

Israeli army hits Hamas positions outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Israeli army hits Hamas positions in Gaza

Israeli forces hit Hamas positions early Saturday after it said three rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip.

“In response to the 3 rockets fired at Israel earlier tonight, we struck a Hamas military post in Gaza,” the Israeli army said on Twitter.

Tanks deployed on the Israel-Gaza border targeted the observation point belonging to the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian resistance group, Hamas, in Gaza and Rafah.

No casualties or injuries were reported.

The Israeli army also claimed that two rockets were fired from Gaza, with one intercepted by the Iron Dome Aerial Defense System.

The other one was reported to have fallen near the Gaza-Israel border.

Later, Israel warplanes launched airstrikes in the Matar Gaza area, located east of Rafah city.

According to the information obtained from the eyewitnesses in Gaza, Israeli warplanes carried out two airstrikes on agricultural lands in the area.

No casualties were reported.

In a Twitter post, the Israeli army said that underground infrastructure and rocket launchers of Hamas were hit by warplanes in response to rockets fired at Israel.

Meanwhile, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), claimed responsibility for the rocket shells fired at Israel.

In a written statement, the Palestinian group said the rocket shells were fired in response to Israel’s attacks on Gaza.

“We had previously warned Israel of its attacks on the Palestinian people and emphasized that it would pay a heavy price,” the group added.

Attack on Iran took 5,000 centrifuges offline

Natanz blast ‘likely took 5,000 centrifuges offline,’ though its progression is troublesome

Researchers say April 11 blast set back Iran’s nuclear breakout time by two months • Tehran announcement regarding 60 percent enrichment will not “materially alter” ability to sprint to nuclear weapon for now, they add.

By Yaakov Lappin(April 23, 2021 / JNS)

The April 11 explosion that tore through the Iranian nuclear site of Natanz—and which the Islamic Republic has blamed on Israeli sabotage—appeared to have taken around 5,000 centrifuges of the IR-1 type offline, a new report released by the Jewish Institute for the National Security of America (JINSA) has said.

The report assessed that the blast took Iran’s nuclear clock by almost two months, “effectively counteracting Iran’s major expansions of its enrichment capacity since November 2020.”

In subsequent days following the blast, Iran announced its commencement of uranium enrichment to the 60 percent level and the installation of 1,000 new advanced centrifuges.

While those moves are designed to regain leverage and convince the United States to grant Iran sanctions relief, neither of these announcements will, for now, materially accelerate Iran’s ability to sprint for a nuclear weapon, according to the authors of the report Blaise Misztal, vice president for policy, and Jonathan Ruhe, director of foreign policy at JINSA.

Speaking to JNS, Ruhe and Misztal said the figure of 5,000 centrifuges was pieced together based on reporting that they had seen. They added that Natanz is “divided into two large underground halls,” and one of those (Hall A) is where Iran had kept thousands of relatively rudimentary IR-1 type centrifuges. A smaller number of advanced centrifuges are at Hall B, and those appear to be undamaged, they assessed.

“The blast took off about 50 percent of actively enriched centrifuges—the main fleet of IR-1s,” stated Ruhe.

‘The messaging was very dire’

On April 10, a day before the explosion, Iran announced a major expansion of Natanz, JINSA report noted, through the addition of 164 IR-6 centrifuges, which are estimated to be its most efficient centrifuges used to date.

“This was part of an ongoing Iranian process since November 2020 of expanding enrichment capacity by adding operational cascades of IR-2m, IR-4, IR-5 and IR-6 centrifuges at Natanz, and starting to install two cascades of IR-6 machines at its separate Fordo enrichment site, known as Fordo Fuel Enrichment Plant (FFEP),” the report stated.

The centrifuges that can enrich uranium to higher purity levels faster, such as IR-2m, IR-4 and IR-6, are located at Natanz’s Hall B, said Misztal.

“We’ve seen a growing buildout of these various centrifuges, which Iran knows how to prepare,” he added. The IR-8 and IR-9 centrifuges—the latter being reportedly able to enrich uranium 50 times faster than IR-1—are still likely at the research and development stage.

“There are two things going on: One is Iran’s actual nuclear capability, and the second is Iran’s messaging of its nuclear capability,” said Misztal. “The messaging is a part of Iran’s campaign to pressure the U.S. and the other P5 + 1 countries, not just to get them back into the JCPOA [the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the 2015 nuclear deal], but also into giving up greater sanctions relief than what a return to the JCPOA would merit,” he added. “On the other hand is Iran’s actual nuclear capability and breakout timing, with obvious implication for regional security and for Israel’s security.”

Last week saw dueling narratives between these two aspects, Misztal and Ruhe noted.

Natanz’s Hall A contained a “real ability to break out to weapons-grade enrichment”—that is until the explosion tore through the hall. Iran now announced new work to enrich uranium to 60 percent, noted Misztal, “which sounds like a major escalation, and like it is close to 90 percent [weapons-grade] enrichment. The messaging was very dire. But the actual impact for breakout time, for now, is not material.”

In order for a nuclear program to achieve breakout status, it must possess both the needed enrichment capacity and to stockpile sufficient quantities of the uranium.

Getting to 5 percent enriched uranium is “already 85 percent of the work,” explained Ruhe. “Getting to 20 percent enriched uranium is over 90 percent of the work. The gap between 20 percent and 60 percent is not that much. The important thing is that it still is not a bomb’s worth of 20 percent uranium.”

Once they do—estimated by observers to amount to 230 to 250 kilograms of 20 percent uranium—getting a bomb’s worth of uranium to 60 percent would require as little as two weeks, they said.

The key question to watch going forward is how quickly Iran can get to a bomb’s worth of uranium. Currently, according to the IAEA, Iran has 55 kilograms of uranium enriched to the 20 percent level.

“What they’re doing now in terms of enriching to 60 percent is a very small amount, and it is not really impacting process in any way,” said Ruhe. “So right now, the time bought by the sabotage at Natanz is much greater than the benefits 60 percent. The bottom line is that the U.S. and others should be relieved.”

In addressing the question of whether the bomb was aimed at merely delaying Iran’s technical progress or to affect the nuclear negotiations underway in Vienna, Misztal argued that “it was the former, and therefore should also be the latter.”

The United States had taken the position that it should re-enter the 2015 deal because Iran is so far advanced in its nuclear program and that a revived deal is the fastest way to delay the program, noted Misztal. “This delay certainly relieves some of that pressure.”

Who runs out of capabilities first?

Iran, for its part, is doing everything it can to ensure that the political aspect of the attack—a reduction of its leveraging abilities—does not find expression at the talks. It is doing this by increasing the pressure, including through the 60 percent uranium enrichment vow.

The JINSA report stated that “Iran also is trying to save face domestically, attempting to cover up the fact that its nuclear program has been heavily compromised and its security services are ineffective, with claims of new technical prowess.”

Asked if recurring attacks at Natanz (the site was reportedly hit with a blast in July 2020 as well) will end up driving the Iranian nuclear program underground and make it harder to detect, Ruhe acknowledged that this was one of the risks created by sabotage.

“The concern that this will drive Iran further underground, both literally and metaphorically, and that it will obscure more parts of its nuclear fuel cycle to immunize it against further attacks is there,” he said, noting that the Fordo site, dug deep under a mountain near Qom, is one such known developments.

“Currently, Fordo is not the main source of enrichment capacity,” he added. Yet if Iran creates a program that is increasingly harder to reach and in tandem gains the ability to mass-produce advanced centrifuges, “that’s when Iran would have the ability to really grow enrichment capacity and decrease breakout time,” he cautioned.

Misztal agreed that pushing Iran’s program underground is a concern, while also adding that each time this has happened in the past, covert activities like those in Fordo had been uncovered “to the world through the action of intelligence agents.”

“We have seen a continued ability of somebody to continue penetrating Iran’s nuclear program and dealing it major strategic damage. Each time Iran tries to shore up defenses, it keeps getting penetrated,” he said. “The question of who runs out of capabilities first—Iran’s defense or the people attacking it—is difficult to predict.”

Misztal added that the only proven methods of slowing down Iran’s nuclear progress is either the threat of force, as expressed by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu during his 2012 address at the United Nations, or sabotage.

Iran’s technical decision to make a nuclear bomb: Daniel 8

Iran says method change in enriching 60-pct uranium “technical decision”

April 24, 2021

The recent change in the method of 60-percent uranium enrichment in Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility is a “technical decision,” which the International Atomic Energy Agency was informed of, Kazem Gharibabadi, Iran’s ambassador to the international organizations in Vienna, said on Friday.

“There is no need for odd speculations. Change in the mode of 60-percent enrichment is a technical decision,” Gharibabadi tweeted.

In the new mode, two IR-6 and IR-4 cascades of centrifuges are coupled, and two different products of 60 percent and 20 percent are accumulated, the Iranian envoy explained.

“Enrichment operation became more efficient,” he noted.

On April 16, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran announced the start of producing uranium enriched at a 60-percent purity after a blackout struck the country’s central Natanz enrichment facility.

India’s hybrid warfare against Pakistan leading to the first nuclear war: Revelation 8

India’s hybrid warfare against Pakistan

April 23, 2021

“The ultimate victory in war is the one gained without bloodshed,” said Sun Tzu centuries ago. But it is as relevant today as it was back then, as the world has seen the replacement of conventional warfare with grey or hybrid warfare, where the victory is affixed in the long term, without direct carnage. In this warfare the eventual triumph is not achieved using a prompt conquest, but the idea revolves around decapitating the nemesis state by indirect fluid means. It is a postmodern military strategy, and strategies are the methods of acquiring utmost potential over an adversary, in any challenging period of time or space.

Some basic facets of hybrid warfare that distinguish it from regular conventional warfare are that the foe is not scissile, but complex to discrete it. It is a mix of traditional and nontraditional approaches, and most importantly cyberspace is involved, which causes further complications.

In South Asia, India wanted to be a hegemonic nation since her independence. Ironically, she detonated a nuclear weapon in 1974 terming it as a peaceful nuclear test, codenamed Smiling Buddha. To counter this threat at its western border, and after the secession of the eastern wing in 1971, Pakistan felt the urge to attain nuclear capability, so that a credible nuclear deterrence could be established.

Ultimately, when both the states attained nuclear capability, the concept of total war was diminished, and a new idea of averting war emerged to circumvent Mutual Assured Destruction. Here the strategy of hybrid warfare gained momentum in Indian strategic thinking.

There are three main objectives of India’s hybrid warfare strategy against Pakistan:  Damage /subvert, Dispirit, Deteriorate

To procure these 3Ds India has executed hybrid warfare at different fronts:

Proxy/ Delegate warfare: Under this kind of warfare come the non-state actors that cause terrorist activities in the rival state, as such groups are aided and braced by India to undertake radicalized activities in Pakistan. Certain groups involved in such activities can be categorized as: Insurgent/revolutionary groups that attempt to alter the ideological basis of state, like the Hizb-Ut-Tahrir’s attempt to collapse ideological prop of state by a military coup in 2015-16.

Fomenter/instigators: these pressure groups use violence to attain their objectives, for example the BLA and BRA which are funded by India, as disclosed by Kalbushan Jhadav.

Conservative/rightist groups: these extremist groups are created to oppose the state, such as the TTP (Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan), got allied with India to conduct terrorist activities in Pakistani territory.

Dissident/sectarians: such groups are created to segregate the nemesis nation, as the Mukti Bahini’s waged civil war in East Pakistan supported by India, as was confirmed by PM Narendra Modi in Bangladesh back in 2015.

Hybrid warfare undertaken by India against Pakistan has multiple effects and has largely affected the economic, social, psychological, and security conditions. Some of those are, the civil-military gap, social unrest, cultural manipulations, defamation of Pakistan globally, segregating activities, information terrorism by espionage, economic unrest, and many more. Pakistan needs an immediate counter strategy to counter India’s hybrid warfare strategy. The policy or doctrine needs to be very comprehensive to cover the entire spectrum of this waged warfare.

Mercenaries/ hirelings: such masses are hired to create chaos in the adversary state, by harming a state’s repute on the global map, defamation, and devouring the public’s trust of its leadership by carrying out a set propaganda, such as the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement.

Information warfare: In this peculiar facet of hybrid warfare, false information and propagandas are circulated among masses, which consequently give rise to wrong perceptions in them. Media and actors are important tools of this warfare, as words can manipulate, alter and even ignite the perceptions. Information is used as a weapon in ways like espionage and propaganda and so on. This warfare is not confined to the military only, but is deeply penetrated in the lives of masses, institutions, politics and most dreadfully its use is casual for terrorists. An example of this can be seen in the form of billboards, and ads published back in 2017 in the USA with the writing “Free Balochistan” on them. In that happening, Information technology was used by the Indian government in such areas to defame Pakistan worldwide.

Cyberwarfare: Cyberspace is an emerging threat to the national security of Pakistan. Information circulation under high encryptions is no more an arduous task. This very characteristic is widely used by India to develop predatory shots against Pakistan. A recent example can be seen in the form of a cloaked cyber operation, conducted by India after the Pulwama crisis escalation, in which security institutions and mercantile assets of Pakistan were targetted. Pakistan’s Foreign Office was targeted and websites were brought down by hacking. Cyberwarfare may include, sabotage, cyberintelligence, cyber-weaponry and espionage techniques as its tools.

Economic warfare: This type of warfare is used to damage the economy, which is the backbone of the adversary state, by pushing it down to its knees, and hence compelling it to act accordingly. Pakistan is a limpid victim of economic warfare, as India is investing much to keep Pakistan’s economy inert and immobile. Energy crisis, Hydro-warfare, and weak financial institutions are some basic elements of this warfare.

Psychological warfare: It’s a famous saying that, “If you are frightened of me, you will pay attention to me”. India is using this technique to psychologicaly hit the people of Pakistan. Both states are nuclear powers, there is no real chance of full-scale war, but by continuous military developments and modifications in the form of the “Cold start doctrine”, and now “New Land Warfare doctrine”, India is trying to impose an assertive image over Pakistan.

Political warfare: In this aspect of hybrid warfare, political means are utilized in a legal lawfare to lean down the enemy in global grounds. In 2019, the Finance Minister of Pakistan. requested the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to eliminate India from the Asia-Pacific joint group, because India intended to blacklist Pakistan for its own internal political goals. India’s political hybrid warfare further includes, political lobbying, global trade containment, and blockades against Pakistan.

Hybrid warfare undertaken by India against Pakistan has multiple effects and has largely affected the economic, social, psychological, and security conditions. Some of those are, the civil-military gap, social unrest, cultural manipulations, defamation of Pakistan globally, segregating activities, information terrorism by espionage, economic unrest, and many more. Pakistan needs an immediate counter strategy to counter India’s hybrid warfare strategy. The policy or doctrine needs to be very comprehensive to cover the entire spectrum of this waged warfare.