Quakeland: On the Road to America’s Next Devastating Earthquake: Revelation 6

Quakeland: On the Road to America’s Next Devastating Earthquake

Roger BilhamQuakeland: New York and the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Given recent seismic activity — political as well as geological — it’s perhaps unsurprising that two books on earthquakes have arrived this season. One is as elegant as the score of a Beethoven symphony; the other resembles a diary of conversations overheard during a rock concert. Both are interesting, and both relate recent history to a shaky future.

Journalist Kathryn Miles’s Quakeland is a litany of bad things that happen when you provoke Earth to release its invisible but ubiquitous store of seismic-strain energy, either by removing fluids (oil, water, gas) or by adding them in copious quantities (when extracting shale gas in hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, or when injecting contaminated water or building reservoirs). To complete the picture, she describes at length the bad things that happen during unprovoked natural earthquakes. As its subtitle hints, the book takes the form of a road trip to visit seismic disasters both past and potential, and seismologists and earthquake engineers who have first-hand knowledge of them. Their colourful personalities, opinions and prejudices tell a story of scientific discovery and engineering remedy.

Miles poses some important societal questions. Aside from human intervention potentially triggering a really damaging earthquake, what is it actually like to live in neighbourhoods jolted daily by magnitude 1–3 earthquakes, or the occasional magnitude 5? Are these bumps in the night acceptable? And how can industries that perturb the highly stressed rocks beneath our feet deny obvious cause and effect? In 2015, the Oklahoma Geological Survey conceded that a quadrupling of the rate of magnitude-3 or more earthquakes in recent years, coinciding with a rise in fracking, was unlikely to represent a natural process. Miles does not take sides, but it’s difficult for the reader not to.

She visits New York City, marvelling at subway tunnels and unreinforced masonry almost certainly scheduled for destruction by the next moderate earthquake in the vicinity. She considers the perils of nuclear-waste storage in Nevada and Texas, and ponders the risks to Idaho miners of rock bursts — spontaneous fracture of the working face when the restraints of many million years of confinement are mined away. She contemplates the ups and downs of the Yellowstone Caldera — North America’s very own mid-continent supervolcano — and its magnificently uncertain future. Miles also touches on geothermal power plants in southern California’s Salton Sea and elsewhere; the vast US network of crumbling bridges, dams and oil-storage farms; and the magnitude 7–9 earthquakes that could hit California and the Cascadia coastline of Oregon and Washington state this century. Amid all this doom, a new elementary school on the coast near Westport, Washington, vulnerable to inbound tsunamis, is offered as a note of optimism. With foresight and much persuasion from its head teacher, it was engineered to become an elevated safe haven.

Miles briefly discusses earthquake prediction and the perils of getting it wrong (embarrassment in New Madrid, Missouri, where a quake was predicted but never materialized; prison in L’Aquila, Italy, where scientists failed to foresee a devastating seismic event) and the successes of early-warning systems, with which electronic alerts can be issued ahead of damaging seismic waves. Yes, it’s a lot to digest, but most of the book obeys the laws of physics, and it is a engaging read. One just can’t help wishing that Miles’s road trips had taken her somewhere that wasn’t a disaster waiting to happen.

Catastrophic damage in Anchorage, Alaska, in 1964, caused by the second-largest earthquake in the global instrumental record.

In The Great Quake, journalist Henry Fountain provides us with a forthright and timely reminder of the startling historical consequences of North America’s largest known earthquake, which more than half a century ago devastated southern Alaska. With its epicentre in Prince William Sound, the 1964 quake reached magnitude 9.2, the second largest in the global instrumental record. It released more energy than either the 2004 Sumatra–Andaman earthquake or the 2011 Tohoku earthquake off Japan; and it generated almost as many pages of scientific commentary and description as aftershocks. Yet it has been forgotten by many.

The quake was scientifically important because it occurred at a time when plate tectonics was in transition from hypothesis to theory. Fountain expertly traces the theory’s historical development, and how the Alaska earthquake was pivotal in nailing down one of the most important predictions. The earthquake caused a fjordland region larger than England to subside, and a similarly huge region of islands offshore to rise by many metres; but its scientific implications were not obvious at the time. Eminent seismologists thought that a vertical fault had slipped, drowning forests and coastlines to its north and raising beaches and islands to its south. But this kind of fault should have reached the surface, and extended deep into Earth’s mantle. There was no geological evidence of a monster surface fault separating these two regions, nor any evidence for excessively deep aftershocks. The landslides and liquefied soils that collapsed houses, and the tsunami that severely damaged ports and infrastructure, offered no clues to the cause.

“Previous earthquakes provide clear guidance about present-day vulnerability.” The hero of The Great Quake is the geologist George Plafker, who painstakingly mapped the height reached by barnacles lifted out of the intertidal zone along shorelines raised by the earthquake, and documented the depths of drowned forests. He deduced that the region of subsidence was the surface manifestation of previously compressed rocks springing apart, driving parts of Alaska up and southwards over the Pacific Plate. His finding confirmed a prediction of plate tectonics, that the leading edge of the Pacific Plate plunged beneath the southern edge of Alaska along a gently dipping thrust fault. That observation, once fully appreciated, was applauded by the geophysics community.

Fountain tells this story through the testimony of survivors, engineers and scientists, interweaving it with the fascinating history of Alaska, from early discovery by Europeans to purchase from Russia by the United States in 1867, and its recent development. Were the quake to occur now, it is not difficult to envisage that with increased infrastructure and larger populations, the death toll and price tag would be two orders of magnitude larger than the 139 fatalities and US$300-million economic cost recorded in 1964.

What is clear from these two books is that seismicity on the North American continent is guaranteed to deliver surprises, along with unprecedented economic and human losses. Previous earthquakes provide clear guidance about the present-day vulnerability of US infrastructure and populations. Engineers and seismologists know how to mitigate the effects of future earthquakes (and, in mid-continent, would advise against the reckless injection of waste fluids known to trigger earthquakes). It is merely a matter of persuading city planners and politicians that if they are tempted to ignore the certainty of the continent’s seismic past, they should err on the side of caution when considering its seismic future.

Clashes break out outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Clashes break out between Hamas supporters, PA in Nablus

Clashes broke out between members of the Hamas-affiliated Islamic Bloc list and members of the Palestinian Authority’s security services in front of the An-Najah University on Wednesday, according to Palestinian reports.

Footage reportedly from the scene showed PA security forces in civilian clothing and Fatah supporters clashing with members of the Islamic Bloc. The Islamic Bloc had been holding a protest in front of the university after it said a representative of the bloc was assaulted by the university’s security services on Tuesday.

10 employees and students were kicked out of An-Najah University after the clashes. An investigative committee formed by the university will also dismiss anyone found guilty of attempting to tamped with the university’s stability, according to Palestinian media.

Babylon the Great Censures the Iranian Nuclear Horn: Daniel

The Iranian flag flutters in front the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna, Austria. — Reuters/File
The Iranian flag flutters in front the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna, Austria. — Reuters/File

Western states submit censure motion against Tehran to IAEA

VIENNA: The United States, Britain, France and Germany have submitted a motion to the UN atomic energy watchdog to censure Iran over its lack of cooperation with the agency, two diplomats said on Tuesday. 

“The text was submitted overnight” from Monday to Tuesday, a European diplomat said. A second diplomat confirmed the news. 

The resolution urging Iran to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) marks the first time since June 2020 when a similar motion censuring Iran was adopted.

It is a sign of growing Western impatience after talks to revive the 2015 landmark nuclear accord with Iran stalled in March. 

The vote is likely to happen on Thursday during the week-long meeting of the IAEA’s 35-member Board of Governors, one of the diplomats said. 

In a report late last month, the IAEA said it still had questions that were “not clarified” regarding traces of enriched uranium previously found at three sites, which Iran had not declared as having hosted nuclear activities. 

IAEA head Rafael Grossi told reporters on Monday after opening the board meeting that he hoped “to solve these things once and for all”. 

The negotiations to revive the accord started in April 2021 with the aim of bringing the United States back into the deal, lifting sanctions and getting Iran to scale back its stepped-up nuclear programme.

The deal — promising Tehran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs in its nuclear programme — started to fall apart in 2018 when the then US president Donald Trump withdrew from it. 

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told state TV on Monday that Iran would reject the resolution, saying it would have “a negative impact both on the general direction of our cooperation with the IAEA and on our negotiations”. 

China and Russia — who with Britain, France and Germany are parties to the Iran nuclear deal — have warned that any resolution could disrupt the negotiation process. 

“Russia will not associate itself with such a resolution,” Russia’s ambassador to the UN in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, said in a tweet late on Monday.

Analysts say the high stakes negotiations are unlikely to fall apart because of the resolution.

Published in Dawn, June 8th, 2022

The Toxicity of the Antichrist : Revelation 13

Iraq: Toxic Traditions

June 8, 2022: Iraqi efforts to form a new government after the late 2021 parliamentary elections have been blocked by a coalition of various Shia and Kurdish groups, plus a few Sunni factions that oppose a government dominated by powerful Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al Sadr. The stalemate benefits Iran and hurts Iraq and Sadr has backed a solution that involves new elections. Given current voter attitudes towards Iran, a new election would create an even more anti-Iran parliament. Sadr is also seeking to assure other political parties that he will continue acting in the best interests of Iraq.

Since 2003, when American and British troops ended Sunni domination of Iraqi politics, something that had existed since the creation of Iraq in the 1920s, the political situation has been volatile. Sunni Arabs have always been a minority in Iraq, which began and remains a Shia-majority Iraq. Sadr has changed his political positions frequently. Two constants with Sadr are opposition to corruption and foreign interference. These are two things most Iraqis agree on, especially when Iran is the foreign threat. The Americans left after less than a decade in Iraq and that impressed many Iraqis. Because of that most Iraqis wanted to maintain economic and military ties with the United States and Sadr came to agree with that as well. The “new elections” compromise requires agreement on a temporary government to organize new elections within a stipulated time period. If elections are not held on time, the temporary government would disappear.

The current parliamentary deadlock is common in parliamentary governments. Israel often has parliamentary stalemate when forming a new government coalition. Typically, a few small, often radical, Israeli factions make a quorum possible and then force the new government to meet their demands or see the government collapse. Iraq seems headed in the same direction and that is progress for Iraq, one of the few functioning democracies in the Middle East.

The 2021 election was won by pro-Sadr parties that regard Iran and Iraqi government corruption as the most serious problem facing Iraq. Most Iraqi voters agreed with Sadr, who demanded that all militias be disarmed and disbanded. This demand was aimed at Iran, which has used the militias to create a legal Iran-backed armed force in Iraq. Calls for disbanding these militias have been gaining a lot more support since 2017. The 2021 elections mean an even more anti-Iran government and, sensing what that would mean for militias in general, most militias have announced plans to disband. Disarming is another matter.

Sadr’s efforts to clean up some of the corruption has made visible progress. Less corruption is often measured by international organizations. For example. in 2021 Iraq showed continued progress in reducing corruption. Some Iraqi politicians see Sadr’s anti-corruption efforts as a personal threat because some politicians are notoriously corrupt and often win elections via corrupt means. On a personal level, this is seen as more of a threat than Iranian influence in Iraq. Sadr and most Iraqis see this as a fundamental problem with Iraq; the tradition of leaders enriching themselves while insisting everything they do is for the good of Iraq and its people.

Some Kurdish and Sunni Arab factions openly oppose Sadr because of his past hostility to Kurdish autonomy and Sunni Arab Iraqis in general. The anti-Sadr coalition isn’t large enough to form their own government but so far, the anti-Sadr coalition has prevented the formation of a government dominated by Sadr. Iraqi allies like the United States and Gulf Arab countries fear Iran more than Sadr and are trying to come up with a compromise.

June 6, 2022: In Baghdad police shot down a quadcopter that appeared to be studying Rusafa prison, where, for over a decade, many Islamic terrorist prisoners were held. There have been several Islamic terrorist plots to carry out jailbreaks and one in 2018 worked. As a result of that, senior security officials in Baghdad were fired and security in the prison upgraded, including physical changes to the prison complex. Police technicians are examining the quadcopter wreckage in an effort to determine who owned it and what it was doing over the prison.

In the Kurdish north (Erbil) Akbar Sanjabi, an Iranian Kurd critic of the Iranian government survived an Iranian assassination attempt with a bomb planted under his car. Sanjabi belongs to NCRI (National Council of Resistance of Iran), a very effective organization critical of the Iranian government. NCRI also supports Iranian Kurd autonomy. That’s why many of the key NCR! Members in northern Iraq are Iranian exiles. There are a lot more NCRI members outside the Middle East and they are also threatened by Iranian retaliation. In 2021 Iran quickly protested a NCRI rally in Germany.

NCRI began in 1965 as an Iranian secular (Marxist) group that opposed the monarchy and later the religious dictatorship that replaced the monarchy in 1979. NCRI previously called itself the PMOI (People’s Mujahideen Organization of Iran) or the Mujahideen Khalq. The PMOI fled to Iraq in 1986 and Saddam Hussein offered sanctuary for over 3,400 Khlaq members and their families who lived at Camp Ashraf, near the Iranian border. The Khalq was disarmed by U.S. forces in 2003. America and Iraq refused Iranian demands to arrest and return most members of the Khalq to Iran for prosecution for attacks Khlaq made in Iran while working from their Iraqi base. After 2003 there were several raids on Camp Ashraf and in 2012 most residents were moved to the more secure “Camp Liberty” near the Baghdad airport. There have been over a thousand Khalq deaths since 20o3 because of attacks by pro-Iran Iraqi Shia militias. The U.S. and the UN long sought countries willing to take PMOI members as political refugees. PMOI members were dedicated leftist terrorists and no one was eager to accept them. The PMOI reformed itself into the NCRI and did it so convincingly that by 2012 the UN and United States had removed NCRI from their list of international terrorists. The 2021 rally was attended by European and American officials who spoke in support of the NCRI to replace the current Iranian government with a democracy.

June 4, 2022: In the northeast (Diyala Province) a roadside bomb went near a civilian vehicle, wounding seven civilians. Gunmen fired on police who came to assist. The police were uninjured and returned fire and the gunmen fled.

In the south, near the Iranian and Kuwait borders, border guards acted on a tip that an ultralight aircraft operated by drug smugglers would attempt to cross into Kuwait. The aircraft was flying low and slow when sported and the border guard fired on it, causing the aircraft to crash land near the Kuwait border. The pilot ran off towards the border and border guards found the aircraft was carrying a million captagon (amphetamine) pills. The aircraft and its cargo had come from Iran. Captagon is a stronger and illegal drug that is popular in the Middle East, especially with Islamic terrorists. 

June 3, 2022: In the west (Anbar province) security forces received information that ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) was using a large truck as a mobile warehouse for weapons and other supplies. An Iraqi F-16 found and attacked the truck, destroying it. Ground forces soon arrived and found the truck and three dead terrorists. A survivor was found nearby and killed by the police.

In the north (Erbil province) Iraqi F-16s carried out several attacks on caves in the Qarah Gogh Mountains that were used as ISIL bases. Thinly populated mountain regions are often used as ISIL base areas. Northern Iraq has lots of those, especially near the Turkish and Iranian borders. These mountain bases provide training, storage (weapons, ammo, fuel and other supplies) and production (of bombs, landmines and other improvised weapons) facilities. The airstrike today was one of several that took place in the area since late May. In one of the cave bombings, 13 Islamic terrorists were found dead inside, buried by the partially collapsed cave. Documents recovered from these mountain bases yield information on current ISIL membership and where they are operating. This makes it possible for police, especially at checkpoints, to identify and arrest unarmed ISIL members, especially leaders. The ISIL violence in these cities has killed a lot of civilians, some of them ISIL supporters. Friends and kin of these victims often lose their enthusiasm for the group and some become informants (preferably anonymous) for the security forces. Identifying yourself when calling in a tip means that a corrupt army or police commander can make a lot of money selling your name to ISIL.

June 2, 2022: In the north (Nineveh province) six UAVs loaded with explosives were shot down trying to attack a Turkish Army base near Mosul. Turkish bases and military forces have been in northern Iraq since 2016 and are used by troops hunting for Turkish PKK Kurdish separatists who continue to operate in northern Iraq. The Zintan base attacked today is the largest in the area and recently received an air defense system to deal with the UAV attacks.

June 1, 2022: In the north (Metina province, near the Turkish border) Turkish troops tracked down and killed fourteen PKK fighters. This clash was part of a sustained campaign that has been underway since mid-April.

May 30, 2022: In the west (Anbar province) five rockets were fired at the Assad airbase, the largest airbase in Iraq and long shared with American troops. There was no damage or casualties. The last such attack was on April 30 and the two rockets were also ineffective. The unguided rockets usually land in unoccupied areas of the large base, causing no injuries or damage. It is assumed the targets were the few American troops still based there to support Iraqi forces fighting the remaining ISIL groups in the province. ISIL is more of a threat north of Baghdad but some ISIL remain in Anbar where they try to disrupt use of main roads connecting Iraq to Syria and Jordan.

In the Kurdish north (Sulaymaniyah Province) Kurdish security forces found and destroyed two ISIL roadside bombs.

May 26, 2022: Parliament approved a law making it a capital (death or life in prison) crime to have any contact with Israel or Israelis. This could be a major win for Iran because 84 percent of parliament voted for it. Iraq never recognized the existence of Israel and a state of war still exists with Israel. The new law causes problems with the West, especially the United States, because Western trade with Iraq often involves Jews with dual (Israeli and their home country) passports. Other Arab oil states have not only recognized the existence of Israel, but established diplomatic, economic and military relationships. One reason for this is Iran, which has been calling for the destruction of Israel since the 1980s. Before that, Iran followed its ancient practice of tolerating all religions. The practice was disrupted 1,500 years ago when Iranians were forced to accept Islam. Like its predecessor Christianity, Islam had an anti-Semitic component that pre-Islam Iran lacked. Since Islam arrived, Iranian rulers kept religious leaders out of politics and anti-Semitism was absent and unpopular. In 1979, when Iranian religious leaders played a major role in overthrowing the monarchy, it became fashionable to oppose everything (including religious tolerance) that the monarchy supported. This was not popular with many Iranians who realized that one reason for Iran being the traditional local superpower was religious tolerance. Islamic conservatives consider that heresy and that was another custom that was not an Iranian tradition. At the same time, anti-Semitism was becoming less of a factor in Christian and Moslem majority countries. The new Iraqi law is seen as a win for Iran and a defeat for Iraq because in practice the new law makes Iraq less able to cooperate with Arab and Western nations it depends on economically, diplomatically and militarily. Many Iraqis, particularly Kurds, openly opposed the new law and still do. Iran may not be very good at creating progress but the religious dictatorship there has been very successful at causing disasters and decline for the Iranian people. The new Iraqi law does not become official until it is ratified by the president of Iraq. Since 2018 that has been Barham Salih, a veteran Kurdish politician. Salih got the job by obtaining the support of most members of parliament. He was seen as a practical choice, someone who would moderate the sometimes-radical laws that get passed mainly for show because parliament knows that Salih will not confirm it and take the heat for members of parliament who silently agree with him.

May 23, 2022: In the north (Kirkuk and Diyala provinces) ISIL gunmen used severe sand storms to conceal them as they approached and killed six farmers and then set fire to their wheat fields. This was another intimidation attack against civilians who refused to cooperate with the Islamic terrorists. Attacks like this against civilians and police who come to assist the victims have been common since 2017.

May 21, 2022: In the Kurdish north (Sulaymaniyah Province) two armed Turkish UAVs carried out attacks on PKK separatists, killed three of them, as well as three local civilians.

May 6, 2022: In the west, just across the border in eastern Syria (Homs province) ISIL and Syrian forces continue fighting near the American controlled crossing at Tanf (or Tanaf) near the Jordan and Iraq borders. The American forces have the support of some Syrian Sunni tribes that are not friendly to the Assads. In addition, the Americans have some allies on the Iraqi (Anbar province) side of the border from other Sunni Arab tribes. Iran assisted (with its mercenaries) Assad forces in trying to eliminate the Tanf base but these efforts have failed. The Americans have too much airpower and too much aerial and ground surveillance around Tanf. The U.S. has declared a “free fire” zone that means any Assad/Iranian forces getting within 30 kilometers of Tanf are automatically attacked. Iranian and Assad forces rarely test this free fire zone. Most of this border area is now back under Syrian administrative control and Syrian ground forces along with Russian and American air strikes attack ISIL forces operating in the area. Small groups of ISIL gunmen ambush Syrian troops and terrorize local civilians into tolerating the ISIL presence.

April 27, 2022: The Turkish military has begun winding down an air and ground offensive against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets in Iraqi Kurdistan that began April 18th. Turkey claimed that the KRG (Kurdistan Iraqi Regional Government) supported the operation. However, the Iraqi central government’s foreign ministry condemned the operation as illegal.

April 26, 2022: Iraq hosted Saudi Arabian and Iranian officials holding their fifth round of negotiations in an effort to resume diplomatic relations. These talks were suspended seven months ago. Iraq along with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the other Arab Gulf Oil states are angry with the Americans because the U.S. is not only offering Iran a revival of the 2015 sanctions treaty, but also a modification of the terms to make it easier for Iran to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

The South Korean horn will respond to Iran: Daniel


US, South Korea to respond swiftly in case of North Korea nuclear test: Official

“We are prepared and … we will continue our trilateral discussion (with South Korea and Japan) tomorrow,” Sherman added.

Sutirtho Patranobis

Under the new set of rules, the whistle-blower will be awarded at least 10,000 yuan and more than 100,000 yuan depending on the seriousness of the reported breach, Chinese state media reported.

Beijing: Chinese citizens can get cash rewards of over 100,000 yuan ($15,000) if they tip-off the police on national security breaches, the government has announced, as it moves against what it describes as “intensifying threats” from foreign intelligence agencies.

Under the new set of rules, which state media reports said standardised existing ones, the whistle-blower will be awarded at least 10,000 yuan and more than 100,000 yuan depending on the seriousness of the reported breach.

On offer for citizens are “spiritual rewards”, in the form of certificates, and “material rewards”, in the form of cash.

“Those who have played a major role and made major contributions to preventing, suppressing and punishing acts that seriously endanger national security will be rewarded between 30,000 yuan and 100,000 yuan,” the rules said.

Chinese citizens living abroad can also claim the reward if they report correctly on compatriots who are acting against China’s interest, the rules added.

In the release, China’s top security authorities, led by the state security ministry, specified and clarified the conditions, methods, standards and procedures for rewarding citizens in accordance with the National Security Law, the Anti-Espionage Law, and other laws and regulations, according to a report in the state-run tabloid, Global Times.

“The formulation of the measures is conducive to fully mobilising the enthusiasm of the general public to support and assist in national security work, widely rallying the hearts, morale, wisdom and strength of the people,” the security ministry representative said, according to the state-run Legal Daily.

The new rules said a version of a “witness protection programme” could be implemented in case the personal safety of the informants and their families was at stake because of the reporting of acts endangering national security.

China has a precedent of offering rewards to citizens for exposing alleged foreign spies or other security violations.

In 2017, for example, the Beijing municipal bureau for state security offered up to 500,000 yuan (about $72,365) for information on suspected foreign spies.

The “pressing” need for new measures to guard against foreign spies is an unfortunate side effect of China’s reform and opening up to the world, the official Beijing Daily newspaper reported then.

China is already among the most surveilled countries in the world, and this latest move by its internal security ministry further institutionalises – with the lure of money – its citizens potentially keeping tabs on each other. 

In 2016, China had marked its annual “national security education day” – which falls on April 15 — by widely releasing a poster that warned female government workers about dating foreigners who could be spies.

Iran’s Nuclear Horn Can Assist Iraq with Ensuring Security: Daniel 8


Iranian Military Products Can Assist Iraq with Ensuring Security: Defense Chief

Defense Minister Brigadier General Mohammad-Reza Gharaei Ashtiani says Iran’s military achievements could effectively help neighboring Iraq to beef up security.

During a meeting with Iraqi Interior Minister Othman al-Ghanimi in Baghdad on Tuesday, Ashtiani paid tribute to top Iranian anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and deputy commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who were assassinated in a US drone strike near Baghdad International Airport in January 2020.

“Not only did the Islamic Republic of Iran provide Iraqi armed forces with military facilities and equipment at the time of Daesh invasion of Iraq [in 2014], but Iranian advisors were also present alongside Iraqi fighters on the battlefield,” Iran’s defense chief noted.

Ashtiani went on to refer to social, religious and historical commonalities between Iran and Iraq, saying they have played a decisive role in further enhancement of bilateral relations.

He said Iran supports the unity and integrity of Iraq, helps to strengthen its stability and security, and strives to participate in the development and prosperity of the Arab country.

Ashtiani said Iran and Iraq are both located in the sensitive West Asia region.

“Western states and the global arrogance use terrorism in order to justify their presence in the region. They also utilize the menace to sow discord among Muslim countries and weaken and erode their capacities,” he said.

“We believe that the countries in West Asia must ensure the security of the region. It is downright impossible to achieve stability and peace as long as trans-regional forces are present in the region,” he added.

Ashtiani also said Iran has valuable experience in the fight against terrorism, noting that the country’s military products can effectively help Iraq further guarantee security.

Iraq’s Interior Minister Ghanimi said Iran has always stood by Iraq on various occasions.

“We have never overlooked the assistance of the country and the efforts made by Iranian combatants in the fight against terrorism,” he said.

“Cooperation between Iran and Iraq can certainly contribute to the development of different sectors of Iraq, especially security and economy,” the Iraqi interior minister said.

Source: Iranian media (edited by Al-Manar English Website)

Nuclear watchdog says Iran is a few weeks away: Daniel 8

Nuclear watchdog says Iran is a few weeks away from having a ‘significant quantity’ of enriched uranium

(CNN) — Iran is only a few weeks away from having a “significant quantity of enriched uranium,” the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Director General Rafael Grossi said on Monday.

“Having a significant quantity does not mean having a bomb,” Grossi told a press conference following the start of the quarterly Board of Governors meeting in the Austrian capital of Vienna on Monday.

The warning comes as the prospects for a return to the Iranian nuclear deal continue to dim, even as the Biden administration still is hoping for an agreement to salvage the 2015 deal.

The IAEA defines “significant quantity” of enriched uranium as “the approximate amount of nuclear material for which the possibility of manufacturing a nuclear explosive device cannot be excluded.”

At this week’s board of governors meeting, the United States is preparing to join with three European allies — the UK, France and Germany — for a resolution that would censure Iran for failing to fully cooperate with the IAEA.

Iran has increased its enriched uranium stockpile and hasn’t provided provide answers for unexplained nuclear activities at three undeclared sites, according to two IAEA reports last month that were obtained by CNN.

Grossi expressed his concern over three undeclared sites related to Iran’s nuclear program, saying “it is in no one’s interest that cooperation between the agency and Iran diminishes further.”

US envoy for Iran says prospects for a return to nuclear deal are 'tenuous at best'

“We have to sit down urgently if possible to see how we continue with this,” he said. “Iran has not provided explanations that are technically credible in relation to the Agency’s findings at three undeclared locations in Iran.”In an appearance on Iranian state TV, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh asked the IAEA’s Board of Governors to vote against a proposed resolution by the US and the three European countries, known as the E3, to censure Iran over its failure to cooperate with the IAEA. Khatibzadeh said it may affect Iran’s relationship with the agency and the nuclear talks. The draft resolution calls on Iran to cooperate with the IAEA’s probe into uranium particles found at three undeclared sites in Iran. The Biden administration restarted talks with Iran last year to re-enter the 2015 nuclear agreement, which President Donald Trump withdrew from. Last month, US Special Envoy for Iran Rob Malley said the prospects of a return to the Iran nuclear deal were “tenuous at best.” “If Iran maintains demands that go beyond the scope of the JCPOA, we will continue to reject them, and there will be no deal. It is not our preference, but we are fully prepared to live with and confront that reality if that is Iran’s choice,” he continued.Grossi said Monday that the IAEA was ready to re-engage Iran to “resolve these matters.””As in the past, and in order for the Agency to be in a position to provide assurance that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively peaceful, the Agency remains ready to re-engage without delay with Iran to resolve these matters,” he said.