The Iranian Nuclear Horn Grows Despite the Virus (Daniel 8:4)

Coronavirus Exposes Iran’s Priorities

And its clandestine agenda

By Warren Reinsch • March 28

The Islamic Republic of Iran has been one of the worst-hit countries by the coronavirus. As of March 27, it had over 27,000 confirmed cases and over 2,000 deaths. Satellite images released by the New York Times showing mass burial graves in the city of Qom, where the virus was first reported in Iran, have caused many to believe the numbers are much higher than reported. The nation is now facing a second wave of the outbreak. Iran’s response to the virus reflects the regime’s agenda.

Many hold Iran’s slow response to the virus accountable for the infection in other Middle East nations. Jonathan Spyer wrote for the Jerusalem Post, “Tehran’s relations with Beijing are of growing importance to the regime. Iran therefore preferred to downplay reports of the virus rather than risk offending its ally.” Iran did not cancel flights or suspend trade between the two nations.

To make matters worse, even after the first case was reported in Qom, it made no efforts at quarantine, instead allowing mass religious pilgrimages to the city. A hospital administrator in Tehran said, “If we had limited the travel of people in Qom, since the epicenter of the illness is in Qom, the spread would not have been so extensive.” Maps of the infected area show that the virus quickly spread to nearby provinces, and then to the rest of Iran.

Another reason Iran was slow to quarantine was because of the parliamentary elections on February 21. The Islamic regime wanted to ensure the elections would continue as planned, leading to a more hard-line parliament.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on March 3: “This disease is not serious; we have seen more disastrous calamities than this.” He claimed that the virus would only be a “fleeting event.” But as the infected numbers grew and the deaths increased, the mullahs were forced to revise their statements.

On March 22, Khamenei came out refusing United States help, claiming, “Possibly your medicine is a way to spread the virus more.” He was echoing Chinese government spokesman Lijian Zhao, who tweeted earlier this month that it “might be U.S. Army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan.” Khamenei even claimed the virus was “specifically built for Iran using the genetic data of Iranians, which they have obtained through different means.”

Coronavirus: A Two-Edged Sword

Yoel Guzansky, a senior researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies, called coronavirus a double-edged sword. While Iran is struggling to deal with the deaths and contain its spread, the virus has also provided the nation with an opportunity.

“Iran’s leaders might be focused on dealing with the coronavirus, but on the flip side, they might also be taking advantage of it,” Israel Hayom wrote on March 18 (emphasis added). “[W]ith the world’s focus temporarily diverted, [the mullahs are] working secretly to advance their efforts to achieve nuclear capability.”

Iran has refused access to International Atomic Energy Agency (iaea) inspectors in three potential nuclear sites. Earlier this month, newly appointed Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi called on Iran to allow inspectors access to these locations, but “it has refused to let inspectors visit. Clearly, Iran has something to hide” (ibid).

Guzansky told Jerusalem News Syndicate that “we should all be paying attention to what Iran is doing, especially now.”

While the world is hyperventilating over a fear of coronavirus, Iran has kicked its nuclear program into high gear. On March 3, the iaea announced that Iran has nearly tripled its stockpile of enriched uranium since November. The iaea reported that as of February 19, Iran had a total of 1,021 kilograms of enriched uranium, far more than the 300-kilogram limit set by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. For comparison, a small nuclear bomb only requires about 50 kilograms. The first nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 only contained 64 kilograms of Uranium-235. Iran has far surpassed these limitations.

Iran’s ultimate goal—despite what news media report—is to build the bomb (for proof, read “Don’t Believe the Deniers—Iran Wants to Go Nuclear”).

Building a nuclear bomb requires enriching uranium to 90 percent concentration of U-235 atoms, as opposed to the more prevalent and less reactive U-238. In November last year, Iran announced that it had reached 4.5 percent uranium purity and that it intended to increase that to 5 percent. Enriching uranium from its natural state of 0.7 percent to 4 percent purity is 83 percent of the effort required to achieve 90 percent weapons-grade uranium. Iran has already passed this threshold.

Just two years ago, experts estimated Iran’s breakout time to build the bomb to be as little as 7 to 12 months. Some experts now believe its breakout time could be as little as two months.

The Push

The Prophet Daniel recorded a prophecy in the Bible describing Iran’s belligerent behavior and how it will lead to World War iii: “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over” (Daniel 11:40).

Watch Jerusalem editor in chief Gerald Flurry has identified radical Islamic extremism, led by Iran, as “the king of the south.” (For more information about Iran’s support of terrorism, strategy to control world trade, flirtation with nuclear weaponry, and its radical ideological beliefs, read his booklet The King of the South.)

“This is an ideology that embraces death,” Mr. Flurry writes in The King of the South. “The blatantly bold and aggressive foreign policy of Iran must lead to war. It will either conquer or be conquered.”

Iran is an extremely radical nation. Even in the midst of battling coronavirus, Iran has continued to push its aggressive agenda in the Middle East. Iran is pushing its nuclear program closer and closer to the realization of a nuclear bomb.

Despite being temporarily chastened by a rocky start to the year, the past few months have clearly showed just how determined Iran is to continue its quest for regional domination.

For more information, read The King of the South, by Mr. Flurry.

The Horrific Truth of the First Nuclear War (Revelation 8 )

These Are the Horrific Weapons India Would Use to Fight Pakistan

Let’s hope it never happens.

Key point: Such a war would kill millions and impact the whole planet. Yet both countries prepare for a war anyway.

Recently India alleged a series of ceasefire violations—in the form of automatic weapons fire—by Pakistan on the border between the two countries. According to India, it was the sixth attack in just five days. Such events are a reminder that tension remains high on the Indian subcontinent.

(This first appeared in 2014 and is being reposted due to reader interest.)

The nuclear arsenals of both sides—and the red lines that would trigger their use—have made conventional war much more risky to conduct. The 1999 Kargil War is considered the closest the world has come to a nuclear war since the Cuban Missile Crisis. If India were to use its superiority in ground forces to seize a sizable amount of Pakistani territory, Pakistan could respond with nuclear weapons.

It’s distinctly possible that any future war between India and Pakistan would involve limited action on the ground and full-scale fighting at sea and in the air. India has the upper hand in both, particularly at sea where it would have the ability to blockade Pakistani ports. Pakistan imports 83% of its gasoline consumption, and without sizable reserves the economy would feel the effects of war very quickly. An economic victory, not a purely military one might be the best way to decisively end a war without the use of nuclear weapons.

With that scenario in mind, let’s look at the five Indian weapons Pakistan would fear most in a war.

INS Vikramaditya Aircraft Carrier

Commissioned in November 2013, INS Vikramaditya is the newer and more modern of India’s two aircraft carriers. In the event of war, Vikramaditya would lead an offensive at sea designed to sweep the Pakistani Navy from the field. The nightmare scenario for Pakistan would be Vikramaditya parked off the coast of Karachi, Pakistan’s largest port, enforcing a naval blockade.

Originally built for the Soviet Navy as the anti-submarine aviation cruiser Baku, Vikramaditya was mothballed in 1996 after it became clear post-Cold War Russia could not afford to operate her. The ship was purchased by India in 2004, to be upgraded by Russian shipbuilders to a true aircraft carrier complete with angled flight deck. The updated design deleted all cruiser armament, including two 100mm deck guns, 192 SA-N-9 surface to air missiles and 12 SS-N-12 Sandbox anti-ship missiles.

Vikramaditya is 282 meters long and displaces 44,000 tons, making it less than half the displacement of American supercarriers. Nevertheless Vikramaditya’s powerful air wing is capable of executing air superiority, anti-surface, anti-ship and anti-submarine warfare. The carrier air wing is expected to consist of 24 MiG-29K or Tejas multi-role fighters and 10 anti-submarine warfare helicopters. India has ordered 45 MiG-29Ks, with the first squadron, 303 “Black Panthers” Squadron, stood up in May 2013.

INS Chakra Nuclear Attack Submarine

While INS Vikramaditya would be the visible symbol of a naval blockade, perhaps the real enforcers would be India’s force of 14 attack submarines. The most powerful of India’s submarines is INS Chakra, an Akula-II nuclear-powered attack submarine.

INS Chakra would be able to fulfill a variety of wartime tasks. It would be a real threat to Pakistan’s Navy, particularly her 11 frigates and eight submarines, only three of which are reasonably modern. Chakra is also capable of covertly laying mines in Pakistani waters and conduct surveillance in support of a blockade.

Construction of the submarine that would become Chakra began in 1993, but stalled due to lack of funding. In 2004 the Indian Navy agreed to fund the sub to completion—at a cost of $900 million—in exchange for a future 10 year lease with an option to buy. Delivery to the Indian Navy was supposed to take place in 2010, but transfer was delayed after a 2008 accident that killed 20 Russian Navy personnel and wounded another 21.

At 8,000 tons displacement, Chakra is as large as U.S. Virginia-class nuclear submarines. It has a maximum speed of 30 knots with a maximum operating depth of reportedly 520 meters. The sub not only has a customary large sonar hydrophone array on the bow, but also active and passive arrays scattered over the rest of the hull. Chakra also features a pod-mounted towed hydrophone array.

INS Chakra is armed with not only four standard diameter 533 torpedo tubes but also another four 650mm torpedo tubes. Armament includes the VA-111 Shkval supercavitating torpedo, a high speed torpedo capable of traveling at 220 knots to ranges of up 15 kilometers. Missile armament is in the form of 3M54 Klub anti-ship missiles. Chakra can carry up to 40 torpedo tube launched weapons, including mines. (Five merchant ships were struck by mines during the 1971 India-Pakistan War.) For defensive purposes, Chakra has six external tubes, each carrying two torpedo decoys.

According to the terms of the lease with Russia, Chakra cannot be equipped with nuclear weapons.

AH-64D Apache Longbow Block III Attack Helicopter

India’s recent agreement to purchase the AH-64D Apache helicopter represents a quantum leap in land firepower for the Indian Army. The Apache’s versatility means that it will be able to do everything from engage armored formations in a conventional war scenario to hunt guerrillas and infiltrators in a counterinsurgency campaign.

The Apache is one of the most battle proven attack helicopters fielded. Apache is capable of speeds of up to 171 miles an hour in high altitude environments, an important consideration in India’s mountainous terrain. The rotor blades are resistant to 12.7mm machine gun fire and the cockpit is protected from shrapnel by Kevlar shielding.

The Apache Longbow is optimized to attack and destroy armor—the mast-mounted millimeter-wave radar is capable of detecting and prioritizing up to 128 vehicle targets in a matter of seconds, then attacking up to sixteen targets in quick succession. For counterinsurgency operations, the thermal imaging sensor allows crew members to pick out individuals in ground cover and concealment.

The helicopter has four external hard points, each of which can mount four Hellfire missiles. A 30mm cannon capable of engaging light armor, soft targets or personnel is mounted underneath the helicopter chin and slaved to an optical sight worn by the pilot and gunner.

In a contract worth $1.4 billion dollars, in 2012 India agreed to purchase 22 Apache helicopters. Also included in the 2012 deal was a request for 812 Hellfire Longbow millimeter-wave radar guided missiles for use against tanks and armored vehicles and 542 Hellfires optimized for use against hard, soft and enclosed targets. Also included in the deal were 245 Stinger Block I missiles to provide an air-to-air capability.

In August, India offered to buy a further 39 Apaches, in an attempt to drive the overall unit cost down.

Su-30MKI Fighter

The Indian Air Force’s Su-30MKI air superiority fighter is meant to secure air superiority over Pakistan. The IAF has 200 Su-30MKIs in service with another 72 on order. A long-ranged, twin engine fighter with a powerful radar and formidable armament, the Su-30MKI will form the mainstay of the Indian Air Force.

The Su-30MKI is an evolution of the 1980s-era Su-27 Flanker. Thrust vectoring control and canards make the plane highly maneuverable, while the Zhuk active electronically scanned array radar makes it capable of engaging several targets at once. Complementing the Zhuk will be the Novator long-range air to air missile, capable of engaging targets at up to 300 to 400 kilometers.

The Su-30MKI has an impressive twelve hardpoints for mounting weapons, sensors and fuel tanks. The Su-30MKI is arguably superior to any fighter in the Pakistani Air Force, with the possible exception of the F-16 Block 50/52, of which Pakistan has only 18.

A portion of the Su-30MKI force has been modified for the strategic reconnaissance role. Israeli-made sensor pods reportedly give the Indian Air Force the ability to look up to 300 kilometers into Pakistan (or China) simply by flying along the border.

The Su-30MKI will grow even more lethal with the addition of the air-launched version of the BrahMos supersonic missile, currently under development. Each Su-30MKI will be capable of carrying a single BrahMos. BrahMos will give the Su-30MKI stand-off capability against ships and ground targets to ranges of 295 kilometers.

Indian Nuclear Weapons

India first tested a nuclear weapon in 1974, with the detonation of a 12 kiloton explosive device. The Indian government has been consistently tight-lipped on the status of their nuclear arsenal, and as a result a considerable amount of mystery surrounds India’s nuclear weapons.

The exact size of the arsenal is unknown but estimated to be between 90 and 110 nuclear devices. Statements by officials have lead outsiders to believe the maximum yield of Indian weapons to be around 200 kilotons, or approximately ten times the destructive power of the Hiroshima bomb.

India’s first nuclear delivery systems were likely attack aircraft—first the Jaguar, then the MiG-27 and Mirage 2000. Although capable, the aircraft were vulnerable to Pakistan’s air defense network and this vulnerability likely lead to the development of the land-based missiles. It is unknown whether nuclear weapons have been fitted to the Su-30MKI, but as a non-stealthly aircraft its ability to penetrate Pakistani defenses would not be dissimilar to a Mirage 2000.

The Nations Resume Trampling Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Israeli Army Strikes Hamas Post After Rocket Launched From Gaza, Reports Say

No casualties or property damage was reported, with the rocket apparently falling in an open area near Sha’ar Hanegev in southern Israel

Jack KhouryHaaretz27.03.2020

Rockets above Ashkelon, November 2019.Ilan Assayag

A rocket was launched from the Gaza Strip toward Israel, the Israeli army said on Friday after sirens blared in the southern city of Sderot and several border communities.

No casualties or property damage was reported, with the rocket apparently falling in an open area near Sha’ar Hanegev in southern Israel.

Palestinian media outlets later reported that the Israeli army struck a Hamas outpost in the Strip in response.

The previous escalation in the south was last February, when more than 50 rockets were fired into Israel in response to the killing of an Islamic Jihad activist in an Israeli strike.

A video that circulated in the Gaza Strip documented an IDF bulldozer dragging the body of the activist, alongside Palestinians confronting the force east of Khan Yunis.

The Iron Dome system intercepted 90 percent of the rockets launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel, but two of them hit a home and playground in Sderot.

During the escalation, the Israeli Air Force attacked Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip and Syria, and several operatives of the organization were killed in IDF attacks.

Antichrist blames gay marriages for coronavirus

Moqtada Al-Sadr addresses his supporters at the Grand Mosque of Kufa in this file photo

Sadr blames gay marriages for coronavirus

March 28, 2020

By Yaghoub Fazeli

DUBAI — Iraq’s influential Shiite leaderMoqtada Al-Sadrhas blamed the legalization of same-sex marriage for causing the coronavirus pandemic.

“One of the most appalling things that have caused this epidemic is the legalization of same-sex marriages,” Al-Sadrsaid in a post on his Twitter account on Saturday.

“Hence, I call on all governments to repeal this law immediately and without any hesitation,” he added.

Followers of Al-Sadr were criticized after hundreds congregated inside a mosque and chanted “coronavirus has terrified you,” despite government measures imposed to stop the spread of the outbreak.

Iraq imposed a nationwide lockdown last week that ends today as part of measures to fight the coronavirus.

As of Saturday, 42 in Iraq have died from coronavirus, and there are 506 confirmed cases, according to the Iraqi health ministry.

Thirty countries worldwide, most of them in Europe, have allowed for same-sex marriage, according to research from Pew Research Center. — Al Arabiya English

The True Risk for Nuclear Disaster (Revelation 16)

Reuters

Nuclear Proliferation Treaty Troubles Remain Unaddressed Amid a Global Pandemic

It is vital that would-be bombmakers be disabused of any notion that they could evade tough international sanctions. We need a country-neutral, reasonably predictable, more-or-less automatic sanction regime that puts all countries on notice, even friends of the powerful.

Just as we’ve had to discard business-as-usual thinking to deal with the current worldwide health emergency; it’s time to get serious about the spread of nuclear weapons. It doesn’t have the immediacy of the coronavirus, but it will last a lot longer and is no less threatening. In particular, we need to fortify the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), which is fifty years old this year and badly needs fixing. The April 2020 Review Conference will likely be postponed, which provides time to develop something more than the usual charade of incremental proposals that nibble at the problem.

  • What needs fixing? Five problems: The NPT allows withdrawal on three months notice; it does not bar the use of nuclear explosives as fuels; its inspection arm, of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is too much involved in promoting nuclear energy; it lacks an established enforcement system, so each violation requires an improvised response; and it is undermined by the holdouts—India, Israel, North Korea, and Pakistan—thumbing their noses at the treaty. International lawyers may scream, but we need to make it essentially impossible to exercise the NPT’s withdrawal provision. This is vital because the member states’ safeguards agreements with the IAEA remain in force only so long as the states remain parties to the treaty.
A country should not be allowed to gather the wherewithal for a bomb while a member and then free itself of its treaty responsibilities by announcing its withdrawal. It shouldn’t be allowed to leave the treaty with technology, imported or indigenous, it obtained as a member, because it did so with the forbearance of other members on the assumption that it was doing so for peaceful uses.

There has to be a wide safety margin between genuinely peaceful and potentially military applications to make it impossible to surprise the world with a bomb. The oft-cited “inalienable right” to “nuclear energy for peaceful purposes” in the NPT’s Article IV has to be interpreted strictly in terms of the treaty’s overriding objective expressed in Article I (nuclear weapons countries can’t help others get bombs), and Article II (non-weapons countries can’t get them, period). That’s a long way of saying no commercial use of highly enriched uranium or plutonium, which today has no economic justification.

Another relic embedded in the NPT and the IAEA Statute is their promotion of nuclear power. With mind-numbing regularity, IAEA officials argue that accommodating countries on nuclear energy technology helps to gain their assent to control measures. But this approach weakens the NPT by creating a zero-sum game in which nonproliferation obligations of the many members are held hostage to technology sharing by the main supplier states. Unfortunately, too many members want dangerous technologies. That is not all. The agency’s singling out of nuclear energy as the anointed energy source leads to a misallocation of economic and scientific resources in countries that can’t afford it.

In the initial years of the NPT, there was an implicit assumption that the Western states and Soviets would police their spheres. But now, with the Cold War over, the NPT needs an established enforcement mechanism to deal predictably with violations, instead of each instance requiring improvisation by the leading members. The logic of “safeguards” assumes rapid international reaction, but experience shows it is more often measured in years. It is vital that would-be bombmakers be disabused of any notion that they could evade tough international sanctions. We need a country-neutral, reasonably predictable, more-or-less automatic sanction regime that puts all countries on notice, even friends of the powerful. A permanent secretariat attached to the treaty would help. Finally, it undermines the treaty when a non-member is used to enforce it, as when the United States acquiesced in Israel’s 2007 bombing of Syria’s clandestine reactor, instead of involving the IAEA, or when it cooperated with Israel in sabotaging Iran’s nuclear program.

The most difficult issue is what to do about the three NPT holdouts—India, Israel, and Pakistan—and the member-in-violation, North Korea. The drafters’ intent to only recognize five nuclear states was to first make sure that number did not grow larger while treating reductions among the five separately. To add new nuclear weapon members in addition to these five would undermine the treaty. However impossible it may now seem, the only way that all states can be brought under the NPT system is if all commit themselves to reduce their nuclear weapons to zero. The United States and Russia have made substantial reductions, but the continuation of that process requires all nuclear states to join in further cuts.

Towards this end, we would universalize the treaty—that is, regard it as applicable to all states. The three holdouts would then be in non-compliance. Of course, as a legal matter, you cannot force a country to join a treaty. But if the 190 NPT members so decided, they could treat the three holdouts, and North Korea, as countries in non-compliance, with appropriate disadvantages that would follow from that. At the same time, if these countries joined the weapons reductions process under adequate monitoring, they could be considered as approaching compliance, and disadvantages could be moderated.

This much is clear: Incremental, least-common-denominator steps are never going to get us to where we need to be, and serious people responsible for security know it. To cope with proliferation hazards in the face of weak international controls over nuclear programs, the world seems to be slipping—witness the case of Iran—into relying on greatly increased national intelligence operations backed up in the last instance by bombing and even assassinations. It is difficult to imagine that this is a workable solution for the long term.

To stop the further spread of nuclear weapons, we have to stop downplaying the NPT. Instead, we should strengthen and use it.

Victor Gilinsky is a program advisor for the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (NPEC) in Arlington, Virginia. He served on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission under Presidents Ford, Carter, and Reagan. 

Henry Sokolski is executive director of NPEC and the author of Underestimated: Our Not So Peaceful Nuclear Future (second edition 2019). He served as deputy for nonproliferation policy in the Cheney Pentagon. 

 

History Expects the Sixth Seal in NYC (Revelation 6:12)

According to the New York Daily News, Lynn Skyes, lead author of a recent study by seismologists at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory adds that a magnitude-6 quake hits the area about every 670 years, and magnitude-7 every 3,400 years.

A 5.2-magnitude quake shook New York City in 1737 and another of the same severity hit in 1884.

Tremors were felt from Maine to Virginia.

There are several fault lines in the metro area, including one along Manhattan’s 125th St. – which may have generated two small tremors in 1981 and may have been the source of the major 1737 earthquake, says Armbruster.

“The problem here comes from many subtle faults,” explained Skyes after the study was published.

He adds: “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.”

Armbruster says a 5.0-magnitude earthquake today likely would result in casualties and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.

“I would expect some people to be killed,” he notes.

The scope and scale of damage would multiply exponentially with each additional tick on the Richter scale. (ANI)

The Reality of World War 3 (Revelation 16)

World War 3 fears: ‘Domino effect’ error could spark major US-Iran conflict in Middle East

IRAN risks sparking World War 3 with a domino effect of bad decisions that could see swift aggression from the US.

Gerrard Kaonga

PUBLISHED: 06:01, Sat, Mar 28, 2020

Iran set for ‘domino effect’ over nuclear weapons claims expert

Tensions between the US and Iran remain high following the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani earlier this year. Iranian expert of Iran International TV Dr Pupak Mohebali warned one wrong move from Iran on its adherence to current nuclear treaties could spark a major conflict with the US. During an interview with Express.co.uk, Dr Mohebali warned attitudes in Iran were changing towards the nuclear treaties the country had previously agreed to.

She noted, disobeying or withdrawing from these treaties could result in stronger sanctions or military intervention from the US.

She said: “I would not say there is one worst-case scenario but more like a domino effect.

“One problematic decision leads to another and another.

“If Iran was to withdraw from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) it could bring further diplomatic isolation or it might lead to more international sanctions on the country.

Tensions between the US and Iran remain high following the killing of Iraq general Qasem Soleimani earlier this year. (Image: Getty)

“It may even cause the US military to start on Iran.

“We could see a heightening of tension between Tehran and Washington, the same as we have the past few years.”

Dr Mohebali explained how attitudes were shifting in the Iranian Parliament on procuring nuclear material.

She said: “This prospect of Iran withdrawing from the NPT is not just discussed among the hardliners in Iran.

Dr Mohebali disobeying or withdrawing from these treaties could result in stronger sanctions or military intervention from the US. (Image: Getty)

Trump outlines US response to Iran’s airstrikes

“We can see it is being discussed widely among moderates like the Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani and Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

“Mohammad Javad Zarif and the Iranian Prime Minister said if security council sanctions are reimposed Iran may exit not only the current nuclear deal but the NPT.

“That has been said and that is not a good scenario at all.

IAEA director Rafael Grossi has demanded Tehran cooperate with the body to allow them to inspected suspected nuclear sites. (Image: Getty)

“Although we do see Iran still saying that they do not seek to develop nuclear bombs the problem is the recentInternational Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report show that Iran has nearly tripled its stockpile of Uranium.

IAEA director Rafael Grossi has also demanded Tehran cooperate with the body to allow them to inspect suspected nuclear sites.

In early March he argued Iran should cooperate immediately and fully with the agency but so far Iran has refused to give definitive answers on three locations nuclear material may have been used or stored.

The IAEA has insisted without cooperation with Tehran it will be difficult for the agency to declare whether Iran has all of its nuclear material.

Too Little Too Late (Revelation 6:12)

The first of Indian Point’s two working nuclear reactors shuts down April 30. Then what? Get the answers here.

Dangerous legacy 

For the foreseeable future, this New Jersey shore town will be left with their nuclear plant’s dangerous legacy — canisters containing radioactive waste. 

Oyster Creek, shut down in New Jersey, could leave high taxes and giant casks of dangerous radioactive waste. 

Spent nuclear fuel 

Decades later, the Maine Yankee plant is stuck with spent nuclear fuel as feds pick up the $10M tab.

Closing Three Mile Island

How to secure the nuclear plant and why it may take 60 years. 

Russia’s Modernizing Nuclear Arsenal (Daniel 7)

Russia’s Nuclear Arsenal to Be 87% Modernized by End of 2020 – Defence Minister – Sputnik International

15:28 GMT 25.03.2020

Earlier this year, the Pentagon estimated that Russia has spent some $28 billion modernizing its nuclear triad. For comparison, the United States is presently in the middle of a 30 year, $1.5 trillion programme to upgrade its own strategic capabilities.

The share of modern armaments among Russia’s strategic nuclear forces currently stands at 82 percent, and is expected to grow by 5 percent to 87 percent by the end of 2020, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has revealed.

“The equipping of troops with modern weapons and equipment has increased to 68.2 percent. By the end of the year, it will reach the targeted level of 70 percent. At the same time, the share of modern weaponry in the strategic nuclear forces will exceed 87 percent,” Shoigu said, speaking at a briefing to the Russian Senate on Wednesday.

The defence minister also revealed that the serviceability of all weapons and equipment in the Armed Forces’ arsenal currently stands at 94 percent.

Russian President Vladimir Putin set a target of 70 percent modern weaponry and equipment in 2012, giving the military until 2020 to reach these indicators.

Late last year, following substantial cuts in Russian defence spending, Putin revealed that Moscow could afford to make the cuts because many of the recently undertaken programmes to modernize military hardware had been completed or were nearing completion. Russia spent $48 billion on defence in 2019. For comparison, NATO spending during the same period topped over $1 trillion, with the alliance committing to spend $100 billion more in 2020.

Russia’s nuclear forces have received or are in the process of receiving a series of new weapons in recent years, including the RS-28 Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, the Avangard hypersonic boost-glide vehicle, and the Kinzhal air-launched hypersonic cruise missile. The maritime leg of the country’s nuclear triad has seen the deployment of the new Borei class of strategic missile submarines equipped with R-30 Bulava ballistic missiles. Russia has also upgraded its fleet of Tu-95MS ‘Bear’ and Tu-160 ‘White Swan’ bombers, increasing their range and capabilities and equipping them with new cruise missiles.

© Sputnik . Ildus Gilyazutdinov

Russian Project 955 strategic nuclear submarine Vladimir Monomakh arrives at its permanent base in Vilyuchinsk, Kamchatka. file photo

Despite these upgrades, Russia’s nuclear doctrine has remained unchanged: Moscow will not resort to preemptive nuclear attacks against any nation or bloc under any circumstances, and reserves the right to use its nuclear arsenal only as a last resort in the event of an enemy first strike, or in response to large-scale conventional aggression.

Open Conflict: The US Versus the Antichrist’s Men

Open Conflict: The US Versus Iran’s Proxies – OpEd

Neville TellerMarch 28, 2020

Funeral procession for Iranian commander Major General Qassem Soleimani. Photo Credit: Tasnim News Agency

Nominally, Iraq is blessed with two strong allies – the United States and Iran.  Unfortunately the two are virtually at war with each other – virtually, because although missiles are flying in each direction, Iran is not itself firing any.  A crucial aspect of Iran’s politico-religious strategy has long been to use proxies to execute its less savory operations, thus avoiding direct responsibility for the atrocities committed at its bidding.  Among such organizations as Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen, Hamas in Gaza, and a plethora of jihadist groups in Syria, is Hashed al-Shaabi, a network of armed groups embedded in the Iraqi state.  Its most prominent member is Kataib Hezbollah (KH).

KH is an Iranian-sponsored Shia militia.  Founded in 2003, it is in sympathy with the Lebanon-based Hezbollah organization, itself a key element in Iran’s network of jihadist groups.  Since late October 2019 KH has been launching rocket attacks on bases housing US troops and diplomats in Iraq – to date no less than 23 such strikes. On March 11, in a rare daytime attack and one of the heaviest ever, at least 33 rockets rained down on air defense units at the Taji air base, some 17 miles north-west of Baghdad.  Three people were killed and 14 injured.

The next day a retaliatory raid by US and British forces hit KH facilities across Iraq.

How did the US and Iran emerge as allies of Iraq?

The US-led coalition in Iraq, initially composed of 35 countries, dates back to 2014.  They arrived at the direct request of the Iraqi government in order to counter the apparently unstoppable advance of Islamic State, as it swallowed up vast tracts of Iraqi territory.  In addition to direct military invasion, the US-led coalition provided extensive support to the Iraqi Security Forces by way of training, intelligence, and personnel.  The US contingent currently comprises some 5,000 military personnel.

Iran’s stranglehold on the Iraqi state is the result of a carefully conceived plan to infiltrate the key elements of the nation, locking Iraq into its so-called Shia Crescent power bloc. A batch of secret intelligence cables, leaked to the media in November 2019, disclosed how Iran, while supporting the fight against Islamic State, slowly expanded its influence inside Iraq, selecting and running sources at the most senior levels of the government.  With the aim of keeping the country aligned with its own interests, Iranian intelligence officers infiltrated its military leadership and co-opted much of the Iraqi cabinet. The cables claim that Iran acquired such a grip on Iraq’s affairs that Iranian officers effectively had free rein across key institutions of state, and were central to much of the country’s decision-making.

A key role in this operation was played by the head of Iran’s powerful IRGC (Islamic Republican Guard Corps) and leader of Iran’s network of proxies across the Middle East, Qassem Soleimani– the Iranian leader adjudged so dangerous as to merit assassination on the orders of US President Donald Trump on January 3, 2020.

The killing of Soleimani was seized on by Iraq’s Iranian-infiltrated government as a cause célèbre.Iraq’s then prime minister, Adel Abdel-Mahdi, denounced it as “an act of aggression” and a “breach of sovereignty,” and engineered a vote in the Iraqi parliament demanding that foreign troops should be withdrawn from the country.  The nation as a whole, however, happened at the time to be engaged in mass popular protests directed against Iranian influence in its affairs – exemplified by Soleimani – and against the corruption and failures of the government.

By March 2020, however, the largest anti-government protest movement in Iraq’s modern history had dwindled in the face of the defection of the influential cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, and fears over the spread of the coronavirus that Iraq’s decrepit health system has been struggling to contain.  As a result when the US responded to KH’s latest rocket onslaught with a massive but carefully targeted attack, the Iraqi government was again able to condemn it as “American aggression”.  The Iraqi president, Barham Salih, called for an investigation.

The retaliatory action consisted of air strikes on Iran-backed militia facilities in southern Iraq, including logistics and drone warehouses. “These weapons storage facilities,” ran a statement from the Pentagon, “include facilities that housed weapons used to target US and coalition troops.”  It described the strikes as “defensive, proportional, and in direct response to the threat posed by Iranian-backed Shia militia groups who continue to attack bases” that are hosting troops of the international coalition fighting Islamic State jihadists.

Britain’s foreign minister, Dominic Raab, said the strike, in which the UK participated, was “swift, decisive and proportionate…UK forces are in Iraq with coalition partners to help the country counter terrorist activity, and anyone seeking to harm them can expect a strong response.”  He urged Iraq to take stronger action to rein in the militias.

The US strike also extended to an air raid on a headquarters of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) just over the border in Syria. The strike is reported to have killed 26 fighters. The PMF, an umbrella group composed of scores of Shia militias, plays a complex role in Iraqi politics. Although technically under the control of the Iraqi state, many of its commanders take their orders from Iran and the IRGC.  A senior PMF leader and head of KH, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, was killed alongside Soleimani.  Muhandis had been Iran’s top adviser and ally in Iraq.  

With two powerful foreign entities – the US and Iran – operating against each other’s interests within a feeble and unstable regime. Iraq’s future looks bleak indeed. Neither antagonist has the appetite for all-out war, but neither is minded to yield much ground.  Continual low-level conflict would seem to be the fate reserved for Iraq for the foreseeable future.