Reading Siegel’s article I came away with two impressions of Mr. Tillerson, first he will not be boxed in and second he is not a yes man. How refreshing.
First let’s look at Tillerson as a man who will not be boxed in when it comes to U.S. foreign policy. Siegel reported:
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who ran for president against Trump, pressed Tillerson on whether he backs the assessment of U.S. intelligence agencies about Russia’s election-year hacking.
“Do you believe during the 2016 presidential campaign that Russian intelligence services directed a campaign of measures involving the hacking of emails, the strategic leak of emails, the use of internet trolls, and dissemination of fake news to denigrate a presidential candidate and undermine faith in our election process?” Rubio asked.
Tillerson described the findings by the intelligence agencies as “clearly troubling,” and called cyber attacks from foreign actors such as Russia “the greatest and most complex threat” facing the country today. He labeled Russia’s annexation of Crimea to be “illegal” and proposed tougher measures to combat the Kremlin’s invasion of eastern Ukraine, vowing that he would advocate providing Ukrainian soldiers with weapons.
But Tillerson expressed hope that he could help improve relations with Russia, potentially seeking to ally with it in areas of common interest even if America “will not likely to be ever friends with the Kremlin.”
“Dialogue is critical so these [issues] don’t spin out of control,” Tillerson said. “We need to move Russia from adversary always to partner at times.”
Tillerson clearly understands that Russia, and many other countries, act in their own self interests and against the interests of the United States. His reply was measured in that he understood that cyberwarfare is a national security threat, that invading another country is wrong and both must be punished. However, diplomacy is not just about jumping into a hot or cold war, as Senator’s Marco Rubio, John McCain and Lindsey Graham seem to want. Rather it is about pressuring those who would do us harm using all means available. The above interaction shows the sophistication of Tillerson, a man who thinks outside the box. Tillerson’s statement, “We need to move Russia from adversary always to partner at times” is that of a man who understands Russia more than some members of the U.S. Senate, Republicans and Democrats alike. Again, refreshing.
Tillerson is not a yes man for President-elect Trump either. Siegel noted:
In the presidential campaign, Trump questioned the NATO alliance, and said members need to do more to earn the U.S.’ support.
Tillerson expressed a stronger commitment to NATO, promising to follow Article 5 of the treaty that enshrines the principle that an attack against one member is an attack against all.
“The Article 5 commitment is invaluable and the U.S. will stand by the commitment,” Tillerson said.
He also expressed concern for Baltic states that worry about Russian incursion on their borders.
“Our NATO allies are right to be alarmed about a resurgent Russia,” Tillerson said.
[ … ]
In another contrast with Trump, Tillerson did not say he explicitly opposes the Obama administration’s Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
“I do not oppose TPP, but I share some of Trump’s concerns that it doesn’t fully support American interests,” Tillerson said.
[ … ]
Echoing Exxon Mobil’s evolving calculus on climate change, Tillerson said he recognized the threat of a warming planet, and that the U.S. should “be at the table” in coming up with solutions to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
If confirmed, he said he and others in the Trump administration would review the 180-country Paris climate change agreement before deciding whether to remain party to it.
“It’s important that the United States maintain its seat at the table with the conversations around how to deal with the threats of climate change,” he said.
As chief of Exxon Mobil, Tillerson publicly backed a tax on carbon in 2009, and expressed support for the Paris Agreement in 2015.
Yet, late in the hearing, he seemed to downplay the threat of climate change.
“I don’t see [climate change] as the imminent national security threat as perhaps other do,” Tillerson said.
Tillerson will, on some issues, present a President Trump with differing views. That is healthy. It shows that President-elect Trump is filling his cabinet with quality people who think differently than him and provide opposing views. Once again, refreshing.
Donald Trump’s selection says as much about the President-elect as it does about Mr. Tillerson. There is a new way of thinking about foreign policy and a fresh approach that is pro-U.S. interests.
After reading Mr. Tillerson’s testimony it is clear he will not be foreign a policy rubber stamp as were former Secretaries Hillary Clinton and John Kerry and that he will think outside the foreign policy box of the Obama administration.
http://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/tillerson-for-secretary-of-state-e1481713961288.png360640Dr. Rich Swierhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngDr. Rich Swier2017-01-12 07:18:332017-01-12 13:21:58Rex Tillerson is neither a yes man nor will he be boxed in on U.S. foreign policy
Meanwhile, the U.S. ships fired warning shots toward Iranian fast-attack vessels that were closing in on U.S. ships and refused to slow down.
Russia is sending a large shipment of natural uranium to Iran in exchange for an Iranian shipment to Russia of nuclear reactor coolant. The shipment of 116 metric tons (130 tons) was approved by the United States and the five other countries involved in orchestrating the nuclear deal with Iran.
United Nations Security Council approval of the shipment is expected soon as a formality.
The shipment is enough to make more than 10 simple nuclear bombs, according to David Albright, an expert with the Institute of Science and International Security, “depending on the efficiency of the enrichment process and the design of the nuclear weapon.”
Two senior diplomats leaked the information to the Associated Press under the condition of anonymity and said they were not authorized to discuss details of the program.
The Iranian shipment is legal under the terms of the nuclear deal and will be “subject to the careful monitoring and inspections that are included in the deal to ensure that Iran is living up to the commitments that they made,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.
An upcoming conference this week of representatives from Iran, the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany in Vienna will focus on alleged violations of the nuclear deal by the United States, following Iranian complaints.
Outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama sold the nuclear deal to the American people on the understanding that the deal would make it more difficult, rather than easier, for Iran to build nuclear weapons.
At the same time as receiving huge Iranian shipments while complaining about alleged U.S. violations of the nuclear deal, the Iranian navy has come close to combat with U.S. ships in international waters in the Straits of Hormuz.
Iranian fast attack vessels closed in rapidly to a U.S. destroyer on Sunday and ignored repeated warnings to slow down. This forced the destroyer to fire three warning shots at the Iranian ships.
The Iranian vessels came within 900 yards of the ship according to U.S. Defense officials.
“This was an unsafe and unprofessional interaction, and that is due to the fact that they were approaching at a high level of speed with weapons manned and disregarding repeated warnings,” Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, told media.
Jan. 8, 2017: Rafsanjani dies of heart attack; Khamenei loses cover.
Former president Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani died today of a heart attack at the age of 82. A central figure in the Islamic Republic hierarchy since its inception, Rafsanjani tricked every U.S. president since Ronald Reagan into believing he was a “moderate,” somehow opposed to the “hard-liners” in charge of the regime’s affairs. In fact, Rafsanjani operated at the core of the regime and supported its doctrine of absolute clerical rule and its terrorist operations, from the taking of U.S. hostages in Lebanon to the bombing of U.S. servicemen in Dahran, Saudi Arabia, including Iran’s support for al Qaeda and the 9/11 plot.
Rafsanjani was indicted in Argentina for his role in the AMIA bombing that killed 86 Argentinean Jews in 1994, and was also cited in the 1996 Mykonos murders in Germany for his role in directing “hit squads” that assassinated Iranian opposition leaders living overseas. He was also named as a defendant in Havlish v. Islamic Republic of Iran, litigation brought by family members of 9/11 victims against the Iranian regime that led to a $6 billion judgment against the regime and against Rafsanjani personally.
Rafsanjani invited nuclear scientists to return from exile in the mid-1980s and is widely viewed as the “father” of Iran’s covert nuclear weapons program, having famously declared his belief that Iran could destroy Israel with a single nuclear weapon. (“The use of an atomic bomb against Israel would destroy Israel completely, while the same against Iran would only cause damages. Such a scenario is not inconceivable,” he said in a sermon at Tehran University on Dec. 14, 2001).
The wily pseudo-moderate provided cover to Khamenei and other “hard-liners” by offering them a life-line to the West, and is widely credited with having pushed hard for the Iran deal with the United States and the EU-3.
Nevertheless, in recent years his power has been challenged by the IRGC, which arrested his own children (since released) and protege’s, including members of Atieh Bahar, a consulting company established by Iranians in the United States with the goal of helping foreign companies do business in Iran.
Rafsanjani’s reach continues to be on display in the United States, where his sympathizers include the editor of Voice of America’s Persian News Network, Mohammad Manzarpour. When Rafsanjani’s death was announced, Manzarpour changed his Facebook page to a well-known Koranic verse used to express sympathy for someone who has just died.
http://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/Ali-Akbar-Hashemi-Rafsanjani.jpg347640Dr. Rich Swierhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngDr. Rich Swier2017-01-10 07:37:182017-01-10 07:39:39Rafsanjani the Terrorist and Father of Iranian 'Hit Squads' Dies
President-elect Donald Trump was right during the campaign to call the Iran nuclear agreement “the worst deal ever negotiated” by the United States government.
Not only did it reward a terrorist state with $100 billion of frozen oil revenues (some say, $150 billion), it dismantled an extensive armature of international sanctions that had cut Iran’s oil exports in half, banned it from the international financial system, and was beginning to threaten the regime with domestic unrest.
Obama tried to set this bad nuclear deal in concrete by incorporating most of its measures into a United Nations Security Council Resolution.
This will make its undoing more complicated than some analysts imagine. It’s not just a piece of paper President Trump can rip up, as a group of American nuclear scientistsimply. The international sanctions regime Obama destroyed took years to build and cannot be reconstructed in a day.
But the incoming president and Congress have other options for ratcheting up pressure on the Iranian regime, options that can be enacted unilaterally.
A group of conservative leaders released a letter to House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) on Thursday, commending him for a resolution he introduced in the final days of the last Congress on the restitution of or compensation for property wrongly confiscated by the Islamic Republic of Iran.
“Totalitarian regimes historically have confiscated property from individuals whose sole ‘crime’ consisted of supporting the previous government,” the letter states.
“When the Islamic regime seized power in 1979, it followed in the footsteps of these earlier totalitarians.”
The letter, and spearheaded by the Foundation for Democracy in Iran, which I chair, recalled Congressional action against previous cases of unjust expropriation, most notably the Helms-Burton Act — also known as the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996 — which penalized foreign companies trafficking in property stolen from Cuban nationals.
“Pro-Castro advocates screamed that Helms-Burton would cause irrevocable harm to the United States with friends and allies around the world. Nothing of the sort occurred,” the letter states.
“We believe the time has come to envisage a similar measure for the victims of the Islamic Republic of Iran, many of whom have become United States citizens, whose properties were unjustly expropriated.”
Signatories to the letter include Colin A. Hanna, President of Let Freedom Ring; Admiral James “Ace” Lyons, Jr, former Pacific Fleet commander; Frank Gaffney, President and CEO of the Center for Security Policy; Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation; Amy Ridenour, Chairman of the National Center for Public Policy Research; Ellen Sauerbrey, former Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration; and myself.
The letter also won support and was signed by Iranian-American human rights advocates and journalists and by leaders of the American Middle East Coalition for Trump.
On July 7, 1979, the new Islamic state in Iran issued a decree seizing the assets of 51 supporters of the previous regime and their families. A few weeks later, a revolutionary Court issued a separate order confiscating the assets of another 209 individuals and their families.
According to court documents the claimants provided to me, the properties seized included major factories and industrial conglomerates, hotels, private residences, real estate, land, stock, and other holdings, which today are worth more than $100 billion.
In all, thousands of Iranians were directly robbed by the Islamic regime, and millions more were terrorized with the threat of confiscations.
Many of these individuals subsequently fled to America and became U.S. citizens. But few were American citizens at the time of the revolution, and thus have been unable to seek restitution through the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal in The Hague, or through U.S. courts.
Their assets were turned over to para-state foundations, known as “bonyads,” which are owned or controlled by the Supreme Leader or the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). Despite the extensive sanctions relief included in the bad Iran deal, the IRGC continues to be subject to United States government sanctions because it kills Americans in state-sponsored terror attacks around the world.
Ordinary Iranians understand that the ruling clerics have plundered their country. How else could a village cleric such as “Supreme Leader” Ali Khamenei personally own a commercial empire the U.S. Treasury has estimated to be worth more than $40 billion? A separate 2013 Reuters investigation found that the property confiscations on behalf of Iran’s clerical leadership were about $95 billion.
A Congressionally-enacted Iran Assets Recovery Plan would be a powerful weapon the ruling clerics in Iran could not ignore.
Not only would it bring justice to some of the many victims of the Islamic state in Iran, it would put the Iranian regime’s foreign partners on notice.
Traffic in stolen property at your peril. A regime founded on theft will end up bankrupt, in jail, or dead.
http://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/iran-flag-missile-e1429388276244.jpg359640Kenneth R. Timmermanhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngKenneth R. Timmerman2017-01-06 12:48:022017-01-06 12:48:44Iran built on stolen property — Trump should take it back
According to experts like John Jorgenson, CEO and founding partner of the Sylint Group, our government is woefully behind the times in capability and capacity to deal with the threat of cyber attacks let alone the cyber warfare being conducted on a global scale by nation states such as China, Russia, North Korea and Iran.
[ … ]
“Nothing of substance to protect commercial industry, the countries infrastructure, or the citizen has come out of the [Obama] White House. From the attacks being made on the United States on the Cyber Battlefield our advisories are taking Cyber Warfare seriously while we can’t find a credible Field Marshall let alone decide what needs to be done,” notes Jorgenson.
On February 26th, 2016 I was interviewed by Denise Simon on The Denise Simon Experience regarding the issue of cyber warfare. I spoke about the clear and present dangers of enemies, both foreign and domestic, using technology to commit crimes, steal national secrets and impact our way of life.
Denise called cyber attacks “the poor man’s nuclear weapon.”
I talked about the current threat (attacks from nation states, cyber hackers and groups like Anonymous) to the looming future threat of cyborgs, chipping and Internables.
Internables are internal sensors that measure well-being in our bodies may become the new wearables. According to Ericsson’s ConsumerLab eight out of 10 consumers would like to use technology to enhance sensory perceptions and cognitive abilities such as vision, memory and hearing.
Fast forward to December 2016 and the media’s obsession with the successful phishing of the DNC and release of John Podesta’s emails. What they are missing is:
As technology has become ubiquitous, cyber warfare has become the preferred method of attacking one’s enemies.
All nation states, with the exception of the U.S., conduct offensive cyber warfare as a matter of public policy including: China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, and ISIS to name a few.
The Obama administration has made neither cyber security nor cyber warfare a priority during the past 8 years.
My greatest concern is that the United States government is only conducting defensive operations against the threat, and not doing that very well. The Obama administration does not conduct effective offensive operations against our enemies which include: China, Russia, Iran, the Islamic State, North Korea and many others.
Our warnings went unheeded by the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate and the White House.
So who really is to blame for these unrelenting cyber attacks?
Why its U.S.!
http://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/cyber-attack.jpg370640Dr. Rich Swierhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngDr. Rich Swier2016-12-31 08:32:492016-12-31 09:24:45Cyber Warfare — A Clear and Present Danger
The Iran deal is a disaster for the United States and the free world, as I detail in my book The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Iran. Rolling it back, as much as this can be done (we can’t, of course, get back the billions Obama has showered upon the Islamic Republic), could be the Trump administration’s greatest achievement, if they can pull it off.
“Trump’s CIA nominee Mike Pompeo promises to roll back Iran deal,” by Geoff Dyer, Financial Times, November 18, 2016 (thanks to Lookmann):
Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump’s nominee as CIA director, is a fierce critic of the Iran nuclear deal and wants to restore surveillance programmes stopped after the Edward Snowden revelations….
With his name circulating as a candidate for the Central Intelligence Agency post, Mr Pompeo took to Twitter on Thursday to promise action on the Iran deal. “I look forward to rolling back this disastrous deal with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.”
On Friday, he issued a statement saying it had been a difficult decision to move on from representing Kansas, “but ultimately the opportunity to lead the world’s finest intelligence warriors, who labour tirelessly to keep this nation and Kansas safe, is a call to service I cannot ignore.”
If confirmed, Mr Pompeo would replace John Brennan, who has run the CIA since 2013, after serving as President Barack Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser….
As well as opposing the 2014 nuclear deal with Iran, Mr Pompeo has sponsored a series of bills that would increase sanctions on Iran. Earlier this year, he and two other House Republicans requested visas to visit Iran to monitor the parliamentary elections in February.
In the wake of the Snowden revelations, the Obama administration closed a surveillance programme that collected information on telephone calls by millions of Americans. Mr Pompeo has introduced a bill that would restore the National Security Agency’s access to the telephone data and could also give it access to financial and lifestyle information….
http://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/Pompeo.jpeg370640Robert Spencerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngRobert Spencer2016-11-25 06:16:582016-11-25 06:16:58Trump’s CIA nominee promises to roll back Iran deal
Listen to this compelling, yet disturbing Lisa Benson Show with guests Shoshana Bryen of The Jewish Policy Center and best selling author and investigative journalist Ken Timmerman.
The round table discussion reveals the duplicity of Turkey, with Russia and U.S. complicity in Syria throwing the Kurds under the bus gutting the war against the Islamic State (ISIS).
The discussion revealed how the Obama Administration is:
abandoning the Persian Gulf to Iran,
destabilizing the world’s energy supply,
getting ready to withdraw U.S. Naval assets from the region
and avoiding Congressional appropriation authorities by paying Tehran with $1.3 billion from a State Department “slush fund” possibly via the Swiss Central Bank.
Listen to the broadcast and share it widely as this is not being covered by mainstream media in the run up to the Presidential campaign foreign policy debate.
http://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/putin-obama-world.jpg360634Jerry Gordonhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngJerry Gordon2016-08-29 06:21:532016-08-29 06:38:04PODCAST: U.S. - Russia - Syria - Iran - Turkey - Israel a 'Tectonic Policy Shift'
A tectonic shift has occurred in the balance of power in the Middle East since the failed Turkish coup of mid-July, and virtually no one in Washington is paying attention to it.
Turkey and Iran are simultaneously moving toward Russia, while Russia is expanding its global military and strategic reach, all to the detriment of the United States and our allies. This will have a major impact across the region, potentially leaving U.S. ally Israel isolated to face a massive hostile alliance armed with nuclear weapons.
Believers in Bible prophecy see this new alignment as a step closer to the alliance mentioned in Ezekiel 37-38, which Israel ultimately defeated on the plains of Megiddo.
Today’s Israel, however, is doing its best to soften the blow by patching up relations with Turkey and through cooperation with Russia.
Here are some of the moves and counter-moves that have been taking place in recent weeks on a giant three-dimensional chessboard with multiple players and opponents.
Russia-Turkey: It now appears that Russian intelligence tipped off Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan just hours before the planned coup against his regime. When the coup plotters got wind of the Russian communications with Erdogan loyalists at the National Intelligence Organization (MIT), they moved up the coup from the dead of night to 9 PM, when the streets were packed.
For Erdogan, the Russian warning came just in the nick of time, allowing him to flee his hotel in Marmaris minutes before twenty-five special forces troops loyal to the coup-plotters roped down from the roof of his hotel to seize him.
With streets in Istanbul full of people, Erdogan’s text and video messages calling on supporters to oppose the coup had maximum impact.
After purging the military and government of suspected enemies, Erdogan’s first foreign trip was to Russia, where on August 8 he thanked Putin for his help. “The Moscow-Ankara friendship axis will be restored,” he proclaimed.
Two days later, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu blasted NATO for its “evasive fashion” of responding to Turkish requests for military technology transfers, and opened the door to joint military production with Russia.
Cavosoglu accused NATO of considering Turkey and Russia “to be second class countries,” and pointed out that Turkey was the only NATO country that was refusing to impose sanctions on Russia for its annexation of the Crimea and invasion of Ukraine.
Russia has also been in talks with Turkey to base Russian warplanes at the NATO air base in Incirlik, Turkey, where some 2400 U.S. personnel have been quarantined since the failed July 15 coup attempt as Turkey continues to demand that the U.S. extradite alleged coup-plotter Fethullah Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania.
These talks have alarmed the Pentagon, which on Thursday reportedly ordered the emergency evacuation to Romania of the estimated 50-70 nuclear B-61 “dial-a-yield” gravity bombs stockpiled at the base.
If confirmed, the nuclear withdrawal from Turkey constitutes a major strategic setback for the United States, with Russia poised to replace the United States as Turkey’s main military partner after 60 years of NATO cooperation.
Russia-Iran: The warming of the Russia-Turkey relationship comes as Russia simultaneously is making advances in Iran.
The two countries have a long and often troubled history. The 1921 Soviet-Iranian treaty, which ended long-standing tsarist concessions in Iran, also included a mutual defense pact. Triggered briefly during World War II, the Soviets seized the opportunity to foment a Communist coup in Iranian Azerbaijan in 1948 and only withdrew after President Truman threatened to use nuclear weapons.
Successive Iranian regimes remained suspicious of Soviet intentions for the rest of the Cold War.
In recent years, Iran and Russia have joined together to evade international sanctions, with Russian banks clearing payments for Iranian oil purchases and serving as a conduit for Iranian government purchases abroad.
Last week, the specter of the 1921 defense treaty suddenly came alive when the Russia and Iran announced they had signed a new military agreement to allow Russian jets to use the Nojeh airbase in western Iran for attacks on Syrian rebels.
This is the first time that the Islamic regime in Iran has allowed a foreign power to use Iranian territory as a base for offensive military operations against another country in the region, and the move lead to tensions in the Iranian parliament.
For Russia, the move dramatically reduced flight times for the Tu-22 M3 Backfire bombers it had been flying against ISIS targets in Syria from Mozdok airbase in Ossetia, 2000 km away. Iran’s Nojeh air base, outside Hamadan, is less than 900 km from the war zone.
The shorter flight times also meant shorter warning for the Syrian rebels. Russian media reports have alleged that the United States has been providing “satellite surveillance data” to the Syrian rebels of the Russian bombing runs, allowing them to disperse “suspiciously too often” before the heavy bombers arrived on target from Mozdok.
The shorter distance cuts the flight time – and thus the warning time – by 60%, according to former Pentagon official Stephen D. Bryen. “The flight from Iran is between 30 to 45 minutes tops. If, therefore, the US is warning the rebels of impending Russian air strikes, the time to get the message to them and to actually be able to move their forces out of harms way, is far less and maybe too short for finding effective cover,” Bryen wrote in a recent blogpost.
Conclusion: Russia is on the verge of realizing a multi-generational dream of reaching the “warm waters” of the Persian Gulf through Iran.
Iran-Iraq: Adding to these dramatic developments was the announcement last week by a U.S. military spokesman, Colonel Chris Garver, that Iran now controls a military force of 100,000 armed fighters in neighboring Iraq. While the United States has allowed this Iranian expansion under the pretext Iran was helping in the fight against ISIS, clearly Iran can use this massive organized force to exercise its control over Iraq as well.
While none of these events was directly caused by the United States, clearly the lack of U.S. leadership emboldened our enemies, whose leaders have a much clearer strategic vision than ours of where they want the region to go.
Meanwhile, the Russian government continues to pursue the massive ten-year, $650 billion military modernization program that Putin announced in December 2010, despite reduced oil revenues. Those plans include eight new nuclear submarines, 600 new fighter jets, 1000 helicopters, as well as new tanks and other ground equipment.
Most of the new equipment is based on new designs incorporating advanced technologies, not existing weapons systems.
Just this week, U.S. intelligence officials reported ongoing construction of “dozens’ of underground nuclear command bunkers in Moscow and around the country apparently for use in the event of a nuclear wear. General Curtis Scaparrotti, commander of U.S. European Command, called Russia’s evolving doctrine on the first use of nuclear weapons “alarming.”
All of this does not mean that the United States and Russia are headed toward a direct confrontation. The more likely consequence, given the sweeping Russian powerplay with Turkey and Iran, is that the United States will simply abandon the region to Putin’s Russia and his Turkish and Iranian allies.
The consequence of that abandon will undoubtedly motivate Saudi Arabia to develop nuclear weapons as a counterweight to Iran.
Nero fiddled as Rome burned. Obama plays golf. Both leaders will leave ashes in their wake.
http://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/russia-turkey-iran-flags-axis-e1471972371873.jpg360640Kenneth R. Timmermanhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngKenneth R. Timmerman2016-08-23 13:13:012016-08-24 05:55:48THE TURKEY-RUSSIA-IRAN AXIS: Dramatic developments alter the strategic balance in the Middle East
“Obama Admin Gives Green Light for Iran to Build Two New Nuclear Plants,” By Adam Kredo, WFB, August 12, 2016:
New Iranian nuclear plants will not violate nuclear deal, officials say
Iranian Vice President and head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi.
Iran is permitted to pursue the construction of two newly announced nuclear plants under the parameters of last summer’s nuclear agreement, Obama administration officials informed the Washington Free Beacon, setting the stage for Tehran to move forward with construction following orders from President Hassan Rouhani.
Ali Salehi, Iran’s top nuclear official, announced on Thursday that Iran has invested $10 billion into the construction of two new nuclear plants after receiving orders from Rouhani, according to reports in Iran’s state-controlled media.
A State Department official said to the Free Beacon following the announcement that Iran is allowed to move forward with this venture under the nuclear agreement, which does not prohibit this type of nuclear construction.
“The [nuclear deal] does not prevent Iran from pursuing new light-water reactors,” a State Department official not authorized to speak on record said to the Free Beacon in response to questions about Iran’s latest announcement. “Any new nuclear reactors in Iran will be subject to its safeguards obligations.”
Critics in Congress of the Obama administration’s diplomacy with Iran condemned the new nuclear reactors, telling the Free Beacon that the administration is turning a blind eye to the Islamic Republic’s continued pursuit of illicit nuclear technology, including the know-how to build a nuclear weapon.
“Nothing in the behavior of the Iranian regime in the year since the JCPOA went into effect should give us any confidence that they will be confining their nuclear program to peaceful activities,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) said to the Free Beacon, using the official acronym for the nuclear deal. “Secretary Kerry seems to think that the mullahs are interested in curing cancer and civilian energy production, but their rapid progress in ballistic missile technology suggests they are far more determined to develop the nuclear weapons these projectiles are designed to deliver.”
“This is just the most recent confirmation of how misguided, shortsighted, and downright dangerous the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic truly is,” Cruz added.
Congressional sources familiar with the matter said the administration’s lack of concern about the new nuclear reactors is adding fuel to a growing scandal surrounding White House efforts to grant Iranian demands.
Republican lawmakers have been investigating for months information detailing what they say is an Obama administration effort to pay Iran $400 million in cash and another $1.3 billion as part of a ransom payment to free U.S. hostages from Iran earlier this year.
Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.), who has led multiple efforts to compel the administration to come clean about the cash deal, said to the Free Beacon that the White House appears more concerned about bending over backwards for Iran.
“While the Iranians complain that the U.S. is not allowing enough investment into Iran, when investments do occur, Tehran continues to focus on its nuclear program. The Iranian regime’s priorities are clear,” Pompeo said. “The Ayatollah is more concerned with strengthening Iran’s nuclear infrastructure than providing for the Iranian people. Unfortunately, President Obama’s failed nuclear deal with Iran does little to protect the United States from an eventual Iranian nuclear weapon.”
In announcing construction of the two new nuclear plants, Iran’s Salehi took aim at the United States, blasting it for combating the Islamic Republic’s efforts to become a nuclear power.
“The U.S. has settled its scores with its potential rivals but Iran has stood up against it,” Salehi was quoted as saying. “This is a serious political challenge that does not form in vacuum and requires producing content and ideologies.”r
Salehi also said Iran would continue to produce excess heavy water, a nuclear byproduct that can provide the material for a nuclear weapon.
The United States committed to purchasing more than 30 tons of this material from Iran earlier this year in order to keep it in line with restrictions imposed by the nuclear deal.
“Iran’s heavy water production surplus is currently on a sale agenda and our nuclear industry is functioning well,” Salehi said.
One senior congressional adviser who works with a range of key offices on the issue said to the Free Beacon that all of this is part of an Obama administration effort to help Iran become a legitimate player in the global nuclear trade.
“The Obama administration seems committed to making Iran into a nuclear power,” the source said. “They’ve purchased heavy water from the Iranians, as if the Iranians were legitimate nuclear suppliers, which they’re not. They’ve made excuses for Iran seeking to procure nuclear parts from Germany and elsewhere. And now they’re celebrating Iran building full-blown reactors.”
“All of this is the exact opposite of what they promised Congress, and for good reason, since Congress is committed to ensuring Iran never gets the infrastructure to be a screw turn away from a nuke,” the source said.
http://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/Obama-Atom-Iran1-e1391076100545.jpg320640Pamela Gellerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngPamela Geller2016-08-13 12:42:382016-08-13 12:44:29Obama Green Lights Two New Iranian Nuclear Plants
NEW YORK, New York /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Shortly after 4:00 A.M. on Inauguration Day, January 20, 1981, the administration of then-President Jimmy Carter relinquished $7.977 billion to the Iranians. According to one source, the transfer required fourteen banks and the participation of five nations acting concurrently.
When the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned to Iran on February 1, 1979 it was with the unbridled determination to launch a revolution. His real coup d’état in the days following the overthrow of the Shah turned out to be the incarceration of fifty-two American hostages for the final 444 days of the Carter administration.
The Iranians were relentless in the pursuit of the Shah’s assets numbering in the billions, purported to be stashed in American banks. In a move seemingly designed to further insult the United States, Khomeini’s negotiators demanded a total of $24 billion be transferred to a bank in Algeria. On the heels of the ridiculous stipulation, the Iranians distributed a synopsis of their demands.
The U.S. retaliated by printing a summation of its own correspondence with the rogue nation. The deadlock between the two countries seemed insurmountable until January 15, 1981. Just days before Carter was to leave office, Iran capitulated and agreed to Carter’s demands to pay off loans owned to U.S. banks. In marathon sessions new drafts were produced, new documents drawn, and the Bank of England was approved as the repository of escrow funds.
After the election of Ronald Reagan in November 1980, Carter became more determined than ever to secure the release of the hostages on his watch. He was successful, but barely. During marathon negotiating sessions in the wee hours of January 20, 1981, the Bank of England was approved as the repository of escrow funds, and shortly after 4:00 AM on Inauguration Day, the Carter administration relinquished $7.977 billion to the Iranians. According to one source, the transfer required fourteen banks and the participation of five nations acting concurrently.
As a final insult to President Carter, the Iranians refused to release the hostages until after President-electRonald Reagan was sworn in as 40th President of the United States. Headlines around the world screamed, “Tehran Releases U.S. Hostages after 444 Days of Captivity.”
Why is this fact important to us in 2016? Why does the life and presidency of Jimmy Carter matter in the twenty-first century? It is because the same Liberal Left which accepted Carter’s substance-starved campaign also bought into Obama’s equally ambiguous rhetoric.
In January of this year, the administration of President Barack Obama ordered a clandestine transfer of $400 million to the same terrorist state. On the morning of January 17, a transport plane was loaded with skids laden with stacks of currency—among them euros and francs.
The unidentified aircraft departed for Tehran where the cargo was offloaded. According to Mr. Obama, this was only the first payment on an agreed $1.7 billion settlement his administration contracted with Iran in the settlement of a failed arms deal signed by Reza Pahlavi, the shah of Iran. According to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, “This $400 million is actually money that the Iranians had paid into a US account in 1979 as part of a transaction to procure military equipment. That military equipment, as it relates to the $400 million, was not provided to the Iranians in 1979 because the shah of Iran was overthrown.”
The president contended that the timing of the transfer had nothing to do with the hostage release, or with the signing of the benchmark nuclear accords reached the previous summer. This was despite the inference from some Iranian officials that the transaction was a payment of ransom. According to Mr. Obama’s statement, “With the nuclear deal done, prisoners released, the time was right to resolve this dispute as well.”
John Kirby, State Department spokesperson, took the same approach when he reiterated, “As we’ve made clear, the negotiations over the settlement of an outstanding claim…were completely separate from the discussions about returning our American citizens home….Not only were the two negotiations separate, they were conducted by different teams on each side, including, in the case of The Hague claims, by technical experts involved in these negotiations for many years.”
Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, an outspoken opponent of the nuclear accord with Iran, said, “This break with longstanding U.S. policy put a price on the head of Americans, and has led Iran to continue its illegal seizures” of U.S. citizens. Apparently the sum offered was not enough to halt the seizure of other Americans, Canadians, and U.K. citizens of Iranian descent.
Iranian Revolutionary Guard commanders boasted at the time that the Americans had succumbed to Iranian pressure. General Mohammad Reza Naghdi, commander of the Republican Guard’s Basij militia crowed, “Taking this much money back was in return for the release of the American spies.”
One has to wonder just where this windfall will be utilized. Iran is one of the world’s largest state sponsors of terror organizations—Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Houthi rebels in Yemen, Shiite militants inBahrain and Iraq, and even some members of al Qaeda. Its famed Republican Guards have been dispatched to Syria in support of Bashar al-Assad’s civil war.
Of course, CIA director John Brennan assures the American public that the funds are being used to provide relief for the Iranian people. He reiterated, “The money, the revenue that’s flowing into Iran is being used to support its currency, to provide moneys to the departments and agencies, build up its infrastructure.”
Not all U.S. hostages currently held by Iran were released. The whereabouts of FBI agent Robert Levinson are unknown. Now being held in Iran are Siamak Namazi and his elderly father, Baqeru, and another man thought to be Reza Shahini. There is speculation that these men, and perhaps more, will be the core of another prisoner exchange payment before the end of Obama’s White House stay. This is particularly true in light of a demand for $2 billion held since 2009.
Representative James Lankford of Oklahoma co-wrote a bill that would prevent Mr. Obama from handing over cash to the Iranian government. He said, “President Obama’s…payment to Iran in January, which we now know will fund Iran’s military expansion, is an appalling example of executive branch governance…Subsidizing Iran’s military is perhaps the worst use of taxpayer dollars ever by an American president.”
Barack Obama’s presidency has been dominated by debate between the Republican and Democratic parties over Middle East policy, as it relates to the entire Middle East and especially the Persian Gulf states. It is there, in Israel, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, that the epicenter of the war on terror may be found, and it is from there that its ripples will continue to spread across the globe.
Like his political role-model, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama is captivating, eloquent, amiable, and unruffled. Obama spoke little during his campaign of his political viewpoint. It was said of Carter and Obama that they seem “cut of identical cloth.…Obama quickly corrects statements which show how he truly feels.…It seems that Obama feels himself morally superior to those in politics today, much like Carter did thirty years ago.…Barack Obama has never sought bipartisanship. He embraces leftism completely…Barack Obama was the next Jimmy Carter.”
The United States paid an exceedingly high price for the years Carter practiced being presidential; we have yet to learn just what the presidency of Barack Obama will have cost the American people.
EDITORS NOTE: Dr. Michael Evans is a #1 New York Times bestselling author. His book, Islamic Infidels, is available at www.Timeworthybooks.com.
http://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/obama-secreat-iran-deal.jpg360640Dr. Rich Swierhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngDr. Rich Swier2016-08-05 05:37:282016-08-05 06:17:49Deja vu: Obama's $400 Million and Carter's $7.9 Billion gifts to Iran by Dr. Mike Evans
It isn’t that Howard Dean thinks Iran is full of Methodists. He just thinks that Islam is wonderful, and that the Islamic Republic of Iran is evil and oppressive, and so therefore it must not really be Islamic at all. How this misunderstanding of Islam has grown so strong as to be able to take over whole countries, he did not deign to explain.
“Howard Dean: ‘I Don’t Consider Iran to Be a Muslim Country,’” by Adelle Nazarian, Breitbart News, August 1, 2016 (thanks to Bob):
PARIS — Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean told Breitbart News that “Iran is the farthest thing from an Islamic Republic” and that Iran is not “a Muslim country.”
Instead, Dean said, Iran is “a republic that’s been hijacked by thugs and murderers.” He explained that he does not know Muslims whom he respects and who behave the way the regime does.
Dean was speaking exclusively to Breitbart News from Paris last month during a conference hosted by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI). The PMOI (also referred to as MEK) is an opposition movement that played an active role in overthrowing Iran’s last Shah while President Jimmy Carter was in power, and which was de-listed as a terrorist organization under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
During the interview, Dean also pointed out his belief that the term “radical Islamic terrorism” is a manufactured phrase “for political, domestic consumption in America.”
The transcript of the interview follows (emphasis added):
Breitbart News:You don’t think [the Iran deal] was a good deal? Howard Dean: Look, I respect the president and I certainly didn’t oppose the deal but I don’t think it was “a good deal.” That is, I think we did give away a lot more than we needed to. And I think the Iranians are the largest sponsor of state terrorism in the world. And they are making lives very difficult for a lot of our allies. So I didn’t oppose the deal. I think it had its pluses and minuses, and I think we’re not going to know, for a few years, whether the deal makes any sense or not. And interestingly, I think the president’s reputation — as a good or not-so-good president — will depend on what happens with that deal.
Breitbart News: So — Saudi Arabia. Do you really think they are our allies, if I may ask… ?
Howard Dean: Yeah, I do think we are allies. I have my problems with [the] Saudis. One of the reasons I got involved with the resistance here is because I feel very strongly about human rights and the Saudis don’t respect human rights. So I’ve never personally thought that the alliance with Saudi Arabia was anything more than an alliance of convenience. But they are a key partner and they’re certainly not our enemy. So I don’t feel as strongly as some of the panel did.
Breitbart News: One more question regarding rhetoric on an international scale, do you find issue with the fact that our commander-in-chief and people within the administration (like Josh Earnest, and so forth) don’t actually use the term “radical Islamic terrorism’”?
Howard Dean: Well, That is actually something that I agree with … I think that most Muslims are not terrorists. In fact, I teach a foreign policy course at Yale. I had three Muslims sit in from other countries. And they pointed out to the class that their families were at greater risk from Daesh [ISIS] than ours because they live with them every day, around the corner.
So I think it’s important for us not to crank up a religious war. That, of course, falls into the hands of Daesh. So I think to call it Islamic terrorism is really just more for political, domestic consumption in America rather than something that you’d want to do in the world. I think these people are thugs, and they’re murderers. I don’t give them a cause. I don’t believe — I think they’re crazy, I think they’re lunatics, pathetic lunatics.
Breitbart News: There’s definitely a psychological aspect to it.
Howard Dean: Yes. I think they are deeply, psychologically disturbed, including the people who send them out there. So I wouldn’t want to give them any legitimacy by saying they have something to do with an organized religion. There is no organized religion which is a legitimate religion which condones this kind of behavior.
Breitbart News: I understand exactly where you’re coming from. But on the reverse side of that, you have the Islamic Republic of Iran which does use religion as a means to execute its citizens.
Howard Dean: I agree. And that’s exactly why I don’t want to do it. I think Iran is the farthest thing from an Islamic Republic, with some of the highest rates of execution in the world, torturing political prisoners, one of the worst human rights records in the world, a destructive force in the world. There’s nothing good about the Islamic Republic of Iran. And it’s not an Islamic republic; it’s a republic that’s been hijacked by thugs and murderers. And I think the legitimacy and the real government of Iran would be a secular government, which treated women equally with men.
Breitbart News: And just a follow up on that, do you think there is a nation that is governed by Islamic principles, or that considers itself to be majority Muslim, and that is truly an embodiment of what a Muslim nation should be like?
Howard Dean:I think Indonesia is close. There are terrorists in Indonesia but they’re not being embraced or being played footsie with by the government. I think there are other countries: Tunisia is one; Morocco has a better human rights record than most; it’s not a complete democracy. But there are nations where the people are overwhelmingly Muslims that don’t behave the way Iran does. I don’t consider Iran to be a Muslim country, because I don’t know Muslims who behave like that who I respect. And I think the vast majority of the billion Muslims in the world have no desire to live in Iran whatsoever because of the way their regime behaves.
Breitbart News: Or Saudi Arabia.
Howard Dean: Or Saudi Arabia. Although, I would say that Iran is far worse than Saudi Arabia … Although Saudi Arabia — I’m deeply disturbed by the financing of authoritarianism by the Saudis in countries where we didn’t have a problem, when now we do, in a place like Kosovo and the Balkans. So I’m not a big fan of Saudi Arabia. I think that was a marriage of convenience and that the Saudis have to clean up their act. The Saudis are, in part, responsible for terrorism, under the name of Islamic terrorism. And again, I don’t consider that — I think if you’re financing it elsewhere and it comes back into your own home, you bear some responsibility for that….
http://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/iranian-money.jpg378640Robert Spencerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngRobert Spencer2016-08-03 09:26:442016-08-03 09:29:57Howard Dean: 'I don’t consider Iran to be a Muslim country'
The Iranian Islamic regime has been empowered, emboldened, legitimized in its nuclear aspirations, and financed by Barack Hussein Obama. Yet it still considers the United States its chief enemy. One would think that Obama and the Washington establishment would learn from this. One would be wrong.
“Iran Threatens to Block U.S. Passage in Persian Gulf,” by Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, May 9, 2016 1:12 pm
…Hossein Salami, deputy commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, warned in a recent Persian-language interview that the Islamic Republic would not hesitate to block U.S. entry to the Strait of Hormuz, which is the only passage from the Persian Gulf to the open seas….
“The [Americans] believe that our navy is dangerous. Indeed, that is true,” Salami was quoted as saying in a Farsi-language interview with Iranian state-controlled television that was subsequently translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, which monitors regional reports.
“In my view, this is the first time that the Americans have assessed the might of our navy correctly,” Salami continued. “If the Americans want to level threats against us, we can be very dangerous to them, as we have declared. They are aware of our tremendous might. We have increased and expanded our naval might, in order to overcome the military might of superpowers like America.”…
“We warn America, its partners, and its allies in the region that if they decide to use the language of threats against us, we will enforce the article on innocent passage in the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, and we will prevent the passage of any ship or naval vessel that threatens us,” he said. “If they threaten us, this is what will happen, and we will take whatever steps are necessary.”
“After all,” Salami added, “we have no other enemy in the region except for America. The other countries and governments are not our enemies, and we are not theirs. Of course, they do not even have the potential to be our enemy.”
http://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/Salami2.jpg370640Robert Spencerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngRobert Spencer2016-05-10 05:24:272016-05-10 05:24:27Iran: 'We have no other enemy in the region except for America'
This has been a banner year for North Korea and its partner, the Islamic Republic of Iran. They have demonstrated the failure of the JCPOA, UN Res. 2231 and “tougher” March 2, 2016 UN sanctions to deter, let alone stop, provocative violations by both Iranian and North Korean ballistic missile development and nuclear tests in North Korea. As if to underline this brazen defiance of international efforts, North Korean released on March 27, 2016 a propaganda video, “Last Chance,” proclaiming its armament prowess culminating in a fictional ICBM attack on Washington, DC. Watch the “Last Chance” video:
“If the American imperialists provoke us a bit, we will not hesitate to slap them with a pre-emptive nuclear strike,” the video’s Korean-language subtitles said. “The United States must choose! It’s up to you whether the nation called the United States exists on this planet or not.”
This may sound like bluster, but only part of it is. In fact, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) can incinerate the American city of its choice. …It will not have that ability for about a half decade, South Korea estimates. Other nations think longer.
Perhaps not that long, if you listen to US intelligence ballistic missile defense commanders and independent experts. We wrote about the failure of the US interceptor program in the March 2016 New English Review article, “Can Our Ballistic Missile Defense System Shield Us from Rogue Regime ICBMs?” We noted the US failed to successfully test an effective kill vehicle against the North Korean ICBM threat. The only defense we have according to remarks by the Obama White House are “tougher sanctions.”
North Korean Submarine Missile Launch, April 23, 2016. Source: AP
The Chronicle of North Korean Missile and Nuclear Test Provocations since February 2016
In March and April 2016, North Korea conducted tests of ballistic missiles and made preparations for a possible fifth nuclear test, rattling South Korea, Japan, the US and the UN. On March 17th, North Korea launched two ballistic missiles from its west coast into the China Sea. March 21st, North Korea fired five short range missiles east of the Korean Peninsula that splashed down 124 miles in the Sea of Japan. A test of a BM25 Musudan medium-range missile blew up on the birthday of grandfather Kim il-Sung, founder of the hermit state, on April 15th. That was preceded on April 13th by analysis of digital satellite imagery from 38 North. That confirmed preparations for a possible fifth nuclear test were advancing at the Punggye-ri underground test site. On April 23rd Kim’s grandson Jong-un peered through a pair of binoculars while allegedly a submarine launched missile flew a fraction of its 300km range, 30 kilometers or 18 miles. On April 28th, North Korea failed to launch not one but two 1,800 mile range Musudan missiles within less than an hour from the port of Wonsan directed at either Japan or the US territory of Guam. Both missiles failed to rise more than 200 meters from the launching pad. This makes three Musudan missile launch failures in less than two weeks in April 2016 alone. Because of the intensity of North Korean violations of missile tests sanctions, the UN Security Council, at the request of the US, held discussions. China’s UN Ambassador Lieu Jieyi said he was looking to the Council for a “response.” Analysis of digital imagery from North Korea detected preparations for a possible fifth nuclear test at the underground Punggye-ri site, possibly timed to coincide with the Seventh Party Congress, the first in several decades, scheduled for May 6, 2016. That prompted South Korean President Park Geun-hye to comment, following the announcement of Pyongyang’s missile launch failures, “signs for an imminent nuclear test by North Korea are being detected ahead of the Seventh Party Congress.”
The North Koreans announced on April 24th via Ri Su-yong, their representative at the UN in Manhattan, a willingness to stop a projected fifth nuclear test in exchange for cancelling the annual joint Key Resolve 2016 maneuvers. Those began March 3rd composed of 300,000 South Korean, 17,000 US and small detachments of Australian and New Zealand troops. Pointedly, Su-yong said in the BBC report, “If they believe they can actually frustrate us with sanctions, they are totally mistaken.”
Kim Jong-Un gave orders to the Military on March 3rd to develop nuclear warheads as standby national defense. These declarations were repeated as part of a “preemptive nuclear strike of justice” in response to the March 2nd UN Sanctions to address the provocative nuclear and missile test actions of the DPRK. That meant it was time to review the credibility of both strategic and tactical nuclear threats by the North Koreans. Those were stepped up in the wake of January 6, 2016 fourth nuclear test and the February 7th space launch at the Sohae site of a second satellite in a polar orbit circling the U.S. every 95 minutes.
Illustration of Possible North Korea Nuclear Weapon in a Satellite. Source: Greg Groesch, Washington Times
North Korean EMP Threat by Satellite or Ship-Borne Means
The payloads of both satellites, less than 200 kg., indicate they are primarily for observational purposes. Some analysts, like Dr. Peter Pry, formerly with the CIA, executive director of the Congressional chartered Task Force on National and Homeland Security and director of the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum, speculate that these North Korean satellites may demonstrate a future atomic weapon satellite threat. The satellites according to the World Net Daily G-2 Forum report “the KMS 3-2 and KMS 4 – are orbiting at an altitude of 300 miles, with trajectories that put them daily over the U.S. KMS 3-2 was launched in December 2012 and KMS 4 was launched Feb. 7.” Pry suggested that the January 2016, fourth nuclear test by North Korea may have achieved a single stage hydrogen bomb capability sufficient to generate gamma radiation to produce an EMP effect. Both David Albright of the Washington, DC Institute for International Security and Science and Former Reagan era defense official Dr. Stephen Bryen in our January New English Reviewarticle suggested that the January 6th North Korean nuclear test may have resulted in a boosted fission device suitable for development of nuclear warheads. We wrote:
By advancing its warhead technology while refining its missiles, Pyongyang could eventually threaten the U.S. mainland and American allies South Korea and Japan. Pentagon officials had said last year that North Korea likely had the capability to miniaturize a nuclear weapon.
This latest nuclear test, the fourth since 1996 according to nuclear inspection experts, probably produced a yield in the range of 6 to 9 kilotons, below that of a Hiroshima type bomb, 11 plus kilotons. Nonetheless, if missiles fitted with miniaturized nuclear warheads are launched against urban targets, they could produce significant casualties from blast and radiation effects.
Ambassador R. James Woolsey and Dr. Pry in an April 24, 2016, Washington Times opinion article further deepened the concerns over the nuclear weapon in a satellite EMP Threat:
In 2013, a publicity photo by state media of North Korea’s KSM-3 satellite interior shows a shock absorber cage, allegedly for an earth observation camera but suitable for a small nuclear weapon. North Korea recently conducted another illegal missile test demonstrating a re-entry vehicle and heat shield. Technologically, such an EMP attack is easy — since the weapon detonates at high-altitude, in space, no shock absorbers, heat shield, or vehicle for atmospheric re-entry is necessary. Since the radius of the EMP is enormous, thousands of kilometers, accuracy matters little. Almost any nuclear weapon will do.
Moreover, North Korea probably has nuclear weapons specially designed, not to make a big explosion, but to emit lots of gamma rays to generate high-frequency EMP. Russian generals warned US EMP Congressional Commissioners in 2004 that Russian EMP nuclear warhead designs were leaked “accidentally” to North Korea. Unemployed Russian scientists allegedly found work in North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
Such an EMP nuclear warhead could resemble an Enhanced Radiation Warhead (ERW, also called a Neutron Bomb), a technology dating to the 1950s, deployed by the U.S. in the 1980s as the W48 ERW artillery shell, weighing less than 100 pounds.
However, both Iran and North Korea may have other ship-borne capabilities of launching provocative threats against US, South Korea and Japan. The co-authors wrote about the Russian developed K-Club cruise missile in a container system that could be used by both Iranian and North Korean commercial vessels capable of hitting US targets in our vulnerable Gulf of Mexico. Equipped with a low yield nuclear warhead of the type that Ambassador Woolsey and Dr. Pry suggest, North Korea might be capable of producing a devastating EMP effect.
North Korean Mobile Rocket Artillery. Source: 38 North JHU SAIS
North Korean Tactical Nuclear Threat
38 North in a March 15, 2016 analysis drew attention to North Korean development of rocket boosted artillery equipped with low-yield tactical nuclear warheads that might trigger US military action if fired at South Korea. The author noted:
The question is whether the Kim regime believes that nuclear weapons can be used for something other than survival. The answer, unfortunately, may well be that North Korea believes employing nuclear-armed artillery, rockets, landmines or anything else that would result in low-yield nuclear detonations against localized targets in South Korea will not trigger massive alliance retaliation.
North Korea’s early use of even one low-yield nuclear device may be sufficient to trigger a full-scale US or alliance invasion. Therefore, North Korean employment of tactical nuclear weapons would pose a greater risk of miscalculation and conflict escalation on the Korean peninsula.
Increasing concern over North Korean Nuclear Warheads and ICBM Development
On March 8th, Kim Jong-un was shown in pictures with a silvery spherical device, which might have been a propaganda promotion of a possible warhead. There is increasing evidence reflected in a CNNreport about the event. Experts in both the US and South Korea believe that the DPRK may have that capability:
David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security told CNN’s Brian Todd that his group thinks the North Koreans had probably already miniaturized a warhead.
A South Korean Defense White Paper from 2014 also noted that its neighbor’s ability to miniaturize nuclear weapons seemed, at the time, “to have reached a considerable level.”
Karl Dewey, a proliferation expert with IHS Jane’s said the photos suggest that North Korea fit something onto a KN-08 ballistic missile.
“And it is possible that the silver sphere is a simple atomic bomb. But it is not a hydrogen bomb, also known as a thermonuclear bomb,” he said, explaining that a thermonuclear device probably would be a different shape because of its two stages.
Admiral William Gortney of the US Northern Command, concerned about ballistic missile defense, believes the North Koreans may have successfully miniaturized nuclear warheads to fit on its growing inventory of missiles. He was cited speaking before Congress in a CNNreport on intelligence information:
It’s the prudent decision on my part to assume that [North Korea] has the capability to miniaturize a nuclear weapon and put it on an ICBM.
The development of an advanced version of the KN-8, the KN-14, was the subject of a Bill Gertz intelligence report in the Washington Free Beacon. The KN-14 was first displayed publicly in 2012:
Rick Fisher, a senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center who has studied the two missiles’ Chinese launchers, said Russia has estimated the KN-14 could have a range between 5,000 and 6,200 miles.
From the far northern corner of North Korea, [6,300-mile] range is sufficient for the KN-14 potentially to reach Chicago or Toronto.
North Korean missile analyst Scott LaFoy, writing in NKNews.com, said the KN-08 shown in October 2015 appears similar to the Russian SSN-18 submarine-launched ballistic missile.
Note this comment from Adm. Gortney about the KN-14:
I agree with the intel community that we assess, they have the weapons, the ability to miniaturize those weapons, and they have the ability to put them on a rocket that can reach US homelands.
China is the supplier of the mobile launchers for the intermediate range Musudan, the K-08 and K-14 longer range ballistic missiles. This despite both the US and China behind the alleged tougher UN sanctions released on Match 2nd. Gertz noted:
The Obama administration has not taken action against China for its significant contribution to the KN-08 and KN-14, namely the Chinese-made transporter erector launchers that carry the missile and appear to have been exported in violation of United Nations sanctions.
North Korean Cargo Vessel Jin Teng, Subic Bay Philippines, March 4, 2016. Source: Associated Press
The apparent failure of US Sanctions to stop North Korean – Iran Joint Development
Claudia Rosett wrote an April 26, 2016 Wall Street Journal opinion article, “The Failure of Sanctions Against North Korea.” The bottom line is the sanctions look like the proverbial Swiss cheese. No surprise there, given the failure to stop the Iran nuclear deal. Further, Rosett discloses the US has sanctions against Iranians involved with North Korean missile testing. That means our government believes that Tehran and Pyongyang are cooperatively developing nuclear warheads to fit on missiles that North Korea may be shipping via its merchant fleet to Iran.
North Korea has also threatened a fifth nuclear test, the second one this year, perhaps timed to coincide with the seventh party congress on May 6th. So what did President Obama threaten in the wake of the April 26 announcement from North Korea? According to Reuters, “The United States warned …it would consider “other” options, which could include new sanctions or security steps, if North Korea continued nuclear and ballistic missile testing.”
Note what Rosett wrote:
In the latest push to stop North Korea’s rogue nuclear and missile programs, the United Nations Security Council on March 2 passed a sanctions resolution widely hailed as the toughest in decades. U.S. UN Ambassador Samantha Power said “this resolution is so comprehensive, there are many provisions that leave no gap, no window.” But when it comes to North Korea’s merchant shipping ventures, these sanctions are a sieve.
These ships may be carrying legitimate cargo. But they have links to two rogue states that have cooperated for years on weapons smuggling and missile development. North Korea, which carried out its fourth illicit nuclear test this January, was caught proliferating nuclear technology to Iran’s mascot state, Syria, in 2007. The Iran nuclear deal implemented in January hasn’t stopped Iranian arms smuggling.
Both countries continue to defy U.N. sanctions by testing ballistic missiles. In January, the U.S. Treasury Department designated Sayyed Javad Musavi, a senior official in Iran’s missile program, for working “directly with North Korean officials in Iran” and overseeing Iranian missile technicians who in recent years “traveled to North Korea to work on an 80-ton rocket booster being developed by the North Korean government.”
Against this background, a pattern of North Korea-flagged ships visiting Iran should raise questions. While U.N. sanctions now require all member states to inspect cargoes of North Korea-flagged ships, this means that Iran is in charge of any such inspections at its own ports. When I asked Treasury if these North Korea-flagged ships are cause for concern, a spokesperson replied, “Treasury does not comment on the activity of entities that are not designated.”
North Korea and Iran have been joint partners in developing nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles capable of reaching the U.S. by the start of the next decade. Since March 2014, the co-authors and Shoshana and Stephen Bryen argued in July 2015 what better place to conduct those developments than in the hermit state of North Korea? Assessments by the U.S. Northern Command, South Korean, U.S. intelligence and independent experts have confirmed the likely development of nuclear warheads and the technical feasibility of fitting them to ICBMs within the next half decade.
What investigative journalist Claudia Rosett has revealed are the significant loopholes in U.S. and UN sanctions that have enabled the joint development projects of both countries to continue unabated.
In any case, there is no doubt that Iran, flush with cash courtesy Barack Obama, will find a few ways to strengthen the intifada.
“Islamic Jihad delegation visits Iran to ‘discuss ways to strengthen intifada,’” by Maayan Groisman, Jerusalem Post, May 1, 2016 (thanks to Lookmann):
Islamic Jihad representatives are visiting Iran to discuss ways to strengthen the intifada in the West Bank and Jerusalem, Palestinian media reported on Sunday.
The delegation, headed by the organization’s Secretary- General Ramadan Abdullah, will visit Iran for a few days, according to a statement issued by the terrorist organization.
The delegation will meet Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani and Supreme National Security Council chief Ali Shamkhani.
Islamic Jihad announced that “the delegation visiting Tehran has met with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, as well as other senior Iranian officials.”
In these meetings, the parties discussed the circumstances prevailing in the Islamic world and especially the issue of Palestine and the ways to bolster the intifada in the West Bank and Jerusalem against “Zionist expansionism.”
Additional subjects discussed were the attempts to “Judaize al-Aksa mosque” and the need to support the steadfastness of Gazans in light of the 10-year blockade.
In a press statement, Islamic Jihad’s secretary-general underscored the importance of Iran’s support for the Palestinian people, and expressed chagrin over what he called “the Arab indifference toward Palestine and its oppressed people.”
Ali Akbar Velayati, the head of the Strategic Research Center of Iran’s Expediency Council, met with Abdullah on Saturday.
Velayati told the Islamic Jihad leader that “the West’s attempts to divide the Islamic world will fail. Iran will support the Palestinian people and continue fighting against terror and the Zionist entity, together with all Muslim states.”…
Not that this has anything to do with, you know, Islam.
http://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/intifada_omar_pppa-e1462274275706.jpg360640Robert Spencerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngRobert Spencer2016-05-03 07:18:072016-05-03 07:27:19Iran hosts terrorist delegation to expand the war against Israel
A country whose leaders constantly make its citizens scream “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.” What could possibly go wrong? Nothing, of course: Barack Obama and John Kerry promised us that their nuke deal would secure peace in our time.
Iran is offering to help the global community construct nuclear power plants, according to a top official, who said that Iran would be home to seven new nuclear plants by 2020, according to recent remarks.
Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, announced on Friday that Iran has the technology and know-how to help the world’s advanced nations construct nuclear power plants.
Iran is currently holding talks with a variety of nations aimed at cementing new deals to construct new nuclear plants, Kamalvandi was quoted as saying in the country’s state-controlled press.
“Besides Bushehr nuclear power plant and two other plants being constructed in Iran, four others will be built by 2020,” Kamalvandi announced.
Iran has been working with Russia to construct several new nuclear plants in the country.
“The Islamic Republic is pursuing a plan “to build at least one nuclear power plant every 15 years,” Kamalvandi said in separate remarks this month.
“After this stage, we will have a better opportunity in different fields, including increasing the number of power plants, and we are in talks with different countries to attain this goal,” he was quoted as saying….
http://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/epalive369615-e1430739274134.jpg372640Robert Spencerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngRobert Spencer2016-04-30 13:05:532016-04-30 13:05:53Iran to build seven new nuclear plants by 2020