Iran Claims Covert Op. Against Plutonium Reactor

nuclear eactorBy Ryan Mauro:

Iran is developing two tracks towards nuclear capabilities: Uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing, the latter of which is what Iran’s North Korean allies used. In the latest apparent covert operation against Iran, the regime says its plutonium-based reactor was targeted for sabotage.

Iran says the purpose of its Arak heavy water reactor is to make medical isotopes and thermal power. It runs on uranium but produces spent fuel that contains plutonium, a material that can then be reprocessed for nuclear bomb construction.

The joint nature of the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea means the regime will have an experienced hand guiding it if it pursues this option. Notably, North Korea restarted its plutonium plant around the same time as Iran halted construction at Arak. This is also the method used by India and Pakistan to build nukes. Iraq and Syria also tried it but were stopped by Israeli airstrikes.

The regime announced earlier this week that enemy intelligence services had tried to trick Iran into installing faulty pumps at the site. Iran predictably claimed that the covert operation failed.

If true, it would fit a pattern of other apparent covert operations against Iran’s nuclear program. The Iranians were provided with rigged equipment for its Isfahan uranium conversion site as early as 2005, leading to the contamination of uranium at the Natanz enrichment facility.

Read more at Clarion Project

Iran’s Nuclear Buildup and American Irrelevance

by Daniel Pipes
Feb 22, 2014
Cross-posted from National Review Online, The Corner

The Menendez-Kirk “Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013” (S. 1881) threatens the Iranian regime with additional sanctions and appears to be the only way to counter the Obama administration’s flaccidity vis-à-vis Tehran.

I am skeptical, however, that it can do much good.

  1. Like the megalomaniacs in North Korea, the mullahs are dead-set on building a nuclear arsenal regardless of the toll this takes on their long-suffering subject population. Yes, sanctions increase economic privation which could lead to a counter-revolution but the odds of that happening in time are very small. Thus, the Menendez-Kirk bill is more symbolic than real.
     

    Kim Yong-Nam, chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of North Korea (L) met with Iran’s Supreme Leader Seyed Ali Khamene’i (R) in Tehran on Sep. 1, 2012.

  2. Tehran has threatened to abandon the P5+1 negotiations should the Menendez-Kirk bill become law, but Tehran gains too much from diplomacy to scuttle it for symbolic reasons. Its threat is just a tactic to pressure the Obama administration into opposing the congressional bill. Were the bill to come into effect, Tehran will surely find an excuse to keep talking.

In short, Washington is no longer a player in the Iran game. The views and actions of the U.S. government count about as much as those of the Belgian government – i.e., hardly at all.

In contrast, the one potential force that still might stop Iran is the Government of Israel; and the only way it can obstruct the Iranian program is through the use of force (as opposed to economic sanctions or computer viruses). Whether or not Netanyahu and his colleagues decide to deploy military force is the only question hanging over the mullahs’ acquisition of a nuclear arsenal.

Maybe that’s yet another reason why we need a Jewish state. (February 22, 2014)

 

 

Obama’s SOTU Remarks and Iran’s Negotiations Jihad

download (64)By Andrew G. Bostom:

During last evening’s (January 28, 2014) State of the Union speech, President Obama not only claimed “American diplomacy” had somehow “halted the progress of Iran’s nuclear program,” he peevishly threatened,

[L]et me be clear: if this Congress sends me a new sanctions bill now that threatens to derail these talks, I will veto it.

His comments represented the apotheosis of a surreal tragicomedy of U.S. diplomatic failure that has unfolded over the past two months.

Less than three weeks after the November 24, 2013 announcement of an interim agreement between Iran, the U.S., and five other world powers, during an interview which aired December 11, 2013, Iranian Middle East analyst Mohammad Sadeq al-Hosseini, provided a candid assessment of the negotiations. El-Hosseini, a former political advisor to both Iran’s alleged reformist ex-President Khatami, and the Khatami regime’s erstwhile Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Ata’ollah Mohajerani (also deemed a “moderate”), underscored the ancient Islamic doctrinal bases for the contemporary Iranian theocracy’s geo-politics. Invoking the armistice “Treaty of Hudaybiyya” agreement between Muhammad and the 7th century pagan Quraysh tribe of Mecca, which Islam’s prophet-warrior unilaterally abrogated as soon Muhammad’s jihadist forces achieved the military superiority needed to vanquish his Meccan foes, el-Hosseini declared:

This is the Treaty of Hudaybiyya in Geneva, and it will be followed by a “conquest of Mecca.”

Consistent with Muhammad’s tactical formulation when waging jihad, “War is deceit” (from the canonical hadith “traditions” of the Muslim prophet), the Islamic doctrine of takiya, or kitman (“concealment”; “disguise”),and the modern parallel of Soviet Communist deceit and conspiracy (especially during arms control negotiations), el-Hosseini also noted,

Incidentally, for your information, when you conduct political negotiations with Iran, you lose even when you think you have won. The [Iranians] have raised the level of uranium enrichment far beyond the level they really needed, so that when the level would be lowered, they would emerge victorious.

El-Hosseini further insisted the Geneva deal augured America’s eventual jihad conquest during Iran’s ongoing “fierce war with Americans on all levels.” While this claim appears dubious, at present, El-Hosseini contended, appositely, that the agreement marked near-term U.S. capitulation to Iran’s oft-repeated threat to destroy Israel by jihad—including via nuclear weapons.

Obama had to make a great retreat. He was forced to accept a handshake from President Rohani [Rouhani], whom he considered a kind of Gorbachev or Sadat, so that the day would not come when he would be forced to kiss the hands of [Secretary General of Lebanese Hezbollah]Hassan Nasrallah and [Supreme Leader of Iran] Imam Khamenei, so that they would hold their fire in the great war that was prepared to annihilate Israel.

Thursday, December 9, 2013, Ali Akbar Salehi, current head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), and touted as a “pragmatist,” proclaimed triumphantly, “Our centrifuges are working full capacity.” Within a week later, Marzieh Afkham, an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, projecting Tehran’s official narrative in reference to the Geneva accord, commented that there was in fact, “no treaty and no pact, only a statement of intent.” Echoing this line, the Iranian daily Kayhan, published by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s office, maintained in a Sunday, 12/15/13 editorial that the accord’s six month time frame meant nothing, and it could “even take 20 years to negotiate” a final agreement. 73 Khamenei’s mouthpiece Kayhan concluded bluntly,

If our centrifuges do not continue to turn, no other wheel shall turn for our dignity, independence, power and security.

These statements were representative of a host of other similar pronouncements made by Iranian diplomats, politicians, clerics, and other officials, since the Geneva accord was announced (1/24/13), through the end of December, 2013, and well into January, 2014. Such rhetorical Iranian interpretation of the recent agreement was accompanied by actions demonstrating Iran was tenaciously pursuing the full gamut of its nuclear aspirations, undaunted.

Read more at PJ Media

The Surrender to Iran Begins

IRAN-NUCLEAR-POLITICS-ROWHANIBy Joseph Klein:

The mainstream Western media is lauding the implementation of the so-called “landmark” interim nuclear agreement Iran entered into with the P-5 +1 nations – the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany. Beginning when the agreement took effect on January 20th, the Associated Press reported, “Iran halted its most sensitive uranium enrichment work… easing concerns over the country’s nuclear program and clearing the way for a partial lifting of sanctions.”

An Iranian state TV broadcast proclaimed Iran’s suspension of enrichment of uranium to the 20 percent level at its Natanz facility:  “Production of 20 percent enriched uranium has been halted by cutting the links feeding cascades in this facility.” The UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is being allowed to broaden its inspections under non-public procedures agreed to as part of the implementation of the interim agreement, confirmed that the centrifuges were disconnected. A similar enrichment suspension is to take place at Iran’s Fordo underground complex, also subject to IAEA verification.

Furthermore, Iran claims it is complying with its agreement to convert some of its existing stockpiles of 20 percent enriched uranium to oxide to produce nuclear fuel and to dilute the balance from 20 percent to 5 percent enrichment over a period of six months.

In return, Iran will receive some sanctions relief, estimated by Obama administration officials to be in the range of $7 billion. There will also be a halt to any new sanctions for the six month duration of the interim agreement, which is subject to a mutually agreed upon extension for an additional six months if the parties believe that they can reach a definitive agreement regarding Iran’s entire nuclear program within that timeframe.

It all sounds so good – indeed, “historic” to use another adjective bandied about by the mainstream press – until one scratches the surface. In reality, after stripping away all the hype, the interim agreement is full of loopholes big enough to drive both key portions of Iran’s nuclear program and its reviving economy through.

For example, the interim agreement leaves completely untouched Iran’s Parchin military research facility. The IAEA has raised concerns about clandestine nuclear weapon-related activities that may have gone on there, involving development and testing of a nuclear explosives device. Iran denies the claim, but at the same time has continued to refuse access to IAEA inspectors.

The interim agreement also preserves Iran’s alternative route to building a nuclear bomb – a heavy water production plant, which is designed to supply a heavy water reactor under construction nearby that could be used to produce plutonium for a nuclear bomb. Although IAEA inspectors have been permitted to visit the site in Arak, there does not appear to be anything in the interim agreement that would require Iran to stop the building of components for future installation in its heavy water facilities in Arak, much less dismantle what is already there. The only thing Iran has committed to do is to refrain from actually activating the heavy water reactor, which it is not ready to do anyway right now as construction of the reactor continues.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is a master of faux negotiations. He is playing the same game to stall for time that, as Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator in 2003, he used then to lull the Europeans into thinking Iran had agreed to a meaningful suspension of its nuclear activities. Instead, exploiting the illusion of suspension a decade ago, Iran’s government took significant steps in finalizing the heart of Iran’s nuclear program – uranium conversion, enrichment and installation of many more centrifuges. Rouhani bragged about his artifice years later during an interview on Iranian state television. In that interview, he asked a rhetorical question and then responded regarding how Iran’s enrichment technology capabilities significantly advanced during the supposed suspension: “We halted the nuclear program? We were the ones to complete it! We completed the technology.”

Read more at Front Page

 

Two Iranian Warships Set Sail For The Atlantic Ocean:

 

Also see

Obama and Kerry Have a Chamberlain Moment

Rouhani twitterACT! For America, By Brigitte Gabriel:

It is often said that bad things happen in the dark of night and this past Saturday night in America seems to have confirmed that adage.

Late Saturday night, it was announced that, largely led by US Secretary of State John Kerry working at the behest of President Obama, world powers had inked an “interim deal” of sorts on Iran’s nuclear program. (The Washington Post has the story here. )

While John Kerry has hailed this as a great triumph for peace, more sober minds are calling it what it is: capitulation.

In the Islamic world, the only time you come to the negotiation table, is to negotiate the terms of your surrender. America is failing time and time again in dealing with its enemies.

John Kerry coming home from Geneva to celebrate a deal with the genocidal Ayatollahs who rule Iran can only be compared to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain coming back to Britain from Munich in the fall of 1938 waving a piece of paper with Adolf Hitler’s signature on it declaring “peace in our time.”

Israel has perhaps the greatest reason to be concerned and Prime Minister Netanyahu didn’t mince any words when he released a statement about what amounts to a betrayal of America’s long-time ally in the Middle East, calling the deal a “historical mistake”.

We can’t help but wonder about the timing of this announcement. Seldom, if ever, are major announcements made in the middle of the night on a Saturday. Could the Obama administration be hoping that other news stories will emerge to distract the American people from their latest bad idea?

Obamacare has become a fiasco to be sure, but, when it comes to Iran and nuclear weapons, the stakes could be even higher for the future of America. When and if Iran becomes armed with nuclear weapons, future generations will look on us today much the way generations looked on those who had the opportunities to stop Hitler but failed and say,”How did they ever let it happen?”

This deal was doomed to be bad right from the start. Two of the parties to the talks, Russia and China, both have sold weapons and nuclear technology to Iran over the years. Another party to the talks, France, has been resisting Obama/Kerry’s desperation to ink a deal, any deal, only to be bullied by Obama’s gang.

Now, other allies are breaking ranks with Obama. Canada has expressed concerns about the Obama/Kerry/Ayatollahs agreement and will NOT reduce its sanctions against Iran, despite the new deal.

By far the best analysis of just how terrible the deal with Iran truly is comes from Ambassador John Bolton writing in The Weekly Standard

We can summarize Mr. Bolton’s analysis with 4 points:

  • Iran retains its full capacity to enrich uranium—which it is doing in violation of UN Security Council Resolutions and the terms of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, to which Iran is a party.
  • Iran will be allowed to continue enriching uranium.
  • There are aspects of Iran’s nuclear program that the deal does not even address. Moreover, there are secret aspects of their nuclear program that the Iranians are not disclosing at all.
  • Iran has gained legitimacy and psychological momentum in the world arena thanks to Obama/Kerry’s capitulation.
  • All of this and, in return, Iran gets relief from economic sanctions that Republican and Democratic administrations and Congressional leaders have agreed for decades were necessary to pressure Iran.

Of course, it is highly likely that NO good deal is possible with the Ayatollahs, but, by any sane measure, this deal is just horrible. Here are a few other things that are being completely overlooked with this race to get the Ayatollahs to sign a piece of paper for John Kerry to wave around:

  • Iran has never been held to account for its long-time sponsorship of Jihadist terrorist organizations, such as Hezbollah and HAMAS.
  • Iran has never been held to account for its active support for the insurgents who were fighting US GIs in Iraq, including supplying them with sophisticated, deadly weapons.
  • Iran has never been held to account for its support for the Taliban forces fighting US GIs in Afghanistan, again, including supplying them with sophisticated, deadly weapons.
  • There are myriad reasons never to trust the Ayatollahs in Iran, yet Obama and Kerry want us to trust them with the most potentially deadly technology in the world.

As if to remind us that the Ayatollahs who rule Iran are the last people who should be trusted, before the ink has even dried on the document, the Iranians are claiming it acknowledges their inherent right to enrich uranium, which directly contradicts the bill of goods John Kerry has been selling to Americans here at home.

We’ve seen this script before—in North Korea. World powers—including Russia and China who were supplying the North Koreans with weaponry and technology—inked a deal with that country, only to have North Korea go ahead and build nuclear weapons anyway. But make no mistake, even more than the isolated regime in Pyongyang, a nuclear armed Iran, with its oil wealth and terrorist network, poses a huge threat to world peace and US national security

This latest development reinforces the vital need here in the United States for grassroots activism on issues involving national security. ACT for America will continue to strive to educate and inform Americans and our elected officials on the state and federal levels about the threats posed by Iran and develop legislative and other initiatives to empower them to make wise policy decisions.

 

 

*************

The Clarion Project’s National Security Analyst Ryan Mauro appeared on Fox News to explain the agreement that the world powers signed with Iran. Far from stopping the threatening and authoritarian regime’s quest for nuclear weapons, the current agreement will allow Iran to continue developing parts of their nuclear program outside the country, especially on-going development in North Korea.

Mauro explains how recently elected Iranian President Rouhani has bragged in the past that he knows how to deceive the West in order to buy time so that his government can continue its nuclear weapons program, and there is every reason to believe that that is still his current strategy.

 

 

Top Iranian Cleric: Nothing Ruled Out Against America

Khatami

The regime is reportedly unified in this new tactic of showing a moderate face in order to deceive the West into reducing sanctions.

BY REZA KAHLILI:

The recognition of Israel as illegitimate is one of the principles of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, and even today the Islamic Republic believes Israel must be destroyed, a senior Iranian cleric close to the supreme leader said Saturday night.

Ayatollah Sayyid Ahmad Khatami, a member of the Assembly of Experts — the body that chooses the supreme leader — also condemned any effort for improved relations with America and warned that nothing is ruled out against the United States, according to Tasnim News Agency, a regime media outlet.

Referring to those who believe talks with the U.S. would be beneficial, Khatami said, “If we take one step back, then we have to retreat 10 steps.”

The ayatollah said that during President Hassan Rouhani’s recent trip to the United States to attend the opening session of the U.N. General Assembly, “The American politicians put out many diplomatic smiles.”

But at a meeting between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the same time, “The American president stated that all options are on the table, including the military option. We too have all the options on the table against America, one of those a strong punch in the mouth to America, the world’s oppressor.”

Khatami said that in resolving the nuclear issue, the West “will then raise the issue of human rights, stating that women must have all the rights that men have.” He added that the holy slogans of “death to America” and “death to Israel” will never be removed and reiterated the regime’s position that Israel must be annihilated, and anyone stating otherwise is “Anti-Supreme Leader,” which carries a death penalty under the laws of the Islamic Republic.

“Even if one day there are negotiations and contact with America, our hatred for infidels and oppressors will never cease,” Khatami said. “… the end of the story by America is this, that they want us to open the way for them to come and loot this country [of its resources]. However America must know that it will take this dream to its grave.”

Read more at Clarion Project

Iran’s Underground Nuke Site Struck?

imagesCAZ18BYABy Ryan Mauro:

The biggest blow in the covert campaign against Iran’s nuclear program may have just been delivered. It is reported that a mysterious explosion was set off inside the underground enrichment site at Fordo on Monday. The Iranian regime predictably denies the report. Anonymous Israeli officials have confirmed that an explosion took place, but the White House says it doesn’t believe the report is credible.

The original report was written by “Reza Kahlili,” a former CIA spy inside the Iranian Revolutionary Guards who is now in the U.S. and active in the Iranian opposition. His source is Hamid Reza Zakeri, a former Iranian intelligence officer who defected in 2001. Zakeri claims to have worked in Supreme Leader Khamenei’s Intelligence Office and his information helped convince Judge George Daniels to rule in December 2011 that Iran and Hezbollah hold responsibility for the 9/11 attacks.

The Fordo site is about 300 feet under a mountain in order to protect it from aerial attack. It can hold about 3,000 centrifuges, which is far from what is needed for a domestic nuclear program but adequate for nuclear weapons. This is the site drawing the most concern of those that have been publicly disclosed because it is also where Iran is storing the uranium it has enriched to 20 percent. Nuclear expert David Albright says that 20% enriched uranium can be brought to bomb-grade level in as little as six months using 500 to 1,000 centrifuges.

The explosion reportedly took place at about 11:30 in the morning inside the third centrifuge chamber that lies above the stock of enriched uranium. The blast disabled two elevators, leaving no way to rescue the 240 personnel stuck inside. The report says that traffic was blocked off for 15 miles and the Tehran-Qom highway was temporarily closed off. There was no evacuation of nearby residents.

A satellite image of Iran's Fordo nuclear enrichment facility (photo: credit AP/ DigitalGlobe)

A satellite image of Iran’s Fordo nuclear enrichment facility (photo: credit AP/ DigitalGlobe)

The Iranian regime denies that any explosion took place. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, “We have no information to confirm the allegations in the report and we do not believe the report is credible.” Anonymous Israeli intelligence officials, on the other hand, confirmed that an explosion took place and said that the damage is still being assessed.

It is difficult to determine the impact of the alleged explosion on Iran’s nuclear ambitions because the program’s full extent is unknown. “Kahlili” has identified three other secret nuclear sites and a biological weapons site. His sources report that the regime is making progress in warhead production, uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing at these sites. He recently provided a briefing on these activities in a RadicalIslam.org webinar on Iran’s nuclear program.

Read more at Front Page

Iran – The Greatest Threat to Western Civilization

Iranian President Ahmadinjad inspects Iran’s nuclear facilities

Published on Aug 28, 2012 by    

Iran has the ability to wipe out the entire power grid of the United States of America with one small nuclear bomb.

Take Action! Contact your representative: http://www.radicalislam.org/enriched/send-a-letter.php

 

 

UN Report: Iran Doubled Enrichment Capability in Last 3 Months (radicalislam.org)

A recent U.N. report says that Iran has doubled its number of uranium enrichment centrifuges housed in one of its underground bunkers. This, despite sanction on the regime by the West and the threat of an attack by Israel.

The report says that the enrichment process was rapidly increasing in the Fordow bunker. The bunker is buried deep inside a mountain and is believed to be capable of surviving any attack. Enriching centrifuges at Fordow were said to have more than doubled in since May alone, up from 1,064 to the current 2,140, although the report said the new machines were not functional as yet.

Also mentioned in the U.N. quarterly report was the fact that Iran had attempted to hide evidence of nuclear-linked tests, as witnessed by the siting of buildings that had been destroyed along with the removal of earth at a military site. Iran has denied the International Atomic Energy Agency access to the site for inspection. In addition, the site, which the IAEA believes houses a steel chamber used for explosive tests, has recently been “shrouded,” negating the effectiveness of gleaning information about it from satellite images.

The IAEA also said that “no concrete results” had come from extensive negotiations with Iran this year by the international community.

A news report by Reuters quotes a senior Western diplomat as saying, “Iran’s continued enrichment activities … serve to taunt all those in the international community concerned by Iran’s nuclear program.”

 

Excellent in depth article on the history of Iran’s nuclear program:

The Iranians are almost there. This is how they did it… (timesofisrael.com)

Enrichment is accelerating, the warhead is taking shape, a nuclear trigger is deep in development, and the Shahab-3 missile has Israel in range and can detonate in an airburst 600 meters above ground —  just like the atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Since the last century, Iran has been methodically pursuing the in-house capability of developing a missile-delivered nuclear bomb. The regime of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is now closer than ever — probably in the latter stages of perfecting an atomic bomb with a multipoint detonation mechanism, compact enough to insert into a Shahab-3 missile nosecone.

For years, the Obama administration, Western governments, the United Nations, and the International Atomic Energy Administration (IAEA) have been fully aware of the specific details of Tehran’s nuclear weapons program, down to the blueprints and names of the engineers. Whether or not Iran will complete the last leg of its decades-long journey toward a deliverable atomic bomb is still unknown. The difference in viewing the cannon is whether you are staring down the muzzle or observing it through a telescope from a perch 6,000 miles away. Israel is peering into the muzzle, hence its assessment is different than Washington’s.

Protracted multilateral negotiations, crippling international sanctions, and even elaborate programs of sabotage have delayed but not derailed the nearly autarkic program. Now the world teeters at the brink of a regional war with profound global ramifications because the threat may have been ignored too long.

Here are the four determining factors, the dynamics of which will govern whether Israel launches a preemptive attack against Tehran’s massive nuclear infrastructure.

Four technological achievements are key to completing Tehran’s nuclear weapon: 1) accretion of enough nuclear materials, highly enriched to 90 percent, to make the bomb; 2) machining that highly-enriched material into metal for a spheroid warhead so it can fit into a missile nosecone for detonation; 3) a trigger mechanism to initiate the atomic explosion at the precise moment of missile reentry; and, of course, 4) a reliable rocket delivery system to carry such a weapon.

Read it all

Also see:

What Lies Behind Iran’s Nuclear Threat: An interview with Ex-CIA Agent Reza Kahlili (counterjihadreport.com)