Israeli stealth drone downed at nuclear facility, Iran claims Revolutionary Guard hails act against ‘warmongers’ as incident reported at major uranium enrichment plant Harriet Sherwood in Jerusalem and Saeed Kamali Dehghan in Boston The Guardian, Monday 25 August 2014 Iran‘s Revolutionary Guards claimed on Sunday that an Israeli stealth drone had been brought down above the Natanz uranium enrichment site in the centre of the country.
The semi-official Fars news agency reported that Iran’s elite forces had intercepted and brought down an unmanned aircraft belonging to “the Zionist regime”. The news was announced in a statement published by the guards, but it was not clear when the incident, if true, happened.
“This mischievous act once again reveals the adventurist nature of the Zionist regime [of Israel] and added another black page to this fake and warmongering regime’s file which is full of crimes,” said the Revolutionary Guards’ statement.
The state news agency ISNA reported that the aircraft was “of the stealth, radar-evasive type and it intended to penetrate the off-limits nuclear area in Natanz … but was targeted by a ground-to-air missile before it managed to enter the area.”
A spokesman for the Revolutionary Guards later told Iranian television that parts of the aircraft had been retrieved. Iran claimed to have reverse engineered a drone after capturing an American RQ-170 Sentinel in 2011.
“Major parts of the devices of the drone are intact and have been received by our friends that can be used for further information,” said General Ramazan Sharif. He did not say when the aircraft was shot down, but said it was “identified upon arrival in Iranian airspace”. He said authorities allowed it to fly for a short time to determine its destination.
Israeli political and military officials said they never respond to such claims. They have repeatedly threatened to take military action against Iran’s nuclear installations, but have been reluctant to do so without US backing or participation.
Natanz is Iran’s main uranium enrichment site, housing more than 16,000 centrifuges. About 3,000 more are at the Fordo plant, buried inside a mountain and hard to destroy…….. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/24/israeli-stealth-drone-nuclear-facility-iran-natanz
Arab states, Israel set to clash at U.N. nuclear meeting The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb Reuters VIENNA: As war rages in Gaza, Arab states will likely try to heighten diplomatic pressure on Israel over its assumed nuclear arsenal at next month’s annual meeting of the U.N. nuclear agency’s 160 member states, diplomats said Friday.
An Arab initiative to single out Israel for criticism was defeated in voting last year.
But Western diplomats opposed to the Arab move said the unresolved Gaza conflict may influence any wavering countries at this year’s debate, although there was no direct link between the issues.
“It is all about getting out the undecided vote. And it will be all about Israel widely and not about the actual nuclear issue,” one Vienna-based diplomat said.
“I would expect ongoing conflict to lead many [Arabs and any others critical of Israel] to want to lash out in any forum available.”
An Arab resolution on what it calls Israeli Nuclear Capabilities would be non-binding even if it were to be approved by the Sept. 22-26 General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
However, lobbying by both sides underlines its symbolic significance as well as deep divisions.
Israel is believed to possess the Middle East’s only nuclear arsenal, and frequently draws condemnation from Arab countries and Iran which say that it threatens regional peace and security…….http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2014/Aug-23/268217-arab-states-israel-set-to-clash-at-un-nuclear-meeting.ashx#axzz3BFYUb8Ga
U.N. Nuclear Chief Positive After ‘Useful’ Iran Visit: Reuters http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/u-n-nuclear-chief-positive-after-useful-iran-visit-reuters-n182671 18 Aug 14,
Iran has given a firm commitment to cooperate with a U.N. nuclear watchdog investigation into suspected atomic bomb research, the head of the agency said after what he described as a “useful” visit to Tehran on Sunday. Yukiya Amano made the trip ahead of an Aug. 25 deadline for Iran to provide information relevant to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s long-running inquiry into what it calls the possible military dimensions of the country’s nuclear program.
The issue is close ly tied to Iran’s negotiations with six world powers aimed at ending a decade-old standoff over its atomic activities and dispelling fears of a new Middle East war. Iran denies its program has any military objectives.
Since Rouhani was elected in mid-2013, Tehran has promised to work with the U.N. agency to clear up the suspicions about its nuclear aspirations. After meeting Amano, Rouhani said on his English-language Twitter account that Iran was “determined to forge accord with the IAEA in the shortest possible time span. God willing, it can be done in less than a year.”
Israel’s nuclear strategy – a larger role for submarine-basing, Jerusalem Post, 08/17/2014 By PROFESSOR LOUIS RENÉ BERES,ADMIRAL LEON “BUD” EDNEY“……….From the early days of the country’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, Israel has understood the need to rely upon a “great equalizer,” that is, on nuclear weapons and (implicit) strategy. Of course, there are a great many circumstances in which a nuclear option would be unsuited – most obviously, in any forms of regional counter-terrorism – but, in the end, there can be no substitute for such a residual option. Doctrinally, Israel has already rejected any notions of theater nuclear deterrence, and/or nuclear war-fighting; nonetheless, there are still some identifiable circumstances wherein a nuclear exchange might not be prevented.
Jordan turns to wind power in search of renewable energy, Al Monitor, 5 Aug 14 Jordan is carrying out a project to use wind power in Tafila province in the south of the country. The project’s energy production is around 117 megawatts per hour, generating 400 gigawatt hours yearly. The Jordan Wind Project Company (JWPC) will provide the necessary supply for the Jordan Electric Power Company (JEPCO) to carry out the project’s commercial execution in mid-2015, with an estimated cost of around $285 million. JWPC is a joint project between InfraMed (50%), Masdar in Abu Dhabi, UAE (31%) and EP Global Energy (19%). The cost of generating electricity from wind power is estimated at around $120 for every megawatt hour, which is significantly lower than conventional sources of electric power………
The Tafila wind farm project is the first of its kind in Jordan and the region in which a private company uses wind power to generate energy. The project includes installing 38 turbines (3 MW per turbine). The strategy adopted by the energy sector of Jordan aims at having renewable energy rise to 10% of the total energy and reach 8%-10% of the consumed electricity in Jordan by 2020. The Tafila wind farm is expected to generate electricity with a cost 25% lower than thermal energy, which would lower CO2 emissions by 40,000 tons per year.
The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources is working on launching a second wind-power project. Last week, the ministry signed a contract with the Spanish company Elecnor for a project designed to generate wind-power energy in Maan [south of the capital, Amman.] The available information shows that this project is going to be funded by the Gulf grant program, Kuwait Fund for Economic Development. On this project as well, the Arab funds create a transparency for contracting and covering expenses……http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/business/2014/08/jordan-wind-power-project-energy-consumption.html#
UN: Iran Turns Nuclear Material Into More Harmless Forms http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/20/iran-nuclear_n_5604070.html By GEORGE JAHN 07/20/2014 VIENNA (AP) — The United Nations says Iran has turned all enriched uranium closest to the level needed to make nuclear arms into more harmless forms.
Tehran had committed to the move under an agreement with six powers last November that essentially froze its atomic programs while the two sides negotiate a comprehensive deal. They extended those talks Saturday to Nov. 24.
Iran had more than 200 kilograms (over 250 pounds) of 20 percent enriched uranium when the agreement was reached and began reducing it shortly after. The U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency said Sunday in a report obtained by The Associated Press that all has now been converted or diluted.
At 20 percent, enriched uranium can be converted quickly to arm a nuclear weapon. Iran denies wanting such arms.
Nuclear plant tender to launch by year’s end; winning country to finance project: El-Osery, Daily News Egypt Sara Aggour / July 20, 2014 Egypt is to launch a global tender for its first Dabaa nuclear plant by the end of 2014, said Ibrahim El-Osery, the Ministry of Electricity’s adviser for nuclear energy
Speaking to the Daily News Egypt, El-Osery said the plant will be located in the Matruh governorate, with Egypt paying for the implementation expenses after operations start.
“One of the tender’s conditions is that whoever wins will take the responsibility of financing the project till its implementation,” said El-Osery……..http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2014/07/20/nuclear-plant-tender-launch-years-end-winning-country-finance-project-el-osery/
Stolen uranium compounds not only dirty bomb ingredients within ISIS’ grasp, say experts By Perry Chiaramonte July 15, 2014 FoxNews.com Plenty of materials for a potential dirty bomb are likely scattered throughout the area of Iraq controlled by ISIS, and pulling off an attack that spreads even a minor amount of radiation could be a huge PR coup for the terror group, experts told FoxNews.com.
Last week, the Iraqi government in Baghdad warned the UN that ISIS operatives had stolen 88 pounds of uranium compounds from Mosul University. Even though many experts said the research materials were not enough to cause widespread harm, spreading fear is even more important to terrorists than a big body count, one terrorism expert said. And with ISIS in control of a huge swath of northern Iraq and parts of Syria that includes research labs, hospitals and industrial sites, ingredients for radiation-spreading bombs are within its grasp.
“Obtaining radiological material from places like universities or hospitals is relatively easy if you have the firepower, a chaotic situation and jihadists willing to sacrifice their health handling it,” said Ryan Mauro, national security analyst for The Clarion Project, a think tank that studies Islamic extremism. “We aren’t talking about producing a nuclear bomb; just combining an explosive with radioactive material.”……..
the risk posed by the lower-level nuclear materials potentially within ISIS’ reach is shared by the group itself. Handling of nuclear materials is extremely dangerous, a fact underscored last December when a truck containing highly radioactive cobalt-60 was stolen en route from a Mexican hospital to a disposal site. The theft triggered alerts throughout Mexico, as well as international notifications to the U.S. and the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna and stoked fears the material could have been stolen to make a dirty bomb. …..http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/07/15/stolen-uranium-compounds-not-only-dirty-bomb-ingredients-within-isis-grasp/
Hamas Commits Act Of Nuclear Terrorism, According To U.N Definition The Daily Caller 10 July 14, In the latest step in a war of attrition with Israel, Hamas targeted one of the country’s nuclear reactors with rockets — an act which escalates the recent outburst of violence in the area to the level of nuclear combat.
An act of terrorism against a nuclear reactor in any form is defined as terrorism, as set out by the United Nation’s 2005 International Convention for the Suspicion of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.
According to the United Nations, “any nuclear reactor, including reactors installed on vessels, vehicles, aircraft or space objects for use as an energy source in order to propel such vessels, vehicles, aircraft or space objects or for any other purpose,” or “any plant or conveyance being used for the production, storage, processing or transport of radioactive material.”
Three rockets were fired towards Israel’s nuclear reactor in Dimona, but the rockets were intercepted, and there are no signs of damage to the reactor. Immediately after the attack, Hamas claimed responsibility for the rockets, stating that they launched long range M-75 rockets towards the reactor in southern Israel……..: http://dailycaller.com/2014/07/10/hamas-commits-act-of-nuclear-terrorism-according-to-u-n-definition/#ixzz37JCyTK6G
Stolen Iraqi uranium could make dirty bomb THE AUSTRALIAN THE TIMES JULY 12, 2014 INTERNATIONAL fears increased yesterday as it was revealed that Islamic State terrorists have seized 40kg of radioactive uranium in Iraq, which some experts say could be used to make a dirty bomb.
The revelation followed reports this week that they may have obtained chemical weapons when they seized a factory in Iraq.
The jihadists from the Islamic State (known formerly as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham) seized the uranium after they overran a university complex in the city of Mosul, in their swift offensive across northern Iraq.
The Iraqi government has appealed to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for international help to “stave off the threat of their use by terrorists in Iraq or abroad”……http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/stolen-iraqi-uranium-could-make-dirty-bomb/story-fnb64oi6-1226986185204
Iraq tells UN that ‘terrorist groups’ have seized nuclear materials SMH, July 10, 2014 – Michelle Nichols New York: ISIL insurgents in Iraq have seized nuclear materials used for scientific research at a university in the country’s north, Iraq has told the United Nations in a letter appealing for help to “stave off the threat of their use by terrorists in Iraq or abroad”.
Nearly 40 kilograms of uranium compounds were kept at Mosul University, Iraq’s UN Ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim told UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a letter this week.
“Terrorist groups have seized control of nuclear material at the sites that came out of the control of the state,” Mr Alhakim wrote, adding that such materials “can be used in manufacturing weapons of mass destruction”. However, US security sources said it would be difficult to make weapons from the material.
“These nuclear materials, despite the limited amounts mentioned, can enable terrorist groups, with the availability of the required expertise, to use it separate or in combination with other materials in its terrorist acts,” Mr Alhakim said.
He warned that they could also be smuggled out of Iraq.
A US government source familiar with the matter said the materials were not believed to be enriched uranium and therefore would be difficult to use to manufacture into a weapon………http://www.smh.com.au/world/iraq-tells-un-that-terrorist-groups-have-seized-nuclear-materials-20140710-zt2eb.html#ixzz378WRoppD
Depleted Uranium And The Iraq War’s Legacy Of Cancer, Mint Press News, Depleted uranium was used in Iraq warzone weaponry, and now kids are playing in contaminated fields and the spent weapons are being sold as scrap metal. By Frederick Reese @FrederickReese | July 2, 2014 As instability in Iraq is forcing the United States to consider a third invasion of the Middle Eastern nation, the consequences of the first two invasions are coming into focus. For large sectors of the Iraqi population, American intervention has led to sharp spikes in the rates of congenital birth defects, premature births, miscarriages and leukemia cases.
According to Iraqi government statistics, the rate of cancer in the country has skyrocketed from 40 per 100,000 people prior to the First Gulf War in 1991, to 800 per 100,000 in 1995, to at least 1,600 per 100,000 in 2005.
The culprit behind all of these health issues is depleted uranium, a byproduct of uranium enrichment. With a mass fraction a third of what fissile uranium would have, depleted uranium emits less alpha radiation — up to 60 percent less than natural uranium, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. This “relative” safety offered a rationale for many nations — particularly, the U.S. — to put the waste material to use.
As depleted uranium is 1.67 times denser than lead, a depleted uranium projectile can be smaller than an equivalent lead projectile but produce similar results. This smaller size means a smaller diameter, less aerodynamic drag and a smaller area of impact, meaning that depleted uranium bullets can travel faster and inflict more pressure on impact, causing deeper penetration. Additionally, depleted uranium is incendiary and self-sharpening, making depleted uranium ideal for anti-tank ammunition. It is also used as armor plating for much of America’s tank fleet.
The problem with using depleted uranium, however, lies in the fact that depleted uranium is mostly de-energized. In practical terms, depleted uranium can have — at a minimum — 40 percent the radioactivity of natural uranium with a half-life that can be measured in millennia (between 703 million to 4.468 billion years). While the depleted uranium presents little to no risk to health via radiation due to its relatively weak radioactivity, direct internal contact with the heavy metal can have chemical toxicity effects on the nervous system, liver, heart and kidneys, with DNA mutations and RNA transcription errors being reported in the case of depleted uranium dust being absorbed in vitro.
While depleted uranium is not as toxic as other heavy metals, such as mercury or lead, pronounced toxicity is still possible through repeated or chronic exposure………http://www.mintpressnews.com/depleted-uranium-iraq-wars-legacy-cancer/193338/
Iran eases demands for nuclear capacity at Vienna talks: Western diplomats BY LOUIS CHARBONNEAU AND PARISA HAFEZI VIENNA Thu Jul 3, 2014 (Reuters) - Iran has reduced demands for the size of its future nuclear enrichment program in talks with world powers although Western governments are urging Tehran to compromise further, Western diplomats close to the negotiations said on Thursday.
The diplomats, who spoke to Reuters at the start of a two-week round of negotiations between Iran and the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, said that despite some movement from Tehran it would not be easy to clinch a deal by their self-imposed deadline for a deal of July 20.
Tehran’s shift relates to the main sticking point in the talks – the number of uranium enrichment centrifuges Iran will maintain if a deal is reached to curb its nuclear program in exchange for a gradual end of sanctions. Ending the decade-long dispute over Iran’s nuclear ambitions is seen as instrumental to defusing tension and averting a new Middle East war.
“Iran has reduced the number of centrifuges it wants but the number is still unacceptably high,” a Western diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity and without further detail……….
Other disputes include the duration of any nuclear deal, the timetable for ending the sanctions, and the fate of a research reactor that could yield significant quantities of plutonium, an alternative fuel for nuclear weapons.
The current round of talks in the Austrian capital will run until at least July 15. (Additional reporting by Fredrik Dahl in Vienna and Mehrdad Balali in Dubai; Editing byMark Heinrich) http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/03/us-iran-nuclear-exclusive-idUSKBN0F810H20140703
US fired depleted uranium rounds in civilian areas during 2003 Iraq campaign – report http://rt.com/news/167220-depleted-uranium-us-iraq/ June 20, 2014 US-led forces in Iraq used depleted uranium weapons in civilian-populated areas during the 2003 military campaign, according to a new Dutch NGO study that also exposes a lack of adequate cleanup efforts by the invading troops.
For the first time the location of several sites where the invaders fired some 10,000 depleted uranium rounds were released by the Dutch Defense Ministry, and published in a study by Dutch peace group PAX.
Most of the DU rounds fired by the US-led coalition were in heavily populated areas, the group says. Samawah, Nasiriyah and Basrah are just some urban areas where ammunition was deployed – with around 1,500 anti-armor rounds fired directly at Saddam Hussein’s infantry forces. The GPS coordinates of DU rounds were initially handed over to the Dutch Defense Ministry because the Netherlands was worried about the potential contamination of its own troops in the country. The ministry later shared the information with PAX under a freedom of information law.
Most of the firing locations remain unknown, as more than 300,000 DU rounds are believed to have been fired by US-led coalition.
NGO says that the health risks of more than 440,000 kg of DU fired by Western forces remains unclear, as “neither coalition forces nor the Iraqi government have supported health research into civilian DU exposure.”
“Coalition forces were aware of the potential health and environmental impact of DU munitions, yet refrained from undertaking the necessary clean-up of DU outside their own bases,” a summary of the report reads.
Wim Zwijnenburg, the author of the report, said the US Air Force knew of the consequences of using DU ammunition.
“The use of DU against these targets questions the adherence of coalition forces to their own principles and guidelines. They should be held accountable for the consequences,” Zwijnenburg said, citing a 1975 memo from the Air Force Office of the Judge Advocate that restricted the use of such ammunition.
“Use of this munition solely against personnel is prohibited if alternative weapons are available,” the memo said, because of “unnecessary suffering and poison.”
According to an earlier PAX report, more than 300 sites in Iraq are currently contaminated with depleted uranium and it would cost at least $30 million to clean up.
Building Nuclear Weapon Would Take Years, Not Months, Iran Says in Report NYT, By DAVID E. SANGERJUNE 12, 2014 WASHINGTON — The Iranian government this week published its first detailed study of how long it estimates it would take its scientists and engineers to assemble a nuclear weapon, saying that with its current infrastructure, “the required time span is in years.”
Iran described the estimate as entirely hypothetical, and it was clearly intended to allay fears that Iran has the ability to race for a bomb. ……http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/13/world/middleeast/iran-building-nuclear-weapon-would-take-years-not-months-us-disputes-estimate.html?_r=0
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