U.N. nuclear assembly rejects Arab bid to pressure Israel BY FREDRIK DAHL VIENNA Thu Sep 25, 2014 (Reuters) - Member states of the U.N. nuclear agency on Thursday rejected an Arab resolution targeting Israel over its assumed atomic arsenal, in a diplomatic victory for the Jewish state and Western countries opposing the initiative.
Arab states had submitted the non-binding text – which called onIsrael to join a global anti-nuclear weapons pact – to the annual meeting of the 162-nation International Atomic Energy Agency, in part to signal their frustration at the lack of progress toward banning atomic arms in the Middle East……….
Fifty-eight countries voted against the Arab proposal and 45 states for, a clearer outcome than in a similar vote last year. Other countries either abstained or were absent.
Intense lobbying by both sides underlined the resolution’s symbolic geo-strategic significance and deep divisions on the issue of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, where some Arab countries joined the United States this week in air strikes on radical Islamist insurgents.
Israel is believed to possess the region’s only nuclear arsenal, drawing frequent condemnation by Arab countries and Iran. It is also the only Middle Eastern country outside the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
A draft text circulated at the IAEA meeting by 18 Arab states expressed “concern about the Israeli nuclear capabilities and calls upon Israel to accede to the NPT and place all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA safeguards.”……..http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/25/us-nuclear-iaea-israel-idUSKCN0HK14C20140925
Iran seeks give and take on militants, nuclear program BY PARISA HAFEZI AND LOUIS CHARBONNEAU UNITED NATIONS Sun Sep 21, 2014 (Reuters) – Iran is ready to work with the United States and its allies to stop Islamic State militants, but would like to see more flexibility on Iran’s uranium enrichment program, senior Iranian officials told Reuters.
The comments from the officials, who asked not to be named, highlight how difficult it may be for the Western powers to keep the nuclear negotiations separate from other regional conflicts. Iran wields influence in the Syrian civil war and on the Iraqi government, which is fighting the advance of Islamic State fighters.
Iran has sent mixed signals about its willingness to cooperate on defeating Islamic State (IS), a hardline Sunni Islamist group that has seized large swaths of territory across Syria and Iraq and is blamed for a wave of sectarian violence, beheadings and massacres of civilians.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said recently that he vetoed a U.S. overture to the Islamic Republic to work together on defeating IS, but U.S. officials said there was no such offer. In public, both Washington and Tehran have ruled out cooperating militarily in tackling the IS threat.
But in private, Iranian officials have voiced a willingness to work with the United States on IS, though not necessarily on the battlefield. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday that Iran has a role to play in defeating Islamic State, indicating the U.S. position may also be shifting………http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/21/us-iran-nuclear-exclusive-idUSKBN0HG03T20140921
Iran moving to comply with extended nuclear deal with powers-IAEA BY FREDRIK DAHL VIENNA Fri Sep 19, 2014, (Reuters) - Iran is taking further action to comply with the terms of an extended interim agreement with six world powers over its disputed atomic activities, a U.N. nuclear watchdog report obtained by Reuters on Friday showed.
The findings in a monthly update by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – though no major surprise – may be seen as positive by the West as negotiations resumed in New York this week on ending the decade-old nuclear stand-off.
The IAEA document made clear that Iran is continuing to meet its commitments under the preliminary accord that it reached with the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China andRussia late last year and that took effect in January.
In addition, as agreed when the deal was extended by four months in July, it is using some of its higher-grade enriched uranium in oxide form to produce fuel – a step that experts say would make it more difficult to use the material for any bombs……..http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/19/us-iran-nuclear-iaea-idUSKBN0HE1R820140919
Iran, 6 Powers Seek to Unblock Nuclear Talks, abc news, UNITED NATIONS — Sep 19, 2014, By GEORGE JAHN Associated Press With little more than two months to deadline, Iran and six world powers on Friday launched a fresh effort at narrowing stubborn differences on what nuclear concessions Tehran must agree to in exchange for full sanctions relief.
Egypt Calls for Ban On Fissile Material Production for Nuclear Weapons http://allafrica.com/stories/201409120325.html Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations at Geneva Amr Ahmed Ramadan called on Wednesday 10/9/2014 for an international convention to ban the production of fissile materials used in nuclear weapons.
Ramadan made the remarks during the closing session of the Conference on Disarmament (CD), 2014 held in Geneva.
A suggested agreement will lead to prevention of nuclear weapons production, the diplomat said.
Also, Ramadan urged to keep the outer space away from armed conflict, reiterating the importance of giving guarantees by the nuclear States not to threaten other non-nuclear countries.
In his speech, Ramadan reviewed a number of effects of the proliferation of nuclear weapons on humanity, citing the results of Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons conferences in Oslo, March 2013 and in Nayarit, February 2014.
TURKEY INVESTS IN RENEWABLE ENERGY http://www.dailysabah.com/energy/2014/09/08/turkey-invests-in-renewable-energy ANKARA — Turkey’s investments in renewable energy will account for 15 percent of the 141,000 megawatt capacity increase in Europe expected by 2020, according to a report by the International Energy Agency.
Renewable energy in Europe is expected to grow 0.8 percent annually until 2020, and nearly half of the growth in demand for power will come from Turkey, the report says.
Economic growth, an increase in income per capita, and rapid urbanization are the primary causes of the increasing energy demand in Turkey.
In order to meet some of the power demand in Europe, 141,000 megawatts of capacity increase in renewable energy is expected by 2020, according to the report.
In 2013, Europe produced 1,095 terawatt hours of electricity from renewable energy sources, accounting for 30 percent of total electricity production, the report says. And 1,400 terawatt hours of electricity production from renewables is expected by 2020, and renewables will make up 36.5 percent of total electricity production, the report says. It predicts that wind power will account for 40 percent of the production increase by renewables.
A terrawatt is equivalent to 1,000 gigawatt hours — or 1 trillion watt hours. According to the online Energy Business Review, 1.5 terrawatts is enough to run the London metro system for 10 years.
Germany, the U.K. and Turkey are expected to assume more than half of the renewable electricity production in Europe by 2020, according to the International Energy Agency. Turkey will account for 15 percent of the increase in the use of renewables, including hydro, wind, solar, bioenergy and geothermal, report says.
Turkey’s renewable capacity of 24,300 megawatts in 2013 is projected to reach 38,800 megawatts in 2020.
The report in the Hamshahri daily said the “Ukrainian expert” was affiliated with a Russian contractor that works in Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant, which went online in 2011 with Russian aid.
The report did not elaborate on the timing or nature of the alleged sabotage. Iran has long accused the United States, Israel and European countries of working to sabotage its nuclear program.
International sanctions force Iran to buy Western-made parts for its nuclear program from third parties. Hamshahri suggested such parties are involved in sabotaging parts before they arrive in Iran, without elaborating.
Hamshari also quoted Asghar Zarean, deputy head of Iran’s nuclear department in charge of security, as saying that Sandia National Laboratories, a New Mexico-based subsidiary of defense contractor Lockheed Martin, has been involved in manipulating parts that Iran needs for its nuclear facilities.
In 2010, the so-called Stuxnet virus temporarily disrupted the operation of thousands of centrifuges, key components in nuclear fuel production, at Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment facility. Iran says it and other computer virus attacks are part of a concerted effort by Israel, the U.S. and their allies to undermine its nuclear program through covert operations…….http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/iran-arrests-suspected-nuclear-plant-saboteur-25323907
Iran is playing a win-win game at the nuclear talks Al Arabia News Camelia Entekhabi-Fard Monday, 1 September 2014 “……. being too optimistic or too pessimistic is not constructive. Simply put, Iran’s foreign policy has been changed due to the regional and international circumstances…….
President Rowhani and his nuclear negotiating team took very constructive and major steps in order to restore Iran’s image and to try to solve disputes.
They seem to be succeeding because the supreme leader decided to change course and achieve the ambitions they had since the revolution, but in a different way. He understands the importance of being engaged in regional and international matters to play a part rather than sit back in isolation, worrying about national security.
In my opinion, what made Iran’s supreme leader back the nuclear talks and show flexibility, according to his own statement, are the events in the region and the opportunities for Iran to become a regional power once again.
The events in Iraq and Syria,the rise of extremism and Iran’s geopolitical and regional importance coalesce to make Iranians feel like they could gain by changing their language and the way they presen themselves in the region.
Nuclear bombs can’t feed the masses
Newly declassified documents reveal how U.S. agreed to Israel’s nuclear program Documents reveal contacts between Washington and Jerusalem in late 1960s, when some Americans believed the nuclear option would not deter Arab leaders but would trigger an atom bomb race.
The documents outline how the American administration worked ahead of the meeting between President Richard Nixon and Prime Minister Golda Meir at the White House in September 1969, as officials came to terms with a three-part Israeli refusal – to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty; to agree to American inspection of the Dimona nuclear facility; and to condition delivery of fighter jets on Israel’s agreement to give up nuclear weaponry in exchange for strategic ground-to-ground Jericho missiles “capable of reaching the Arab capitals” although “not all the Arab capitals.”
The officials – cabinet secretaries and senior advisers who wrote the documents – withdrew step after step from an ambitious plan to block Israeli nuclearization, until they finally acceded, in internal correspondence – the content of the conversation between Nixon and Meir is still classified – to recognition of Israel as a threshold nuclear state.
In fact, according to the American documents, the Nixon administration defined a double threshold for Israel’s move from a “technical option” to a “possessor” of nuclear weapons…………
The Johnson and Nixon administrations concluded that, in talks with Rabin, it had been stated in a manner both “explicit and implicit” that “Israel wants nuclear weapons, for two reasons: First, to deter the Arabs from striking Israel; and second, if deterrence fails and Israel were about to be overrun, to destroy the Arabs in a nuclear Armageddon.”
The contradiction in this stance, according to the Americans, was that Israel “would need a nuclear force that is publicly known and, by and large, invulnerable, i.e., having a second-strike capability. Israel is now building such a force – the hardened silos of the Jericho missiles.”………
According to the documents, the Nixon administration believed that Israel’s acquisition of nuclear weapons would spur the Arab countries to acquire their own such weapons within 10 years, through private contracts with scientists and engineers in Europe. Moreover, “deeply rooted in the Arab psyche is the concept that a settlement will be possible only when there is some parity in strength with Israel. A ‘kamikaze’ strike at the Dimona facilities cannot be ruled out,” the document states.
The Nixon advisers concluded that, all things considered, “we cannot force the Israelis to destroy design data and components, much less the technical knowledge in people’s minds, nor the existing talent for rapid improvisation.” Thus, Davies wrote in July, two months before the Nixon-Meir meeting, the lesser evil would be to agree for Israel to “retain its ‘technical option’” to produce nuclear weapons.
“If the Israelis show a disposition to meet us on the nuclear issue but are adamant on the Jericho missiles, we can drop back to a position of insisting on non-deployment of missiles and an undertaking by the Israelis to keep any further production secret,” Davies added.
The strategic consideration, mixed with political considerations, was persuasive. The draft of Meir’s unconditional surrender – formulated in the Pentagon without her knowledge in her first month in office – was shelved, and the ambiguity option was born and lived in secret documents until the Obama administration made them public, for reasons (or unintentionally) of their own. http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.613221
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.
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