Israel installs solar panels at parliament to save energy http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2015/mar/29/israel-installs-solar-panels-at-parliament-to/ By Associated Press8:51 A.M.MARCH 29, 2015 JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel has installed solar panels on the roof of its parliament building, creating what it calls the largest solar field of any national assembly in the world.
The office of the parliament speaker says energy generated from some 1,500 solar panels will provide 10 percent of the electricity used at the Knesset, Israel’s parliament.
The Knesset is also advancing other energy-saving projects, like installing energy-saving lights, automatically shutting down lawmakers’ computers at the end of each workday, and using air conditioning systems to help irrigate the gardens surrounding the building.
The statement says the measures will reduce the Knesset’s energy use by a third.
Scientists will also conduct ecological research on the parliament roof.
The Knesset unveiled the solar field in a dedication ceremony Sunday.
According to the Haaretz news website, the Israeli prime minister claimed there was an “Iran-Lausanne-Yemen” axis, linking the venue for the nuclear talks with Iranian backing for Houthi rebels in Yemen, and said the deal posed a threat to humanity that must be stopped…….
Netanyahu made his remarks as negotiations in Lausanne approached the 31 March deadline for an understanding on the framework for a deal, and took on a new intensity. The UK foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, arrived at the Swiss lakeside town on Sunday evening to join the US secretary of state, John Kerry, and foreign ministers from Iran, France, Germany and China, as well as the EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini………
A possible solution is for the foreign ministers to make a joint declaration in Lausanne or in nearby Geneva, to be followed by the publication of an informal “factsheet” of agreed points, that could be officially deniable in Tehran. A former state department official said it could take several days to draft this, so experts could stay behind after the foreign ministers leave, to work on the document before Congress reconvenes in mid-April.
However, a European official at the talks said they were still mired in issues of substance, and had yet to tackle differences over presentation.
“We will remain at the negotiation table for however long it takes to get a good deal,” the Iranian deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araghchi. He added: “All the sides are strongly motivated to reach a compromise.” http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/29/binyamin-netanyahu-denounces-iran-nuclear-negotiations
Saudi Arabia says it won’t rule out building nuclear weapons, TKG News March 27, 2015 Saudi Arabia will not rule out building or acquiring nuclear weapons, the country’s ambassador to the United States has indicated.
Asked whether Saudi Arabia would ever build nuclear weapons in an interview with US news channel CNN, Adel Al-Jubeir said the subject was “not something we would discuss publicly”. Pressed later on the subject he said: “This is not something that I can comment on, nor would I comment on.”
The ambassador’s reticence to rule out a military nuclear programme may reignite concerns that the autocratic monarchy has its eye on a nuclear arsenal.
Western intelligence agencies believe that the Saudi monarchy paid for up to 60% of Pakistan’s nuclear programme in return for the ability to buy warheads for itself at short notice, the Guardian newspaper reported in 2010.
The two countries maintain close relations and are sometimes said to have a special relationship; they currently have close military ties and conduct joint exercises.
The Saudi Arabian regime also already possesses medium-range ballistic missiles in the form of the Royal Saudi Strategic Missile Force. In addition it has significant nuclear expertise in the form of a civilian nuclear programme of the kind Iran says it wants to develop.
In 2012 the Saudi Arabian government threatened to acquire nuclear weapons were neighbouring regional power Iran ever to do so……..http://www.tkgnews.com/saudi-arabia-says-it-wont-rule-out-building-nuclear-weapons/
The agreement under discussion by the P5+1 with Iran is fundamentally to provide assurances that Iran’s nuclear program has purely civilian, peaceful uses. This is not an arms control treaty because it will not address weapons. While there is evidence to suggest that Iran engaged in nuclear weaponization activities, there is no evidence that Iran now has nuclear weapons. As a non-nuclear-weapon state, party to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), Iran is obligated not to manufacture, acquire, or otherwise obtain nuclear weapons. The agreement under discussion will impose requirements on Iran in addition to those it has as an NPT party. [Iran hopes the deal will be endorsed by a Security Council resolution and not involve the U.S. Congress since the five members of the United Nations Security Council are involved.]
We Need To Get This Iranian Nuclear Deal Done, Forbes, James Conca, 26 Mar 15 By the sounds of the rhetoric going back and forth in the media, you’d think the Iranian Nuclear Deal we’re trying to put in place is a horrible loss for the United States, and that we’re being taken for a ride by the wily Ayatollahs.
Or that previous deals with Iran hadn’t ever worked.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. Last year, the five members of the United Nations Security Council, the United States, Great Britain, France, China and Russia, plus Germany, called the P5+1 Group, reached an interim deal with Iran to stop their nuclear weapons program while a larger deal could be brokered. Four key provisions were obtained in this deal and all four have occurred:……… Continue reading
ISRAELI NUCLEAR WAR ON GAZA using Depleted Uranium weapons from USA NUCLEAR WAR ON THE WORLD, Beautiful Bloodless Revolution, by aRLeon, 25 Mar 15 Israel over the last 6 years during the 3 Gaza invasions of 2008-2009, 2012, and 2014 has dumped a huge amount of Depleted Uranium (DU) on the Palestinian territory of Gaza Strip. The 50 day 2014 operation dispersed the largest amount of DU by way of bunker buster bombs and other undisclosed DU armaments, such as DIME mini bomb-lets etc.
this surely is a nuclear war being used to genocide people worldwide by way of death by genetic alteration that is premeditated, deliberate and traceable to very many politicians, Generals , Bankers, and Philosophers.
The war is against all humanity as it destroys the Earths natural system that creates, supports, and sustains all biological life here on our only home , Earth……http://beautifulbloodlessrevolution.blogspot.com.au/
Russian Nuclear Plants in Turkey ‘Not Ready Before 2022′, Moscow Times Reuters Mar. 23 2015 Turkey’s first nuclear power plant is unlikely to be ready before 2022, energy officials said on Monday of the $20-billion project that has been beset by regulatory hurdles and complicated by Russia’s financial woes…..Rosatom initially pledged to have the first of the four reactors in the southern Turkish town of Akkuyu ready by 2019.
A senior Turkish energy official said the project would not be online before at least 2022, given that ground-breaking has yet to happen. “The first reactor can be online at least seven years after the ground-breaking so the 2019-2020 date is impossible,” the official said…..
Analysts say Russia’s economic troubles because of collapsing oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine may also have weighed on Rosatom’s finances.
“The Akkuyu timeline was — and remains — completely unrealistic,” Aaron Stein, associate fellow at British defense and security think-tank the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), said. “The issue has, in recent months, become far more complicated because of Russia’s economic deterioration.”……http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/business/article/russian-nuclear-plants-in-turkey-not-ready-before-2022/517868.html
Jordan commits to buying nuclear fuel from Russia for 10 years, in $10 Billion Deal on Nuclear Power Plant
Jordan, Russia Sign $10 Billion Deal on Nuclear Power Plant, abc news AMMAN, Jordan — Mar 24, 2015, By SAM McNEIL Associated Press Jordan signed a $10 billion deal with Russia on Tuesday to build the kingdom’s first nuclear power plant, with two 1,000-megawatt reactors in the country’s north.
The deal, signed in the Jordanian capital, Amman, with Russia’s state-owned Rosatom company caps efforts of the energy-poor kingdom to increase energy sufficiency and reduce imports……
Under the deal, Jordan must buy fuel from Rosatom for the reactors for 10 years, after which it may seek other suppliers. The Jordanian government will have a slight majority ownership, with Rosatom owning 49 pecent of the plant, according to the Jordan Times.
Earlier this year, Rosatom signed an agreement, the details of which are secret, to build two reactors in Hungary. And last month, during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Egypt, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding to build Egypt’s first nuclear power plant at an existing nuclear site in Dabaa, on the Mediterranean coast where a research reactor has stood for years. http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/jordan-russia-sign-10-billion-deal-nuclear-reactors-29874766
Unstated Factor in Iran Talks: Threat of Nuclear Tampering, NYT, By DAVID E. SANGER and WILLIAM J. BROADMARCH 21, 2015 “………if negotiators succeed in reaching a deal with Iran, does the huge, covert sabotage effort by the United States, Israel and some European allies come to an end? “Probably not,” said one senior official with knowledge of the program. In fact, a number of officials make the case that surveillance of Iran will intensify and covert action may become more important than ever to ensure that Iran does not import the critical materials that would enable it to accelerate the development of advanced centrifuges or pursue a covert path to a bomb.
In the case of the covert effort to purchase the specialty aluminum, the Iranians actually discovered the switch before they installed the tubes, and now say they are racing ahead to develop a next-generation centrifuge that would produce nuclear fuel far faster, a prospect that has become a major sticking point in negotiations.
In public, the Obama administration says economic sanctions on oil exports and financial transactions drove Iran to negotiations — and the prospect of getting those restrictions lifted are the best chance of persuading Iran’s leadership to take a diplomatic deal limiting Iran’s production of nuclear fuel for a decade or more.
In private, officials say sabotage was the other big stick — a persistent effort to slow Iran’s progress, and a signal that the United States had other ways to deal with the nuclear program. On occasion they allude to it, as Stephen J. Hadley, President Bush’s national security adviser, did at a presentation on sanctions last year, when he talked about how the financial penalties were supplemented by “things directed at their program, which we can’t talk about.”
Although American officials remain suspicious of Iran operating a covert nuclear facility, they say they see no solid evidence of a hidden operation today.
It is entirely possible that if an accord is reached, President Obama could call a pause in what has been more than a decade of attacks, the most famous of which was a yearslong effort, code-named Olympic Games, which inserted into Iranian facilities the most sophisticated cyberweapons ever deployed. One of them was the Stuxnet worm that disabled about 1,000 centrifuges, but also spread around the world, revealing the program.
But reaching an accord is quite different than reaching a state of trust. Inside Iran, there will be pressure to keep making slow progress on a nuclear program that is central to the ambitions of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and thousands of scientists who have labored for years. And in the uneasy alliance among Israel, the United States and Europe there will be continued debate about whether to supplement diplomatic pressure with covert action to keep Iran from getting to the threshold of being able to build a weapon.
For the past decade or so, the covert war to halt Iran’s nuclear program has included high-profile assassinations of their top scientists — widely attributed to Israel — and cyberattacks.
The assassinations suddenly stopped a few years ago, after they were publicly denounced by the United States. The cyberattack efforts may be continuing, probably at a lower level: a recently disclosed document from the National Security Agency, written in 2013, describes “NSA’s planned battle rhythm” to attack Iran’s systems in case of a crisis, and “Iran’s discovery of computer network exploitation tools on their networks in 2012 and 2013.” They make it clear that the N.S.A. has played a crucial role in the negotiations, in “support to policy makers” during negotiation on Iran’s nuclear program.
The ultimate goal of the covert program of industrial sabotage, according to intelligence and weapons specialists, is to produce damage obscure enough to evade easy detection, but extensive enough to result in random failures that seriously impede Iran’s nuclear drive………http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/22/world/middleeast/unstated-factor-in-iran-talks-threat-of-nuclear-tampering.html?_r=0
Early last month the Department of Defense released a secret report done in 1987 by the Pentagon-funded Institute for Defense Analysis that essentially confirms the existence of Israel’s nukes. DOD was responding to a Freedom of Information lawsuit filed by Grant Smith, an investigative reporter and author who heads the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy. Smith said he thinks this is the first time the US government has ever provided official recognition of the long-standing reality.
It’s not exactly news. Policy elites and every president from LBJ to Obama have known that Israel has the bomb. But American authorities have cooperated in the secrecy and prohibited federal employees from sharing the truth with the people. When the White House reporter Helen Thomas asked the question of Barack Obama back in 2009, the president ducked. “With respect to nuclear weapons, you know, I don’t want to speculate,” Obama said. That was an awkward fib. Obama certainly knows better, and so do nearly two-thirds of the American people, according to opinion polls.
In my previous blog, “What about Israel’s Nuclear Bomb?” I observed that the news media focused solely on Iran’s nuclear ambitions but generally failed to note that Israel already had nukes. That produced a tip about the Pentagon release in early February.
Yet the confirmation of this poorly kept secret opens a troublesome can of worms for both the US government and our closest ally in the Middle East. Official acknowledgement poses questions and contradictions that cry out for closer inspection. For many years, the United States collaborated with Israel’s development of critical technology needed for advanced armaments. Yet Washington pushed other nations to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which requires international inspections to discourage the spread of nuclear arms. Israel has never signed the NPT and therefore does not have to submit to inspections.
Washington knew all along what the inspectors would find in Israel. Furthermore, as far back as the 1960s, the US Foreign Assistance Act was amended by concerned senators to prohibit any foreign aid for countries developing their own nukes. Smith asserts that the exception made for Israel was a violation of the US law but it was shrouded by the official secrecy. Since Israel is a major recipient of US aid, American presidents had good reason not to reveal the truth.
The newly released report—“Critical Technological Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations”—describes Israel’s nuclear infrastructure in broad terms, but the dimensions are awesome. Israel’s nuclear research labs, the IDA researchers reported, “are equivalent to our Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge National Laboratories.” Indeed, the investigators observed that Israel’s facilities are “an almost exact parallel of the capability currently existing at our National Laboratories.”……..http://www.thenation.com/blog/202129/its-official-pentagon-finally-admitted-israel-has-nuclear-weapons-too#
Renewables Poised For Massive Growth In The Middle East, Oil Price.com. By Darrell Delamaide 19 March 2015
Growing scale in renewable energy projects has sharply reduced the price of sustainable energy to near parity with fossil fuels, creating new opportunities for energy companies but also for investors.
This is the thrust of a report published this month by the National Bank of Abu Dhabi entitled “Financing The Future Of Energy,” prepared by the University of Cambridge and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The report focuses on renewable energy prospects in the wider Gulf region – the ‘West-East corridor’ stretching from Africa into Central Asia – in the context of global energy development…….
Prices for new sustainable energy have fallen so dramatically in the past few years that perceptions have failed to keep up, the report says. The price for solar PV has fallen by 80% in six years, and onshore wind by 40%.
A new global benchmark for utility scale solar PV was set at the end of 2014, the report says, as the 200 MW Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) bid in Dubai showed that photovoltaic technologies are competitive with oil at US$10 per barrel and gas at US$5 per MMBtu.
For the last few years, the report says, more than half of the total investment in new electricity generation worldwide has been in renewable technologies. In 2014 alone, US$150 billion was invested in solar and US$100 billion in wind globally.
This kind of scale means that renewable energy projects can now draw on the full panoply of financing used for large infrastructure projects.
Recent wind and solar projects have used new financing approaches, such as securitization, aggregation and green bonds. These projects can also lend themselves to Special Purpose Vehicle financing, with the advantages this brings for limiting liability but also for channeling government input.
Government policies have an important role to play, not only in setting energy and environmental goals, but in providing guarantees in the form of power purchase agreements or procurement frameworks……http://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Renewable-Energy/Renewables-Poised-For-Massive-Growth-In-The-Middle-East.html
After Bibi Netanyahu’s provocative speech to Congress, The New York Times provided helpful clarifications in an article headlined “What Iran Won’t Say About the Bomb.” Written by two superbly expert reporters, William Broad and David Sanger, the piece walked through the technical complexities for non-experts (myself included) and explained key questions Iranians have failed to answer.
But this leads me to ask a different question: What about Israel’s bomb? Why isn’t that also part of the discussion?
In the flood of news stories about Iran’s nuclear intentions, I have yet to see mention of Israel’s nuclear arsenal (if I missed some mentions, they must have been rare).
Yet Israel’s bomb is obviously relevant to the controversy. The facts are deliberately murky, but Israel has had nuclear weapons for at least forty years, though it has never officially acknowledged their existence. The Israeli diplomatic approach has been called “nuclear ambiguity.”……
My point is, the existence of Israel’s nuclear superiority is clearly a pivotal fact of life in the chaotic conflicts and occasional wars of the Middle East. It should not be left out.
Israel’s bomb might be an important factor in motivating Iran to seek a nuclear bomb of its own (though Iran denies that intention). It might also be the subtext for Netanyahu’s bellicose warnings and his occasional calls for bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Bibi’s country would lose valuable leverage if it no longer had a nuclear monopoly in the region. Yet it might be considered a provocative act if Israel bluntly acknowledged its nuclear arsenal………
That brings the story back around to Bibi. For roughly twenty years, Netanyahu has now and then called for bombing Iran to crumple its nuclear intentions. The Obama administration is attempting to accomplish the same result peacefully, through negotiations.
As Juan Cole has written in The Nation, that may be a false choice, because Israeli intelligence and a former defense minister have admitted that Iran has no nuclear weapons program. Cole explained: “Nuclear weapons are in any case defensive, not offensive, and Iran could not deploy a bomb (if it had one, which it doesn’t) against Israel because the Israelis would retaliate by wiping Iran off the map,”
In other words, even if Tehran were to acquire nukes, it could not use them against Israel. Both nations would become prisoners of the stalemate that ruled the United States and Soviet Union for forty years during the Cold War. The doctrine was known as Mutually Assured Destruction, or MAD for short………http://www.thenation.com/blog/201369/what-about-israels-nuclear-bomb#
Philip Hammond, the Foreign Secretary, warned that the letter “could become a spanner in the works” of the negotiations, due to resume on Monday, with an “unpredictable effect on opinion” inside Iran.
Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, also poured derision on the Republican letter in a statement expressing astonishment that members of Congress would seek to undermine a US administration by writing directly to a foreign power, and suggesting that the letter’s authors had much to learn about international and even US law.
However, the sharpest reaction to Monday’s open letter came from the White House. President Obama accused its 47 Republican signatories of “wanting to make common cause with the hardliners in Iran”.
The US vice-president, Joseph Biden, said the letter, drafted by Tom Cotton, a freshman senator from Arkansas, was “expressly designed to undercut a sitting president in the midst of sensitive international negotiations”.
What Netanyahu left out of his speech to Congress http://warincontext.org/ 03/06/2015
Gary Sick lists five significant omissions: 1. Iran has dramatically reduced its stockpile of enriched uranium. Remember Bibi’s cartoon bomb that was going to go off last summer? Well, it has been drained of fuel, and that will probably continue to be true indefinitely. No mention.
2. Inspections will continue long after the nominal 10-year point, contrary to his claim that everything expires in ten years. No mention.
3. The heavy water reactor at Arak will be permanently modified, so it produces near zero plutonium. Not only did he not mention it, but he listed the reactor and plutonium as one of his threats.
4. His repeated assertion that Iran is actively seeking nuclear weapons ignores the judgment “with high confidence” of both American and Israeli intelligence that Iran has taken no decision to build nuclear weapons. It also contradicts the repeated findings of the IAEA that no materials have been diverted for military purposes.
5. All the major countries of the world are co-negotiators with the United States, so a U.S. congressional intervention that killed the deal will not only affect us but all of our major allies. If we stiff them, there is no reason to believe the international sanctions will hold for long. No mention.
The talks will resume on March 15, probably in Geneva, as the latest deadline for agreement looms at the end of the month.
Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif said a deal was “very close”,telling NBC that he and his team were prepared to carry on working through the Persian New Year celebration of Nowruz starting on March 21. Continue reading
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