Iran Tests Long-Range Missile, Possibly Violating Nuclear Accord http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/12/world/middleeast/iran-tests-long-range-missile-possibly-violating-nuclear-accord.html?_r=0 By THOMAS ERDBRINK OCT. 11, 2015 TEHRAN — Iran tested a new guided long-range ballistic missile on Sunday, hours before Parliament, in a rowdy session, approved the generalities of the nuclear agreement reached in July between Iran and world powers, the state news agency IRNA reported.
The missile launch may have violated the terms of the agreement, reached in Vienna with six world powers. According to some readings of the deal, it placed restrictions on Iran’s ambitious missile program.
Experts have been debating the interpretation of a United Nations Security Council resolution, adopted a few days after the accord was agreed upon, that bars Iran from developing missiles “designed to carry nuclear warheads.”
Hard-line Iranian officials had for months been demanding new missile tests, a common practice before the negotiations over the country’s nuclear program began in 2013.
The missile — named Emad, or pillar — is a step up from Iran’s Shahab-3 missiles because it can be guided toward its target, the Iranian defense minister, Hossein Dehghan, told the semiofficial Fars news agency. In recent decades, with Iran’s air force plagued by economic sanctions and other restrictions, the country has invested heavily in its nuclear program and has produced missiles that can reach as far as Europe.
“We don’t seek permission from anyone to strengthen our defense and missile capabilities,” Mr. Dehghan said.
Also on Sunday, members of Parliament voted in favor of a bill approving the generalities of the nuclear agreement, but they had been denied information on its details. State television broadcast the session using only audio and archived images of Parliament.
The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, who had gone to Parliament to defend the deal, said in a speech that a member had threatened to kill him and bury his body “in the cement of the Arak heavy-water reactor.”
Under the nuclear agreement, a heavy-water plant in Arak will be redesigned and turned into a relatively less dangerous light-water reactor. The threat, which sounded like something from an American gangster film, was made in front of witnesses by a hard-line representative, Ruhollah Hosseinian, according to reports.
Russian missiles crash in Iran: what we know, Vox World, by Max Fisher on October 8, 2015
- At least four Russian cruise missiles, headed for Syria, have reportedly crash-landed in Iran, Pentagon sources tell CNN and other outlets.
- So far neither Russian nor Iranian sources have confirmed the incident, though Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency is carrying the story (but crediting CNN).
- It is not known whether the missiles detonated or whether there are any casualties. Iran has enough empty space that it’s possible the missiles crashed harmlessly…….http://www.vox.com/2015/10/8/9482023/russia-missiles-iran-crash
Iran’s invisible opportunity, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Amory B. Lovins, 30 Sept 15, “……….the areas that could do the most to keep Iran from drifting back towards the nuclear path? Energy efficiency and renewables.
Legendary possibilities. At the eye of the storm over the Iran agreement is a zone of silence—an almost unnoticed opportunity to raise the odds of success. On the Iranian side, wisely using the period of restrictions on potential military nuclear activities could help Iran shift its domestic electricity priorities from a failed nuclear power program to a world-class, faster-to-implement, and vastly cheaper program that combines energy efficiency, modern renewables, and advances in the electrical grid. By weakening the domestic case for nuclear power, this approach could help remove uncertainty about Iran’s continuing domestic nuclear activities (however benign they may allegedly be, such as the creation of medical radioisotopes for radiation therapy). Importantly, that would clear some of the fog around Iran’s nuclear program. This in turn would isolate bomb-seekers and allow outside intelligence and monitoring efforts to focus on needles instead of haystacks.
Modernizing Iran’s electricity investments could also reduce the risk of renewed sanctions, reward and reinforce political moderation, enhance Iran’s prosperity and energy independence, bolster national pride, and—since the same logic applies to neighboring countries already making similar energy shifts for economic reasons—help stabilize the region by reversing an incipient Gulf nuclear arms race. More broadly, it could even help guard the global nonproliferation regime from dangerously permissive interpretations by updating the purpose of the Non-Proliferation Treaty’s (NPT’s) Article IV, which enshrines signatories’ “inalienable right” to the exclusively peaceful use of nuclear energy. Thus, a speedy alignment of Iranian domestic electricity investments with new economic realities could advance the security and economic interests of Iran, Israel, the Arab Gulf states, America and its P5+1 partners, and the world. It could strengthen Iran’s global integration, political evolution, and national stature without compromising others’ similar goals.
Key Iranian officials already publicly favor this approach to their nation’s energy needs, and the technologies are ready and the vendors eager. Continue reading
People’s Forum: Iran agreement would prevent nuclear weapons http://www.elkharttruth.com/discussions/local-dialogue/peoples-forum/2015/10/02/People-s-Forum-Carl-Helrich-Iran-agreement-would-prevent-nuclear-weapons.html
Carl Helrich of Goshen breaks down the Iran nuclear agreement. Our agreement with Iran is to prevent Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon. With John Kerry and one of our greatest nuclear physicists Ernest Moniz at the table we were not confused by the physics.
To see why this is a good agreement requires some knowledge of nuclear weapons. The lowest level weapon is a uranium bomb (Hiroshima). This requires 90 percent enriched uranium. The next level is a plutonium bomb (Nagasaki). This is considerably more complex in production and triggering. The problems are known; details are classified. The physics limits sizes of these, which we attained in WWII. Modern American, Russian, British, French, Chinese and probably Israeli arsenals contain fusion weapons, for which size is (in principle) unlimited.
Iran is enriching uranium. The agreement stops enrichment at a level sufficient for power plants, but far short of the 90 percent necessary for a weapon. The time required to “break out” and produce 90 percent will decrease as centrifuge technology improves. The agreement, however, provides the IAEA access to Iran’s sites. And successful breakout still puts Iran at the lowest level in the hierarchy of nuclear weapons. Any attempt to move higher will be evident and we will respond.
The agreement will stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon for 15 years and, because it opens inspection of Iran’s nuclear sites, it also opens communication.
The world will be a better place if no nuclear weapon is ever again detonated in anger. But force can never guarantee that. And we can never erase the knowledge we have of nuclear weapons. Our only hope is in diplomacy and peaceful cooperation among nations.
- British nuclear submarine spotted at dock in the Emirati dock of Fujairah
- Port is situated less than 100 nautical miles from the coast of Iran
- A 650ft-long metal barrier covers the submarine to avoid detection
- It is believed to be one of Britain’s four Trafalgar Class submarines
By MARK NICOL DEFENCE CORRESPONDENT FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY 27 September 2015 |
A British nuclear submarine has been caught on camera after it apparently became stricken with technical problems while on a top-secret mission in one of the most dangerous parts of the world.
Satellite images show the Royal Navy vessel undergoing repairs at a port less than 100 nautical miles from Iran.
The nuclear-powered submarine is pictured docked at Fujairah, one of the United Arab Emirates, in the politically sensitive seaway of the Gulf of Oman……….
In 2013, The Mail on Sunday revealed how the ageing Trafalgar submarines had been issued with ‘Code Red’ safety warnings after inspectors found radioactive leaks. The report by the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator found that cracks in reactors and nuclear discharges were directly attributable to the Trafalgars remaining in service beyond their design date.
The Trafalgars are powered by nuclear reactors and are supposed to stay at sea for up to three months. They are equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles and sonar equipment that can hear enemy vessels sailing more than 50 miles away.
The submarines have a typical complement of 120 to 130 personnel, up to 20 of them officers. The Trafalgars are being replaced by Astute Class nuclear submarines.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: ‘We do not comment on submarine operations.’ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3250393/Stranded-Ageing-British-nuclear-submarine-secret-mission-undergoing-repairs-coast-Iran.html#ixzz3myehgajC
Iran rushes to meet terms of nuclear deal to lift sanctions President Hassan Rouhani keen to end sanctions, as European firms pursue lucrative contracts such as huge railway and airport expansion projects, Guardian, Saeed Kamali Dehghan , 16 Sept 15 Iran is stepping up efforts to implement a landmark nuclear deal by January so as to benefit from sanctions relief, with European companies lining up for what one investor described as the most attractive opportunity in frontier markets globally.
President Hassan Rouhani, who is visiting New York to speak at the UN general assembly next week, said at a meeting with journalists and media executives on Friday that “conditions were ripe” for his administration to start implementing the agreement, struck in Vienna in July, by the end of the year.
His comments were echoed by business leaders and world investors participating in the first international conference studying investment and trade opportunities in Iran since the nuclear accord. The second Europe-Iran forum took place over the course of two days in Geneva, ending on Friday.
European corporations have already begun pursuing lucrative contracts in Iran. ……..http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/25/iran-nuclear-deal-hassan-rouhani
Born In The USA: How America Created Iran’s Nuclear Program, npr, STEVE INSKEEP, 18 Sept 15 “……..”The Iranian nuclear program has deep roots. In fact, it is four years older than President Obama,” says Ali Vaez, the International Crisis Group’s senior analyst for Iran. Vaez grew up in Iran, which means the nuclear program is a personal story for him.
“It started in 1957,” he says, “and ironically, it is a creation of the United States. The U.S. provided Iran with its first research reactor — a nuclear reactor, a 5-megawatt nuclear reactor that is still functioning and still operational in Tehran.”
The U.S. built that nuclear reactor on the campus ofTehran University. It also provided Iran with fuel for that reactor — weapons-grade enriched uranium.
It seemed like a good idea at the time.
It was part of President Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peaceprogram, an initiative to provide countries with peaceful, civilian nuclear technologies in the hope that they wouldn’t pursue military nuclear programs.
Under the program, many countries received what Iran did: their own small reactors, their own dollops of fuel. But, says Vaez, “as a result of the oil boom of the 1970s, that [Iranian] nuclear program morphed into a full-fledged civilian nuclear program.”
The Iranians had money to exploit the knowledge they were given, and to develop scientific minds. Iran provided the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a $20 million endowment in the 1970s to train Iranian nuclear scientists, Vaez says.
“The majority of people who returned to the country and started running the nuclear program were trained at MIT,” he notes.
The trainees have been central to Iran’s nuclear program ever since.
There was a moment in the 1970s when American officials thought they might be making a mistake. They feared Iran would become one of the nations seeking nuclear weapons.
U.S. diplomats began negotiating to limit Iran’s nuclear program. They ran into a problem familiar to diplomats today: Iran under the shah insisted it had the same right to nuclear power as any nation.
“The shah famously said that unless it was clear Iran was not being treated as a second-class country, he would look for alternative vendors and he would not work with U.S. companies to acquire nuclear technology for Iran.”
Iran bought nuclear plants from West Germany and France. The research reactor at Tehran University kept working. And then the campus became famous for something else.
After the shah was overthrown in 1979, under the new Islamist government led byAyatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, thousands of people gathered at the university every Friday and angled their prayer mats toward Mecca.
“Tehran University is at the epicenter of Friday prayer ceremonies,” Vaez says. “And [it] is also infamously known to be [the] epicenter of ‘Death to America’ chants that are heard every Friday during the prayer ceremonies.”
The clerics in power did not initially embrace the country’s existing nuclear infrastructure, Vaez says.
“In many ways, Iran’s nuclear program encapsulates Iran’s struggle with modernity,” he says. “During the shah’s time, it was the symbol of the country’s march towards modernity. After the revolution, it came to symbolize the kind of rapid modernization that was riddled with corruption and ‘West-toxification.'”
“West-toxification” was a term Iran created and used to denote pernicious Western influence that was to be rejected.
“Ayatollah Khomeni famously said the unfinished nuclear power plants in Bushehrshould be used as silos to store wheat,” says Vaez. Ultimately, “they were abandoned as a costly Western imposition on an oil-rich nation.”
This attitude lasted into the 1980’s. But by then, Iran was fighting a brutal war against neighboring Iraq, led by Saddam Hussein. As part of that war, Saddam repeatedly bombed the Bushehr nuclear facility, which was not operational at the time.
The war, which lasted from 1980 to 1988, also created severe power shortages in Iran.
Eventually, Iran’s leaders decided to revive the nuclear program, though the precise reason was not clear…….
Iran has consistently denied that it wants a weapon, though the U.S. and many others argue otherwise. In the early 2000s, Iran offered to discuss the future of its nuclear program. It even reached a deal with European powers. But the U.S. under Bush did not sign on. The efforts to reach a deal fell apart, and Iran began building thousands of centrifuges that are used to enrich uranium.
Ali Vaez says at this point, the meaning of Iran’s nuclear program was “mutating.” Iran under Khomeini had rejected the program as a symbol of the corrupt West — but now, more than a decade after his death, it was becoming a symbol of Iran’s defiance of the West……http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2015/09/18/440567960/born-in-the-u-s-a-how-america-created-irans-nuclear-program
Iran nuclear deal will bolster global health Boston Globe, By Dr. Ali Lotfizadeh and Dr. Mohsen Malekinejad SEPTEMBER 15, 2015 National security and regional stability have dominated the political debate over the Iran nuclear accord in recent weeks. Less discussed, however, are the far-reaching, positive implications for public health that will come when sanctions are lifted, as the deal calls for, and Iran’s medical system can begin to cooperate with the West again.
Sanctions for several years have severely restricted access to life-saving medicines for patients in Iran, leading to serious health consequences. Although the US government introduced loopholes to bypass these sanctions for medical purposes, the loopholes have not worked properly and lives have consequently been lost. With the nuclear agreement in place, thousands of Iranians will once again receive treatments for diseases like cancer and hemophilia.
Yet the calming of political tensions will have broader impact than just inside Iran. Since the revolution of 1979, Iran has been at the forefront of advancing primary medical care for rural populations through a system of robust health networks, which comprises more than 17,000 rural health facilities and a health center for every 7,000 rural residents. This network’s success even drew the interest of public health experts in Mississippi, who collaborated a few years ago with colleagues at Shiraz University of Medical Sciences in Iran to reduce health care disparities between rural and urban parts of the state.
Iran has also launched advanced intervention programs for drug users and is home to two out of three HIV surveillance and treatment knowledge hubs for the Eastern Mediterranean region office of the World Health Organization. These hubs are in charge of knowledge transfer to other countries in the region.
Iran’s vast potential to enhance global health is significantly underutilized right now. For example, since 2013, we have trained local ophthalmologists in Tajikistan to treat the main causes of avoidable blindness through a US-based nongovernmental organization. When we sought ophthalmologists who could provide training in Tajikistan, it was only natural to consider enlisting the expertise of Iranian colleagues. Iran, a neighbor of Tajikistan, is home to several reputable training sites sponsored by the International Congress of Ophthalmology. Iranian physicians speak the language and know the culture of Tajikistan and other countries in the region. They are also less expensive to hire than their American counterparts. But current restrictions make even these small-scale collaborations virtually impossible, despite their clear humanitarian purpose……..
proposed health partnerships transcend political ideologies and improve lives from villages in Tajikistan to small towns in Mississippi. But their success depends on the durability of this nuclear agreement. Iran and America do not see eye-to-eye on many political issues, and the current accord will not change that. But support for this agreement can pave the way toward a shared global responsibility to make the world a healthier place.
Dr. Ali Lotfizadeh is a visiting scholar at UCSF School of Medicine’s Institute for Health Policy Studies. Dr. Mohsen Malekinejad is an assistant professor in the same program. https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2015/09/15/iran-nuclear-deal-will-bolster-global-health/YF7Hobo2RJPsu547uC4lGM/story.html, Boston Globe
Over 70 Nuclear Nonproliferation Experts Endorse Iran Agreement WASHINGTON http://sputniknews.com/analysis/20150818/1025891167.html#ixzz3jCUmxWII, 18 Aug 15 — A group of more than 70 leading nuclear nonproliferation experts issued a statement on Tuesday in support of the full implementation of the Iran nuclear agreement aimed to guarantee the peaceful nature of Tehran’s nuclear program.
The signers of the statement include former senior nonproliferation officials at the US Department of State and Department of Defense, former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency Hans Blix, former nuclear negotiators as well as other leading nuclear specialists from around the globe.
“The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is a strong, long-term, and verifiable agreement that will be a net-plus for international nuclear nonproliferation efforts,” the signed statement reads.
The nuclear experts attest that the Iran nuclear deal “advances the security interests” of all negotiating parties, as well as the international community.
The nuclear agreement between Iran, and the P5+1 countries of the United States, Russia, China, Great Britain, France, and Germany has been under review in the US Congress, which will vote to approve or disapprove the deal by September 17.
The UN Security Council and all the P5+1 countries, except for the United States, have given their support for the nuclear agreement intended to prevent Iran from developing or acquiring a nuclear weapon, in exchange for international sanctions relief.
President Obama can do Iran nuclear deal even if Congress rejects it Chicago Tribune, By Tribune wire reports contact the reporter , 16 Aug 15 President Obama doesn’t need a congressional OK to make a deal with Iran over its nuclear program. The September vote on the Iran nuclear deal is billed as a titanic standoff between President Barack Obama and Congress. Yet even if lawmakers reject the agreement, it’s not game-over for the White House.
A congressional vote of disapproval would not prevent Obama from acting on his own to start putting the accord in place. While he probably would take some heavy criticism, this course would let him add the foreign policy breakthrough to his second-term list of accomplishments.
Obama doesn’t need a congressional OK to give Iran most of the billions of dollars in relief from economic sanctions that it would get under the agreement, as long as Tehran honors its commitments to curb its nuclear program — at least for now.
“A resolution to disapprove the Iran agreement may have substantial political reverberations, but limited practical impact,” says Robert Satloff, executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “It would not override President Obama’s authority to enter into the agreement.”
Lawmakers on their summer break are deciding how to vote. A look at the current state of play:
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN SEPTEMBER?
With Republicans controlling both chambers of Congress, the House and Senate are expected to turn down the deal. Obama has pledged to veto such a resolution of disapproval, so the question has turned to whether Congress could muster the votes to override him, in what would be a stinging, bipartisan vote of no-confidence against the president. And Obama would forfeit the authority he now enjoys to waive sanctions that Congress has imposed.
But Democrats and Republicans have predicted that his expected veto will be sustained — that opponents lack the votes to one-up Obama……
WHAT CAN OBAMA DO ON HIS OWN? The president could suspend some U.S. sanctions. He could issue new orders to permit financial transactions that otherwise are banned now. On the financial sector, Obama could use executive orders to remove certain Iranians and entities, including nearly two dozen Iranian banks, from U.S. lists, meaning they no longer would be subject to economic penalties……….http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-iran-nuclear-deal-obama-20150816-story.html
Iran submits nuclear activity information to UN watchdog, Yahoo News Vienna (AFP), 16 Aug 15, – Iran has submitted documents linked to its past nuclear activity, the UN’s atomic watchdog has confirmed, a key condition of a probe into suspected efforts to create nuclear arms. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) signed a “roadmap” with Iran in July to investigate its nuclear programme, as part of an overall accord with major world powers.
The historic deal is aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear activity in exchange for relief on painful economic sanctions.
The IAEA said Iran had met a key deadline by handing over the papers on Saturday.
“Iran… provided the IAEA with its explanation in writing and related documents as agreed in the roadmap for the clarification of past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran’s nuclear programme,” the agency said in a brief statement published Saturday.
A senior Iranian official also confirmed that the documents had been submitted.
“We have achieved our commitments as part of the deadline set out in the agreement,” said Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation.
The IAEA is to issue a report on its investigation by December 15……….http://news.yahoo.com/iran-submits-nuclear-activity-information-un-watchdog-100355955.html
Why it’s impossible to hide nuclear work in 24 days – or 24 years, REUTERS, By Yousaf Butt August 13, 2015 One of the most misleading distortions being floated by political opponents of the Iran nuclear deal is the “24-day” loophole meme: Iran would be able to hide all evidence of any nefarious nuclear weapons work during the 24 days it may take inspectors to gain access to a suspicious site.
For starters, International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors would have continuous daily access to all Iran’s declared nuclear facilities. If Iran does not allow anytime inspections of any declared site, it could result in the reimposition — or “snapback” — of sanctions.
The 24-day rule applies only to undeclared suspect sites anywhere in the country. Because inspections anywhere at any time can be complicated to work out, a procedure was devised to address the problem.
Why 24 days? Iran and the atomic energy agency first would have a maximum of 14 days to come to an understanding about how to carry out the new inspections. In the absence of an agreement, the members of the Joint Commission – the United States, Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia and Iran — must resolve the issue, by consensus or a vote, within seven days. Tehran would have three days to implement the decision. So, the 24 days is not a gift to Tehran that would allow it to hide potential nuclear malfeasance — it is just the maximum periodallowed to hammer out a way to inspect any undeclared suspicious facility in Iran.
More important, critics insist, Iran could use those 24 days to hide evidence of nuclear materials. This is not going to happen. It would be virtually impossible even in 240 days, let alone 24. Even a nanogram, or one-billionth of a gram, of leftover dust from nuclear-weapons related work — such as covert enrichment at a suspect site — could be detectable.
The main way the agency could find incriminating dust is with a “swipe sample” using a super-clean cotton cloth. The wipe would be applied to surfaces, especially where dust naturally collects, including corners of a room, cracks, bolt holes, equipment interiors and where walls meet the floor.
As the agency itself states: “Any nuclear process … will also produce particulate materials with particle dimensions in the 0.1 [to] 10 micrometer range. Such small particles are believed to be quite mobile and will travel several meters from their point of origin due to air currents or human activity. This mobility also makes it extremely difficult to clean up an area to such an extent that no particles remain available for swipe sampling.” [emphasis added]
The swipe samples from a suspect site would be taken to a laboratory, where the atomic energy agency can use a variety of highly sensitive methods to pick up any infinitesimal incriminating nuclear particles. Isotopic ratios, chemical forms or particle shapes can all provide clues about where the nuclear material came from and how it was produced.
One particularly powerful method is known as “fission track-secondary ion mass spectrometry.”Particles from a swipe sample are irradiated with neutrons on a Lexan (plastic) plate. If there are fissile materials in the sample, they would become unstable and split apart; heavy fission-product particles would be produced. In sufficient quantities, these particles would leave tracks in the plate that can be viewed by acid etching……….
The bottom line is that it is almost impossible to get away with messing around with nuclear materials. Nuclear fingerprints are not removable.
“You cannot get rid of them by cleaning,” Stephan Vogt, head of the atomic agency’sEnvironmental Sample Laboratory told Reuters in 2013. “You cannot dilute them to the extent that we will not be able to pick them up. It is just a matter of time,” he stated, before the atomic energy agency detects any incriminating residue………..
Twenty-nine top U.S. scientists — including Nobel Prize winners, senior experts in arms control and former White House science advisers – wrote to President Barack Obama this past weekend to praise the Iran deal. They called it “technically sound, stringent and innovative.” Instead of listening to the complaints about the 24-day meme, Congress should pay heed to these experts. http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/08/13/why-its-impossible-to-hide-nuclear-work-in-24-days-or-24-years/
Iran’s Jewish community gets behind nuclear deal with U.S.USA Today, 7 Aug 15 Reese Erlich, GlobalPost TEHRAN, Iran — Tapo, one of six kosher restaurants in Tehran, has become an informal hangout for the city’s small Jewish community. During a lunchtime rush last week customers ate savory kebabs while excitedly discussing the signing of the U.S.-Iran nuclear accord.
“There was lots of joy for us,” said Horiel, a Jewish customer who declined to give his last name. “It was not only the Jewish community that was happy. The nation was happy.”
Most Iranian Jews strongly disagree with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s denunciations of the accord. Horiel said his ancestors came from Jerusalem, “but I’m an Iranian Jew. Israel will get nothing with threats and war.”
Israeli leaders and conservative politicians in the U.S. have denounced the accords as too weak, saying they’ll allow Iran to eventually develop atomic weapons.
Iranians argue that they never built a nuclear bomb and have no intention of doing so. They broadly support the accord in hopes that the U.S. will lift economic sanctions and the economy will improve.
But the agreement also lessens international tensions, says Homayoun Sameyah Najafabadi, chair of the Tehran Jewish Committee, the country’s main Jewish organization. “There was the possibility of war,” he said. “With the deal signed, it will take war off the table and bring stability to the region.”
Najafabadi said that Israel’s opposition to the accord “has no impact on the Jewish community in Iran.”…….. Jewish leaders estimate there are between 12,000 and 30,000 Jews here today, making Iran’s the second-largest Jewish population in the Middle East after Israel.
But those who have chosen to stay in Iran have a long history of opposition to hawkish Israeli governments. Many consider themselves Jews but not Zionists.
The Islamic Republic of Iran allows freedom of worship for Jews and Christians, according to Siamak Morsedegh, the Jewish representative to Iran’s parliament. He points out that unlike some other countries in the region and in Europe, Jewish templesin Iran have not been attacked.
“There (is) no need for guards in front of our synagogues,” he said………..
GlobalPost Special Correspondent Reese Erlich received a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting for his reporting from Iran. His latest book is “Inside Syria: The Back Story of Their Civil War and What the World Can Expect.”
Iran’s foreign minister calls for world’s nuclear weapons states to disarm Mohammad Javad Zarif calls for talks on arms elimination treaty and for creation of zone free from weapons of mass destruction in Middle East, Guardian, Julian Borger 31 July 15, Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, has called on Israel and the world’s eight other states with nuclear weapons to begin disarming, in response to his country’s acceptance of strict curbs on its nuclear programme in anagreement reached earlier this month.
Writing in the Guardian, Zarif argues that by agreeing to the Vienna deal, titled the joint comprehensive plan of action, Iran was honouring the spirit of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT), in which states without nuclear weapons promise not to acquire them. But he says the nuclear weapons states are not keeping their side of the bargain by disarming.
“The cold war-era asymmetry between states that possess nuclear weapons and those that don’t is no longer tolerable,” the minister writes, claiming Iran had “walked the walk” on non-proliferation.
“Meanwhile, states actually possessing these destructive weapons have hardly even talked the talk, while completely brushing off their disarmament obligations under NPT and customary international law. That is to say nothing of countries outside the NPT, or Israel, with an undeclared nuclear arsenal and a declared disdain towards non-proliferation, notwithstanding its absurd and alarmist campaign against the Iranian nuclear deal.”
Zarif makes three proposals: for negotiations to begin on a nuclear weapons elimination treaty; that this should lead initially to nuclear arsenals being taken off high alert readiness (for example, by removing warheads from missiles); and for the creation of a zone in the Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction………..
Patricia Lewis, the research director for international security at the Chatham House thinktank, said: “Most interesting to me is that Zarif is strongly linking the nuclear deal in Vienna to the WMD-free zone. Iran used to be a thought leader in this process – a role it absconded from in recent years. It looks as if once again it may be prepared to take this on as a major issue. The fascinating thing to watch will be how Israel will respond, a country that won’t even reveal its nuclear weapons capability and remains outside the NPT.” http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/31/iran-nuclear-weapons-states-disarm-israel?CMP=share_btn_tw
Iran Nuclear Deal Will Have Positive Effect On Middle Eastern Security And Stability, Putin Assures Netanyahu, International business Times, By Sounak Mukhopadhyay on July 30 2015 Russian President Vladimir Putin told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Thursday that Iran’s nuclear program would improve Middle Eastern security. He also said that the outcome of the nuclear negotiations would positively influence the stability of the region.
Putin assured Netanyahu that the deal would prevent the Islamic republic from acquiring nuclear weapons. The Russian president told Netanyahu the deal would also ensure that Iran had a peaceful nuclear program.
“The Russian leader expressed confidence that successful implementation of the Joint [Comprehensive] Plan of Action will strengthen the regime of nuclear non-proliferation and will have a positive effect on security and stability in the Middle East,” said Iranian news agency Press TV, quoting a Kremlin statement.
According to the Jerusalem Post, Israel plans to lobby the U.S. Congress not to authorize the nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers. The deal came to its conclusion in Vienna earlier in July after both parties had negotiated for more than a decade.
The United Nations, the European Union and the United States are going to lift sanctions against Iran, which will help the Islamic republic revitalize its economy. In exchange, Iran will restrict its nuclear program. Israel, on the other hand, has expressed concerns that Iran will create a nuclear weapon despite the agreement………http://www.ibtimes.com/iran-nuclear-deal-will-have-positive-effect-middle-eastern-security-stability-putin-203221
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