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Saudi Arabia applauds Donald Trump in pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal

Saudi Arabia says backs U.S. decision to withdraw from Iran nuclear deal, Reuters Staff  RIYADH (Reuters) 9 May 18- Saudi Arabia welcomed President Donald Trump’s decision on Tuesday to withdraw the United States from the international nuclear agreement with Iran and to reimpose economic sanctions on its arch-foe Tehran.

The kingdom, a key U.S. ally, said it would work with the United States and the international community to address Iran’s nuclear program as well as its ballistic missile program and support of militant groups in the region……..

It confirmed “the need to deal with the danger that Iran’s policies pose to international peace and security through a comprehensive view that is not limited to its nuclear program but also includes all hostile activities” in the region……..

Saudi Arabia has called the 2015 nuclear deal a “flawed agreement”, and in March Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told CBS news that his kingdom would “without a doubt” develop nuclear weapons if Iran did so.

 The Sunni Muslim kingdom has been at loggerheads with Shi’ite Iran for decades. They have fought a long-running proxy war in the Middle East and beyond, backing opposing sides in armed conflicts and political crises including in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

Reporting by Stephen Kalin and Sarah Dadouch; Writing by Ghaida Ghantous; Editing by Michael Georgy and Hugh Lawson


May 9, 2018 Posted by | politics international, Saudi Arabia, USA | Leave a comment

Rouhani says Iran will remain in nuclear deal, 8 May 2018 

President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that Iran would remain committed to a multinational nuclear deal despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 agreement designed to deny Tehran the ability to build nuclear weapons, Reuters reported.

“If we achieve the deal’s goals in cooperation with other members of the deal, it will remain in place… By exiting the deal, America has officially undermined its commitment to an international treaty,” Rouhani said in a televised speech.

“I have ordered the foreign ministry to negotiate with the European countries, China and Russia in coming weeks. If at the end of this short period we conclude that we can fully benefit from the JCPOA with the cooperation of all countries, the deal would remain,” he added.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is the full name for the nuclear deal, struck in 2015 between Iran, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council – the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France – and Germany.

Rouhani added that Iran was ready to resume its nuclear activities after consultations with the other world powers which are part of the agreement.

May 9, 2018 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

European leaders consider ways to save the Iran nuclear deal

Europe pledges to save Iran nuclear deal ‘for our shared security’, By Nick Miller, 9 May 2018 

Budapest: European leaders have hinted at financial incentives or compensation for Iran to persuade it to stay it in the nuclear deal that the US has rejected.

And they are likely to act to protect European companies trading with Iran despite the US re-imposing sanctions.

In a joint statement UK prime minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Emmanuel Macron greeted with “regret and concern” Donald Trump’s announcement that he would re-impose sanctions against Iran and withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.

Together, we emphasise our continuing commitment to the (agreement),” they said. “This agreement remains important for our shared security.”

They said Iran “continues to abide by the restrictions” in the deal preventing its development of nuclear weapons, and “the world is a safer place as a result”.

“Our governments remain committed to ensuring the agreement is upheld, and will work with all the remaining parties to the deal to ensure this remains the case including through ensuring the continuing economic benefits to the Iranian people that are linked to the agreement.”

They encouraged Iran to “show restraint in response to the decision by the US” and to continue to meet all its obligations including atomic agency inspections and monitoring.

“In turn, Iran should continue to receive the sanctions relief it is entitled to whilst it remains in compliance with the terms of the deal,” the leaders said.

The European Commission’s foreign affairs representative and vice president Federica Mogherini said the nuclear deal “is not a bilateral agreement and it is not in the hands of any single country to terminate it”.

“It is a key element of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture,” Mogherini said, adding that it was “even more” relevant in the context of negotiations with North Korea.

“The nuclear deal with Iran is crucial for the security of the region, of Europe and of the entire world,” she said.

She said Europe “fully trusted” the work of the nuclear watchdog which had certified Iran had fully complied with it s commitments under the deal.

And she too suggested Europe would look to compensate Iran for the impact of renewed US sanctions.

“The EU has repeatedly stressed that the lifting of nuclear related sanctions has a positive impact on trade and economic relations with Iran, including crucial benefits for the Iranian people,” she said

“The EU is fully committed to ensuring that this continues to be delivered on. I am particularly worried by the announcement of new sanctions. I will consult with all our partners in the coming hours and days to assess their implications. The EU is determined to act in accordance with its security interests and to protect its economic investments.”

And she appealed to Iran to “stay true to your commitments, as we will stay true to ours. And together, with the rest of the international community, we will preserve the nuclear deal.”

May, Macron and Merkel said they wanted to build on the nuclear deal to address other issues including Iran’s ballistic missile programme and “its destabilising regional activities, especially in Syria, Iraq and Yemen”.

Macron Tweeted that the three countries would “work collectively on a broader framework” covering nuclear activity after the deal ends in 2025, ballistic activity and “stability in the Middle East”.

On Monday UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson travelled to the US to make a last-ditch appeal to save the deal, but didn’t get an audience with the president.

Instead he appeared on the cable news program Fox & Friends – which Trump regularly watches – and remarked that “Plan B does not seem, to me, to be particularly well developed at this stage”.

May 9, 2018 Posted by | EUROPE, Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

An impossible task? – “permanent, verifiable, irreversible dismantlement” of North Korea’s nuclear program

Nuclear Inspectors Would Face Monumental Task in N.Korea By Cho Yi-jun May 08, 2018 
The U.S.’ call for a “permanent, verifiable, irreversible dismantlement” of North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs would pose a monumental task for international inspectors.

U.S. officials project “the most extensive inspection campaign in the history of nuclear disarmament, one that would have to delve into a program that stretches back more than half a century and now covers square miles of industrial sites and hidden tunnels across the mountainous North,” according to the New York Times on Sunday.

The success of any verification hinges on accurately assessing North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile stockpiles, most of which are hidden away. Already U.S. intelligence agents are going all out to gather data about the North’s nuclear and ballistic missile facilities.

The U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency recently launched a project that tracks the movements of all vehicles in and out of North Korean military installations, CNN reported. Washington has also monitored North Korean responses to American fighter planes flying overhead to arrive at an overall assessment of the North’s hidden military bases.

One diplomatic source in Washington said the U.S. “may have assessed North Korea’s secret military installations much more accurately than the North thinks.”

The New York Times cited the RAND Corporation as arriving at no better assessment than that North Korea has 20 to 60 nuclear warheads and around 40 to 100 nuclear facilities, while one nuclear facility has more than 400 buildings.

“While there is no question Iran hid much of its weapons-designing past, North Korea has concealed programs on a far larger scale,” the daily said.

The RAND Corporation predicts that it would take 273,000 U.S. troops just to locate and secure North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction, which is more than the number of American soldiers deployed in Iraq at the peak of the U.S. invasion.

It warned that the International Atomic Energy Agency has only 300 inspectors, and 80 of them are already assigned to monitoring activities in Iran. If the North agrees in principle to denuclearize, the IAEA will have a huge task simply finding the personnel.

North Korea could easily conceal highly enriched uranium which could be used to produce a nuclear bomb, and it would be virtually impossible to find if the North fails to cooperate.

Justice Party lawmaker Kim Jong-dae, who recently visited Washington, told reporters that North Korea has “tens of thousands of facilities related to nuclear and missile development, while there are around 10,000 underground tunnels and storage facilities in the Mt. Baekdu area.”

“Realistically, the U.S.-North Korea summit should discuss nuclear arms reduction rather than complete dismantlement,” he added.

Mac Thornberry, head of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee, told Fox New that he is “very skeptical” that North Korea will completely dismantle its weapons of mass destruction and advised the U.S. to “prepare for the worst.”

But others warned that North Korea could face a grim future if it attempts to fool the U.S.

Hardline U.S. lawmaker Lindsey Graham said in a radio interview that North Korea played “every president before -– Clinton, Bush, all of them” but warned that Pyongyang would regret it if it tries to dupe the Trump administration since this would mean the “end of the North Korean regime.”

May 9, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, safety, weapons and war | Leave a comment

North Korea is willing to discuss its nuclear program in talks with the United States

North Korea’s Kim wants to talk to Trump about mutual nuclear issues, says Chinese media, WP, By Anna Fifield and Simon Denyer May 8   Email the author

TOKYO — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wants to talk to President Trump about “phased and synchronous measures” to deal with the standoff over the North’s nuclear program, Chinese state media reported Tuesday after Kim made his second visit to China in as many months.

This wording, coupled with Kim’s desire to “eventually achieve denuclearization and lasting peace on the peninsula,” will ring alarm bells in Washington as it reinforces suspicions that the North Korean leader will ask Trump to take simultaneous steps to reduce tensions.

The U.S. president said Tuesday in Washington that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was en route to North Korea to finalize a date and location for a meeting between Trump and Kim. It would be the first such parley between a sitting American president and a North Korean leader.

“This wording about a ‘phased approach’ shows that this is going to be a process,” said Patrick McEachern, a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center who previously worked on North Korea at the State Department.

“There are no home runs here. Success in diplomacy with North Korea is going to be a series of singles, with some strikeouts and errors along the way,” he said.

There is considerable skepticism among analysts that Kim, having tried so hard to get a credible nuclear weapons program, is about to give it all up — certainly not without extracting major concessions from the United States. That could include reducing the U.S. military footprint in South Korea.

Kim made the remarks during a two-day visit to the Chinese port city of Dalian, not far from the North Korean border, where he met with President Xi Jinping, Xinhua reported Tuesday night. His younger sister and close aide, Kim Yo Jong, also was seen at the meetings………

South Korea has repeatedly said that the North is willing to discuss its nuclear program in talks with the United States, although “denuclearization” has not been defined. The language in the April 27 agreement has many American analysts worried that Kim will insist on U.S. military drawdowns from South Korea as part of any deal.

Although there is considerable skepticism in the United States and Japan about whether North Korea is genuine in its detente efforts, analysts point out that Kim appears to want to move on from nuclear to economic development.

“I do think North Korea would have a very strong interest to pivot to economic development,” Zhao said. “In this regard, it would have a strong motivation to build much stronger economic ties with China, South Korea and Russia.”

The South Korean government is exploring ways to increase economic cooperation with North Korea without breaching international sanctions or earning the ire of Trump. Reports from the Chinese-North Korean border suggest that Chinese authorities have already lost much of their enthusiasm for enforcing existing sanctions.

But Xie of Gavekal Dragonomics said that, deep down, Kim knows Washington and Seoul are unlikely to lift sanctions anytime soon and that he has to rely on China for economic relief. ….

May 9, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international | Leave a comment

Donald Trump’s withdrawal from nuclear deal lacks detail

But the announcement was short on specifics, including which sanctions – they cover industries ranging from petroleum to transportation to insurance – will be restored first. And it was not clear whether the decision will lead to a collapse of the agreement, which involves five other countries.

…….. the American withdrawal does not necessarily mean the Iran agreement collapses — at least not immediately. Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia are still parties to the agreement. If they all agree to maintain it, the effect of restored American sanctions on Iran may be softened.

And Mr. Trump held out the possibility of negotiating a new agreement with Iran, though its leaders have said that won’t happen.

All restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activities under the agreement remain in place. Continue reading

May 9, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international | Leave a comment

Opinion: Trump’s Iran nuclear deal exit dangerous for the world — The Property Gazette

Donald Trump’s Iran nuclear deal withdrawal is his most pernicious foreign policy decision yet and a huge blow for trans-Atlantic ties. It also raises the stakes for another looming nuclear showdown, says Michael Knigge. The long-standing, almost visceral hatred many in the Trump White House felt towards the Iran nuclear agreement was probably best […]

via Opinion: Trump’s Iran nuclear deal exit dangerous for the world — The Property Gazette

May 9, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New York Attorney General Tries To Protect People-Environment From 400 Fold Increase In Radiation And Other Toxic Dangers; Gets Accused Of Abuse By Ex-Girlfriends

Mining Awareness +

[Update note: While the international radiation exposure “standard” and the US NRC “standard” for discharges from nuclear sites is 1 mSv per year for the general public, for the US EPA it is 0.25 mSv. Calabrese, cited in the Trump-Pruitt EPA press release, has pushed for exposure of 100 mSv per year or higher, making a 400 fold increase. The title has been corrected, accordingly. 1 mSv is 100 mrem.]
If you are physically abused report it immediately to police, not to the media. Media – do your fxcking job and expose all of the many bad things which are out there about Trump and his admin. They are legion. Lay off with the unproven allegations with fishy timing against the people who are trying to save democracy, including freedom of the press, and the environment.
Hey New Yorker, how about exposing this attempt by Trump…

View original post 1,261 more words

May 9, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

This Thursday Radiation Free Lakeland will be at PNR – and then onto the front line of the civil military nuclear industry a stones throw away @SPRINGFIELDS —

Images: Springfields makes all the UKs nuclear fuel (and overseas too) / Nukiller Waste is Too Much to Bear / Containers of Uranium Hexaflouride stacked up at the Springfields site (Springfields is on the same narrow country road proposed for fracking vehicles to Roseacre wood) NUKILLER WASTES MADE IN PRESTON: TOO MUCH TO BEAR Thursday […]

via This Thursday Radiation Free Lakeland will be at PNR – and then onto the front line of the civil military nuclear industry a stones throw away @SPRINGFIELDS —

May 9, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The power of environmentalism – Israelis, Palestinians and Jordanians unite in campaign for the environment

EcoPeace Middle East and the power of environmentalism, Independent Australia, Sophia McNamara 

EcoPeace Middle East teach environmental issues to Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian children in the hopes they’ll bring awareness back to their communities (screen shot via YouTube).

Sophia McNamara introduces Gidon Bromberg and EcoPeace Middle East — an organisation brokering peaceful cooperation with environmentalism.

ECOPEACE MIDDLE EAST is a unique regional organisation that brings together Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian environmentalists.

It is the only regional non-government organisation (NGO) that exists in Israel, Palestine and Jordan. Among its many battles, Ecopeace Middle East recently helped increase the supply of clean water and energy to Gaza. This is particularly critical considering the United Nations has predicted that Gaza will become uninhabitable by 2020.

I interviewed Israeli co-director and co-founder of EcoPeace Middle East Gidon Bromberg and he told me:

“Just a one hour drive from here in Tel Aviv, there is a water and sanitation crisis in Gaza … Two million people have run out of water. And today, about 97% of the groundwater is undrinkable.”

Bromberg came up with the idea to start EcoPeace when he realised the environment was being completely left out of the peace agenda of the early 1990s.

Originally from Elsternwick in Melbourne, Bromberg attended Elwood High School (formerly Elwood College) and graduated with degrees in Law and Economics from Monash University. Since age 11, Bromberg had known he wanted to return to his family’s hometown of Tel Aviv, Israel.

Straight after university, he made “aliyah — a term that describes the process of a Jewish person returning to Israel.

Bromberg came across an advert saying that a newly established non-profit called the Israel Union for Environmental Defence wanted their first lawyer. He volunteered there one day a week for four years, while still working four days a week in private practice, taking a pay cut in the process.

He was then offered a scholarship to study his Masters of Law at the American University in Washington DC, where he ended up being right on the doorstep of negotiations for the Oslo Accords and the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty. Bromberg’s Masters thesis posed the question: will peace be environmentally sustainable? He concluded that peace could, in fact, be truly harmful to the environment and sustainability unless it was put on the political track.

Bromberg had the idea to create a regional environmental organisation that would address this exact issue. He wanted to hold a meeting with Israeli, Egyptian, Palestinian and Jordanian environmentalists to discuss the possibility of this organisation. He spoke with potential investors in Washington DC — they all told him it was a great idea, but he needed to come back to them when he was older.

In 1994, he went back to Israel and, as part of his scholarship, he worked for a year at the Israel Union of Environmental Defence as a full-time lawyer.

Bromberg immediately wrote to all the potential investors in the United States again, this time from Israel. One of them called him and said he had thought about it and that if he could make the meeting happen, he would fund it. As these were the days before the internet, Bromberg had never met a Palestinian, Jordanian or Egyptian environmentalist.

The World Wildlife Fund had a guide on environmentalist organisations in the region — so he contacted all of them. Bromberg had a meeting in East Jerusalem with a Palestinian environmentalist, who responded to the enquiry, and spoke over the phone to an Egyptian and Jordanian. …..

Today, EcoPeace has adapted to a changed political climate, increased water scarcity and urgency required by climate change. They focus heavily on shared natural resources, regional water security and sustainable development.

A particularly successful initiative by EcoPeace is the Good Water Neighbours Program. This is where youth and adult activists, as well as mayors and municipal staff from Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian communities all work together across the borders to advance shared solutions for the rehabilitation of natural watersheds.

The Jordan River, possibly the holiest river in the world, with large religious significance in Christianity, Judaism and Islam, “has been turned into little more than an open sewer now,” says Bromberg.

Bromberg says the issue is about more than the river itself:

“The largest number of volunteers from Jordan who have joined ISIS are from Jordan Valley communities. There is a link between ecological demise, poverty, underdevelopment… and then radical, dangerous ideologies. Water security, ours and our neighbours, are national security concerns.”

This is the case EcoPeace make when they lobby Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian governments into committing themselves to cross-border water and sanitation projects……….,11470

May 9, 2018 Posted by | environment, MIDDLE EAST | Leave a comment

Anti-terror emergency response centre for Sendai nuclear power plant

 (Mainichi Japan) TOKYO –– Construction plans for an anti-terror and emergency response center for the No. 1 reactor at the Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Sendai nuclear plant were accepted by the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) on May 7.

Formal approval for the emergency center at the plant in Satsumasendai, Kagoshima Prefecture, is expected soon. Nuclear plant operators are required to build emergency response facilities within a certain timeframe under new safety standards that took effect in 2013. The plans for the Sendai plant are the first to be approved by the NRA.

The NRA reviewed a number of Kyushu Electric construction plans for the response center, including for maintenance equipment, and accepted some of them. Details have not been made available for safety reasons, but the center will be built some distance from the Sendai plant’s reactor buildings. With potential terror attacks in mind, the center will be equipped with water pumps, generators and an emergency control room allowing staff to continue to cool the reactors remotely.

The NRA requires that the emergency response centers be strong enough to withstand being struck by an aircraft, or be located a significant distance from a plant’s reactors, and that they have emergency control rooms.

At first, the NRA had demanded that the response centers be established by July this year. However, with many plants unable to meet the deadline, in November 2015 the agency switched to requiring the centers be set up “within five years of the approval of detailed upgrade plans for the reactors themselves.”

So far, the NRA has green-lit the restarts of seven reactors at five plants, which are now all on the deadline clock to open emergency response centers. The Sendai plant’s No. 1 unit is one of those reactors, and Kyushu Electric has until March 2020 to complete the response center there. If it does not meet the deadline, it will be compelled to shut off the No. 1 reactor until the response center is finished. The deadline for the plant’s No. 2 reactor is in May the same year.

The cost of building the response centers has swelled over time, with those for the Sendai plant’s two reactors set to reach roughly 220 billion yen — five times the initial estimate. Kansai Electric Power Co. is also expected to shell out some 222.7 billion yen for response centers for the four reactors at its Takahama nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture.

(Japanese original by Riki Iwama, Science & Environment News Department)


May 9, 2018 Posted by | Japan, safety | Leave a comment

Ending Iran nuclear deal could have grave consequences: Jordan fears new arms race

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi says an end of the Iran deal could have grave consequences across the Middle East, 
BY REUTERS JERUSALEM POST MAY 8, 2018  MURNAU – Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi on Tuesday warned of “dangerous repercussions” and a possible arms race in the Middle East unless a political solution was found to free the region of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.

Al-Safadi spoke in Germany before an expected announcement by US President Donald Trump on whether he will pull out of the Iran nuclear deal or work with European allies who say it has successfully halted Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Al-Sadadi said he did not know what the US president would do, but urged continued conversation and dialog with Iran, despite what he called widespread concerns among Arab countries about Iran’s “interventionism” in the region.

“We all need to work together in making sure that we solve the conflicts of the region … and strive for a Middle East that is free of all weapons of mass destruction,” he told reporters after a meeting with leaders of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s right-left “grand coalition” government.

“If we do not look at the political picture and … find a way to ensure that the whole region is free of (these weapons), we’ll be looking at a lot of dangerous repercussions that will affect the region in terms of an arms race,” he said.

In March, Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told CBS news that his kingdom would “without a doubt” develop nuclear weapons if Iran, Riyadh’s arch foe, did so.

Israel is widely believed to be the only nuclear-armed state in the Middle East, although it neither confirms nor denies possessing atomic weapons. …….

May 9, 2018 Posted by | Iran, Jordan, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

  Idaho State University Lost Enough Weapons-Grade Plutonium to Make a Dirty Bomb. 

Motherboard 8th May 2018.On Friday, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced that Idaho
State University may face an $8,500 fine after losing one gram of
weapons-grade plutonium. Although this quarter-sized amount of plutonium is
nowhere near enough to make a nuclear weapon, it is enough to make a dirty
bomb that spreads radiation, according to the Associated Press.

May 9, 2018 Posted by | - plutonium, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Israel prepares missile defence systems and BOMB SHELTERS as US leaves Iran nuclear deal

ISRAEL has deployed multiple iron dome defence systems across the northern parts of the country as Israeli authorities fear an Iranian attack is imminent following the US’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. Express UK, By NICOLE STINSON, May 8, 2018 

Israel has instructed local authorities in the Israeli-held Golan Heights to “unlock and ready bomb shelters” after identifying what the military described as “irregular activity of Iranian forces in Syria”.

The military statement further said that its defence systems had been deployed “and IDF (Israel Defence Force) troops are on high alert for an attack”.

Reports have emerged of explosions being heard south of the Syrian capital of Damascus towards the Israeli border……

May 9, 2018 Posted by | Israel, weapons and war | Leave a comment

South Africa to review its nuclear build programme


Energy Minister Jeff Radebe says he hopes to present the review of the Integrated Resource Plan to Cabinet by mid-August. Lindsay  Dentlinger , 8 May 18, CAPE TOWN – Energy Minister Jeff Radebe says the country’s controversial nuclear build programme is under review.

He says no further decisions will be taken until the long-overdue review of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) has been finalised.

Radebe says he hopes to present the document to Cabinet by mid-August.

The minister on Tuesday appeared before Parliament’s Energy Committee for the first time since his appointment in February.

Radebe batted away MPs’ questions about the country’s nuclear power intentions, saying he doesn’t want to pre-empt the determination of the IRP.

The deadline for the review of the outdated 2010 document was changed by each of Radebe’s two predecessors, and he too has set a new date for submission to Cabinet.

For now Radebe says the focus is on complying with a High Court ruling which found government’s cooperation agreements on nuclear to have been unconstitutional.

Radebe said: “The issue of cost…I think those were determined at a time when a decision is taken whether or not to proceed.”

Radebe has given a commitment to MPs that there will be more consultation on the IRP including with the public.

May 9, 2018 Posted by | politics, South Africa | Leave a comment