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Hiroshima and the normalisation of atrocities

August 11, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Reference, Religion and ethics, weapons and war | 1 Comment

United Nations promotes the role of young people in ridding the world of nuclear weapons

Young people have a major role to play in ridding the world of nuclear weapons,    https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/08/1069722  Nuclear weapons are still one of the most serious threats to mankind, and the dangers are growing. Young people can play an important role in ensuring that they are eliminated once and for all, says the UN’s top disarmament official, ahead of International Youth Day on 12 August.

This coming Wednesday, the world will highlight young people as essential partners in effecting change. The annual celebration of International Youth Day is also an opportunity to raise awareness about the problems facing youth,  including the continued existence of nuclear weapons.

Seventy-five years ago last week, the only two nuclear bombs ever used in warfare were detonated over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, killing approximately 210,000 people within months and sickening tens of thousands more with cancer and lifelong diseases.

Nearly 14,000 nuclear warheads exist today, most of them many times more powerful than those two bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The world has succeeded at reducing some of the risks, especially after the end of the Cold War, but Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, has said the danger is now “higher than it has been in generations.”

Ms. Nakamitsu talked to UN News about why, and how, young people are helping to tackle this crisis.

“When catastrophes occur, they tend to turn into numbers, and it is important to remember that everyone who suffered the devastation from the atomic bombings 75 years ago has a story. They had lives, people they loved and who loved them.

When I was about 10 or 12 years old, I visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and once you have seen them the memory stays with you.

Eliminating these indiscriminate and inhumane weapons is the UN’s top disarmament priority – and one of its oldest goals.

But the world’s progress to rid the world of nuclear weapons has slowed down, and now we are actually starting to go backwards. This back-sliding increases the possibility that a nuclear weapon could be used– either intentionally, by accident or because of a misunderstanding.

In today’s complicated international environment – with priorities ranging from climate change to sustainable development, pandemics and migration – nuclear weapons are still one of the most urgent threats to tackle.

Here are three reasons why.

First, they are the most destructive weapons ever invented. Most that exist today are vastly more powerful than the bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Second, nuclear weapons are one of the two threats, along with climate change, that extend to all life on the planet. Any use of  nuclear weapons could cause an environmental cataclysm.

Third, no country can adequately respond to the vast suffering and death that would follow any use of a nuclear weapon. Most countries, and international organisations like the ICRC, have voiced concern about this. Some countries have adopted a new treaty which prohibits nuclear weapons.

The power of youth

As part of the largest generation in history, today’s young people hold tremendous power – and responsibility.
Jayathma Wickramanayake, the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, stressed this during a visit to Japan earlier this year. She said, “The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki should always remind us, especially the younger generations, how important disarmament and denuclearization is. Young people under the age of 30 account for over half of the world’s population, and we can’t achieve world peace without their participation.

The Secretary-General’s Agenda for Disarmament recognizes youth as “the ultimate force for change”. When they are educated, engaged and empowered, they can have decisive influence on how their societies and governments view nuclear weapons.

We have seen their power before. Young campaigners, many of them women, helped lead successful global efforts to ban landmines and cluster munitions under international law, and they are rallying many countries to reduce nuclear threats.

Some of these campaigns have been awarded with a Nobel Peace Prize. Last year, the United Nations General Assembly reaffirmed the contributions that young people can make in sustaining peace and security.

Young people can contribute by starting discussion groups, hosting film screenings and planning informative events with fellow students and friends. I recommend reading the United Nations book, “Action for Disarmament: 10 Things You can Do!” to learn more about these and other outreach strategies.

How to get involved

At the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs, we want to help create space for young people to meaningfully contribute to progress on disarmament. Through a new outreach initiative, called “#Youth4Disarmament”, we are working to engage, educate and empower young people by offering resources like e-newsletterstraining programmes and an upcoming website dedicated to youth and disarmament.

We also recently announced our first group of “Youth Champions for Disarmament”. These 10 young people will receive training on general principles of disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control through both online courses and a two-week in-person study tour in Vienna, Geneva, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They will exchange ideas with experts from think tanks, civil society organizations and the diplomatic field, and develop a plan to engage their communities on disarmament-related issues.

It is vital for countries to engage with their younger citizens. They have the power to effect change, and their ideas can help strengthen our collective peace and security—now and for the future. With their fresh ideas and perspectives, together we can find solutions to the world’s gravest dangers.”

August 11, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear radiation and Chernobyl’s forest fires

Twenty-five years after the disaster, Zibtsev and others predicted that if the forests in the exclusion zone were completely consumed by fire, residents in Kyiv would face an increased risk of dying from cancer and government bans would need to be imposed on foods produced as far as 90 miles away. Although such a large and intense fire is currently unlikely, recent fires have been sizable enough to create similar problems. “If Chernobyl forests burn, contaminants will migrate outside the immediate area,” says Zibtsev. “We know that.”

This April’s fires, which scorched 23 percent of the exclusion zone, were the largest burns ever recorded in the area, nearly four and a half times the size of fires in 2015. Flames torched trees less than three miles from the ruined nuclear reactor, which is now enclosed by an arch-shaped steel shroud.

Forest Fires Are Setting Chernobyl’s Radiation Free   https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2020/08/chernobyl-fires/615067/  

Trees now cover most of the exclusion zone, and climate change is making them more likely to burn.   Story by Jane Braxton Little  10 Aug, 20 In the clear, calm, early hours of May 15, 2003, three miles west of the hulking ruins of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Vasyl Yoschenko was bustling around a stand of Scotch pines planted 30 years earlier. The trees were spindly and closely spaced, but he was skinny enough to move easily among them, taking samples of biomass and litter. Just beyond the trees, he tinkered with the horizontal plates he had placed on the ground in a diagonal grid and covered with superfine cloth designed to absorb whatever came their way.

Yoschenko had just finished adjusting his monitoring equipment in the mid-afternoon when the first gusts of smoke billowed from the far side of the pines. Firefighters were torching the edges of an area the approximate size and shape of a football field. Wearing respirators, camouflage pants, and khaki shirts, cloth bandannas covering their heads, the men were systematically setting the woods ablaze. Flames leapt five feet up trunks, racing to the tops of some trees and sending plumes of smoke aloft.
Yoschenko, a Ukrainian radioecologist, had planned the controlled burn to study how radioactive particulates would behave in a fire, and he knew about the risks represented by the nuclear contamination swirling overhead. He prudently scooted to the edge of the forest, donned a gas mask, and began taking photographs. Was it dangerous? Yoschenko shrugs: “Not so much. We were lucky the wind didn’t change direction.”

The forest burned intensely for 90 minutes, releasing cesium-137, strontium-90, and plutonium-238, -239, and -240 in blasts of smoke and heat. In just one hour, the firefighters—and Yoschenko—could have been exposed to more than triple the annual radiation limit for Chernobyl’s nuclear workers.

Continue reading

August 11, 2020 Posted by | climate change, Reference, safety, Ukraine | 2 Comments

Only luck has saved us from nuclear war, not planning

The reason we haven’t had nuclear disasters isn’t careful planning. It’s luck.   https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/08/10/reason-we-havent-had-nuclear-disasters-isnt-careful-planning-its-luck/  

The alarming role of good fortune in the history of nuclear weapons.   By Benoît Pelopidas and Alex Wellerstein, August 10, 2020

On the morning of Aug. 9, 1945, the city of Nagasaki, Japan, was devastated by a single atomic bomb detonated over it by U.S. military. Nagasaki wasn’t the original target for the bomb that morning — that was Kokura, a city to its north, which was spared only because mishaps led the Bockscar airplane to arrive at its target several hours late. When it got there, Kokura was covered in clouds and a smoky haze. Due to Kokura’s luck, it was spared — but Nagasaki’s luck had run out.

Seventy-five years after the last time a nuclear weapon was used in war, the United States is planning to extend the life of its nuclear arsenal for half a century into the future, with a modernization plan going as far as 2042. Weapons the size of those used in World War II are considered to be “small” and “tactical” weapons todaymost warheads in the American arsenal are dozens of times more destructive than the ones dropped on Japan. And the United States is no longer the only power with nuclear weapons, either.

Which makes it all the scarier to realize that luck — the same luck that spared Kokura and doomed Nagasaki — is one of the main reasons we’ve avoided nuclear catastrophes since then.

The agencies and organizations that manage nuclear stockpiles tend to rely on narratives of total control. They reassure us nuclear weapons have an excellent safety record, nuclear deterrence will prevent nuclear war from happening, and these large expenditures on warheads that could kill millions and millions are not only a good idea, but also necessary to preserve a world in which nuclear weapons won’t be used.

But the historical counterexamples undermine that messagethe near miss nuclear accidents that resulted in nuclear warheads coming close to detonation not only in the United States (such as the Goldsboro accident over North Carolina), but also in foreign territory (like the Palomares accident over Spain); the close-calls where U.S. and Soviet early-warning systems failed and informed their users that a nuclear strike had begun; the moments of brinkmanship that led leaders of both nations to have to make decisions that could lead to the deaths of hundreds of millions of people based on incomplete or false information (such as the Cuban missile crisis). Have we avoided unwanted nuclear explosions, and nuclear war, because we have adequately managed and controlled weapons and crises … or because we have been lucky?

Luck, in this context, seems to mean the exact opposite of control. It’s all that prevented bad outcomes when things could easily have gone in a different direction, no matter what anybody wanted. The historical policymakers who have invoked “luck” have included Robert S. McNamara, who was defense secretary during the Cuban missile crisis; Dean Acheson, special envoy of President John F. Kennedy at the time; ambassador Gerard C. Smith, chief U.S. delegate to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks in 1969; former defense secretary William Perry, former secretary of state George Shultz, former national security adviser and secretary of state Henry Kissinger, former chairman of the Senate’s Armed Services Committee, Sam Nunn, and former head of Strategic Air Command and Strategic Command, Gen. George Lee Butler.

Most people know the Cuban missile crisis was considered by those involved to be “lucky” — as McNamara put it, years later, in an interview with Errol Morris: “At the end, we lucked out. It was luck that prevented nuclear war.” But even in more mundane cases, there are clear indications that fortunate outcomes were achieved with no help at all from the nuclear control practices in the U.S. arsenal. Continue reading

August 11, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The lingering human suffering after nuclear testing in Australia and Oceania

Death in paradise: the aftermath of nuclear testing in Australia and Oceania    https://diem25.org/death-paradise-the-aftermath-nuclear-testing-australia-and-oceania/ 10/08/2020   by Aleksandar Novaković   The United States of America is the first nuclear power — and the only one to have used its weapons for a military purpose. During World War 2 in 1945,  two Japanese cities were bombed by US nuclear bombs (Hiroshima on August 6th  and Nagasaki August 9th ). The devastating result was approximately 225,000 people either dead or  wounded. The number of deaths in Hiroshima and Nagasaki due to exposure to lethal radiation is still being discussed, but it is certainly in the thousands.

However, even though nuclear weapons were never used again for military purposes, nuclear testing took (and continues to take) a toll on thousands of lives in Australia and Oceania. 

The United States conducted about 1,054 nuclear tests from 1945 to 1992, and 105 of them (1945-1962) were made at Pacific Test Sites (Marshall Islands, Kiribati) causing the contamination of huge areas controlled by US troops. In the Pacific, this caused rising numbers of cancer and birth defects, especially on the Marshall Islands where 67 tests were made and many Marshallese were forced to leave their homes in contaminated areas.

European nuclear powers, such as France and the UK,  have also “contributed” to the deaths of thousands.

France has made over 193 nuclear tests in the Pacific between 1960 and 1996, mostly on Mururoa and Fangataufa atolls that belong to French Polynesia, as well as 17 tests in Algerian Sahara. Tahiti, the most populated island of French Polynesia, was exposed to 500 times the maximum accepted levels of radiation. The impact has spread as far as to the tourist island of Bora Bora.

Civilians and the military participating in nuclear tests (more than 100,000 of them) have experienced diarrhea, skin injuries, blindness, and cancer. Their children have additionally suffered from birth defects. 

From 1953 to 1963, there were over 20 bigger and smaller British  A- bomb tests in Emu Farm, and the Maralinga and Montebello Islands of Australia. Overall, over 1200 peoples were exposed to radiation in the country, most of them Anangu people living in the Maralinga area. The UK has also made nuclear tests on overseas territories such as the Malden Islands and Christmas Island ( the present Republic of Kiribati).

So, what was done by the governments of the US, UK, Australia and France to help those who have suffered from radiation related illnesses, or those who lost their loved ones?

There are two answers. One is that loss of  loved ones, of the way you live your life, of the nature that surrounds you, the loss of home cannot be repaid or replaced with anything else. The other is that aforementioned governments did little.

The US has awarded more than $63 million to Marshallese with radiogenic illnesses despite the fact that the Tribunal only has $45.75 million to award for both health and land claims. France is still avoiding paying reparations to Tahitians.

As for the “joint venture” of the UK and Australia, the truth is that tests were approved and conducted in the first place because British officials were misinforming Australians. The Maralinga Tjarutja (Council) of  Anangu people has a compensation settlement with the Australian government, and they are receiving $13.5 million.

75 years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we must ask ourselves: Why are we so callous about many “Hiroshimas” and “Nagasakis” that happened over the following decades? Did we let them happen just because they took place in far-off islands in the Pacific or in the Australian desert? 

The only way to deal with these existing and future horrors that can eradicate life on Earth is to heal these existing wounds.

This means that the governments of the US, UK, France and Australia must pay just reparations to the affected countries and regions. Progressives of the world must act united against the threat of nuclear holocaust and create a political climate in which it would be possible to take action on an international level in order to ban the production, storage and use of nuclear weapons.

This can be done if nuclear powers, followed by all member states, sign the United Nation’s Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Aleksandar Novaković is a historian and dramatist. He is a member of DSC Belgrade 1 and the thematic DSC Peace and International Policy 1

 

August 11, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, AUSTRALIA, OCEANIA, Reference, weapons and war | Leave a comment

All too often the world has narrowly avoided World War 3, due to mistales

concentrating this power within a single individual is a big risk. “It’s happened a number of times that a president has been heavily drinking, or subject to medication he’s taking. He may be suffering from a psychological disease. All of these things have happened in the past,”

ways a country’s own technologies could be used against them. As we become more and more reliant on sophisticated computers, there is growing concern that hackers, viruses or AI bots could start a nuclear war. “We believe that the chance of false alarms has gone up with the increased danger of cyber-attacks,” says Collina. For example, a control system [like Pine Gap] could be spoofed into thinking that a missile is coming, which could mean a president is tricked into launching a counter-attack.

many experts agree that by far the biggest threat comes from the very launch systems that are supposed to be protecting us.

August 11, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, incidents, Reference, weapons and war | Leave a comment

California’s Wildfires Are 500 Percent Larger Due to Climate Change

August 11, 2020 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

Kremlin Warns The US Of Nuclear Retaliation If Russia Or Her Allies Are Targeted

August 11, 2020 Posted by | depleted uranium, politics international, Russia | Leave a comment

Climate change bad for nuclear: Hot weather, water shortage, likely to curb output at France’s Chooz nuclear reactors

August 11, 2020 Posted by | climate change, France | Leave a comment

UK offshore wind becomes cheaper than nuclear and gas 

 https://theenergyst.com/uk-offshore-wind-becomes-cheaper-than-nuclear-and-gas/, By Tim McManan-Smith, August  10, 2020  The Imperial College London conducted a study where it shows that the UK offshore wind generation costs have significantly declined in the last few years, bringing in the plausibility of the sector soon being subsidy negative as per their contract for difference (CfD). GlobalData anticipates that the declining costs not only make offshore wind cost-effective in diminishing the country’s carbon footprint but also drive the government to increase installations in an attempt to achieve its 2030 target.
Somik Das, senior power analyst at GlobalData, comments: “With negative subsidy being a conceivable scenario, the share and the target of offshore wind capacity would likely be further elevated by the UK Government, which will be more interested in the segment than ever before. Elevating the target of 40GW of overall offshore capacity by 2030 would mean that more than 20% of the overall installed capacity would be shaped by the offshore segment, making it a more recognisable energy source on which the nation can rely for its electricity needs.”Offshore wind CfD prices are expected to decline and become cheaper than gas, where the price is expected to surpass £55/MWh by 2023-24. Major projects such as Doggerbank A and Doggerbank B are in the permitting phase and anticipated to come online by this time. These are key projects that saw success in the third round of CfD, held in 2019. With the next round planned to be held next year, projects coming up in the future stand a strong chance of experiencing negative subsidies.

Das concluded: “Over the next few years, the offshore segment is expected to boom. More than 19GW of offshore wind projects are in the pipeline, either in the nascent or advanced stages of development. Players such as SSE Renewables, Scottish Power Renewables, Orsted, Engie and many more have flocked this space, trying to grab a piece of the pie. Many would be constructed as deep sea projects at more than 40km from the shore, at depths ranging from 20-70m – making the most of favorable wind speeds of 7-10m/s. Some of them are expected to have turbine capacities of more than 10MW, and rotor diameters ranging from a mere 113m to over 200m.

August 11, 2020 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

North Dakota shows how to deter any plan for nuclear waste dumping

The Legislature passed a bill into law in 2019 that prohibits the disposal of high-level radioactive waste in North Dakota. For the rules to even take effect, “the first thing you have to do is get that law overturned or thrown out,” State Geologist Ed Murphy said.

What’s in the rules
If the ban is ever struck down and an entity were to approach the state about  establishing a storage facility for high-level radioactive waste, officials would look to the 13 pages of rules passed by the Industrial Commission, a three-member panel chaired by Gov. Doug Burgum.

Regulators prep for an industry few want: nuclear waste disposal, Bismarck Tribune, AMY R. SISK, 10 Aug, 20

 North Dakota is imposing its first comprehensive rules for nuclear waste disposal more than four years after Pierce County residents were caught off-guard by a proposal to drill test wells near Rugby.

The state Industrial Commission approved the regulations in late July, as well as new rules surrounding deep geothermal wells, another industry that does not exist in North Dakota but could emerge one day.

The waste disposal rules spell out all the steps an entity would have to go through if it were to propose storing “high-level radioactive waste” in North Dakota. Such waste is highly radioactive material generated from the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel, for example, and it requires permanent isolation……

The Legislature passed a bill into law in 2019 that prohibits the disposal of high-level radioactive waste in North Dakota. For the rules to even take effect, “the first thing you have to do is get that law overturned or thrown out,” State Geologist Ed Murphy said.

“We were writing rules for a program that, by law, is prohibited,” he said.

Roers said the thinking behind establishing the rules in light of the ban is that if the federal government were ever to try to trump North Dakota’s prohibition, it might still agree to follow the regulations established by the state.

What’s in the rules
If the ban is ever struck down and an entity were to approach the state about  establishing a storage facility for high-level radioactive waste, officials would look to the 13 pages of rules passed by the Industrial Commission, a three-member panel chaired by Gov. Doug Burgum.
The rules require that anyone looking to study the feasibility of storing the waste in North Dakota obtain an “exploration permit” from the state and secure financial assurance, such as a bond, in order to drill a test well. The state would have up to six months to make a permitting decision and would hold a public hearing. Along with the application, an entity would have to show that it had notified county officials about the project and given them a chance to take a position on it.

If the entity wanted to move forward with a project, it would then need a “facility permit,” which would prompt a similar vetting process. Officials would have up to a year to decide whether to issue a permit.

Before granting a permit, the operator would need to deposit at least $100 million in a new state fund.

“The half-lives of some of the radioactive waste will be dangerous much longer than any sign, monument, or avoidance structures would remain unless they are maintained in perpetuity,” the regulations state. “This money is to be used to ensure the passive institutional controls are maintained for thousands of years.”

If a facility were to make it through the permitting process, it would have to pay an annual operating fee of at least $1 million to the state. It also would need to provide monthly reports on activities at the site and comply with reclamation rules when the site is no longer in use.

Documents regarding the location and depth of the site, as well as details about the half-life of the radioactive waste buried there, must be stored in local, state and national archives — an effort to ensure they last in perpetuity in case the information is needed hundreds or thousands of years down the road, Murphy said.

While counties cannot outright impose a ban on the disposal of the materials, any project would need to adhere to local zoning regulations as to the size, scope and location of the site.

Murphy said the state examined the regulations of 13 other states in developing its rules…………..

The new rules for high-level radioactive waste and deep geothermal energy have one final hurdle to clear before they become official — they will go to a legislative Administrative Rules Committee for approval. …..   https://bismarcktribune.com/news/state-and-regional/regulators-prep-for-an-industry-few-want-nuclear-waste-disposal/article_5afd3c76-9ac1-556f-be69-50f6c9811642.html

August 11, 2020 Posted by | politics, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Tehran urges IAEA to shed light on Saudi ‘covert’ nuclear program.

Tehran Times 9th Aug 2020, Tehran urges IAEA to shed light on Saudi ‘covert’ nuclear program.
“Despite the fact that Saudi Arabia is a member of the Non-Proliferation
Treaty and has a comprehensive bilateral safeguard agreement with the
Agency, it has unfortunately refused to abide by its commitments to the
Agency’s inspections despite repetitive calls,” Kazem Gharibabadi said,
according to Tasnim.
Gharibabadi urged the IAEA to carry out investigations
and submit a full report on the status of nuclear activities in the Saudi
kingdom. Raising alarm about Riyadh’s nuclear ambitions, the ambassador
said the international community will not accept Saudi “deviation” from a
peaceful nuclear program and will confront it.
The comments came after
American intelligence agencies reportedly said they had spotted an
undeclared nuclear site near Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh, scrutinizing
attempts by the kingdom to process uranium and move toward the development
of atomic bombs.
The New York Times reported on Wednesday that the agencies
had in recent weeks circulated a classified analysis about Saudi attempts
to build up its ability to produce nuclear fuel that could potentially lead
to the development of nuclear weapons. The study shows “a newly completed
structure near a solar-panel production area near Riyadh, the Saudi
capital, that some government analysts and outside experts suspect could be
one of a number of undeclared nuclear sites,” the report said.

https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/451028/Tehran-urges-IAEA-to-shed-light-on-Saudi-covert-nuclear-program

August 11, 2020 Posted by | Saudi Arabia, secrets,lies and civil liberties, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Extinction Rebellion’s protest demonstration against building of Sizewell nuclear plant

East Anglian Daily Times 9th Aug 2020, Environmental action group Extinction Rebellion has held a protest on the
beach at Sizewell against the planned expansion of the nuclear power
station. The group laid out pairs of shoes in the form of its ‘XR’ logo
in the sand to represent what it says will be future lives devoid of
wildlife and a stable climate due to the planned construction of Sizewell C.
 Opponents of Sizewell C say that if it is built it will devastate the
local environment, which includes an Area of Natural Beauty and a Site of
Special Scientific Interest surrounding nearby RSPB Minsmere.
The protest
took place on Sunday August 9 and Extinction Rebellion East of England
spokesperson Rachel Smith-Lyte said 15 members had taken part in the
action. “There were some members of the public on the beach who saw what
we were doing and some of them were genuinely interested in what we were
doing and why.”https://www.eadt.co.uk/news/extinction-rebellion-holds-beach-protest-against-sizewell-c-1-6784523

August 11, 2020 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment

UK Chancellor evasive on the involvement of China in building Bradwell nuclear plant

August 11, 2020 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Iran nuclear deal at further risk

Iran Nuclear Deal at Risk as U.N. Council Prepares to Vote on Arms Embargo , U.S. News, BReuters, Wire Service ContentAug. 10, 2020, BY MICHELLE NICHOLS

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.N. Security Council is preparing to vote this week on a U.S. proposal to extend an arms embargo on Iran, a move that some diplomats say is bound to fail and put the fate of a nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers further at risk.

A last-minute attempt by Britain, France and Germany to broker a compromise with Russia and China on an arms embargo extension appeared unsuccessful so far, diplomats said. Russia and China, allies of Iran, have long-signaled opposition to the U.S. measure.

A Chinese diplomat at the United Nations, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that “extending the arms embargo on Iran in whatever form lacks legal basis and will undermine efforts to preserve” the nuclear deal, adding that there is “no chance” the U.S. text will be adopted.

The embargo is due to expire in October under a 2015 deal among Iran, Russia, China, Germany, Britain, France and the United States that prevents Tehran from developing nuclear weapons in return for sanctions relief.

Even though U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration quit the accord in 2018 – with Trump dubbing it “the worst deal ever” – Washington has threatened to use a provision in the agreement to trigger a return of all U.N. sanctions on Iran if the Security Council does not extend the arms embargo indefinitely.

Renewed sanctions — a move known as snapback — would likely kill the nuclear deal because Iran would lose a major incentive for limiting its nuclear activities. Iran has already breached parts of the nuclear deal in response to the U.S. withdrawal from the pact and Washington’s imposing strong unilateral sanctions.

“This U.S. administration’s goal is to terminate the Iran nuclear deal,” said a European diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity………  https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2020-08-10/iran-nuclear-deal-at-risk-as-un-council-prepares-to-vote-on-arms-embargo

August 11, 2020 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment