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Iran considers barring international nuclear inspectors, following assassination of scientist

Telegraph 29th Nov 2020, Iran was weighing its response Sunday to the killing of its top nuclear
scientist, which it blames on arch-foe Israel, as his body was taken to
Shiite shrines ahead of being buried. Two days after Mohsen Fakhrizadeh
died following a firefight between his guards and unidentified gunmen
outside Tehran, parliament called in a statement for international
inspectors to be barred from nuclear facilities.

December 1, 2020 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

UAE, Jordan Condemn Killing of Iranian Nuclear Scientist, Call for Self-restraint

UAE, Jordan Condemn Killing of Iranian Nuclear Scientist, Call for Self-restraint, The states cautioned against regional escalations after the killing of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh

The United Arab Emirates condemned on Sunday the killing of top Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh and called on all parties to exercise self-restraint to avoid sliding the region into new levels of instability, the state news agency reported on Twitter.

Jordan, a staunch U.S. ally also condemned the assassination of Fakhrizadeh, state media reported, and called for collective efforts to avoid an escalation in tensions in the Middle East region.

November 30, 2020 Posted by | Jordan, politics international, United Arab Emirates | Leave a comment

It is likely that Trump gove the nod for assassination of Iran nuclear scientist

Observer 29th Nov 2020, As the president lashes out wilfully during his last days in office, it seems likely that he at least gave the nod to this killing. Iran’s leaders, mindful of previous, unexplained killings of its nuclear experts, have been quick to blame Israel for Fakhrizadeh’s death. But American and regional analysts suggest that if Israel was involved, it would only have acted after getting the nod from Trump.

This explanation makes sense for several reasons. Like last January’s assassination of the Revolutionary Guard general Qassem Suleimani, Friday’s outrage is an extraordinarily provocative act. It risks goading Iran into armed retaliation against its most prominent enemies – Israel, Saudi Arabia and US forces based in the region. The assassination, in this sense, is tantamount to a declaration of war.

November 29, 2020 Posted by | Iran, politics international, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

What’s behind the assaisnation of Iran’s top nuclear scientist?

The operation behind the assassination of the Iranian nuclear program founder, The Hybrid War Institute, 
Eyal Pinko, 29 Nov 20, 

On Friday morning, November 27, Muhsin Fakhrizadeh, considered the founder of Iran’s nuclear program, was assassinated…….. It is not the first-time assassination attempts were made to kill Fakhrizadeh, who survived a similar assassination attempt five years ago. Sixty years old Fakhrizadeh, who holds a doctorate in physics by his profession, was a key figure in the Iranian nuclear program and is considered one of its ancestors. Besides, Fakhrizadeh has been involved in other Iranian strategic plans, such as developing Iran’s air defense system and developing the missile upgrade program, known as Iran and Hezbollah’s missile precision project………
Once a clear and high-quality intelligence picture has been produced, which will allow an understanding of the target’s life routine and planned events, a relevant operational plan to thwart him will create, including the timing of the attack, ways, and means of access and withdrawal from the attack. …….. The recent assassination of Fakhrizadeh comes just a few weeks before the regime change in the United States, and the understanding that President-elect Joe Biden is expected to ease the nuclear sanctions imposed by Trump on the Iranian regime as part of his “maximum pressure” progra ……….

Senior Iranians, who were quick to accuse Israel of assassination, promised that Iran would not remain silent, and a painful Iranian response was expected. Fakhrizadeh’s senior status and key role in Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile development raises the likelihood of an Iranian response. As Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s military adviser, Hossein Dehghani, said, “In the last days of a provocative ally, Israel is striving to increase pressure on Iran to go to war. We will pursue the shahid’s killers and make them regret their actions.” Dehghani is one of the prominent candidates for Iran’s presidency in the elections that are expected to take place in the country next year.

Simultaneously, the change of the administration in the United States and the Iranian hope for the expected changes with the entry of Biden into office is a brake and a deterrent to the Iranian response. An Iranian response at this time may be against Israeli elements only and at low intensity. As a recall, Iran has previously stated that it will respond sharply to the United States for the assassination of Qasem Soleimani and has not yet implemented its threat in practice. It will now be a shaky deadline for it to react, at least until the Biden administration stabilizes.

For Israel, if it is the one behind the assassination operation, it is likely that the assassination operation will not significantly delay or halt Iran’s ballistic missile and nuclear developments. But it could create a deterrent to Israel taking all measures to prevent Iran from reaching nuclear capability, even when it is expected that the US political support for these efforts will decrease significantly during Biden’s administration..

November 29, 2020 Posted by | Iran, Israel, politics international, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Architect of its nuclear programme assassinated – Iran vows retaliation

Iran vows retaliation after top nuclear scientist shot dead near Tehran  Guardian,   Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, identified by Israel as director of nuclear weapons programme, ambushed in street  Patrick Wintour and Oliver Holmes, Sat 28 Nov 2020 Iran has vowed retaliation after the architect of its nuclear programme was assassinated on a highway near Tehran, in a major escalation of tensions that risks placing the Middle East on a new war footing.

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was ambushed with explosives and machine gun fire in the town of Absard, 70km (44 miles) east of Tehran. Efforts to resuscitate him in hospital failed. His bodyguard and family members were also wounded.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said Israel was probably to blame, and an adviser to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, vowed retaliation. “We will strike as thunder at the killers of this oppressed martyr and will make them regret their action,” tweeted Hossein Dehghan.

The killing was seen inside Iran as being as grave as the assassination by US forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Qassem Soleimani in January.

Israel will face accusations that it is using the final weeks of the Trump administration to try to provoke Iran in the hope of closing off any chance of reconciliation between Tehran and the incoming US administration led by Joe Biden.

Amos Yadlin, a former head of Israeli Defence Force intelligence, said: “With the window of time left for Trump, such a move could lead Iran to a violent response, which would provide a pretext for a US-led attack on Iranian nuclear facilities.”……..

November 28, 2020 Posted by | incidents, Iran, Israel, politics international, secrets,lies and civil liberties | 1 Comment

President Joe Biden will have just 16 days from Inauguration Day to rescue the New START Treaty

Biden May Have 16 Days to Stave Off a Nuclear Arms Race,  Preserving the New START treaty with Russia will be one of his earliest missions, Bloomberg, By Peter Coy  , 25 Nov 20, 

The New START Treaty is the last bilateral nuclear arms control treaty between the U.S. and Russia. It’s scheduled to expire on Feb. 5. Assuming the Trump administration doesn’t agree with Russia on an extension—and it hasn’t done so in nearly four years–President Joe Biden will have just 16 days from Inauguration Day to rescue the pact.

If New START is allowed to expire, a nuclear arms race could break out. Retired Navy Admiral James Stavridis, the former supreme allied commander of NATO, wrote in a Bloomberg Opinion column on Oct. 30, that a stop to New START would allow both sides to deploy more nukes of current designs as well as make more advanced systems, “all of which would be very destabilizing.”

Some pressure, right? For insight into what Biden and his team will do, I interviewed Jon Wolfsthal, who served from 2014 to 2017 as a special assistant to President Barack Obama and as senior director for arms control and nonproliferation at the National Security Council. He was also a senior adviser to Vice President Biden on nuclear security and nonproliferation from 2009 to 2012.

Some pressure, right? For insight into what Biden and his team will do, I interviewed Jon Wolfsthal, who served from 2014 to 2017 as a special assistant to President Barack Obama and as senior director for arms control and nonproliferation at the National Security Council. He was also a senior adviser to Vice President Biden on nuclear security and nonproliferation from 2009 to 2012.

Wolfsthal says he’s optimistic about Biden’s chances of staving off a fresh nuclear arms race……….

Biden and his team will have a long list of nuclear weapons problems to deal with, including the rapid growth of China’s

 arsenal. But what to do about New START will have to be at the top of the list. The treaty limits the U.S. and Russia
to deployment of 1,550 long-range nuclear warheads and 700 long-range delivery vehicles each. Russia is willing to
renew the pact for five years without preconditions, but the Trump administration has balked.

………… Wolfsthal says New START, which went into effect in 2011, is flawed but shouldn’t be left to expire, because

it has allowed us to maintain security at lower level of nukes. It least allows us to know how many weapons Russia
has.” Without the verification that New START permits, he says, “there would be claims of a missile gap,” as there
were under Presidents Eisenhower and Reagan. “We’ve seen that movie play out before,” namely in a costly and
dangerous arms race, Wolfsthal says.

Nuclear arms control doesn’t get as much attention as other priorities for Biden’s first 100 days, but nothing is more

 important for the safety of the human race.

November 26, 2020 Posted by | politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The effect on Europe of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Nuclear prohibition: Changing Europe’s calculations   Beatrice Fihn |Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN),Daniel Högsta |Campaign Coordinator of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN),  25 Nov 20, 

On 22 January 2021, nuclear weapons will be placed in the same category as chemical and biological weapons – the other weapons of mass destruction – illegal under international law. On that date, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) will enter into force and will change the legal and normative landscape around nuclear weapons. This has significant implications for any European governments complicit in the practice of deployment and potential use of nuclear weapons of mass destruction.

A historic milestone for nuclear disarmament

Continue reading

November 26, 2020 Posted by | EUROPE, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Germany hosts France, Britain for talks on Iran nuclear deal

Germany hosts France, Britain for talks on Iran nuclear deal, DW, 25 Nov 20, 

German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass met his counterparts Dominic Raab and Jean-Yves Le Drian in Berlin for talks on the Iran nuclear deal. The trio hopes for a change in US policy once Joe Biden is sworn in.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas held talks with his French and British counterparts in Berlin on Monday, with the partners urging Iran to stop breaching a nuclear deal it signed in 2015.

“From our view, Iran is systematically violating the agreement,” a spokeswoman with the German Foreign Ministry said. “Together with our European partners, we urge Iran to stop these violations and return to fulfilling all its nuclear obligations.”

Maas met with Britain’s Dominic Raab and France’s top diplomat Jean-Yves le Drian ahead of an expected change of policy towards Iran when US President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in as president in January.

Maas’s spokeswoman said she “confident” that a “constructive” US approach would help rein in the Iranian government, German news agency DPA reported.

The agreement, which world powers reached with Iran, sought to limit Tehran’s nuclear program to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons in return for the easing of economic sanctions…….

Changing US policy

Biden, who takes office on January 20, has said he would re-join the accord if Tehran first resumed strict compliance.

He wants to work with allies “to strengthen and extend it, while more effectively pushing back against Iran’s other destabilizing activities.”…..

November 26, 2020 Posted by | Germany, politics international | Leave a comment

Living with the Nuclear Prohibition Treaty: nuclear weapons states swould be unwise to attack it

Living With the Nuclear Prohibition Treaty: First, Do No Harm,  Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, GEORGE PERKOVICH   25 Nov 20 Now that fifty countries have ratified the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), it will enter into force in January 2021…….


Supporters of the prohibition treaty are not crazy. They have good reasons. The 122 countries that adopted the treaty in 2017 were already legally committed not to acquire nuclear weapons, as they had signed the fifty-year-old Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

None of them face threats of aggression from the United States, Russia, China, or other countries that nuclear weapons would plausibly deter. Yet, all could suffer great harm from someone else’s nuclear war—especially one involving the still excessively destructive U.S. and Russian arsenals…….

TPNW supporters represent more than half of the world’s population and are understandably frustrated that the nuclear weapon states have not fulfilled their legal obligations and political commitments to pursue nuclear disarmament.  …


A cynical answer is that the TPNW will do little good. The nine governments that wield nuclear weapons will not sign it. Nor have any security allies of nuclear-armed states, including all members of NATO, Japan, and South Korea, for example. In other words, the treaty will not change any country’s reliance on or possession of nuclear weapons.

While that is true, both supporters and critics of the treaty have reason to heed Hippocrates’s injunction to “first do no harm.” The importance of this injunction is especially great in NATO Europe and the United States.

In several NATO states, significant numbers of citizens and civil society organizations and their political representatives strongly support the TPNW. This includes the Netherlands and Germany, which are among the five states that host U.S. nuclear bombs as part of NATO’s nuclear-sharing arrangement…………


Here, the United States, the United Kingdom and France—as nuclear weapon states—have vital roles to play. If they do not openly respect the concerns that motivate support for the TPNW, and instead direct critical ire at those who do, they will harden rather than weaken the resolve of TPNW supporters. The United States and France are particularly guilty of this.

A much wiser course, building on opportunities that a new administration in Washington may offer, would be to reinvigorate efforts to stop the incipient qualitative and quantitative arms race between Russia and the United States and NATO. ……

November 26, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Trump administration pulls out of Open Skies treaty with Russia,

November 23, 2020 Posted by | politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Iran slams European criticism on expanding nuclear programme

Iran slams European criticism on expanding nuclear programme

Tehran says European concern is unwarranted since nations involved are not fully committed to the nuclear deal.
Iran’s nuclear water reactor of Arak, south of the capital Tehran [File: Atomic Energy Organization of Iran via AFP]
By Maziar Motamedi 21 Nov 2020

Tehran, Iran – Iran has condemned a statement by three European powers expressing concern over its scaling back of commitments under the landmark 2015 nuclear deal.  In a statement on Saturday, the Iranian foreign ministry’s spokesman called a statement by France, Germany, and the United Kingdom – together known as the E3 – “irresponsible”.

Iran slams UN human rights resolution on anniversary of protestsIran urges US’s Biden to lift sanctions, rejoin nuclear dealIran nuclear deal parties meet in Vienna amid US pressureIran nuclear deal 5 years on: Uncertainty after US withdrawal

Saeed Khatibzadeh called on the E3 to fulfil its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the 2015 nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers that put curbs on Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of multilateral sanctions.

“The peaceful nuclear activities of the Islamic Republic of Iran are fully within the framework of international laws and completely legal and legitimate, and in line with countries’ intrinsic legal rights,” Khatibzadeh said in a statement.

The E3 said this week it remains committed to the nuclear deal, which the United States has tried to unravel since President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from it in May 2018 and reimposed harsh sanctions on Iran.

However, the three countries said they “continue to be extremely concerned by Iran’s actions, which are hollowing out the core nonproliferation benefits of the deal”.

After remaining committed to the nuclear deal for one year under new US sanctions, Iran started gradually scaling back its commitments in moves it said are quickly reversible.

But the European powers said they are concerned about Iran enriching uranium above the 3.67 percent threshold set in the

 nuclear deal, and its continued growth of a low-enriched uranium stockpile, now 12 times the JCPOA limit according to a recent report by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

“Contrary to the JCPOA, Iran is using advanced centrifuges for the production of low-enriched uranium,” the E3 said, adding

Tehran is also enriching at Fordow, a facility that “has no credible civilian use”.

The E3 also expressed concern over Iranian research and development of several types of advanced centrifuges and feeding uranium hexafluoride to its IR2m cascade of centrifuges.

In his statement, Khatibzadeh said Iran is acting based on provisions of the nuclear deal in scaling back its commitments

since the US exited the deal and Europe failed to deliver economic benefits promised after the lifting of multilateral sanctions.

“This is completely in line with the JCPOA and Iran has always stressed that if other parties fully implement the JCPOA,

Iran’s nuclear steps are reversible,” he said.

November 23, 2020 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Saudi minister says nuclear armament against Iran ‘an option’

November 21, 2020 Posted by | politics international, Saudi Arabia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

European security officials fear that Trump may trigger a war against Iran

Security officials worry Israel and Saudi Arabia may see the end of Trump as their last chance to go to war with Iran,  MSN (Mitch Prothero) 18 Nov 20, 

    • European security officials are worried that outgoing president Donald Trump will trigger a military conflict with Iran in order to tie President-Elect Joe Biden’s hands, sources tell Insider.
    They also fear that Israel and Saudi Arabia may see the departure of Trump as a ticking clock they need to beat.
    • “Both countries are run by immature leaders who have been screaming about the need for war with Iran for so long it’s possible they really believe that a Biden administration will be followed by an Iranian nuclear attack,” one source told Insider.
    Trump has elevated hardliners on Iran inside the Pentagon.
      • European intelligence officials are alarmed about the possibility of military action towards Iran in the waning days of the Trump administration.
 Concern that Trump — who has pushed for

    maximum pressure on Iran

     — or a combination of Israel or Saudi Arabia creating a military confrontation in the waning days of the administration has been a concern for over a week, according to three European intelligence officials who spoke with Insider.

The news that last week the president requested a list of military options from his military and diplomatic advisors has

 sent these concerns into overdrive.

One fear is of unilateral action by the US to force a military clash that might make it impossible for the incoming Biden

 administration to return to the 2015 joint nuclear agreement that traded sanctions relief on Iran for an end to its
nuclear weapon programs, all three officials said. They declined to speak on the record in exchange for their candid
views on the situation…..

Israel conducted a series of attacks in Iran over the summer, in the knowledge that Trump was sympathetic to a

“maximum pressure” strategy.

The fears were underlined last week, in the wake of Trump’s election defeat, when the president replaced much of

 the top leadership of the Department of Defense — including Secretary Mark Esper — with figures considered

 hardliners on Iran. That inflamed worries among both Democrats and European allies, said all three sources.

Biden — who enters office on Jan 21, 2021 — has not expressed any solid policy positions on Iran except to

highlight his belief that the 2015 agreement (which Trump voided in 2018) had been working as intended in preventing the Iranians from developing a nuclear weapon………

Security officials say the US will be a ‘crippled world power’ until Biden takes over and fear Trump will declassify intelligence that will help Putin
Israel keeps blowing up military targets in Iran, hoping to force a confrontation before Trump can be voted out in November.


November 19, 2020 Posted by | politics international, USA elections 2016, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russia and the United States Nuclear Industry

Trump’s Impact on Nuclear Proliferation,  Treating Foreign Policy as a Business, Just Security,  by Tamsin ShawNovember 18, 2020  “…………….Russia and the United States Nuclear Industry

It’s only relatively recently that the public and private U.S. institutions have begun to examine seriously the intricate financial network that lies behind and links Russian nuclear business dealings in the United States. Public perception of these dealings has been dominated by the false Uranium One conspiracy theory. This distraction has diverted attention from the extent to which Russia has established a strong foothold in the US nuclear industry in a way that suggests an aspiration to vertical control.

The grain of truth in the Uranium One story is that in 2010 Canadian company Uranium One, which was responsible for mining 20% of the currently licensed uranium in the United States, made an agreement with JSC Atomredmetzoloto, or ARMZ, the mining arm of Rosatom, giving them a controlling stake (51%). In 2013 Rosatom acquired full ownership. Uranium One continues to mine approximately 10% of that licensed in-situ uranium.

The United States also relies, both for civilian utilities and defense purposes, on nuclear fuel supplied by Russian subsidiary of Rosatom called Techsnabexport (TENEX). No U.S. uranium enrichment facilities are currently in operation. The U.S. company, Centrus has a new centrifuge design but it will likely be over a decade before it goes into action.

Nor does the United States currently have a company that builds commercial nuclear reactors. The only U.S. company now aiming to construct them is Bill Gates’s TerraPower, which is working on what will likely be the next generation of reactors, small modular reactors (SMRs), but again these won’t be commercially viable for a decade. Commercial nuclear reactors were previously designed and built by US company Westinghouse. But on March 24, 2017, Westinghouse declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The sale of that company naturally has serious national security implications. But the story of the sale and of the role that the Trump administration played in it raises many questions.

Trump’s friend and adviser, Tom Barrack, seized on the opportunity presented by the Westinghouse bankruptcy to put together a new version of the Marshall Plan for the Middle East, producing his own document setting out the details. In his March 2017 white paper, Barrack refers to the plan interchangeably as the “Trump Marshall Plan” and the “Trump Plan.” The July 2019 House Oversight and Reform Committee report details the ambitious deal Barrack tried to put together to purchase Westinghouse. Barrack had permission from the highest levels at the White House for a US-led consortium involving Colony Capital, IP3, and financial firms Blackstone and Apollo. Barrack assured Blackstone CEO Steve Schwartzman,

Our GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] allies in Saudi Arabia and the UAE have committed to invest in the Westinghouse acquisition and are willing to concurrently lock in Westinghouse as the primary partner on the 30+ reactors expected to be constructed in their countries in the coming decade.

IP3 officials were very optimistic. President Trump and Jared Kushner had met with MBS on March 14, and IP3 boasted that this meeting prepared the way for a “partnership to acquire Westinghouse between IP3 and Saudi Arabia.” They eagerly arranged meetings with officials in the administration to promote the plan, including then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn, and top National Security Council (NSC) Staff officials. They also briefed Jared Kushner.

But in January, 2018 it was announced that Canadian company, Brookfield Business Partners, a subsidiary of investing giant Brookfield Asset Management, would purchase Westinghouse. And Westinghouse promptly and unilaterally decided to sever ties with IP3. ProPublica discovered that Kushner was the one who prevented the IP3-led deal from happening, reporting that Kushner “wanted to table the nuclear question in favor of simpler alliance-building measures with the Saudis, centered on Trump’s visit in May, according to a person familiar with the discussions.”

The Westinghouse sale went through on August 1, 2018. Three days later it was announced that Brookfield Properties, another subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management that had just purchased Westinghouse, would buy Jared Kushner out of his catastrophic real estate deal involving 666 Fifth Avenue.

Who Owns Westinghouse?

The Westinghouse purchase was naturally considered an extremely sensitive deal, deserving scrutiny by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which at the time included Steve Mnuchin, Rex Tillerson, Jeff Sessions, Wilbur Ross and Dan Coats. The committee approved the transaction but with a Nuclear Regulatory Committee (NRC) Requirements Notice forbidding transfer of their licenses and insisting on compliance with all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements. But the NRC filing submitted to CFIUS is fairly thin. It tells us that Westinghouse would be “ultimately controlled” by Brookfield Asset Management, but little about the money behind the deal. According to their 2018 20-F annual report, BBU acquired 44% of the company, while having a 100% voting interest, having put in $405m of equity totaling $920m, with the balance coming from “institutional partners.” The rest of the purchase price was funded with approximately $3b of long-term debt financing. The sources of the equity and financing aren’t disclosed.

Immediately prior to the Westinghouse sale, prominent foreign policy experts Thomas Duesterberg and William Schneider wrote an article expressing serious concerns about the opacity………….

November 19, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, politics international, Russia, USA | Leave a comment

Tehran’s UN ambassador says rival Saudi Arabia is looking for an excuse to build nuclear weapons and blaming Iran

Iran: Saudi Arabia ‘scapegoating’ its pursuit of nuclear arms, Tehran’s UN ambassador says rival Saudi Arabia is looking for an excuse to build nuclear weapons and blaming Iran.  Aljazeera, By Maziar Motamedi, 18 Nov 2020

Tehran, Iran – Iran’s United Nations ambassador says Saudi Arabia is trying to use Iran as an excuse to develop nuclear arms after a Saudi minister said the kingdom reserves the right to arm itself with nuclear weapons.

In tweets in Farsi and English, Iran’s ambassador and permanent representative to the UN, Kazem Gharibabadi, said “scapegoating and fearmongering are two common and classic methods used by demagogues”………

The Iranian official’s comments come shortly after Adel al-Jubeir, the kingdom’s minister of state for foreign affairs, said Saudi Arabia reserves the right to arm itself with nuclear weapons if Iran cannot be stopped from making one.

Tehran has pursued a nuclear programme for decades but insists it only wishes to use nuclear power peacefully.

More than 10 years ago, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei issued a fatwa – a legal or general decree in Islam by a religious authority or court and issued by a Mufti – declaring all weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, a “serious threat against humanity”.

“The Iranian nation is itself a victim of the use of chemical weapons,” Khamenei wrote in reference to the eight-year Iran-Iraq War that ended in 1988.

“It feels the threat of development and proliferation of these weapons more than other nations and is ready to use all its resources to combat it.”

In 2015, Iran signed a landmark nuclear deal with world powers that significantly curbed its nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of multilateral sanctions.

In May 2018, US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the deal and imposed harsh sanctions on Iran.

After a year of remaining committed to the deal under sanctions, Iran gradually scaled back its commitments under the deal but has said it will come back to full compliance if the US does so first and lifts sanctions……..

November 19, 2020 Posted by | Iran, politics international, Saudi Arabia, weapons and war | Leave a comment