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Iran warns on consequences if Trump sabotages the nuclear deal

Guardian 22nd April 2018 ‘It will not be very pleasant,’ Iran warns, if Trump sabotages nuclear
deal. Foreign minister indicates Tehran could go back to enriching uranium
if US president tries to add new conditions to ground-breaking agreement.


April 22, 2018 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

French President Macron urges Trump to stick with 2015 Iran nuclear accord

Iran nuclear deal: Macron urges Trump to stick with 2015 accord, 23 Apr 18   French President Emmanuel Macron has urged his US counterpart, Donald Trump, to stick with the Iran nuclear deal, saying there is no better option.

He was speaking to Fox News ahead of a three-day state visit to the US starting on Monday.

Mr Trump has threatened to abandon the deal, which limits Iran’s nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief, unless it is toughened up.

He has until 12 May to decide whether to restore US sanctions against Iran.

Correspondents say such a move would effectively kill the landmark agreement between Iran and six major western powers.

The two leaders are expected to address the issue when Mr Trump hosts Mr Macron this week.

Mr Macron told Fox News he had no “plan B” for the deal if the US decided to restore sanctions, and said the US should stay in the agreement as long as there was no better option.

“Let’s present this framework because it’s better than the sort of North Korean-type situation.”

He said the two leaders had “a very special relationship” and he wanted to address ballistic missiles as part of the deal – a key demand of the US president – as well as work to contain Iran’s influence in the region.

President Trump is also demanding that signatories to the deal agree permanent restrictions on Iran’s uranium enrichment. Under the current deal they are set to expire in 2025.

He has put pressure on his European co-signatories to address these issues before the 12 May deadline, when he needs to decide whether to sign a waiver giving sanctions relief to Iran.

Under US law, passed during the Obama administration, the president needs to sign these waivers every 120-180 days acknowledging Iran’s compliance with the deal.

When Mr Trump signed the last one, in January, he said it was a “last chance” to change the accord, before the US withdraws.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif warned on Saturday that his country was prepared to resume its nuclear programme “at much greater speed”, if the US withdrew from the accord.

Mr Macron also appealed to the US president not to pull troops out of Syria after the final defeat of so-called Islamic State, saying that would “leave the floor” to Iran and Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.

April 22, 2018 Posted by | France, Iran, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear Radiation Concerns in the Gulf after Bushehr Quake , 20 April, 2018  Dammam – Ali al-Qattan

An earthquake that struck a “nuclear” province west of Iran on Thursday has renewed concerns in the Gulf region, which is at a geographic proximity to the Bushehr nuclear reactor more than some Iranian cities.

Residents in the Gulf, including those in some areas in Kuwait and the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia as well as Bahrain, felt the 5.9 magnitude quake that hit the region of Bushehr.

The earthquake occurred at 11:04 am at a depth of 18 kilometers and three kilometers away from Kaki. Iranian agencies published photos showing landslides in the mountainside and a dust wave in the quake’s aftermath.

……… The former head of the Saudi Geological Survey, Zohair Nawab, told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that Iranian authorities should take all necessary measures to prevent any leak from the nuclear plant to avoid harm to their citizens and neighboring countries.

Iran sits atop several fault lines and has been hit by a series of earthquakes since November 2017, when a 7.3-magnitude tremor killed 620 people in the western province of Kermanshah and eight in Iraq. …..

April 22, 2018 Posted by | MIDDLE EAST, safety | Leave a comment

Magnitude-5.5 quake strikes near Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant 

Iran earthquake latest: Magnitude-5.5 quake strikes near nuclear power plant  Country sits on major fault lines and is prone to frequent tremors, Independent UK, AgencyIndependent Staff – 19 Apr 18, An earthquake has hit southern Iran just 60 miles from the country’s Bushehr nuclear power plant.

It hit on Thursday morning and was also felt in Bahrain and other areas around the Persian Gulf.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake struck at 6.34am GMT, some 60 miles east of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, the only operating nuclear power station in the Islamic Republic.

The USGS put the earthquake’s magnitude at 5.5, while Iranian state television, citing officials, described the quake as a magnitude 5.9. Varying magnitudes are common immediately after a temblor.

Government-run TV did not report any damage at the Bushehr plant, which has seen other earthquakes in the past and was built to resist damage from the tremors………

The USGS put the earthquake’s depth at 6.2 miles (10km) below the surface. Shallow earthquakes often have broader damage.

A magnitude-5 earthquake can cause considerable damage.

Iran sits on major fault lines and is prone to near-daily earthquakes……..

April 20, 2018 Posted by | Iran, safety | Leave a comment

First Western journalist to reach and report on Douma site – Concludes “They Were Not Gassed”

Robert Fisk: There was no chlorine attack in Douma

Famed War Reporter Robert Fisk Reaches Syrian ‘Chemical Attack’ Site, Concludes “They Were Not Gassed” by Tyler Durden 04/17/2018 

April 18, 2018 Posted by | politics international, Syria | Leave a comment

US, British and French forces launch air strikes on chemical weapons sites in Syria

Syria: US, British and French forces launch air strikes in response to chemical weapons attack, 

US, British and French forces have pounded chemical weapons sites in Syria with air strikes in response to an alleged poison gas attack that killed dozens in the rebel-held town of Douma last week.

Key points:

  • US, UK and France hit three chemical weapons sites in Syria
  • US Defence Secretary says strikes were a “one-time shot”
  • Strikes biggest intervention yet by Western powers against Assad regime

In a televised address to the nation, US President Donald Trump said the three nations had “marshalled their righteous power against barbarism and brutality”.

The strikes were the biggest intervention by Western powers against President Bashar al-Assad in the country’s seven-year-old civil war, which has pitted the US and its allies against Russia.

The Pentagon said the strikes targeted a research centre in Damascus, along with a chemical weapons storage facility and command post west of Homs……

British Prime Minister Theresa May said the strikes were not about intervening in a civil war nor were they about a regime change.

“We cannot allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalised within Syria, on the streets of the UK or anywhere else in our world,” Ms May said…….

Russia’s Defence Ministry said the majority of missiles fired during the attack were intercepted by Syrian air defence systems using Soviet-produced hardware, including the Buk missile system.

April 14, 2018 Posted by | France, politics international, Russia, Syria, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Saudi Arabia wants nuclear power, WITHOUT the restrictions against making nuclear weapons

Saudi Arabia And The Nuclear Temptation. Lobe Log 

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and defense minister, Mohammed bin Salman, seems to have gotten what he wanted from his long glad-handing tour through the United States and several European capitals. He met President Trump and brand-name business tycoons and potential investors, and took home some actual deals, including a commitment by the giant French oil company Total to invest billions in a new petrochemical complex.

What he should have gotten but did not were stern lectures excoriating his glib, casual attitude about acquiring or developing nuclear weapons. Asked by Norah O’Donnell of CBS what Saudi Arabia would do if Iran obtained such weapons, he replied, “Saudi Arabia does not want to acquire any nuclear bomb, but without a doubt if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible.” 

Either the young prince was badly briefed or his knowledge of history and international security affairs is thin. He does not seem to realize that his grand plans for modernizing his country and restructuring its economy, which are based on full integration into the global industrial and financial system, would fall apart if the United States and its allies thought that Saudi Arabia was pursuing nuclear arms. He could forget those big investments and deals, and most of his country’s sources of military equipment and training would dry up. The damage to his country that pursuit of nuclear weapons would cause would far outweigh any conceivable strategic gain. Does he not know why Iran was subjected to crippling economic sanctions for all those years before the multinational agreement of 2016 curtailed its nuclear program? Does he not know why North Korea is a pariah state?

Saudi Arabia is a party to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), which prohibits signatories other than the five recognized nuclear powers from acquiring or developing a nuclear arsenal. Israel, India, and Pakistan have gotten away with their weapons programs because they are not parties to the NPT and thus have no legal obligation to abide by its terms. Even so, Pakistan did not escape the wrath of the U.S. Congress when it tested nuclear weapons in the 1990s, as bipartisan majorities enacted laws that authorized Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton to impose stiff sanctions, which they did.  

Saudi Arabia, which has few friends in Congress, would be unlikely to escape the same fate. The kingdom cannot afford to become an international outlaw, like North Korea, or to see its oil sales curtailed and its access to global financial markets cut off, like Iran. That would put an end to the grand development plan the prince has styled “Vision 2030.”  ………..

According to many reports, the Saudis are asking that a bilateral deal, known as a “123 Agreement” for the section of the law that requires it, permit them to control both ends of the nuclear fuel cycle. In that way, they could enrich their own uranium and reprocess fuel once it is used up to extract the plutonium generated by the chain reaction. An existing agreement between the United States and Saudi Arabia’s neighbor Abu Dhabi permits neither. That agreement is known in the industry as the “gold standard.” But Saudi Arabia does not want to accept the “Abu Dhabi model” because the international agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear program does not prohibit enrichment. 

Enriched uranium fuel for nuclear reactors is plentiful in world markets, but Prince Mohammed has said that Saudi Arabia wants to take advantage of its own domestic resources by doing its own enrichment. Even if there is a valid argument to be made for enrichment, however, the Saudis cannot make a legitimate argument for reprocessing to capture plutonium, which has limited civilian uses but is primarily a fuel for nuclear weapons. 

Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA), who has long opposed nuclear energy in any form, can be expected to lead congressional opposition to a 123 agreement that allows reprocessing. “Saudi Arabia’s crown prince has confirmed what many have long suspected—nuclear energy in Saudi Arabia is about more than just electrical power, it’s about geopolitical power,” Markey said in a statement last month. “The United States must not compromise on nonproliferation standards in any 123 agreement it concludes with Saudi Arabia.” He said Saudi Arabia is interested more in “megatons than megawatts.” 

The Saudis could obtain civilian nuclear power reactors from other countries—South Korea provides those in Abu Dhabi—and it would not need an agreement with the United States to do that. But if it rejects a 123 agreement because it insists on retaining the right to reprocess, it will be sending an unmistakable and ill-advised signal.

April 14, 2018 Posted by | Saudi Arabia, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Saudi Arabia’s disturbing plans for dumping nuclear waste on the Qatari border


April 11, 2018 Posted by | politics international, Saudi Arabia, wastes | Leave a comment

A USA-Saudi agreement – the path to Saudi Arabia’s nuclear weapons?

Facing reality in the US-Saudi nuclear agreement: South Korea, Victor Gilinsky, Henry Sokolski, 10 Apr 18   The Trump administrations is on the verge of signing a nuclear agreement with Saudi Arabia that is reportedly “flexible” on Saudi acquisition of centrifuge technology to enrich uranium—the technology that can provide material for nuclear weapons and that was the central concern in regard to Iran’s nuclear program. This flexibility is necessary, the administration argues, to ensure the Saudis choose Westinghouse as their nuclear power reactor supplier. But Westinghouse, which performed abysmally on its last two US projects and is in bankruptcy as a result, is far less likely to win the bid than the South Korean construction firm whose work force is coming off successful completion of a large nuclear project nearby in the United Arab Emirates. This increases the importance of striking a tight US-Saudi agreement to ensure the Saudis don’t get to enrich under their nuclear cooperative agreement with Seoul.

The administration’s pitch that Congress should go along with “flexibility” pulls out all the usual bogeymen. Energy Secretary Rick Perry told the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 22 that, “Either Russia or China is going to be a partner in building civil nuclear capability in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, or the United States.” The Saudis, guided by several Washington lobbying firms, have been pushing this line, which much of the Washington establishment has swallowed, adding that allowing Moscow to gain a nuclear foothold in Saudi Arabia would deal a serious blow to US regional influence and prestige.

But the Saudis are not so foolish as to choose Russia or China. Moscow is nuclear supplier to Saudi Arabia’s foe, Iran, and Beijing has yet to bring a power reactor online outside of China. The Saudis already have a significant history of nuclear involvement with South Korea. They signed an agreement for “cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy” in 2011 and a memorandum of understanding in 2015, with a view to buying two smaller, so-called small modular (SMART) Korean reactors. Dozens of Saudis have gone to South Korea for nuclear training.

In these circumstances, the enrichment provision in the 2011 Saudi-South Korean agreement is of vital concern. It reads as follows: “Uranium transferred pursuant to this Agreement or used in any equipment so transferred shall not be enriched to twenty (20) percent or more in the isotope U-235 unless the Parties otherwise agree.” In other words, the 2011 agreement permits installation of Saudi enrichment facilities generally, and in particular the enrichment to 20 percent of uranium supplied under the agreement. A reason this is worrying—and was worrying in the case of Iran—is that, although it may seem counter intuitive, to further enrich the 20 percent product to a bomb explosive level takes only an additional one-tenth of the work it took to get to 20 percent. It becomes especially worrying when coupled with the Saudi Crown Prince’s hair-trigger promise (see this 60 Minutes interview) that if Iran got a bomb, the Kingdom would, too, “as soon as possible.”

This means that if we intend to bar Saudi Arabia’s path to nuclear weapons, and we absolutely should, we have to insist on a provision in our agreement with Saudi Arabia like that included in the agreement with its UAE neighbor: that the country will not engage in its territory in activities related to enrichment or reprocessing (extracting plutonium from spent nuclear fuel—the other path to a bomb). And we need to make sure South Korea agrees to hold off on moving forward on Saudi reactors until such a provision is in place.

Why would Saudi Arabia agree to such a restrictive provision? And why would South Korea agree to cooperate in ensuring it is in place. The short answer is that both countries depend on our protection. If we can pressure countries on trade terms—something the administrations brags about—surely, we can do so in the interest of security. As US Sen. Jack Reed, ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, said in response to Perry’s testimony, “The proliferation dangers are so great that we should be able to wield all of the influence we have, which goes way beyond just this one transaction, to insist [on the] same standards we applied to the Emirates.” And as President Gerald Ford said many years ago, “nonproliferation objectives must take precedence over economic and energy benefits if a choice must be made.”

This of course assumes the administration adheres to the traditional US policy objective of preventing the spread of nuclear weapons, even among friends. An especially worrying aspect of this entire affair is that there seems to be a sense, born of hostility to Iran, that a Saudi nuclear weapon option might not be such a bad thing—in fact that it might even be useful to frighten Iran. All that can be said about such thinking is: This way lies chaos. We should move in the opposite direction, starting with barring Saudi Arabia from getting nuclear weapons.

April 11, 2018 Posted by | politics international, Saudi Arabia | Leave a comment

Nuclear energy is not coming to Turkey quickly – 5 April 18, Nuclear technology is, no doubt, one of the hallmarks of state power and prestige.   That is certainly the case with Russia. Aside of the nuclear arsenal, which President Vladimir Putin bragged about during his “state of the union” address last month, Moscow takes pride in being a global leader in nuclear energy.

In an economy overwhelmingly reliant on hydrocarbons and other raw materials, apart from the arms industry, nuclear energy is one technology-intensive sector where Russia is among world leaders.

Turkey likewise has its eyes set on nuclear energy. Since 1970, it has been pursuing plans to build a nuclear power plant. But Turkey has lagged behind neighbours, including Armenia, whose Metsamor station is kilometres away from the Turkish border, Bulgaria, which has been the top exporter of electricity to Turkey in 2017, Romania and Iran.

Turkey’s economic growth and expanding population is expected to drive up demand for electricity in the next decade. Nuclear also promises to facilitate to the transition to a low-carbon economy. Not only does it displace coal, but it also makes renewables (hydropower, solar, wind, geothermal) more appealing. When the sun does not shine or the wind is low, there is a need for back-up. Government officials in Ankara have been making plans for two or even three nuclear power plants on both the Mediterranean and the Black Sea coasts.

So Russia and Turkey look like a perfect match. One has the goods, the other – the market. And on top of that, the two former rivals have been getting diplomatically and politically closer.

Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met once again in Ankara this week, joined later by Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani. The Russian and Turkish leaders oversaw  – via video conference – the groundbreaking ceremony of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant, near the Mediterranean city of Mersin.

Started in 2010 and implemented by Russia’s state-owned conglomerate Rosatom, the project’s first unit should be completed by 2023, the centennial of the Turkish Republic. Once all four units become operational, they will generate about 10 percent of Turkey’s electricity – enough to keep a huge city like Istanbul running.

The start of construction carries huge political symbolism. The Akkuyu project was frozen when Russia and Turkey fell out in late November 2015. Its restart in October 2016, when Putin was guest of honour the World Energy Congress in Istanbul, signalled a turnaround in relations between the two countries.

Yet behind the grand political façade, it is not all roses and sunshine. For starters, Russia managed to twist the Turkish government’s arm and obtain tax breaks to the tune of $3 billion before the relaunch. Moscow has good reason to drive a tough bargain. Akkuyu follows the Build-Operate-Own (BOO) model where Rosatom shoulders the financial risk from the $20 billion venture. The Turkish Electricity Trading and Contracting Company (TETAS) has committed to buy electricity from the power plant at fixed prices, but without a quota.

Rosatom, for its part, is in no position to find the cash to fund the project. That is why it transferred 49% of the venture to a Turkish consortium set up by Cengiz, Kolin and Kalyon (CKK) in June 2017. But last February, the three firms pulled out. Sources inside Rosatom said the decision was driven by disagreements. The Russians were unhappy about CKK’ choice of a Chinese consultant. More importantly, the Turks wanted to have a say in managing the projects before securing the financing for their shares.

As experts familiar with the Turkish energy sector point out, these are companies that have no experience and technical expertise with long-horizon projects. They are accustomed to state-funded construction and infrastructure development where there are quick bucks to be made. Akkuyu is a very different kettle of fish. Yet, there is a consolation prize: Cengiz is getting a $465-million hydrotechnical engineering contract with Akkuyu.

Whether Akkuyu moves according to schedule therefore depends on how quickly the Turkish side finds a strategic investor. Ultimately, it might turn out that direct or indirect budget transfers would be required. Like anywhere in the world, nuclear energy is not feasible without some form of state support or even direct payments. In other words, Turkey would end up propping up Rosatom, BOO model notwithstanding. The Russian company has already signed contracts to the tune of $4.2 billion. That is well beyond the $3 billion Rosatom has chipped in so far.

Raising money on global capital markets is a tough proposition, beating in mind the sanctions against Russia. It would not be surprising at all, in that sense, if the Kremlin is pressuring the Turkish government to pay up or bring in another minority shareholder to replace CKK. The question whether this is the most effective way to spend public resources may become pertinent, especially if more clouds start gathering over the Turkish economy.

What we saw this week was not the first launch of Akkuyu. There was already one such ceremony held in December last year. Who knows, there might be more such ceremonies in the future.

April 6, 2018 Posted by | politics, Turkey | Leave a comment

Global nuclear power firms scrambling to market nuclear technology to Middle East countries

Nuclear power firms woo Middle East   Middle Eastern countries are welcoming nuclear power firms promising to meet their energy needs, while most of the world worries over reactor costs.   from Climate News Network. 5 Apr 18

Nuclear power firms are scrambling to sell reactors to countries in one of the most troubled parts of the world, the Middle East. Many lack domestic customers and see this new market as a potential lifesaver.

A report last year by the US-based Center for Climate & Security included the Middle East in a list of what it called “potential crisis regions where combining security, climate, and nuclear risks must be addressed urgently.”

The biggest prize is the oil-rich kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which has announced plans to build 16 nuclear plants over the next 25 years at a cost of US$80 billion, part of an effort to diversify away from fossil fuels. South Korea, China, France, Russia, Japan and the United States are all bidding to build them.

In a region where renewables are half the price of nuclear power – because the sun shines for longer and with greater intensity than almost anywhere else in the world – building new nuclear plants may seem strange.

Saudi Arabia, which is also investing heavily in solar power, points to rapidly rising domestic demand for electricity and says renewables will not provide enough for its needs.

Other countries in the region that are already building or have signed contracts to build new reactors are Iran, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Egypt and Turkey.

All say the decision to go for nuclear power is entirely a consequence of the local need for more electricity, although perhaps the Saudi rulers also have an eye on their power rival Iran, which already has an operating nuclear power station and is building more.

Mohammad bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince who effectively runs Saudi Arabia for his father King Salman, was asked about this on the US TV network CBS in March. He replied: “Saudi Arabia doesn’t want to own a nuclear bomb. But without a doubt, if Iran develops a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible.”

Rival contenders

Despite this, the Trump administration remains keen to sell its Westinghouse-designed nuclear power stations to the Saudis. Russia, China, Japan and South Korea also want to sell their own designs.

As well as the need to keep their national nuclear companies ticking over and grabbing lucrative exports, all these countries would welcome the political influence that providing such important infrastructure would give them in the Middle East.

Well ahead of Saudi Arabia in developing nuclear power is the neighbouring United Arab Emirates. Its first reactor was due to open this year and is almost complete, though its start-up date has been pushed back to 2019.

The UAE’s $24.4bn Barakah power plant is the world’s largest currently under construction. It will contain four reactors, is being built by the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) and appears to be going well.

Too few operators

The postponement seems not to have been caused by construction delays but by lack of trained crew to operate the first of the four reactors. When it is up and running, the UAE will become the first country to start operating a nuclear plant in more than 20 years.

Again, the country has plenty of oil reserves and renewable resources, but wants nuclear power to provide a guaranteed electricity supply instead of having to rely on imported gas.

Jordan, which has no fossil fuel resource, and Egypt, with the region’s largest population, are also going nuclear. In both cases they have signed deals with the Russian state-owned giant Rosatom. Egypt has signed a deal for four nuclear plants costing $30bn, and Jordan for an energy package worth $12bn, but which also includes some American involvement, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Avoiding imports

Turkey, again a populous nation that has to import most of its energy in the form of fossil fuels, is building a nuclear power station at Akkuyu on its Mediterranean coast in partnership with Rosatom. The first reactor was expected to be operating by now, but the opening date has been put back to 2020. It has other plants planned on its northern Black Sea coast.

This sudden enthusiasm for nuclear power in such a volatile region has prompted a debate about some governments’ motives. Israel is the only country in the Middle East that has long had the means to make nuclear weapons with its Negev Nuclear Research centre in the desert near Dimona.

It is already alarmed by Iran’s nuclear programme. A number of other potentially hostile states may also soon have the means to produce highly enriched uranium or plutonium.

If they do, they will face an already fully armed Israel. According to an estimate by the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Israel, which began operating a plutonium-production reactor in 1963, possesses enough material for between 100 and 170 atomic weapons. Israel has never admitted this.

April 6, 2018 Posted by | marketing, MIDDLE EAST | Leave a comment

Putin to launch Turkey’s first nuclear power plant

Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan to launch Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, ABC News, 3 Apr 18 The leaders of Russia and Turkey are scheduled to launch the start of the construction of Turkey’s first nuclear power plant as ties between the countries deepen.

Russia’s Vladimir Putin, on his first foreign visit since re-election on March 18, arrived in Ankara on Tuesday for talks with Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The two will remotely launch the construction of the Russian-made Akkuyu nuclear plant on the Mediterranean coast.

The $20 billion ($26 billion) project is to be built by Russian state nuclear energy agency Rosatom……


April 4, 2018 Posted by | marketing, Russia, Turkey | Leave a comment

Nuclear colonialism: nuclear nations keen to sell uneconomic nuclear power – e.g South Korea to United Arab Emirates

Arab world’s first nuclear reactor completed in UAE, in cooperation with South Korea, Arab Weekly    1 April 18 LONDON – Construction of the Arab world’s first commercial nuclear reactor has been completed in the United Arab Emirates. The plant is part of the country’s long-term strategy to decrease its reliance on fossil fuels.

The Barakah nuclear power plant, in western Abu Dhabi, is a joint project between the UAE’s Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and South Korea’s Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO).

UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan toured the $20 billion facility with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and announced on March 26 the completion of the construction“This is a historic moment in our nation’s development as we celebrate the construction completion of Unit 1 of the Barakah nuclear energy plant,” Sheikh Mohammed said……

Emirati officials said Barakah was the world’s largest single nuclear project. ……


April 2, 2018 Posted by | marketing, South Korea, United Arab Emirates | Leave a comment

Inside the vast web of PR firms popularizing the Saudi crown prince



They mention Burson-Marsteller but avoid mentioning WPP LLC (Its parent company) who are behind the scenes covering up SCL (Cambridge Analytica) election voting scandals, The BP Gulf Oil Disaster, The Fukushima nuclear disaster etc etc. A great bit of investigative Journalism by Christine Maguire here;

“…Previously, the small firm didn’t have a record of dealing with governments, but has ties to Trump. President Jacob Daniels was chief of staff at Trump’s Michigan campaign and owner Robert Stryk is a Republican operative who represented former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.

The list of US firms on the Saudi payroll is extensive. Other companies include The Harbour Group, Burson-Marsteller, Hill & Knowlton, King & Spalding, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP, Fleishman-Hillard Inc, Hogan & Hartson. The FT reported in September the kingdom’s information ministry was seeking to set up ‘hubs’ in Europe and Asia “to promote the changing face of KSA to the rest of the world and to improve international perception of the kingdom.”

Despite the best efforts of the multitude of PR firms, Saudi Arabia’s attempts to completely rebrand have fallen short. Bin Salman’s war in Yemen and the subsequent blockade on aid remains a sore point. Then there’s his November crackdown on corruption, which saw hundreds of businessmen and members of the royal family imprisoned in a luxury hotel where accusations of torture soon emerged.

The kingdom’s much-touted reform when it comes to women is the best PR for the country. However, with multiple reports that bin Salman has imprisoned his own mother to prevent her from influencing his father, not to mention the other obstacles imposed on the women of Saudi Arabia, the crown prince has a long way to go before he can truly be considered any sort of feminist, as Amnesty International noted on Thursday….”

Further reading here;

And here;

Beware the reputation managers

May 2011 (Post Fukushima)
“…Crisis management may, in its turn, mitigate the cost and impact of disasters, even those that are the product of mismanagement. Anterooms to the executive suite are suddenly crowded with advisers eager to point out that BP’s bill would have been lower if it had fostered better political connections before, and communicated and lobbied differently after, the Gulf of Mexico catastrophe. ..

Image source;


Please note that the extensive articles posted on this blog on this companies connection to industrial disaster crisis management for governments and corporations, that mentioned WPP LLC complicity to the Fukushima nuclear disaster are not accessible as the new Google search algorythm (since July 2017) seems to block much of the content posted on this (and other websites, blogs etc)  blog (Shaun aka arclight2011). Some evidence for that here;

March 31, 2018 Posted by | politics, Saudi Arabia, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Crown Prince Bin Salman suggests war may happen between Saudi Arabia and Iran

War between Saudi Arabia and Iran May Happen in Just 10-15 Years – Crown Princ Wrongs Watch 30 March, 2018 (RT)* — De-facto Saudi leader Crown Prince Bin Salman has warned that Riyadh may go to war with regional nemesis Iran in the next 10-15 years if the international community fails to apply more sanctions pressure on Tehran.    30 MARCH, 2018 (RT)

March 31, 2018 Posted by | Iran, politics international, Saudi Arabia, weapons and war | Leave a comment