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Time For Israel To Drop Nuclear Ambiguity

Time for Israel to Drop Nuclear Ambiguity  https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-time-for-israel-to-drop-nuclear-ambiguity-1.6198606 Today, almost 50 years after the original Richard Nixon-Golda Meir understandings, Israel’s nuclear capability – declared or not – is a solid fact recognized by all, Avner Cohen, Jun 21, 2018  

Today, Almost 50 Years After The Original Richard Nixon-Golda Meir Understandings, Israel’s Nuclear Capability – Declared Or Not – Is A Solid Fact Recognized By All

In September 1969, When Meir Made Her First Visit To The U.S. As Prime Minister, She Reached An Array Of Understandings With Nixon That Removed Any Dispute Over The Nuclear Issue From The Agenda Between The Two Countries. The Understandings Concluded A Decade Of Cat-And-Mouse Between Them On This Issue.

Per The Understandings, The United States Accepts Israel’s Unique Nuclear Status, Will Not Press It To Join The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Pact And Will Defend It In International Forums. For Its Part, Israel Will Continue To Refer To Its Nuclear Capability As If Hidden; It Will Continue To Assert That It Will Not Be The First In The Region To Introduce A Nuclear Weapon.

The Nixon-Meir Understandings Were A Practical Arrangement That Solved Concrete Problems Weighing On Relations Between The Countries At The Time. The U.S. Already Knew That Israel Had Crossed Or Was Crossing The Nuclear Threshold, It Knew That Its Own Policy Of Trying To Stop This Had Failed, And It Recognized That It Had To Adjust Its Attitude Given The New Reality.

The U.S. Needed The Understandings So It Could Deliver Phantom Jets To Israel, And The Delivery Began That Same Month, After Negotiations The Year Before Over The Sale Had Involved A Harsh Confrontation Over The Nuclear Issue. Also, It Was Necessary To End The Yearly Visits By American Nuclear Inspectors To Dimona; By 1969, The Americans Realized They Couldn’t Reverse The New Nuclear Reality And That The Only Way To Minimize The Damage Was To Keep It Hidden.

Today, Almost 50 Years After The Original Understandings, Israel’s Nuclear Capability – Declared Or Not – Is A Solid Fact Recognized By All. Paradoxically, The Leaders Of This Nuclear Power Still Feel That They Need A Presidential Piece Of Paper To Confirm This.

Entous’ Revelations Illustrate Yet Again How Outdated The Nuclear Ambiguity Policy Is, Including The Israeli Ploy Whereby It’s Permissible For Anything To Be Written About Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal As Long As It’s Attributed To “Foreign Sources.” The Time Has Come For The Israeli Nuclear Issue To Be Handled Differently, Both At Home And Abroad. The Time Has Come For Post-Ambiguity.

The Writer Is A Professor Of Nonproliferation And Terrorism Studies At The Middlebury Institute Of International Studies.

 

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June 22, 2018 Posted by | Israel, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Middle East has 80 nuclear weapons, and they’re all owned by Israel

All 80 nuclear warheads in Mideast owned by Israel: Zarif  http://www.tehrantimes.com/news/424573/All-80-nuclear-warheads-in-Mideast-owned-by-Israel-ZarifJune 19, 2018  

TEHRAN – Referring to recent statistics released by a Stockholm-based research institute, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said all proven nuclear warheads stationed in the Middle East are entirely owned by the Zionist regime of Israel.

In a message in his Twitter account, Zarif denounced the Israeli regime for “howling incessantly” about Iran’s activities, while the regime itself owns all the 80 nuclear warheads in the Middle East.

“There are at least 80 nuclear warheads stationed in the Middle East. None are in Iran; rather, they’re at the fingertips of a warmonger who howls incessantly about fabricated Iranian ‘ambitions’,” Zarif said.

June 20, 2018 Posted by | Israel, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Donald Trump pledges Israel that he’ll ignore their nuclear weapons

Report: Trump pledges not to pressure Israel on nuclear issue

http://www.israelhayom.com/2018/06/19/report-trump-pledges-not-to-pressure-israel-on-nuclear-issue/?platform=hootsuite

Donald Trump becomes fourth U.S. president to sign letter saying U.S. will not pressure Israel to forfeit its rumored nuclear capabilities, New Yorker reports • Obama aides failed to brief Trump officials on letter during transition, report says.

Israel Hayom StaffIsrael has managed to secure a written pledge from four successive U.S. presidents to safeguard its presumed nuclear deterrent, The New Yorker magazine reported on Monday.

According to uncorroborated reports in the foreign media, Israel has as many as 200 nuclear warheads as part of a presumed military nuclear program dating back to the 1960s. Israel has never publicly acknowledged these reports.

Israel has also pledged not to be the first nation to introduce nuclear weapons in the region.

According to Monday’s report, in the wake of the first Gulf War in the early 1990s, Israel felt that the unwritten understanding struck between President Richard Nixon and Prime Minister Golda Meir in the early 1970s to ensure Israel would never be compelled to denuclearize was insufficient.

Eventually, Israeli policymakers convinced President Bill Clinton to put the Nixon-Meir understandings into writing.

“The first iteration of the secret letter was drafted during the Clinton administration as part of an agreement for Israel’s participation in the 1998 Wye River negotiations with the Palestinians,” said the report, by The New Yorker’s Adam Entous.

“In the letter, according to former officials, President Bill Clinton assured the Jewish state that no future American arms-control initiative would detract from Israel’s deterrent capabilities, an oblique but clear reference to its [alleged] nuclear arsenal.”

The letter was later signed by President George W. Bush. But when President  Barack Obama won office in 2008, Israel was concerned he would hold off on renewing the pledge.

“With Obama, we were all crazy,” an Israeli official was quoted in the report. A former U.S. official is quoted as saying that Obama’s advisers believed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was “paranoid” that the U.S. would try to take away Israel’s presumed nuclear weapons, but that “wasn’t our intent.”

Ultimately, Obama signed “an updated version of the letter.”

According to the report, efforts to renew the pledge when President Donald Trump assumed office initially stalled, when Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer made the request in a surprise move in February 2017. When he came to the White House, the Trump officials said they needed more time, but the Israelis “wanted to limit who could take part in discussions of the letter, citing the need for secrecy.”

According to the report, part of the tensions then arose because the White House was not aware of the letters.

“The very existence of the letters had been a closely held secret. Only a select group of senior American officials, in three previous administrations, knew of the letters,” the report said.

When Trump became president, his aides “didn’t find any copies of the previous letters left behind by their predecessors. The documents had been sent to the archives.”

June 20, 2018 Posted by | Israel, politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Israel selling nuclear information and expertise to Saudi Arabia

Israel ‘is selling nuclear information’ to Saudi Arabia, Middle East Monitor, May 31, 2018  

June 1, 2018 Posted by | Israel, politics international, Saudi Arabia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Israel’s PM Netanyahu planned a military strike on Iran in 2011

Ex-Israeli spy chief: Netanyahu planned Iran strike in 2011  By ILAN BEN ZION, JERUSALEM (AP) 31 May 18  — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave the order in 2011 for the military to prepare to attack Iran within 15 days, a former Mossad chief said in remarks released on Thursday.

Tamir Pardo, who served as head of the Israeli intelligence agency from 2011 to 2016, told Israeli Keshet TV’s investigative show Uvda that the order was not given “for the sake of a drill,” according to excerpts of the interview released ahead of the broadcast on Thursday evening.

“When he tells you to start the countdown process, you know that he isn’t playing games with you,” Pardo is quoted as saying. “These things have enormous significance.”

There was no immediate comment from Netanyahu’s office on Pardo’s claim.

On Wednesday, Netanyahu said Israel “will not allow Iran to arm itself with nuclear weapons. We will continue to act against its intentions to establish itself militarily in Syria besides us, not just opposite the Golan Heights, but any place in Syria.”

Pardo’s claim comes as archenemies Israel and Iran are fighting a shadow war in Syria, which briefly threatened to burst into full-blown conflagration this month after Israel bombed Iranian positions in Syria, killing Iranian fighters after an alleged Iranian rocket barrage toward the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights…….. https://apnews.com/ff3d8d27040e45f0a24beab254a63e3d

 

June 1, 2018 Posted by | Iran, Israel, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

End the silence on nuclear weapons, and the targeted plans for nuclear megadeaths in the Middles East

Netanyahu, How Many People Will Die in a Nuclear War in the Middle East? https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-bibi-how-many-people-will-die-in-a-nuclear-war-in-the-middle-east-1.6118136  Ehud Ein-Gil 

In the early 60s, the U.S. estimated that the number of victims in a nuclear war against the Soviet Union and China would total some 600 million. Twenty years ago, ‘Doomsday Machine’ author Daniel Ellsberg posed a similar question about the Mideast, 

May 28, 2018 Posted by | Israel, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The double standard over Israel’s nuclear weapons

ISRAEL AND DENUCLEARIZATION: NECESSARY PARADOX OR HYPOCRISY IN ACTION? Jerusalem Post,  While Israel maintains nuclear ambiguity, the Jewish state is believed to possess up to 200 atomic weapons.
BY BENJI FLACKS/THE MEDIA LINE MAY 26, 2018   

Although Israel maintains a policy of ambiguity regarding its possession of nuclear weapons, the Jewish state is known to have a sizeable atomic arsenal. David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, established with the help of France a covert nuclear program in the 1950s to combat against what was widely viewed as an existential military threat posed by Arab neighbors. Ever since, information has from time-to-time been leaked regarding the size and potency of Israel’s atomic capabilities, although no independent body has confirmed specific figures.Against this backdrop, the United States—which has the world’s second-largest nuclear stockpile after Russia—is actively promoting global non-proliferation. To this end, President Donald Trump is slated to hold a summit with North Korean ruler Kim Jong-Un to discuss the Peninsula’s denuclearization; and the US leader recently withdrew Washington from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (commonly referred to as the Iran nuclear accord), which, in his estimation, would not have prevented Tehran’s acquisition of the bomb over the long-term.

For many, a clear dichotomy—if not double-standard—emerges when these policies are juxtaposed against the world’s hush-hush approach to—if not tacit approval of—Israel’s nuclear arms program.

According to Shannon Kile, head of the Nuclear Weapons Project at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Israel exists in a sort of legal limbo given that it is not a party to the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which codified into international law regulations governing nuclear development. By contrast, he explained to The Media Line, “the United States has the moral and legal right to pressure North Korea and Iran [in ways that are] set out in the binding treaty.

“The NPT legally recognized legitimate nuclear nations and in the treaty, North Korea and Iran were barred from making nuclear weapons,” Kile elaborated, while qualifying that Pyongyang did pull-out of the NPT in 2003, blaming its decision on “U.S. aggression.”

Nevertheless, Kile noted, there is “a long-running international dispute over [Israel’s] nuclear program. NPT countries, particularly Egypt, have argued for a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East that would include Israel. This notion,” he continued, “was a key pillar in the extension of the treaty in 1995. But not all countries seem willing to force Israel to sign up.”
More broadly, Kile believes that there “needs to be a commitment for all nuclear states to fulfill their obligation to denuclearize, as this would bolster the norm against atomic weapons. All NTP signatories have committed to abolishing their nuclear arms yet we see no real progress on that, even in the United States.” …….
https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Israel-and-denuclearization-Necessary-paradox-or-hypocrisy-in-action-558401

 

May 28, 2018 Posted by | Israel, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Saudi Arabia, Israel, dictating to Trump USA foreign policy on Iran nuclear deal?

Trump Outsources US Foreign Policy to Riyadh, Tel Aviv Over Iran Deal – Analysts https://sputniknews.com/us/201805101064310160-usa-trump-iran-foreign-policy/  Jonathan Ernst 17 10.05 WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United States by exiting the Iran nuclear agreement has now essentially outsourced US foreign policy in the Middle East to both Israel and Saudi Arabia, analysts told Sputnik.

On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters the United States is ready to announce an additional set of sanctions against Iran as early as next week in response to its alleged development of nuclear weapons.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced that the United States was withdrawing from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed by the P5+1 and EU, which ensures Iran’s nuclear program remains peaceful in exchange for sanctions relief. In addition, the US Treasury said it would reimpose the highest-level economic sanctions possible on Iran.

In the week prior to Trump’s decision Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in an internationally-broadcast address presented old intelligence and tried to claim that Tehran was continuing to develop nuclear weapons.

In fact, Iran has remained compliant under the conditions of the JCPOA as verified by the IAEA in 11 reports since January 2016 — a reality US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo even admitted during his confirmation hearings.

Israeli, Saudi Victory

Retired US Army Major and historian Todd Pierce told Sputnik that Trump’s announcement was a triumph for the leaders of Israel and Saudi Arabia, both of whom want the United States to confront Iran.

“Trump has placed US foreign policy in the hands of the coalition of Israel under Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia under [Crown Prince] Mohammad bin Salman, which his son in law Jared Kushner helped bring together to collectively wage war against Iran and Syria,” he said.

Trump’s statement on why he was pulling out of the international nuclear agreement with Iran was expressed in terms that made it sound like Trump was determined to go to war, Pierce observed.”Constructively, in effect, Trump’s talk sounded like a declaration of war against Iran, with the first step being to tighten up the ‘blockade’ of Iran, meaning in the 21st century version of that, US sanctions,” Pierce said.

Trump’s address was also notable for how closely it followed the arguments made eight days earlier by Netanyahu in his efforts to persuade the US government and Congress to scrap the agreement, Pierce pointed out.

Trump, like his ally and friend Netanyahu had shown scant regard for factual accuracy in his presentation.Trump was not an extremist or aberration in setting such policies but was fulfilling goals that had been followed for decades, Pierce pointed out.

Tehran Undaunted

Global peace activist and expert on the medical dangers of nuclear energy, Dr. Helen Caldicott, told Sputnik that she expected Tehran to continue honoring its commitmentsunder the 2015 nuclear accord.

“I think there will not be a nuclear arms race in the Middle East despite the fact that Israel was vehemently opposed to the treaty and surreptitiously lobbied against it with the powers that be in the US,” Caldicott said.

Caldicott, founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, the organization that was the co-winner of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize, noted that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had pledged to remain in the accord.

“Rouhani says that Iran will abide by the JCPOA, a stand which I intuitively had predicted,” she said. “It also seems clear that the European nations will definitely not abide by Trump’s terms of increased sanctions, after begging him to comply.”
The United States still needed to realize that Russia was not an ideological enemy of the West any more the way the Soviet Union had been throughout the Cold War, Caldicott maintained.

“If America could come to its senses and decide that all nuclear weapons are useless symbols of annihilation and have absolutely nothing to do with ‘defense’ it could lead the world to sanity, survival and nuclear disarmament,” she said.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir said on Wednesday that the country may start development of nuclear weapons if Iran continues its nuclear program.

Caldicott is the author of many books, including “The New Nuclear Danger: George W. Bush’s Military Industrial Complex” and “War in Heaven:” The Arms Race in Outer Space.” The Smithsonian Institution has named her one of the most influential women of the 20th century.

 

May 11, 2018 Posted by | Iran, Israel, politics international, Saudi Arabia, USA | Leave a comment

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

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

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

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

Reports have emerged of explosions being heard south of the Syrian capital of Damascus towards the Israeli border……https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/956884/iran-nuclear-threat-israel-iron-dome-defence-systems-iran-attack-donald-trump-ww3

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

Israel, Too, Lied About Its Nuclear Capabilities

Yes, Iran Lied About Its Nuclear Capabilities. But So Did Israel

Netanyahu’s arrogant theatricals exposed Israel’s lack of current incriminating evidence on Iran – and Israel’s hypocrisy about its own nuclear capabilities, Haaretz,  Avner Cohen and Ben McIntosh  

May 5, 2018 Posted by | Israel, politics international | Leave a comment

Israel’s nuclear weapons

Welcome to Israeli Nuclear Weapons 101 The National Interest,  Daniel R. DePetris,  September 20, 2015

1.    The Number is in Doubt:

While everyone believes that the Israelis possess a sizable nuclear arsenal, no one really knows how big that arsenal is.  In 2008, President Jimmy Carterestimated that Israel probably had a minimum of 150 weapons in stock ready to use if the most dire circumstances warrant.  Six years later, the former President revised that estimate and put the figure in the 300 range, which—based on Carter’s calculations—would mean that Israel doubled its arsenal from the 2008-2014 time-period.  Iranian foreign minister Mohammad JavadZarif told reporters at the United Nations at the height of the P5+1-Iran nuclear talks that Israel is “sitting on 400 nuclear warheads.”  The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists believes Zarif’s figure is far too large and unrealistic given the fact that Israel’s weapons are designed for deterrence purposes rather than actual hire-trigger use.  A better figure, the board writes, is “sixty-five to eighty-five warheads” as cited in a Rand Corporation study.

To put it bluntly, the world doesn’t have a clue about how many nukes Israel possesses.  And that’s precisely the point for the Israelis: the guessing game swirling over the proliferation community keeps Israel’s enemies in the region on their toes.

2.  Israel Fooled the U.S. to Get Its Program Off the Ground:

The Iranian Government has been caught building enrichment facilities by western intelligence agencies twice before.  In 2002, a dissident Iranian group provided information to the United States pointing to a large-scale enrichment facility at Natanz.  In 2009, U.S. and European intelligence uncovered another enrichment facility at Fordow buried deep into a mountain.  But Iran isn’t the only country that has deliberately deceived the United States and the international community in order to provide time for a full-on nuclear program; the Israelis, as Walter Pincus wrote in a Washington Post storyearlier this year, “blazed [the] trail decades ago.”

In the 1950s and early 1960s, the Israeli Government repeatedly stonewalled U.S. requests for information on possible weapons development and at times purposely lied to their U.S. allies in the hope of giving the nuclear program more room to breath.  In 1960, Israel referred to its Dimona reactor both as a “textile plant” and as a “metallurgic research installation” to the U.S. State Department.  Foreign minister Shimon Peres assured President John F. Kennedy in a 1963 meeting in the Oval Office that Israel would “not introduce nuclear weapons to the region.”

President Kennedy was so concerned about a possible Israeli nuclear weapons program that he demanded Israel admit American inspectors into Dimona to snoop around.  The Israelis agreed to those requests, but made sure that those visits would not lead to anything incriminating: U.S. inspectors, according to a long-read investigative report in The Guardian, were not permitted to bring their own equipment or collect samples at the site.

3.    Why Israel Wanted a Bomb in The First Place:….

4.    The World Has Long Wanted Israel to Join the NPT:

Ever since 1995, when signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty officially called for the “establishment by regional parties of a Middle East zone free of weapons of nuclear and all other related weapons of mass destruction,” the United Nations has attempted to convince Israel that signing the NPT and allowing IAEA inspectors into its facilities is the best way to accomplish that objective.  Israel, however, has refused to grant those requests and has long argued that Israel’s nuclear weapons program (which the country continues to neither confirm nor deny) is not nearly the biggest threat to the Middle East’s security.

This hasn’t stopped parties to the NPT and the U.N. General Assembly from pressing the point and trying to force compliance. ……http://nationalinterest.org/feature/welcome-israeli-nuclear-weapons-101-13882 

May 5, 2018 Posted by | Israel, Reference, wastes | Leave a comment

Nuclear Israel points at non-nuclear Iran as danger!

Reality turned upside down: Nuclear Israel points at non-nuclear Iran as danger, By Nathalie Hrizi  Liberation News, 4 May 18     In a not unusual display of utter hypocrisy in a televised appearance, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu argued on April 30 that Iran is a “danger” and is violating the nuclear deal formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Iran has no nuclear weapons.

Immediately following Netanyahu theatrical performance the International Atomic Energy Agency released a statement saying “that the Agency had no credible indications of activities in Iran relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device after 2009.”

Because of the JCPOA, Iran is a highly inspected country. The IAEA has a presence in that country at 18 nuclear sites and nine other locations.  From 2013 to 2017 they increased surveillance activities by 152 percent and inspectors spend 3, 000 days in the field each year.

In fact, Israel is the real nuclear danger.

In 2017, it was estimated that Israel possessed 80 nuclear warheads. It has never signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and has indicated that it has no intention of doing so.

Not only is Israel armed with nuclear weapons and an entire military primarily funded by U.S. tax dollars, but it has consistently attacked its neighbors in the Middle East. Israel maintains a blockade and constant aggression against the Palestinians. It has bombed or invaded Iraq, Jordan  Lebanon and Syria and Egypt without provocation. It consistently threatens Iran today. ……https://www.liberationnews.org/reality-turned-upside-nuclear-israel-points-non-nuclear-iran-danger/

May 5, 2018 Posted by | Israel, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Israel Dragging the United States Into World War III ?

Retired US Colonel: Israel Is Dragging the United States Into World War III, Lawrence Wilkerson, a retired army colonel who now teaches at Washington-area universities, didn’t hold back in his critique of where the status quo is leading the United States via its client state, Israel.  Mintpress News, 12 March 2018 by Darius Shahtahmasebi  

May 5, 2018 Posted by | Israel, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Divisions between USA and its Western allies now deepened by Israeli claims about Iran’s nuclear weapons intentions

Israeli claims on Iran divide US, allies  WP,  May 1 JERUSALEM — The Latest on the Israel’s allegations that Iran concealed a nuclear weapons program before signing a deal with world powers in 2015 (all times local):

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s latest accusations about Iran’s past nuclear activities have received a warm welcome in Washington but a far cooler reception in Europe.

The claims appear to have deepened divisions among Western allies ahead of President Donald Trump’s decision on whether to withdraw from the international nuclear deal later this month.

6:45 p.m.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas says the International Atomic Energy Agency should quickly follow up on allegations by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who claims that Iranian leaders covered up a nuclear weapons program before signing a deal with world powers in 2015.

Maas told the Bild daily on Tuesday that “the IAEA must as quickly as possible get access to Israeli information and clarify if there are indeed indications of a violation of the deal.”

…….. Netanyahu provided no direct evidence that Iran has violated the 2015 deal, which it signed with the U.S., Germany, Britain, France, China and Russia.3:55 p.m.

Britain’s foreign minister says the alleged new evidence presented by Israel about Iranian nuclear intentions shows why the international nuclear deal with Iran must remain in place.

…… British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, however, said the presentation “underlines the importance” of keeping the deal’s constraints on Iran in place.  He says the deal is not based on trust about Iran’s intentions, but instead is based on verification and inspections.3:30 p.m.

The U.N. nuclear agency says it believes that Iran had a “coordinated” nuclear weapons program in place before 2003, but found “no credible indications” of such work after 2009.

The agency issued its assessment on Tuesday, a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released what he said was a “half ton” of seized documents proving that Iran has lied about its nuclear intentions.

The documents focused on Iranian activities before 2003 and did not provide any explicit evidence that Iran has violated its 2015 nuclear deal with the international community.

Tuesday’s IAEA assessment, which repeated an earlier 2015 report, did not directly mention Netanyahu’s claims.

But it noted that in its 2015 report, its board of governors “declared that its consideration of this issue was closed.”

….. Trump says the discovery vindicated his criticism of the deal. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/the-latest-pompeo-says-irans-lies-undercut-nuclear-deal/2018/04/30/89523138-4ce3-11e8-85c1-9326c4511033_story.html?utm_term=.c3699f925994

May 2, 2018 Posted by | Iran, Israel, politics international | Leave a comment

Political wrangle in Israel, following admission that Israel destroyed a Syrian reactor in 2007

Israel finally admitted it destroyed a Syrian reactor in 2007 — and set off a battle of egos, WP,  March 22  JERUSALEM — Israel’s admission Wednesday that it was behind a mysterious attack on a suspected nuclear reactor in Syria more than a decade ago has caused a storm.

But not in the way one might think.

Within hours of the Israeli military censor permitting local media to publish most of the details of the 2007 air attack on a secret desert facility in northeastern Syria, as well as releasing blurry black-and-white video footage, former political and military leaders went to war over who should be credited for the operation.

In Israel’s eyes, the operation was a resounding success. It prevented its northern neighbor from obtaining nuclear capabilities. Ultimately, it also ensured that the Islamic State militant group would not possess nuclear weapons when it took over the region several years later.

But since Israel’s confirmation of its role in the airstrike, a battle has played out on Israeli television and radio and online, pitting two former Israeli prime ministers, Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak; a former Mossad chief; and a former military intelligence chief against one another.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman later said he regretted allowing the material to be published.

The attack occurred in the early hours of Sept. 6, 2007. Eight Israeli fighter jets flew north along the Mediterranean toward their target 280 miles from the Syrian capital, Damascus. Close to 1 a.m., they dropped 24 tons of ammunition on an isolated desert building, suspected to be a secret nuclear reactor being built by President Bashar al-Assad…….. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/03/22/israel-finally-admitted-it-destroyed-a-syrian-reactor-in-2007-and-set-off-a-battle-of-egos/?utm_term=.c1a176b17b1f

March 22, 2018 Posted by | Israel, politics, Syria | Leave a comment