NYC earthquake risk: the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

NYC earthquake risk: Could Staten Island be heavily impacted?

By Ann Marie Barron

Updated May 16, 4:31 AM; Posted May 16, 4:00 AM

Rubble litters Main Street after an earthquake struck Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, in Napa, Calif. A report by the U.S. Geological Survey outlines the differences between the effect of an earthquake in the West vs. one in the East. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – While scientists say it’s impossible to predict when or if an earthquake will occur in New York City, they say that smaller structures — like Staten Island’s bounty of single-family homes — will suffer more than skyscrapers if it does happen.

„Earthquakes in the East tend to cause higher-frequency shaking — faster back-and-forth motion — compared to similar events in the West,“ according to a report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), published on its website recently „Shorter structures are more susceptible to damage during fast shaking, whereas taller structures are more susceptible during slow shaking.“


The report, „East vs West Coast Earthquakes,“ explains how USGS scientists are researching factors that influence regional differences in the intensity and effects of earthquakes, and notes that earthquakes in the East are often felt at more than twice the distance of earthquakes in the West.

Predicting when they will occur is more difficult, said Thomas Pratt, a research geophysicist and the central and Eastern U.S. coordinator for the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program in Reston, Va.

„One of the problems in the East Coast is that we don’t have a history to study,“ he said. „In order to get an idea, we have to have had several cycles of these things. The way we know about them in California is we dig around in the mud and we see evidence of past earthquakes.“

Yet Pratt wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a high-magnitude event taking place in New York, which sits in the middle the North American Tectonic Plate, considered by experts to be quite stable.

„We never know,“ he said. „One could come tomorrow. On the other hand, it could be another 300 years. We don’t understand why earthquakes happen (here) at all.“

Though the city’s last observable earthquake occurred on Oct. 27, 2001, and caused no real damage, New York has been hit by two Magnitude 5 earthquakes in its history – in 1738 and in 1884 — prompting many to say it is „due“ for another.

While earthquakes generally have to be Magnitude 6 or higher to be considered „large,“ by experts, „a Magnitude 5, directly under New York City, would shake it quite strongly,“ Pratt said.

The reason has to do with the rock beneath our feet, the USGS report says.


In the East, we have older rocks, some of which formed „hundreds of millions of years before those in the West,“ the report says. Since the faults in the rocks have had so much time to heal, the seismic waves travel more efficiently through them when an earthquake occurs.

„Rocks in the East are like a granite countertop and rocks in the West are much softer,“ Pratt said. „Take a granite countertop and hit it and it’ll transmit energy well. In the West, it’s like a sponge. The  energy gets absorbed.“

If a large, Magnitude 7 earthquake does occur, smaller structures, and older structures in Manhattan would be most vulnerable, Pratt said. „In the 1920s, ’30s and late 1800s, they were not built with earthquake resistance,“ he said, noting that newer skyscrapers were built to survive hurricanes, so would be more resistant.

When discussing earthquake prediction and probability, Pratt uses the analogy of a baseball player who averages a home run every 10 times at bat and hasn’t hit one in the past nine games: „When he’s up at bat, will he hit a home run? You just don’t know.“

And though it would probably take a magnitude of 7 to topple buildings in the city, smaller earthquakes are still quite dangerous, he said.

„Bookshelves could fall down and hit you,“ he said. „People could be killed.“ A lot of stone work and heavy objects fell from buildings when a quake of 5.8 magnitude struck central Virginia in 2011, he noted, but, fortunately, no one was injured.

To be safe, Pratt encourages New Yorkers to keep a few days‘ worth of drinking water and other supplies on hand. He, himself, avoids putting heavy things up high.

„It always gets me nervous when I go into a restaurant that has heavy objects high on shelves,“ he said. „It’s unlikely you’ll get an earthquake. But, we just don’t know.“

The Pipeline Leading to the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

NYS Report: Significant Risks to AIM Pipeline

June 27, 2018 Rob Friedman

Written with assistance from Jhena Vigrass, New York Regional Team Program Assistant and Daniela Rico, NRDC Environmental Justice Intern

Mike Segar

Last week, four New York State agencies released the executive summary of a safety assessment of the Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) pipeline, a fracked gas pipeline that runs a quarter mile from the Indian Point Energy Center (IPEC), a nuclear power plant in Westchester County. The executive summary highlights several major areas of risk presented by AIM’s location adjacent to Indian Point.

In 2016, New York Governor Cuomo ordered a safety analysis on the pipeline after his administration greenlighted AIM by granting the pipeline a necessary certification under the Clean Water Act (a “401 water quality certification”).

The AIM pipeline system currently transports natural gas through Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts; traveling underneath the Hudson River in New York. When the AIM pipeline was approved by FERC in March 2015, the nearly billion-dollar plan added 11.1 miles of 42-inch wide pipeline and replaced 26.3 miles of existing pipeline along the route. Over the years, organizations throughout the region, including NRDC, have fought its expansion.

The report, produced by the New York Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and the Departments of Public Service, Environmental Conservation, and Health, raises significant concerns regarding the many risks of having the pipeline so close to the Indian Point nuclear plant. In a separate letter sent to FERC, the agencies urge the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to take additional action to lessen all identified potential risks.

According to the report’s executive summary, the only portion of the report released to the public at this time, the analysis identifies 46 overall potential risks associated with the pipeline.  The executive summary explains the top nine risks, many of which involve potential impacts to the AIM pipeline as well as the two existing Algonquin Mainline pipeline segments.  These risks include damage from river traffic or dredging, third-party excavation, seismic activity, corrosion, and the release of hazardous waste materials due to a potential pipeline incident.

As a consequence of the report, New York State agencies sent a letter to FERC asking them to, among other things, not approve any additional capacity or increased pressure within the pipeline.

Indeed, the safety of these pipelines is concerning. Spectra Energy, the company responsible for original pipeline construction, has a poor safety record–Since 2007, state agencies have fined Spectra over $19 million in safety violations. In addition, advocates throughout the region have criticized FERC’s and Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s review of the AIM pipeline project for failing to model certain pipeline ruptures, and showing disregard for the public’s safety.

Spectra Energy

The AIM pipeline safety assessment summary demonstrates the many risks of building fracked gas pipelines in areas with high population densities and sensitive ecosystems. These risks are further exacerbated by AIM’s proximity to Indian Point, an ageing nuclear power plant with a mixed safety record that is set for closure by 2021. AIM’s construction was a bad idea from the beginning, and we now look to state and federal regulatory agencies to do everything in their power to mitigate any and all risks presented by the location of this fracked gas pipeline.

Israel Destroys Buildings Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

OCHA: Israel demolished nine Palestinian-owned structures in two weeks

RAMALLAH, Saturday, May 2, 2020 (WAFA) – The Israeli authorities demolished nine Palestinian-owned structures due to the lack of building permits during the past two weeks, displacing a family of eight and affecting 19 others in four communities in Area C of the West Bank, said the UN-OCHA in its biweekly humanitarian bulletin on Israeli violations in Palestine.

The displacement took place in the Bedouin community of Ein ad Duyuk at Tahta, near Jericho, where the occupation authorities demolished an inhabited caravan provided as humanitarian assistance. Another five aid structures, including residential tents and animal shelters, were demolished in the nearby community of Deir al Qilt.

During the same period, OCHA said five Palestinians were injured and around 470 Palestinian-owned olive trees and saplings damaged by Israeli settlers. Four of the injuries were caused by physical assault in the Israeli-controlled area of Hebron city (H2), and the villages of At Tuwani, near Hebron, and Jibiya, near Ramallah. In addition, around 200 olive trees belonging to farmers from Turmus’ayya and Al Mughayyir villages, near Ramallah, were vandalized, reportedly by settlers from the adjacent Adei Ad settlement outpost. Most of these trees are located on a plot where Palestinian access is restricted by a ‘prior coordination’ system. Assailants, believed to be from the same settlement outpost, also dismantled a fence around another plot and stole dozens of wooden poles.

Around 120 additional trees were cut down in the villages of Ras Karkar (Ramallah), Kafr Qaddum (Qalqiliya), As Sawiya and Qaryut (both in Nablus). Near Fuqeiqis village (Hebron), settlers uprooted around 1,000 seasonal vegetable seedlings and 150 olive saplings, while in Khirbet Samra village (Tubas) they grazed their livestock on 100 dunums of land planted with seasonal vegetables damaging the crops.

Settler-related violence has been on the rise since the beginning of March, according to the UN organization, with the weekly average of incidents resulting in injuries or property damage increasing by over 80 per cent compared to January-February. 

In the meantime, Israeli forces carried out a total of 99 search and arrest operations across the West Bank and arrested over 100 Palestinians. The majority of the operations (45) and arrests (55) were registered in East Jerusalem, 18 in the Hebron governorate and 14 in the Ramallah governorate.

In the Gaza Strip, OCHA said that on at least 48 occasions, Israeli forces opened warning fire in the areas adjacent to Israel’s perimeter fence and off the coast of Gaza while enforcing access restrictions. One fisherman was injured by a rubber bullet in the head, and two boats were damaged. On two occasions, Israeli forces entered Gaza and carried out land-levelling and excavation operations near the perimeter fence, east of Jabaliya and Rafah.


Iran Closely Monitoring Babylon the Great

Iran Closely Monitoring US Moves in Persian Gulf, Oman Sea: IRGC Commander

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy Rear Admiral Ali Reza Tangsiri said the country’s naval forces closely watch US vessels’ movements in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman.

Tasnim News Agency

“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s (Navy) forces are monitoring all US moves in the Sea of Oman and the Persian Gulf,” Rear Admiral Tangsiri said in a recent interview with local media.

He said the US is looking for tensions and confrontation in the region and has always sown insecurity wherever it had a presence.

Today, we have a powerful presence in the entire Persian Gulf region and the Strait of Hormuz,” Rear Admiral Tangsiri stressed, adding that full security will be established in the Persian Gulf if US forces leave the region.

Earlier this week, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said the Persian Gulf belongs to the nations living there, and those are the ones responsible for ensuring its security.

The Persian Gulf belongs to the nations living there. Its security is the duty of these nations, & Iran with its long coastlines has a key role in keeping the security of this region. By God’s grace we will do our part. This is our historical, geographical & regional duty,” the Leader said in a series of tweets published Wednesday on the Twitter page of Ayatollah Khamenei on the occasion of the National Persian Gulf Day.

The Leader also said that a “wise and rational collective policy” in favor of the people of the region cannot be achieved while foreign forces are present in the Persian Gulf.

“The #PersianGulf region can be managed by a wise and rational collective policy that benefits all Persian Gulf countries. The factor that threatens such a proper, wise move is the presence of foreign forces in the region,” Ayatollah Khamenei added.

“The #PersianGulf is our home & the place for the presence of the great #IranianNation. The shores of the Persian Gulf & much of the Gulf of Oman, belong to this nation, & it should be present there. It should demonstrate its power. We’re a powerful nation with a great history,” said another post in the Leader’s Twitter account.

Earlier in the day, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also reminded the US to whom the waterway truly belongs.

“The Americans should know that this waterway is called ‘the Persian Gulf.’ It is not called ‘the New York Gulf’ or ‘the Washington Gulf,’” Rouhani told a cabinet session in Tehran.

Russia Threatens Nuclear War if US Deploys Low-Yield Nukes

FILE – The ballistic-missile submarine USS Wyoming is seen in the Atlantic, in this photo released by the U.S. Navy Jan. 9, 2008.

Russia Threatens Massive Response if US Deploys Low-Yield Nukes on Subs 

By VOA News

April 29, 2020 05:21 PM

Russia is warning that any U.S. attempt to use a low-yield nuclear weapon against a Russian target would set off a massive nuclear response.

The Russian foreign ministry was reacting to a State Department paper released last week that says placing low-yield nuclear weapons on ballistic missiles launched from submarines would counter what it sees as possible new threats from both Russia and China.

Experts describe a low-yield weapon as the kind the United States dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II.

The State Department asserts that the low-yield weapons “reduce the risk of nuclear war by reinforcing extended deterrence and assurance.”

It alleges Russia is considering using such nonstrategic nuclear arms in a limited war.

Russia denies it is a threat to the U.S. and accuses Washington of “lowering the nuclear threshold.”

“Any attack involving a U.S. submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), regardless of its weapon specifications, would be perceived as a nuclear aggression,”  Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Wednesday. “Those who like to theorize about the flexibility of American nuclear potential must understand that in line with the Russian military doctrine such actions are seen as warranting retaliatory use of nuclear weapons by Russia.”

Russia says it wants to extend the 2010 New START treaty limiting the number of deployed nuclear missiles, warheads, and bombers along with strict inspection regimes. The pact is set to expire next year.

The Trump administration says it wants a new arms control agreement that also includes China — which Russia calls impractical.

Increase in militancy before the first nuclear war (Revelation 8 )

Increase in militancy

By RECORDER REPORT on May 2, 2020

On this past Sunday, in a clash in North Waziristan two soldiers embraced martyrdom while nine terrorists were killed. In Panjgur, Balochistan, four militants were killed in exchange of fire with security forces. And, along the Line of Control there was one more violation by Indian troops, bringing the total to 848 ceasefire violations in 2020. Pakistan was neither taken by surprise nor did it fail to deliver punitive response in all these cases. Despite the fact that none of these incidents has fetched India any tangible benefit the question is why should it resort to such pinpricks? Among various answers to this question two come up as most plausible. One, New Delhi wants to divert the world attention from its atrocious occupation of Held Kashmir and swelling Hindutva-inspired anti-Muslim violence in mainland India. Two, the Indian security chief Ajit Doval wants and is engaged in waging against Pakistan “a low cost sustainable offensive with high deniability aimed at bleeding the enemy to submission”. It is not that the Indian establishment has given up on its existential threat to Pakistan. The stratagems like ‘cold start’ and ‘limited war’ remain on its table. But it should not forget that such a scheming can trigger a wider conflict between the two nuclear powers. And Pakistan, as the former army chief Gen Raheel Sharif once said: “we are ready both for cold war or hot war”.

After a calm of some years, Pakistan’s tribal region is once again simmering with violence. During the month of April, attacks on security forces have seen a spike in North Waziristan. The terrorists are reported to have their presence in certain pockets of Dattakhel where security forces have been frequently coming under attacks. Essentially, these attacks have been carried out by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a proxy of RAW and NDS, who are comfortably housed in Afghan districts along the Pakistan border. Given Afghan Taliban’s continuing attacks on government security posts, and now their refusal to ceasefire during month of Ramazan, the Kabul-New Delhi axis is raising pressure against Pakistan. This axis futilely hopes that its strategy would prevail upon Taliban to become less lethal. But Pakistan has no such clout. However, for the two the TTP terrorists are their cat’s paw against Pakistan. They enjoy protective harbour in Afghanistan and India. The militancy in Balochistan too is bankrolled by India.

How ironic it is that while the entire world is focused on the rampaging coronavirus the New Delhi-Kabul duo is more interested in fomenting trouble in Pakistan than to taking care of their own people. The world may or may not take notice of this evil mindset but it is under Pakistan’s sharp focus. Of course, in its response to Indian LoC violations Pakistan always ensures that its retaliations spare the Kashmiris who are now being used by Indian army as human shields. But then such a tactic has its inbuilt counteract – the peaceful Kashmiris may give up on their pacifism and take up arms against India. Indian leadership would like to recall that the Khalistan movement was embedded in the massacre of Sikhs in the wake of Indira Gandhi’s assassination by her Sikh bodyguards. Given both Pakistan and India are nuclear-weapon states, New Delhi should think twice before fomenting trouble in Pakistan’s border regions. Both should live together; otherwise as they say, they will die together. And as for the Kabul regime it should stop playing India’s game. It must not lose sight of the fact that its own existence; both political and physical, is at stake.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020

The Final Days Before Iran Is Nuclear

The final days of the Iran nuclear deal

The Iranian regime, whose defenders – particularly the EU and the Democrats – are so keen to keep afloat, is not playing along. There is no downside to Trump administration ending the JCPOA by October.

There is a growing chance that by October, the nuclear deal with Iran, otherwise known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will be dead. Under the deal with the US, China, Russia, Germany, Britain, and France, Iran purported to accept limitations on its nuclear program. 

These limitations included capping its low enriched uranium stockpiles at 300 kilograms (661 pounds), restraining its enrichment activities, and accepting the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency’s right to inspect its declared and undeclared nuclear sites.

In exchange, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany agreed to cancel the Security Council sanctions resolutions that had been imposed on Iran due to its illicit nuclear activities over the previous decade.

The JCPOA, which was never formally signed, was anchored in UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which was passed immediately after the JCPOA was concluded.

At the time, the JCPOA was vociferously opposed by US lawmakers from both sides of the partisan divide. Their opposition owed to the fact that even if Iran abided by the restrictions on its nuclear activities prescribed by the JCPOA, it would still be able to develop a full-blown nuclear arsenal within ten to fifteen years. 

To placate the deal’s opponents, and secure its approval in the Senate, the Obama administration added two safeguards to Resolution 2231. The first imposed a five-year embargo on conventional weapons sales to Iran.

The second enabled all sides to the agreement to end the JCPOA by triggering the reimposition of the UN sanctions canceled under 2231. According to Articles 10-12 of the resolution, if a party to the agreement informs the Security Council that Iran is in breach of its commitments under the agreement, such a declaration will automatically trigger the reimposition of the sanctions within thirty days. The Obama administration dubbed this mechanism “snapback sanctions.”

Now both of these safeguards are being tested.  

In May 2018, due to incontrovertible evidence of Iranian bad faith both during the negotiations process and following the implementation of the JCPOA, President Donald Trump announced that the United States was washing its hands of the nuclear deal. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo set out the US’s new “maximum pressure campaign” that replaced the JCPOA as the central element of the US’s policy towards Iran.

The strategy of maximum pressure involves applying harsh US economic sanctions against Iran’s oil, financial, and shipping sectors in particular. The goal is to weaken the Iranian economy in order to destabilize the regime and minimize its financial capacity to fund its nuclear operations and its terror proxies in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, and beyond.

The other parties to the JCPOA did not follow America’s lead. On the contrary, they sought to undermine US sanctions. Led by Germany, the EU clung ever more tightly to the nuclear deal. Germany, France, and Britain attempted to create a financial mechanism that would enable Iran to bust US sanctions. They also continued to develop Iran’s heavy water reactor at Fordo.

The Russians maintained and intensified their alliance with Iran in Syria. China breached the US sanctions and continued importing Iranian oil and gas. Currently, China is working closely with Iran in Afghanistan on behalf of the Taliban.

The Europeans, Russians, and Chinese have all been playing for time in the hope that Trump loses the presidential election in November. The presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden has pledged that if elected, he will return the US to the nuclear deal and end US economic sanctions against Iran.

The problem for all of these parties is that time and the facts aren’t on their side. 

The Iranian regime which they are so keen to keep afloat is not playing along with them. Instead, it is systematically and openly breaching all of its commitments under the JCPOA. In March the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency revealed that between November 2019 and March 2020, Iran increased its store of low-enriched uranium from 373 to 1050 kilograms (822 to 2315 pounds) – more than three times the quantity permitted under the agreement.

The IAEA also reported that Iran had increased the number of advanced centrifuges capable of enriching uranium to prohibited levels in operation by approximately 20% since last November.

In January, the Iranian regime rejected IAEA requests for information regarding three newly discovered undeclared nuclear sites and subsequently rejected IAEA requests to dispatch inspectors to two of them.

Earlier this month, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, announced that Iran was building two more nuclear reactors at Bushehr. He added that “A new generation of centrifuges would soon come online at the Natanz fuel enrichment plant.”

Salehi explained that Iran is now in full breach of the JCPOA. “Nuclear activities, as well as research and development on the nuclear fuel cycle, uranium conversion, and enrichment – including production and storage – are being carried out without any restrictions.”

Iran’s apparent race to develop the ability to build a nuclear arsenal on-demand – or what has been dubbed, “breakout capacity” – is happening in the context of the quickly approaching deadline for the conventional arms embargo imposed under Resolution 2231. The embargo will expire on October 23.

Over the past six months, Pompeo has stated repeatedly that the US will not permit the embargo to be lifted. According to US intelligence agencies, Russian defense firms have already concluded deals to sell Iran advanced aircraft, tanks, and air defense systems the moment the embargo is lifted.

In a press briefing on Wednesday, Pompeo set out how the administration intends to prevent it from being lifted. Pompeo explained that the administration is pressuring the Europeans to put forward a Security Council resolution calling for the arms embargo to be extended even as Russia has vowed to veto any such resolution.

In light of the Russian position, the only way to extend the arms embargo is to cancel the JCPOA entirely by triggering 2231’s snapback sanctions clause, which no side can veto.

To prevent the Americans from triggering the snapback clause, since May 2018, the Europeans, Iranians, Russians and Obama administration officials have claimed Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement canceled America’s standing as a party to the JCPOA and so abrogated the US’s right to trigger the snapback sanctions.

Last year, the State Department’s legal department published a brief rejecting this position. The US action did not abrogate Security Council Resolution 2231, and Article 10 of the resolution clearly names the US as a party to the agreement.

At Wednesday’s briefing, Pompeo repeated this key claim.

“The UN Security Council Resolution 2231 is very clear: We don’t have to…declare ourselves a participant. UN Security Council Resolution 2231 is unambiguous where the United States is a participant,” he said.

Pompeo added, “We’re going to … makes sure that come October of this year, the Iranians aren’t able to buy conventional weapons that they would be given what President Obama and Vice President Biden delivered to the world in that terrible deal.”

As the sides set up for a confrontation, the fact is that the administration will come out on top under all circumstances. This is true for three reasons:

First and foremost, the US will benefit if the administration invokes the snapback sanctions articles because it is the right thing to do. As the IAEA reported and Salehi acknowledged, the Iranians are comprehensively breaching all of their commitments under the JCPOA. There is no substantive justification for maintaining the fiction that the deal is still salvageable. There is clearly no substantive justification for selling Iran conventional weapons.  

This brings us to the second reason, and to Iran’s defenders – particularly the EU and the Democrats:

If the US triggers the snapback sanctions, the move will critically harm the European Union which, under German leadership has consistently advanced a harshly anti-American foreign policy. If the EU responds to a US move to trigger the snapback sanctions by insisting the US has no authority to act, the position will boomerang.

Even before the appearance of the coronavirus pandemic, many EU member nations were rejecting the EU’s authority to dictate a unified anti-American, pro-Iranian foreign policy.

In February 2019, Poland co-hosted a summit on Iran in Warsaw with the US. Then EU Foreign Policy Commissioner Federica Mogherini refused to participate in the conference that bought more than a dozen key EU states along with Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE together to discuss the threat Iran poses to global security.

The EU’s utter failure to manage the coronavirus pandemic has struck a massive blow to the EU. Its incompetence has convinced millions of Europeans who had previously supported the EU that they have nothing to gain from it. Their national governments are the only instruments to protect their lives and liberty.

The EU’s weakened was apparent earlier this month when several EU member states angrily rejected an attempt by current EU foreign policy commissioner Josep Borrell to pass a resolution condemning the Trump Middle East peace plan and Israel’s intention to apply its law to parts of Judea and Samaria in the framework of the Trump plan.

If the EU subverts a US effort to restore UN sanctions on Iran, its action is liable to destroy whatever is left of Brussel’s power to dictate a unified EU foreign policy.

Perhaps to block this prospect, and perhaps due to Iran’s reduced economic prospects after two years of US sanctions. Germany announced Thursday that it is finally outlawing Hezbollah’s “political” wing and blocking its operation in Germany. 

To date, Germany blocked the EU from recognizing Hezbollah’s military wing as a terrorist organization and so enabled the Iranian proxy army to raise funds and draft operatives throughout Europe. Germany’s action Thursday indicates that aware of the dangers to the EU, Germany may support a US move to impose the snapback sanctions and end the JCPOA.

Thirdly, there is Biden. If the administration moves to implement the snapback sanctions and so end the ill-begotten JCPOA, which was the centerpiece of US foreign policy in Obama’s second term, Biden and the Democrats will be harmed no matter how the move plays out: If the UN blocks the US move, the Trump administration will claim – rightly – that Obama and Biden deliberately lied to the American people when they said the snapback sanctions provision would ensure Iran could not get away with breaching the JCPOA.

If the administration is successful, and snapback sanctions are imposed, scuppering the JCPOA, its success will expose the madness at the heart of Biden’s pro-Iranian Middle East policy. It will demonstrate that the key component of the Obama-Biden foreign policy was to provide the US’s most dangerous enemy in the Middle East with the ability to develop a nuclear arsenal while building itself into a regional hegemon.

It isn’t clear how events will transpire in the coming weeks and months. But as things now stand, the Trump administration seems to recognize that there is no downside to triggering the snapback sanction articles in Resolution 2231 and ending the JCPOA by October.