Babylon the Great adds more nukes near Russia, China, Iran, DPRK

America adds more nukes near Russia, China, Iran, DPRK. Women issue a wake up call to the world.

“Women are worried about the American patriarch manipulating its NATO arm, acting like a desperate bully afraid of its strengthening victims and thus resorting to nuclear weapons it continues to deploy, expanding nuclear arsenals on far shores.

But according to thousands including the UN Secretary General, who have signed a pledge against nuclear weapons, “Today, there is support throughout the world for the view that nuclear weapons should never again be used,” referring to to America’s despicable nuclear attacks on Nagasaki and Hiroshima and America’s continued threats and nuclear deployments to do it again, somewhere else.

If Russia, China, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Afghanistan, Syria, Venezuela, or Belarus, or even France, began a buildup of weapons in Cuba as American expansionism has done to the enemies it creates, what would America do?

The response to American military expansionism is reaching a crescendo. Russia and China together trump America’s military strength almost threefold.

In this video below,
 is growing evidence of Russia and China cooperating militarily under a broad China-Russia military alliance pact, arguably taunting the American military dominance on China’s shores in the Asian Seas by sailing a dozen warships through Tsugaru Strait which separates the Asian Seas from the Pacific.

“In response, America is building up its nuclear arsenals in Australia as quickly as possible while Australia’s malleable, gullible, and disingenuous leadership remains in place,” says Sonya Yoshiki, team leader of the RINJ Foundation‘s security intelligence  contractor.

Video: Russia and China train together every month for search and rescue operations, marine artillery gunnery practice, missile intercepts, minesweeping and submarine tracking. Their warships are also chasing American warships out of their territorial waters.

“The bilateral trade between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has skyrocketed a multiple of 85 times to USD 684.6 billion in 2020 from less than USD 8 billion in 1991, making the two sides each other’s largest trading partners,” according to ASEAN-member, the Republic of the Philippines, Malacañang.

Why does America surround Iran, Russia, China and North Korea with nuclear weapons, endangering most of the world?

Southeast Asia is angling for a nuclear-free zone and China supports this move according to the Philippines State-Run News Agency.

“China supports ASEAN’s efforts to build a nuclear weapon-free zone, and is prepared to sign the Protocol to the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone as early as possible,” President Xi Jinping told the China-Asia summit marking 30 years of the relations between two sides.

“Beijing’s demand for a nuclear-free Southeast Asia comes as the US and UK empower their ally Australia with nuclear-armed submarines under a deal called AUKUS signed in September,” says the Philippines State-Run News Agency.

“America’s patriarch seems to think that women, Blacks, Browns, Asians, are all stupid. Our organization is comprised of women from every race and creed, and is distributed all around the world. We see the B2 bombers and F22s arriving in Japan and Australia and the accoutrement nuclear support trappings arriving in military transports. We notice the increased presence of American nuclear submarines and British nukes in Australian waters and in the Asian Seas,” says Katie Alsop, a founding director of the global women’s rights group, RINJ Women.

“America and the NATO organization that the USA 100% controls claims that the Russian intermediate-range territorial defence missile known as the 9M729, or SSC-8, could also  carry a small nuclear device therefore it was OK for America to install 3000 mile range intermediate missiles around Russia and China in violation of the 1980s INF treaty. My tucking purse can carry a small nuclear device, eh holes. That doesn’t mean that my purse does carry nuclear weapons,” she added with a certain ferocity at the disingenuous breach of the INF Treaty under Donald Trump, 2 August 2019.

“Russia inherited the Soviet treaty and America violated that INF treaty. Russia’s observance of the Biden and Trump families’ personal financial rewards from Ukraine and America seeking to dominate the Ukraine as a surrogate on Russia’s border has led to Crimea voting explicitly to flee the bonds of the Ukraine and join Russia”

“Also over a half a dozen nations have fled their alliances and joined each other under the Russian protective umbrella to protect themselves against the Western expansionism trying to take over Ukraine as American nuclear weapons usurp the European Union’s sovereign interests and surround Russia and several other nations including Belarus,” explains Katie Alsop.

“Women are going to be heard, says the feminist leader. “Our organization has some big surprises for the male patriarchs in American corporations like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and the White House which all seem to think that women have the right to talk about sewing aprons, making tucking flower arrangements and explaining how we dance in white dresses to pretty music while we are menstruating. But an organization of women is moving collectively and silently into positions of power and authority all around the world, and men messing around with  nuclear threats are one day going to get more than a spank on the back of their limited minds. We are sick and tired of the male propensity in governance to threaten the lives of women and children in their penile comparison wars with nuclear weapons.”

“Today, there is support throughout the world for the view that nuclear weapons should never again be used because of their indiscriminate effects, their impact on the environment and their profound implications for regional and global security. Some call this the nuclear taboo”, said the UN secretary General in October 2008 when this campaign began.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Eric Driver (left) and Airman 1st Class William Farrell, 393rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron weapons load crew members, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, load live weapons for B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber training at Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia, in the Chagos Islands, Guam, Australia and Japan to support  Bomber Task Force missions. They, along with three B-2 Spirit Stealth Bombers as part of a BTF deployment. As part of their BTF deployment, the B-2s participated in a combined United States-Australia exercise with Marine Rotational Force – Darwin and Australian Defence Forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Alexandria Lee)

“We notice the American antagonisms near Russia and Belarus borders, but above all we have observed the American proclivity to consistently bolster its short and intermediate range nuclear tipped missiles near China and near Russia,” Ms. Alsop added.

“America has elected two screwball presidents in a row, Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Neither have any comprehension of Asian culture or the leaders who make a difference and neither can acknowledge any human existence beyond their own self-importance.

The people of China are being victimized by both Xi Jinping (slipping into a Mao Zedong II role with a touch of  Josef Mengele?) and the Joe Biden (Stanley Kubrick’s Major Kong) character out of one of Stanley Kubrick’s scripts.

“That indicates that America intends to mass slaughter millions of Asian families and continental European women and children in the event it cannot prevail in a regional military conflict,” says Katie Alsop, who is an active founding director of the global women’s rights group, RINJ Women.

“It is true that America has lost the military edge despite spending a $trillion per year on military assets, because it has made enemies of most of the world’s population groups, with its willingness to kill non-Whites. Millions of non-White civilians have been slaughtered by America since World War Two,” she added.

America’s hegemony has alienated much of the world. Today, America’s vaccine hording has led to the emergence of at least two significant genovariant coronavirus pathogens and they have helped slaughter 1,000 Americans every single day. The American patriarch doesn’t really give a damn about its own people either, it seems,” she said.

New USA weapon of mass destruction, a nuke the length of a bowling lane, wrote Elisabeth Eaves in February 2021. “It will be able to travel some 6,000 miles, carrying a warhead more than 20 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. It will be able to kill hundreds of thousands of people in a single shot,” she claims.

Ernie used a certain American logic when, “he told Bert he had a banana in his ear to keep the alligators away: the absence of alligators doesn’t prove the banana worked. Likewise, the absence of a nuclear attack on the United States doesn’t prove that 4018 warheads are essential to deterrence,” wrote Elisabeth Eaves in February 2021. Photo Credit: Grumman/Northrop which is building the new $100 billion nuclear weapon while hundreds of thousands of Americans die from COVID-19 and millions of Americans suffer poverty, hunger, homelessness and even starvation.

“America is bleating like a lost lamb, through a megaphone
 against Russia and China’s alliance and military buildup.

It is just a monstrous distraction from America’s own malfeasance.

It was America that has for decades antagonized  and scared these nations with a worrying escalation of intermediate nuclear weaponry on the borders of RussiaChinaIran, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and North Korea. Each of these nations are, as a united front, a serious and overwhelming threat to American security,” suggests Simon Baldock, an Israeli security analyst.

Global War is pending and likely.

“The recent military pact between Russia and China alone doubles in every category the number of weapon systems America points at Russia and China. The number of weapons now pointing back at America exceeds America’s ability to respond. America’s global military supremacy is now an ancient myth since the military pact between Russia and China. That leaves America with one choice and that is, ‘Strike First’. And that is what America is preparing to do,” suggested Mr. Baldock.

Two major flash points are thresholds for global war: Ukraineand the Asian Seas.

“If on the island of Cuba, China, or if Russia, began a military buildup including nuclear weapons and intermediate ballistic missiles on Cuban soil so close to American shores, America would react militarily, says history in the context of the Cuban missile crisis, and the Munroe Doctrine,” added Mr. Baldock from Tel Aviv.

“The same is true for Russia and China, one might think reasonably. The latter country is surrounded by hundreds of American military bases which under the continued American expansionism under the Biden regime, which was salted in the post-WWII Cold War and uses the same tactics and strategies as were employed in the 1960s.

“Russia has been facing a belligerent NATO that is struggling for a raison d’etre with its warships in the Black sea angering the Kremlin,” Mr. Baldock added.

A large number of Russian troops near Ukraine’sborders on the Russian side, most of which have been present since 2014, have been increased somewhat but recent propaganda hyperbole from the West is exactly that, a distraction as America plans to take over an Australian Navy base for its nuclear submarines and has flown dozens of B2 bombers and F22 strike aircraft, now prepositioned for war against China from Australia, Guam, Japan, and the Chagos Islands which the UN has demanded the US give back to the Chagossians.

“America by all accounts and all evidence is a rogue nation threatening the human race around the world and is led by an old man who does not have a clue about what he is doing, a man who followed another old man who does not give a damn about the harm he has done to anyone. Meanwhile, Americans are falling dead a thousand a day from COVID-19 and millions are sleeping under bridges and intents in the inner cities of America. How can you expect American leadership to give a damn about millions of women and children in Europe and Asia, when it doesn’t care about its own people? ” Mr. Baldock concluded.

New York Earthquake: City of the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

New York earthquake: City at risk of ‚dangerous shaking from far away‘
Joshua Nevett
Published 30th April 2018
SOME of New York City’s tallest skyscrapers are at risk of being shaken by seismic waves triggered by powerful earthquakes from miles outside the city, a natural disaster expert has warned.
Researchers believe that a powerful earthquake, magnitude 5 or greater, could cause significant damage to large swathes of NYC, a densely populated area dominated by tall buildings.
A series of large fault lines that run underneath NYC’s five boroughs, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island, are capable of triggering large earthquakes.
Some experts have suggested that NYC is susceptible to at least a magnitude 5 earthquake once every 100 years.
The last major earthquake measuring over magnitude 5.0 struck NYC in 1884 – meaning another one of equal size is “overdue” by 34 years, according their prediction model.
Natural disaster researcher Simon Day, of University College London, agrees with the conclusion that NYC may be more at risk from earthquakes than is usually thought.
EARTHQUAKE RISK: New York is susceptible to seismic shaking from far-away tremors
But the idea of NYC being “overdue” for an earthquake is “invalid”, not least because the “very large number of faults” in the city have individually low rates of activity, he said.
The model that predicts strong earthquakes based on timescale and stress build-up on a given fault has been “discredited”, he said.
What scientists should be focusing on, he said, is the threat of large and potentially destructive earthquakes from “much greater distances”.
The dangerous effects of powerful earthquakes from further away should be an “important feature” of any seismic risk assessment of NYC, Dr Day said.

THE BIG APPLE: An aerial view of Lower Manhattan at dusk in New York City

RISK: A seismic hazard map of New York produced by USGS
“New York is susceptible to seismic shaking from earthquakes at much greater distances” Dr Simon Day, natural disaster researcher
This is because the bedrock underneath parts of NYC, including Long Island and Staten Island, cannot effectively absorb the seismic waves produced by earthquakes.
“An important feature of the central and eastern United States is, because the crust there is old and cold, and contains few recent fractures that can absorb seismic waves, the rate of seismic reduction is low.
Central regions of NYC, including Manhattan, are built upon solid granite bedrock; therefore the amplification of seismic waves that can shake buildings is low.
But more peripheral areas, such as Staten Island and Long Island, are formed by weak sediments, meaning seismic hazard in these areas is “very likely to be higher”, Dr Day said.
“Thus, like other cities in the eastern US, New York is susceptible to seismic shaking from earthquakes at much greater distances than is the case for cities on plate boundaries such as Tokyo or San Francisco, where the crustal rocks are more fractured and absorb seismic waves more efficiently over long distances,” Dr Day said.
In the event of a large earthquake, dozens of skyscrapers, including Chrysler Building, the Woolworth Building and 40 Wall Street, could be at risk of shaking.
“The felt shaking in New York from the Virginia earthquake in 2011 is one example,” Dr Day said.
On that occasion, a magnitude 5.8 earthquake centered 340 miles south of New York sent thousands of people running out of swaying office buildings.

FISSURES: Fault lines in New York City have low rates of activity, Dr Day said
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city was “lucky to avoid any major harm” as a result of the quake, whose epicenter was near Louisa, Virginia, about 40 miles from Richmond.
“But an even more impressive one is the felt shaking from the 1811-1812 New Madrid earthquakes in the central Mississippi valley, which was felt in many places across a region, including cities as far apart as Detroit, Washington DC and New Orleans, and in a few places even further afield including,” Dr Day added.
“So, if one was to attempt to do a proper seismic hazard assessment for NYC, one would have to include potential earthquake sources over a wide region, including at least the Appalachian mountains to the southwest and the St Lawrence valley to the north and east.”

How Israel Wants to Strike the Iranian Nuclear Horn

In this photo released by the US Air Force, an Israeli Air Force F-15 Strike Eagle flies in formation with a US Air Force B-1B Lancer over Israel as part of a deterrence flight Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. (US Air Force/Senior Airman Jerreht Harris via AP)

War: What Israel talks about when it talks about striking Iran’s nuclear program

Israeli officials have regularly called for a ‘credible military threat’ against Tehran’s nuclear facilities, but less discussed is the major conflict that’s almost sure to follow

By Judah Ari Gross 3 Dec 2021, 6:40 am

Nearly one year ago, IDF chief Aviv Kohavi stood on stage at an Institute for National Security Studies conference in Tel Aviv and announced that he had ordered the military to begin preparing renewed plans for a strike on Iran’s nuclear program.

“Iran can decide that it wants to advance to a bomb, either covertly or in a provocative way. In light of this basic analysis, I have ordered the IDF to prepare a number of operational plans, in addition to the existing ones. We are studying these plans and we will develop them over the next year,” Kohavi said.

He added: “The government will of course be the one to decide if they should be used. But these plans must be on the table, in existence and trained for.”

Since then, the IDF has done just that, with the air force and Military Intelligence, in particular, preparing themselves for such an operation, stepping up training exercises and focusing tremendous resources on intelligence collection. Billions of additional shekels have been poured into the defense budget specifically to prepare for strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

And over the past year, Israeli officials have regularly repeated calls for what they describe as a “credible military threat” against Iran’s nuclear program, in speeches, press conferences, media interviews and private meetings with allies, arguing that it is necessary in order to gain leverage in the ongoing negotiations with the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program.

By its own estimates, the IDF is still at least months away from being fully prepared to conduct such a strike, though officials say that a more limited version of its plans could be carried out sooner.

But the focus of these discussions has generally been on the strike itself against Iran’s nuclear facilities, an operation that would indeed be far, far more complicated and difficult than any other the IDF has conducted, including its raids to target Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981 and Syria’s in 2007.

In each of those missions — Operation Opera and Operation Outside the Box — a single sortie containing a relatively small number of fighter jets conducted the bombing. But unlike in both of those cases, Iran does not have one nuclear facility that one group of planes could take out in a single strike, but many that are spread throughout the country, which would therefore require extraordinary levels of coordination to ensure that all of the sites were hit at the same time.Advertisement

Making this more difficult is the fact that many of the facilities are buried deep underground, making them all but impenetrable to attacks from the air, particularly the Fordo reactor, where Iran recently began enriching uranium to 20 percent levels of purity with advanced centrifuges, in the latest breach of the 2015 nuclear deal.

The United States does have the massive bunker-busting ordnances needed to strike such facilities — the 13,600-kilogram (30,000-pound) GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) — but Washington has so far refused to provide them to Israel. In any case, what’s more, selling the incredibly heavy bomb to Jerusalem would not do much good, as the Israeli Air Force does not have an aircraft capable of carrying it, and nor does it even have the airfield infrastructure needed to support the aircraft that could carry it.

(To circumvent these limitations and to demonstrate the seriousness of an Israeli threat of attack, some current and former officials in the US have floated the idea of selling or leasing to Israel one of the three American heavy bombers capable of carrying the MOP — the B-52, B-1, or B-2. Doing so, however, faces a number of legal and logistical challenges, as the B-52 and B-2 are both effectively barred from sale under America’s New START treaty with Russia and the B-1 may also not be fully capable of containing the MOP within its bomb bays.)

Iran has also invested heavily in its air defenses, both purchasing advanced systems from Russia and developing its own domestically produced capabilities.

But while the complexities of an Israeli operation should not be overstated, they are ultimately problems that can be resolved with enough time and resources.

After a strike

Though Israeli officials are willing to discuss the efforts to overcome these challenges and develop the capabilities needed to conduct such a strike, typically left unmentioned is what happens afterward, which is of far greater significance.Advertisement

In 1981 and in 2007, there was effectively no immediate retaliation by Iraq and Syria, respectively, though Baghdad’s response did come a decade later — to a certain extent — with its Scud missile attacks on Israel during the First Gulf War. This is not expected to be the case with Iran, several Israeli defense officials have told The Times of Israel.

For decades, Tehran has been building up a number of proxies throughout the region, the most formidable of which is Lebanon’s Hezbollah, a terrorist group with an arsenal of rockets, missiles and mortar shells that matches and even surpasses many Western states’. These foreign proxies are meant to insulate Iran from attack by its enemies. To wit: Israel can’t attack Iran if it is busy fighting off rocket fire and invasion attempts by Hezbollah from Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia similarly couldn’t attack Iran if it were facing the Houthis in Yemen.

The Israeli military firmly believes that this network of proxies would be brought to bear against Israel if it conducts a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. And Israeli projections for what a war against Hezbollah and allied militias in the region would look like are unnerving: thousands of projectiles raining down on Israeli population centers, hundreds killed, severe damage to infrastructure and major utilities knocked out of service.

That is not to say that Israel would never conduct a strike on Iran for fear of attack from its proxies, but that any decision to do so would have to be weighed not against the military’s ability to carry out the operation, but against the potentially devastating prospects of what would follow the raid.

“The military option needs to be on the table. It is, of course, the last thing that we want to use, but we don’t have the luxury of not preparing ourselves for the options,” Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Thursday, in an on-camera interview with the Ynet news site.

Jerusalem’s concern is that a nuclear-armed or even nuclear-threshold Iran would be able to act with even greater impunity in the region, arming its proxies and more deeply entrenching itself in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq.

But Israeli officials have been loath to set a specific condition under which it would conduct a strike. This is due, in part, to the fact that the considerations lie not only in Iran’s capabilities, but in the balance between the threats facing Israel and Israel’s ability to counter them.

Asked if uranium enrichment to the level of 90 percent purity — generally regarded as “weapons-grade” — would prompt an Israeli attack, Gantz refused to comment on Thursday.

“I don’t like setting red lines that afterward I’d have to come and explain myself [if I didn’t uphold them]. We are tracking the Iranian process every day. There will be a point in time when the world, the region, and the State of Israel will have no choice but to act,” he said.

The Israel Defense Forces has been making strides to prepare itself for the multi-front war that is liable to follow a strike on Iran, holding a number of large-scale exercises simulating such a conflict in recent months and investing roughly NIS 1 billion ($315 million) toward training for next year. The military is also working to improve its air defenses, particularly in northern Israel, in an effort to prevent the worst of the damage from rocket barrages and drone strikes in a future conflict.

But the propensity of Israeli officials to discuss the technical aspects of an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities belies the true calculus at play in deciding whether to carry it out: it’s not about the strike, but the war that follows.

The Russian Nuclear Horn Threatens Asia

Russia sends missiles near Pacific islands claimed by Japan

In this handout photo released by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service, A Bastion missile launcher is positioned on the Matua Island, part of the Kurils Islands chain, in Russia, Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021. The Russian military has deployed the Bastion coastal defense missile systems on the Matua Island, which is close to several islands also claimed by Japan, a move intended to underline Moscow's firm stance in the dispute.

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian military has deployed coastal defense missile systems near the Kuril Islands, a Pacific chain also claimed by Japan. The move appeared intended to underline Moscow’s firm stance in the dispute. 

The Bastion systems were moved to Matua, a deserted volcanic island in the middle of the chain. Japan claims the four southernmost islands.

Russia’s Defense Ministry posted a video Thursday showing massive missile carriers moving ashore from amphibious landing vessels and driving along the coast of the volcanic island to take firing positions as part of drills.

The ministry said the deployment involved setting up living quarters for personnel, hangars for the vehicles and other infrastructure.

The Bastion is capable of hitting sea targets at a range of up to 500 kilometers (270 nautical miles).

The deployment followed a series of moves by Russia to beef up its military presence on the Kuril Islands,

In 2016, it stationed the Bal and the Bastion coastal defense missile systems on two of the four southernmost Kuril Islands. In the following years, it followed up by sending top-of-the-line air defense missiles systems there and setting up an air base on the Iturup Island where fighter jets were deployed. 

Japan asserts territorial rights to the four southernmost islands of the Kuril chain and calls them Northern Territories. The Soviet Union took the islands in the final days of World War II, and the dispute has kept the countries from signing a peace treaty formally ending their hostilities.

The oval-shaped, 11-kilometer-long (6.8-mile) island where the Russian missiles were deployed hosted a Japanese military base during WWII. After the Soviet takeover of the Kuril Islands, Matua was home to a Soviet military base that was closed amid funding shortages in the wake of the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. 

Asked about the missile deployment, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia has a sovereign right to deploy its military forces wherever it deems necessary on its territory.

At the same time, he noted that Russia values relations with Japan and remains committed to efforts to negotiate a settlement of the dispute.

“We maintain a political will to pursue a comprehensive dialogue with our Japanese partners in order to find ways of settlement,” Peskov said in a conference call with reporters.

Israelis attacked outside the Temple Walls recount horrific experience: Revelation 11

‘Chanukah miracle’: Israelis attacked in Ramallah recount horrific experience

December 2, 2021

Hamas spokesman encourages more violence against Jews, slams Palestinian Authority police for rescuing Israelis from angry mob.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

On Wednesday evening, two ultra-Orthodox Jews unfamiliar with the area took a wrong turn, which led them to a life-or-death confrontation and a dramatic rescue from the near-lynch by local Palestinian police.

📹 متابعة صفا | شبان يحرقون سيارة المستوطنين بعد تحطيمها وسط رام الله

— وكالة صفا (@SafaPs) December 1, 2021

“We stopped at a gas station on the way to the grave of Matityahu Kohen Gadol [near Modi’in Illit]. We asked the attendant how to get there, because we do not have [navigation app] Waze,” Arutz Sheva quoted one of the victims as telling Israeli security forces.

The pair thought they followed the directions correctly, but “in the middle of the road I realized we were not in the right direction and then what happened, happened – [cinder] blocks, stones and Molotov cocktails.”

After locals hurled projectiles at the car, it was set on fire. The Israelis escaped with minor injuries after being extricated from the mob by Palestinian Authority police.

Esther Sharabi, the mother of one of the victims, told Army Radio that her son’s “condition is just fine.”

“There is no doubt that there was a very big Chanukah miracle here. I would like to thank the Palestinian police.”

Gaza-based terror group Hamas issued a statement praising the “heroic” mob that attacked two Israelis who accidentally drove into Ramallah, stoning their vehicle and setting it alight.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called the violent attack “an act of national heroism,” and slammed the PA police for protecting the Israelis and turning them over to Israeli security forces.

The PA officers should “focus on protecting our people from settler violence,” Barhoum said, and “should not have safeguarded and returned [the Israelis] to the enemy.”

Adding that he hoped the violent incident would inspire more attacks on Israelis in the future, he said, “this must continue with force and spread all across Palestine.”

The Obama Deal Won’t be Saved

The United States and Iran both sounded pessimistic on Thursday about the chances of reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, with Washington saying it had little cause for optimism and Tehran questioning the determination of US and European negotiators.

“I have to tell you, recent moves, recent rhetoric, don’t give us a lot of cause for … optimism,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters in Stockholm, saying he could judge in a day or so if Iran would engage in good faith.

Blinken made the comments after Iran provided the European powers who are shuttling between US and Iranian officials in Vienna with drafts on sanctions removal and nuclear commitments, as world powers and Tehran seek to reinstate the tattered pact.

“We went to Vienna with serious determination, but we are not optimistic about the will and the intention of the United States ⁩and the three European parties to the deal,” Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian was quoted by Iranian media as saying in a telephone conversation with his Japanese counterpart.

While Blinken said “it is not too late for Iran to reverse course and engage meaningfully,” it appeared as if both sides might be seeking to avoid the blame if the talks break down.

The comments came on the fourth day of indirect US-Iran talks on bringing both nations fully back into the deal, under which Iran limited its nuclear program in return for relief from US, European Union and UN economic sanctions.

The talks resumed on Monday after a five-month hiatus prompted by Iran’s election of an anti-Western hardliner as president.

The UN nuclear watchdog said on Wednesday that Iran started producing enriched uranium with advanced centrifuges at its Fordow plant dug into a mountain, further eroding the nuclear deal during talks with the West on saving it.

“What Iran can’t do is sustain the status quo of building their nuclear program while dragging their feet on talks. That will not happen,” Blinken told reporters in Stockholm in a possible reference to that development.

It was unclear whether Blinken had been briefed on the latest proposals by the Iranians when he made his comments.

“We have delivered two proposed drafts to them … Of course they need to check the texts that we have provided to them. If they are ready to continue the talks, we are in Vienna to continue the talks,” Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani told reporters in the Austrian capital.

A European diplomat in Vienna confirmed draft documents had been handed over.

Under the pact, Tehran limited its uranium enrichment programme, a potential pathway to nuclear weapons though Iran says it seeks only civilian atomic energy, in exchange for relief from the economic sanctions.

But in 2018, then-US President Donald Trump abandoned the deal, calling it too soft on Iran, and reimposed harsh US sanctions, spurring Tehran to breach nuclear limits in the pact.

“We want all sanctions to be lifted at once,” Bagheri told reporters.

He said an Iranian proposal regarding how to verify the removal of sanctions – Tehran’s overriding priority in the talks – would be handed over to the European parties later.

A senior European diplomat estimated on Tuesday that 70-80 percent of a draft deal on salvaging the 2015 accord was completed when Iran and world powers last met in June, though it remained unclear if Tehran would resume talks where they left off.

What the Antichrist’s Growing Strength Means for American Policy in Iraq


What a Firebrand Cleric’s Growing Strength Means for American Policy in Iraq

Nicole Robinson  @NRobinson1297 / Eric Feely  /December 02, 2021

America has two main objectives in Iraq: counter Iranian influence and combat radical Islamists. Fortunately, the official results of Iraq’s recent parliamentary elections create an opportunity for the U.S. to advance these objectives.  

The big winner was Muqtada al-Sadr, a nationalist Shiite cleric and firebrand. His Sadrist Movement gained 20 seats to increase its total to 73 seats out of 329, while the pro-Iran Fateh bloc lost 31 seats for a total of 17.

The results of the Oct. 10 elections sparked immediate backlash from pro-Iran factions, which led to unrest and an assassination attempt against Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi early last month.

But Iraq’s electoral commission on Tuesday confirmed the election results. The outcome gives Sadr the biggest bloc in Iraq’s parliament and thus the largest say in forming a government.

Sadr is well known to American policymakers, especially since he led militia forces against U.S. troops in the earlier days of the Iraq War. However, Sadr has since become more aligned with American objectives in Iraq and likely will serve as a kingmaker by leveraging his electoral majority to nominate the U.S.-friendly Kadhimi to continue as prime minister.

The son of a prominent Shia cleric, Sadr gained a cultlike following in 2004 while leading the so-called Mahdi army against U.S. forces in central and southern Iraq. Throughout the Iraq War, Sadr receivedtraining, supplies, and financing to combat U.S. forces from the terrorist organizations Hezbollah and Quds Force, the latter a branch of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

However, as Sadr’s Mahdi army weakenedunder U.S. pressure, he fled in 2008 to Qom, Iran to bolster his religious credentials at a prominent Shiite clerical center. He returned to Iraq and reentered the political scene in 2011 after striking a deal with Iran’s preferred candidate for Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki.

However, the Maliki-Sadr alliance proved short-lived. By 2014, Sadr openly opposed the Maliki government, calling Maliki a “dictator who runs an authoritarian tyranny.”

Deteriorating security conditions that year presented the perfect opportunity for Sadr to strengthen his popular base. With Iraqi security forces unable to stop advances by the Islamic State terrorist group, also know as ISIS, Sadr and other Shia Muslims in contested areas formed paramilitary forces known as the Popular Mobilization Forces.

These groups ultimately turned the tide against ISIS in Iraq. Following the territorial defeat of the terrorist group in 2019, the Popular Mobilization Forces were expected to integrate into Iraq’s military establishment. 

Sadr’s force, known as the Peace Brigades, integrated with the Iraqi armed forces but remain an autonomous unit under the direct control of the prime minister. Others, particularly Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Forces, resisted and remain outside the control of the Iraqi government.

The integration of Sadr’s Peace Brigades increased his popularity in Iraqi politics. Since 2019, his political organization, the Sadrist Movement, quietly has expanded his influence across state institutions in the past two years.

Although Sadr’s anti-Iran stance and proximity to Kadhimi could make him an important actor to advance U.S. objectives in Iraq, he remains a tricky figure for America. In 2004, Sadr was responsible for the deaths of countless American and coalition troops, but also became an important partner for the U.S.-led coalition in defeating ISIS.

There are signs, however, that Sadr has become more pragmatic. He has stated that all foreign embassies are welcome, including that of the United States, so long as they “do not interfere in Iraqi affairs and government formation.”

Sadr also has encouraged better relations with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, both of which have friendly ties with the U.S. He has echoed calls to rein in militia groups that weren’t responsive to previous decrees issued by Iraqi prime ministers, saying that weapons “should be controlled by the state only.”

Although it’s not clear how much influence Sadr retains with his former Peace Brigades, he previously acknowledged that militias are not good for state-building and therefore must be integrated into existing security frameworks to create a more unified, cohesive Iraq.

Washington must take a sophisticated and nuanced foreign policy approach to Iraq, a country with economic, social, and political challenges situated in one of the world’s most complicated regions.

Sadr’s opposition to Iranian domination of Iraq and his political majority in parliament make him a critical partner to bring Kadhimi back to power.

Then, Kadhimi could take steps to reposition Iraq as a counterweight to Iran, rather than a subservient client state.

Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the url or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state