Earthquake activity in the New York City area


Although the eastern United States is not as

seismically active

as regions near plate boundaries, large and damaging earthquakes do occur there. Furthermore, when these rare eastern U.S. earthquakes occur, the areas affected by them are much larger than for western U.S. earthquakes of the same magnitude.

Thus, earthquakes represent at least a moderate hazard to East Coast cities, including New York City and adjacent areas of very high population density.

Seismicity in the vicinity of New York City. Data are from the U.S. Geological Survey (Top, USGS) and the National Earthquake Information Center (Bottom, NEIC). In the top figure, closed red circles indicate 1924-2006 epicenters and open black circles indicate locations of the larger earthquakes that occurred in 1737, 1783 and 1884. Green lines indicate the trace of the Ramapo fault.

As can be seen in the maps of earthquake activity in this region(shown in the figure),

seismicity is scattered throughout most of the New York City area, with some hint of a concentration of earthquakes in the area surrounding Manhattan Island.

The largest known earthquake in this region occurred in 1884 and had a magnitude of approximately 5.For this earthquake, observations of fallen bricks and cracked plaster were reported from eastern Pennsylvania to central Connecticut, and the maximum intensity reported was at two sites in western Long Island (Jamaica, New York and Amityville, New York).

Two other earthquakes of approximately magnitude 5 occurred in this region in 1737 and 1783. The figure on the right shows maps of the distribution of earthquakes of magnitude 3 and greater that occurred in this region from 1924 to 2010, along with locations of the larger earthquakes that occurred in 1737, 1783 and 1884.


The NYC area is part of the geologically complex structure of the Northern

Appalachian Mountains. This complex structure was formed during the past half billion years when the Earth’s crust underlying the Northern Appalachians was the site of two major geological episodes, each of which has left its imprint on the NYC area bedrock.

Between about 450 million years ago and about 250 million years ago, the Northern Appalachian region was affected by a continental collision, in which the ancient African continent collided with the ancient North American continent to form the supercontinent Pangaea.

Beginning about 200 million years ago, the present-day Atlantic ocean began to form as plate tectonic forces began to


apart the continent of Pangaea. The last major episode of geological activity to affect the


in the New York area occurred about 100 million years ago, during the Mesozoic era, when continental rifting that led to the opening of the present-day Atlantic ocean formed the Hartford and


Mesozoic rift basins.

Earthquake rates in the northeastern United States are about 50 to 200 times lower than in California, but

the earthquakes that do occur in the northeastern U.S. are typically felt over a much broader region than earthquakes of the same magnitude in the western U.S.This means the area of damage from an earthquake in the northeastern U.S. could be larger than the area of damage caused by an earthquake of the same magnitude in the western U.S. The cooler rocks in the northeastern U.S. contribute to the seismic energy propagating as much as ten times further than in the warmer rocks of California.

A magnitude 4.0 eastern U.S. earthquake typically can be felt as far as 100 km (60 mi) from its

epicenter, but it infrequently causes damage near its source. A magnitude 5.5 eastern U.S. earthquake, although uncommon, can be felt as far as 500 km (300 mi) from its epicenter, and can cause damage as far away as 40 km (25 mi) from its epicenter. Earthquakes stronger than about magnitude 5.0 generate ground motions that are strong enough to be damaging in the epicentral area.

At well-studied plate boundaries like the

San Andreas fault

system in California, scientists can often make observations that allow them to identify the specific fault on which an earthquake took place. In contrast, east of the Rocky Mountains this is rarely the case.

The NYC area is far from the boundaries of the North American plate, which are in the center of the Atlantic Ocean, in the Caribbean Sea, and along the west coast of North America. The seismicity of the northeastern U.S. is generally considered to be due to ancient zones of weakness that are being reactivated in the present-day stress field. In this model, pre-existing faults that were formed during ancient geological episodes persist in the intraplate crust, and the earthquakes occur when the present-day stress is released along these zones of weakness.

The stress that causes the earthquakes is generally considered to be derived from present-day rifting at the Mid-Atlantic ridge.

Earthquakes and geologically mapped faults in the Northeastern U.S.

The northeastern U.S. has many known faults, but virtually all of the known faults have not been active for perhaps 90 million years or more. Also, the locations of the known faults are not well determined at earthquake depths. Accordingly, few (if any) earthquakes in the region can be unambiguously linked to known faults.

Given the current geological and seismological data, it is difficult to determine if a known fault in this region is still active today and could produce a modern earthquake. As in most other areas east of the Rocky Mountains, the best guide to earthquake hazard in the northeastern U.S. is probably the locations of the past earthquakes themselves.

The Ramapo fault and other New York City area faults

The Ramapo Fault, which marks the western boundary of the Newark rift basin, has been argued to be a major seismically active feature of this region,but it is difficult to discern the extent to which the Ramapo fault (or any other specific mapped fault in the area) might be any more of a source of future earthquakes than any other parts of the region. The Ramapo Fault zone spans more than 185 miles (300 kilometers) in

New York,

New Jersey, and

Pennsylvania. It is a system of


between the northern

Appalachian Mountains

and Piedmont areas to the east. This fault is perhaps the best known fault zone in the Mid-Atlantic region, and some small earthquakes have been known to occur in its vicinity. Recently, public knowledge about the fault has increased – especially after the 1970s, when the fault’s proximity to the Indian Point nuclear plant in New York was noticed.

There is insufficient evidence to unequivocally demonstrate any strong correlation of earthquakes in the New York City area with specific faults or other geologic structures in this region. The damaging earthquake affecting New York City in 1884 was probably not associated with the Ramapo fault because the strongest shaking from that earthquake occurred on Long Island (quite far from the trace of the Ramapo fault). The relationship between faults and earthquakes in the New York City area is currently understood to be more complex than any simple association of a specific earthquake with a specific mapped fault.

A 2008 study argued that a magnitude 6 or 7 earthquake might originate from the Ramapo fault zone,

which would almost definitely spawn hundreds or even thousands of fatalities and billions of dollars in damage. Studying around 400 earthquakes over the past 300 years, the study also argued that there was an additional fault zone extending from the Ramapo Fault zone into southwestern Connecticut. As can be seen in the above figure of seismicity, earthquakes are scattered throughout this region, with no particular concentration of activity along the Ramapo fault, or along the hypothesized fault zone extending into southwestern Connecticut.

Just off the northern terminus of the Ramapo fault is the

Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, built between 1956 and 1960 by

Consolidated Edison Company. The plant began operating in 1963, and it has been the subject of a controversy over concerns that an earthquake from the Ramapo fault will affect the power plant. Whether or not the Ramapo fault actually does pose a threat to this nuclear power plant remains an open question.

The Russian Horn’s dangerous nuclear posturing threatens us all

Vladimir Putin’s cavalier attitude toward the dangers of a nuclear catastrophe has been vividly on display since Russia’s takeover of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant at Zaporizhzhia shown here with the Dnipro river on the other side of Nikopol, Ukraine, last month.
Vladimir Putin’s cavalier attitude toward the dangers of a nuclear catastrophe has been vividly on display since Russia’s takeover of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant at Zaporizhzhia shown here with the Dnipro river on the other side of Nikopol, Ukraine, last month. [ EVGENIY MALOLETKA | AP ]

Russia’s dangerous nuclear posturing threatens us all | Column

Pressure on Russia to uphold the international laws governing nuclear weapons is perhaps the most pressing foreign policy priority for the U.S. and the world.

Last last month Russia inexcusably sabotaged UN efforts to reaffirm and bolster the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The treaty aims to reduce nuclear risks and prevent the enlargement of nuclear arsenals around the world. Since Vladimir Putin launched his aggressive war against Ukraine over six months ago, the danger of a nuclear calamity has grown exponentially. Russia refused to accept the final joint declaration accepted by all other states at the U.N. Conference on Nuclear Disarmament. Putin’s belligerence imperils our future.

How important is the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT)? After both the U.S. and Russia successfully developed nuclear weapons in the middle of the 20th century, there was virtually unanimous agreement among foreign policy experts and political leaders that nuclear weapons would rapidly spread to dozens of countries. President John F. Kennedy in 1963 argued that there would be as many as 20 nuclear-armed states by 1975. The experts and JFK were wrong. Today there are only nine states with nuclear weapons. How did the international community prevent the widely predicted rapid proliferation of these weapons of mass destruction?

Arguably the biggest “hidden secret” in international relations is the remarkable success of the NPT, which came into force in 1970. The treaty has been ratified by 191 nations, including the five major powers that first had nuclear weapons. The goal of the treaty is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology through the promotion of cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Countries renounce their rights to nuclear weapons and, in return, receive the fruits of civilian nuclear technology. Furthermore, nuclear weapons states pledge to work to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.

This system was not just built on trust. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was set up with the ability to conduct rigorous inspections and verify compliance. The agency provides safeguards to prevent the improper diversion of fissile material from civilian to weapons use. The agency even has the right to send inspectors to investigate suspicious activities at sites not officially declared nuclear facilities by the country’s leaders. All of this creates powerful incentives for nations to follow the rules and abide by their nonproliferation obligations.

The agency’s work significantly contributed to a dramatic decline in the proliferation of nuclear weapons after the 1970 nuclear non-proliferation treaty went into effect. Indeed 75% of the countries that had the capability to become nuclear weapons states declined to do so and remained non-nuclear. Some banded together to create “nuclear weapons free zones,” which now encompasses all of Africa, South and Central America, Southeast Asia, Antarctica, as well as Australia, New Zealand and the islands of the Pacific.

Russia’s challenge to the international norms governing nuclear weapons has created great uncertainty and danger in global affairs. In addition to undermining the U.N. NPT conference, Putin threatened to use nuclear weapons in his invasion of Ukraine. In response, U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned “humanity is just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation.”

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Putin’s cavalier attitude toward the dangers of a nuclear catastrophe has been vividly on display since Russia’s takeover of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant at Zaporizhzhia. Ukraine has alleged that Russia is storing heavy weaponry inside the complex and using it as a cover to launch attacks. The Ukraine military obviously can’t respond without the risk of hitting one of the plant’s reactors. The International Atomic Energy Agency is currently struggling to investigate the status of the Zaporizhzhia plant.

The existential risks of nuclear war are well-known. In August Rutgers University scholars released a current worst-case scenario of the impact of a full-scale nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia. Beyond the millions of direct deaths from the atomic bomb blasts themselves, the Rutgers report estimates that the indirect death toll caused by soot from burning cities and forests entering the atmosphere would lead to more than 5 billion people dying of starvation. This death toll reflects how much global crop yields would suffer as drifting clouds blocked out the sunlight that sustains plants and life itself.

Pressure on Russia to uphold the international laws governing nuclear weapons is perhaps the most pressing foreign policy priority for the U.S. and the world.

William F. Felice is professor emeritus of political science at Eckerd College He is the author of six books on human rights and international relations. He can be reached via his website at

Iraq’s Political Crisis, the Antichrist and a Divided Shia House

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Iraq’s Political Crisis, Moqtada al-Sadr and a Divided Shia House

09 September 2022

Almost a year since Iraq’s parliamentary elections in October 2021, the country’s political parties have struggled to form a new government. Despite doing well in the vote, the Sadrist Movement, led by powerful Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr, has been thwarted in its attempts to build a governing coalition, thanks to a decision by Iraq’s Supreme Court. The court required a two-thirds quorum to convene parliament to select a president, who in turn would nominate the prime minister. In protest, al-Sadr threatened to quit politics and withdrew his deputies from parliament. Days later, his supporters, who had occupied parliament and entered the presidential palace, clashed with paramilitary groups loyal to al-Sadr’s Shia rivals. The fighting was the worst the capital Baghdad had seen in years. Violence has abated for now, but it is far from clear whether Sadr and his rivals can reach agreement on a way forward.

In our first episode of Season 3 of Hold Your Fire! Richard Atwood is joined by Crisis Group’s Senior Iraq Analyst Lahib Higel to make sense of the political turmoil engulfing the country. They talk about how the crisis came about and why Sadr’s attempts to form a government have failed. They discuss the opposition he faces from his main political rivals, the coalition of Shia parties known as the “Coordination Framework”, which is backed by Iran, and look at Tehran’s hand in the crisis and Washington’s influence on Iraqi politics more broadly. They talk about the prospects for rapprochement between al-Sadr and his Shia rivals, as negotiations on a new government look set to resume amid calls for early elections. They also assess risks of another bout of fighting.

For more on the situation in Iraq, check out Crisis Group’s extensive analysis on our Iraqcountry page.

The Antichrist: The messaging and the mayhem

Iraq’s Muqtada al-Sadr: The messaging and the mayhem

How much is Muqtada al-Sadr’s influence and messaging power threatening the Iraqi state? Plus, the Russia-Ukraine conflict – as seen from space.


It has been a year of mounting crises in Iraq and influential Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr has taken advantage of the most recent one with a clever communications strategy spanning from sermons to social media.

Renad Mansour – Iraq Initiative, Chatham House
Ruba Ali Al-Hassani – Iraq researcher
Ammar Karim – Iraqi journalist
Hayder Hamzoz – Digital rights activist, Founder, Iraqi Network for Social Media

Four months after the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, the Israeli military has finally admitted it was “highly possible” she was shot by an Israeli soldier. Producer Tariq Nafi has been tracking the case.

Satellites have entered the newsroom, but are they the all-seeing eye they claim to be? Producer Ahmed Madi reports on the stories they are telling – and those they are not.

Lisa Parks – Director, MIT Global Media Technologies and Cultures Lab; author, Cultures in Orbit: Satellites and the Televisual
Chris Quilty – CEO, Quilty Analytics, satellite and space industry analyst
Michael Cruickshank – Open-source journalist and geospatial analyst

Jihad and Terrorism Threat Outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM) Weekly: September 3-10, 2022

The following are some of this week’s reports from the MEMRI Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM) Project, which translates and analyzes content from sources monitored around the clock, among them the most important jihadi websites and blogs. (To view these reports in full, you must be a paying member of the JTTM; for membership information, send an email to with “Membership” in the subject line.)

Note to media and government: For a full copy of these reports, send an email with the title of the report in the subject line to Please include your name, title, and organization in your email.

The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI’s Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.

On September 4, 2022, the official website of Hamas reported on a visit by a Hamas delegation to the embassy of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Qatar to offer condolences for the Afghans killed in a bombing attributed to the Islamic State (ISIS) in Herat on September 2.­­

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Anonymous’ Hacktivist On Twitter Releases Video Featuring Photo Of Candidate For Al-Qaeda Leadership Sayf Al-‘Adl In Tehran, Claims He Is Iranian ‘Puppet’

On August 26, 2022, a Twitter account associating itself with the Anonymous hacktivist group released a video which featured a previously unpublished photo of senior Al-Qaeda leaders in Tehran, Iran, including Sayf Al-‘Adl – widely considered to be the likely successor to Ayman Al-Zawahiri.

On August 30, 2022, an anonymous pro-Al-Qaeda journalist published a blog post discussing the likely candidate to replace Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Kabul on July 31.

On September 7, 2022, ISIS claimed that its operatives in Mozambique launched an attack the day before killing four Christians, including an Italian nun who was “vigorously” promoting Christianity.

On September 7, 2022, the Islamic State Mozambique Province (ISMP) claimed its operatives had attacked the “Christian” village of Chipene, in the Memba district of the country’s northeastern Nampula province, killing four Christians, including “an Italian nun who applied herself to vigorously spreading Christianity.”

On September 3, 2022, the official media outlet of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), released a three-minute video clip titled “Appeal from Director of the United Nations Office of Security and Safety in Yemen.”

On September 4, 2022, a pro-ISIS outlet released a nine-minute video titled “Where are You, People of Jealousy?” calling on Muslims in Saudi Arabia to rise up and wage jihad against the government for its mistreatment of Muslim women.

On September 5, 2022, a pro-ISIS Telegram channel published an essay titled “Taliban and the Crime of Education” criticizing the Afghan Taliban’s policy of forbidding girls to attend school outside the home and arguing that it has no basis in Islamic jurisprudence.

In ‘Exclusive’ Report, ISIS Weekly Claims Attacks In Sinai Against Tribesmen Aligned With Egyptian Army

On September 1, 2022, ISIS released Issue 354 of its weekly newspaper, Al-Naba’, which included claims of responsibility for attacks carried out by operatives in Sinai against Egyptian Army affiliates and government-aligned local tribesmen.

On September 1, 2022, ISIS released issue 354 of its weekly Al-Naba’ magazine, which included an editorial, “One Islamic Nation,” that discussed the need for unity among Muslims and called for jihad to dismantle borders.

A lead article in the latest issue of “Voice of Khurasan,” an English-language monthly magazine published by the media arm of Islamic State’s Khurasan Province (ISIS-K), introduces the Islamic concept of Al-Muraghamah, which it describes as the cultivation of hatred, hostility, animosity, and fighting against non-Muslims.

Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) Claims Suicide Attack Targeting Russian Embassy in Kabul

On September 5, the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP) claimed responsibility for a suicide attack at the Russian embassy in Kabul on the morning of the same day.

On September 7, 2022, the Islamic State Central African Province (ISCAP) issued a claim of responsibility for an attack carried out on September 6 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

On September 4, 2022, the Islamic State Central Africa Province (ISCAP) issued a claim of responsibility for an August 30 series of coordinated attacks on gatherings of Christians the DRC.

Australian Pro-ISIS Preacher Calls On All Salafi Organizations To Reconcile, Ignore Differences, Excluding Saudi Salafis Who ‘Bow To Transgressors’

On August 30, 2022, a pro-ISIS Australian preacher published on his Telegram channel a one-minute, 20- second video with an audio excerpt from a lecture he gave in which he urged the Salafi community to unite and ignore differences for the sake of consolidating the creed of Islam.

On September 1, 2022, a pro-ISIS Telegram channel published a post urging the Sunni Muslims of Yemen’s Abyan and Shabwah governorates not to take part in the ongoing conflicts between the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) and the country’s internationally recognized “legitimate” government, declaring jihad as the only solution to their problems.

On September 1, 2022 the media arm of Al-Qaeda’s Somali affiliate Al-Shabab, released a 14-minute video in Somali titled “Relief Campaign for Those Affected By Drought in The Islamic States – Part Five.”

On September 6, 2022, the media arm of Al-Shabab, the Somalia-based Al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadi group, released a video titled “They Are The Enemy, So Be Aware of Them,” featuring a man speaking in Somali who admitted to “spying” on the group.

On September 6, 2022, the Saudi-funded Al-Sharq Al-Awsat daily, which is based in London, published an article reporting that Al-Qaeda’s Somali affiliate Harakat Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen (Al-Shabab) is threatening local tribes who have allied with the Somali government against the group.

On September 3, 2022, the media arm of Mali-based Al-Qaeda affiliate in the Sahel, the Group for Support of Islam and Muslims (GSIM) – known in Arabic as Jamaat Nusrat Al-Islam Wal-Muslimin –published a statement declaring that GSIM was ending the siege it had imposed in recent months on Boni village in the Mopti region of central Mali.

On September 5, 2022, a pro-Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) Telegram channel reported that in attendance at a graduation ceremony that day at the Military College in Idlib, northwest Syria were HTS leader Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani and the prime minister of the HTS-linked Syrian Salvation Government, ‘Ali Kedah.

On August 28, 2022, Syrian Christians west of Idlib held a ceremony in the village church for the first time in ten years. The event sparked harsh criticism from jihadi clerics who claimed that Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) permitted the ceremony as part of its efforts to ingratiate itself with the West, and that it protects the Christians more than it protects the Muslims.

U.S.-Born Syria-Based Jihadi Reporter Interviews U.S.-Born Preacher Based In Saudi Arabia, Known As ‘The Muslim Cowboy’

On September 1, 2022, a media outlet operated by a Syria-based U.S.-born jihadi reporter streamed a live interview on YouTube with a U.S.-born Daw’ah preacher based in Medina, Saudi Arabia.

Syrian Opposition Website: Iran-Backed Militias Planning Attack On U.S. Forces In Syria

On August 31, 2022, a Syrian opposition website reported that a “senior Hizbullah military official” recently visited the town of Al-Mayadin, near Syria’s Deir Al-Zour Governorate, and met with officials of Iran-backed militias in the area for the purpose of establishing drone cells to attack U.S. bases around the area.

Syrian Opposition Website: IRGC Building Large Base In Eastern Syria To Hold ‘Advanced Weapons’

In a September 8, 2022 “exclusive” report, a Syrian opposition website claims that Iran is establishing “a large base to hold advanced weapons” in the  Deir Al-Zour area in eastern Syria.

Syrian Opposition Media Outlets Report: Iran Establishes Intel Center And Joint Operations Room With Syrian Regime

On September 4-5, 2022, three Syrian opposition media outlets reported that Iran had utilized its operatives in Syria to establish a center for intelligence-gathering and a joint operations room with the Syrian regime in the Homs area, in the center of the country.

Iran-Backed Asa’ib Ahl Al-Haq Closes Its Offices Across Iraq After Bloody Clashes With Shi’ite Cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr’s Militia In Basra

On September 1, 2022, a Telegram channel affiliated with Iran-backed militias, reported that Asa’ib Ahl Al-Haq (AAH) militia has decided to close all its offices in Iraq.

Despite UN Warnings, Houthi Ansar Allah Movement Holds Military Parade And Warns: Our Weapons Can Reach Every Target On Land Or Sea

On September 1, 2022, despite warnings not to do so from the UN Mission to Support the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA), the Fifth Military Region Command of the Houthi Ansar Allah movement armed forces, which is based in Al-Hudaydah Governorate, held a military parade in which it displayed various types of weapons, among them surface-to-sea missiles and drones.

Lebanese Media: Lebanese Security Arrested Members Of ISIS Cell Active In Hizbullah Stronghold In Southern Lebanon Which Includes Operatives Who Fought In Syria, And One Female

On August 29, 2022, media in Lebanon reported that the Lebanese General Directorate of State Security in the Nabatieh Governorate had announced the arrest of members of an ISIS cell.

Lebanese Hizbullah-Affiliated Daily: ‘Jihadi Exodus’ From Idlib; Turkey Transferred Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP) Fighters To Afghanistan; Lebanese, Egyptian Fighters Wish To Return Home

On September 6, 2022, the Hizbullah-affiliated Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar reported that Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) has been removing from its leadership and rank and file jihadi figures who are not Syrian and forcing them out of the Idlib region.

Afghan Taliban Celebrate First Anniversary Of American Troop Withdrawal From Afghanistan, Showcase Helicopters, Military Vehicles, Weapons Systems In Parades

On August 31, 2022, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, i.e., the Afghan Taliban, celebrated the first anniversary of the withdrawal of American and NATO forces from Afghanistan with the main ceremony being held at Bagram Airbase.

Urdu-language daily Roznama Aaj reported on August 30, 2022, that a group had bombed the clinic of one Dr. Azizullah, a resident of the Gulbahar area of Peshawar, whom they had tried to extort but who refused to pay them, according to a Pakistani newspaper.

Analysis of the Iranian Nuclear Horn: Daniel 8

Analysis of IAEA Iran Verification and Monitoring Report – September 2022

by David Albright, Sarah Burkhard, and Andrea Stricker [1]


  • This report summarizes and assesses information in the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) quarterly safeguards report for September 7, 2022, Verification and monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran in light of United Nations Security Council resolution 2231 (2015),including Iran’s compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
  • Iran’s breakout time remains at zero. It has more than enough 60 percent enriched uranium, or highly enriched uranium (HEU) in the form of uranium hexafluoride (UF6) to directly fashion a nuclear explosive. If Iran wanted to further enrich its 60 percent HEU up to 90 percent weapons-grade uranium (WGU), used in Iran’s known nuclear weapons designs, it could do so within weeks utilizing only a few advanced centrifuge cascades.
  • Iran is learning important lessons in breaking out to nuclear weapons, including by experimenting with skipping typical enrichment steps as it enriches up to 60 percent uranium-235, and building and testing equipment to feed 20 percent enriched uranium and withdraw HEU. It is starting from a level below 5 percent LEU and enriching directly to near 60 percent in one cascade, rather than using two steps in between, a slower process entailing the intermediate production of 20 percent enriched uranium. It has used temporary feed and withdrawal setups to produce HEU from near 20 percent enriched uranium feed. Iran is also enriching uranium in one IR-6 cascade modified to switch more easily from the production of 5 percent enriched uranium to 20 percent enriched uranium. As such, Iran is experimenting with multi-step enrichment while seeking to shortcut the process.
  • Combined with Iran’s refusal to resolve outstanding Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) safeguards violations, the IAEA has a significantly reduced ability to monitor Iran’s complex and growing nuclear program, which notably has unresolved nuclear weapons dimensions. The IAEA’s ability to detect diversion of nuclear materials, equipment, and other capabilities to undeclared facilities remains greatly diminished.


  • Due to the growth of Iran’s 60 percent and 20 percent enriched uranium stocks, Iran can now produce enough WGU for three nuclear weapons in one month. 
  • Within one month, including a setup period, Iran could produce enough WGU for a second and third nuclear explosive also using all of its existing stock of near 20 percent enriched uranium. Whether or not Iran enriches its HEU up to 90 percent, it can have enough HEU for three nuclear weapons within one month after starting breakout.
  • In essence, Iran has effectively broken out slowly by accumulating 60 percent enriched uranium. As of August 21, Iran had a stock of 55.6 kilograms (kg) (in uranium mass or U mass) of near 60 percent enriched uranium in UF6 form, or 82.2 kg (in hexafluoride mass or hex mass). Iran also has 2 kg of 60 percent HEU in chemical forms other than UF6. 
  • Iran keeps two-thirds of its stock of 60 percent HEU at the Esfahan site, where it maintains a capability to make enriched uranium metal. Although Iran has stated that it is using the HEU to make targets for irradiation in the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR), it has converted only a small fraction of its HEU into targets – about 2.1 kg – and has not converted more since March 2022.
  • Iran’s current production rate of 60 percent enriched uranium is 3.9 kg per month (U mass) using two advanced centrifuge cascades and up to 5 percent low enriched uranium (LEU) as feed. 
  • Iran is now enriching uranium to 20 percent in both cascades of IR-6 centrifuges at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant (FFEP). It is also operating six IR-1 cascades (three sets of two interconnected cascades) that were already producing 20 percent enriched uranium. The presence of advanced centrifuges at the FFEP enhances Iran’s ability to break out using a declared but highly fortified facility. 
  • The production rate of 20 percent enriched uranium at the FFEP increased by almost 50 percent, from 19.9 kg to 29 kg (U mass) per month, or 29.4 kg and 42 kg (hex mass) per month.
  • As of August 21, Iran had an IAEA-estimated stock of 331.9 kg of 20 percent enriched uranium (U mass and in the form of UF6). Iran also has an additional stock of 30.8 kg (U mass) of 20 percent uranium in other chemical forms.
  • At the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP), Iran has installed 36 cascades of IR-1 centrifuges, six cascades of IR-2m centrifuges, two cascades of IR-4 centrifuges, and, newly, three cascades of IR-6 centrifuges. A third IR-4 cascade was still being installed, and newly, four additional IR-2m cascades were being installed. 
  • Iran’s current, total operating enrichment capability is estimated to be about 16,600 separative work units (SWU) per year, compared to 12,600 SWU per year at the end of the last reporting period. 
  • Average daily production of 5 percent LEU increased accordingly at the FEP, but Iran’s total usable stock of below 5 percent LEU continued to decrease, due to the high rate of its use as feedstock at the PFEP and FFEP. 
  • Iran’s overall reported stockpile of LEU continued to rise due to an increase in Iran’s stock of up to 2 percent enriched uranium, much of which was produced as tails in the production of 20 percent and 60 percent enriched uranium. 
  • Since the previous report, a February 2021 agreement between Iran and the IAEA collapsed, which had extended certain JCPOA monitoring measures such as the use of surveillance cameras and safeguards data collection devices. Iran had agreed to continue operating IAEA equipment and collect the information but keep the data in its custody. In June, following an IAEA Board of Governors censure of Iran for non-compliance with its safeguards obligations, Iran demanded the IAEA remove 27 video cameras and other electronic monitoring devices.
  • The IAEA reports that it faces serious challenges in re-establishing continuity of knowledge about Iran’s activities, such as centrifuge production and production of heavy water. For more than 12 weeks, the IAEA has not been able to monitor Iran’s activities, and should it receive past footage and data, has an enormous task to sift through some 1.5 years of video footage. The IAEA also details the remedial measures it will need to take in order to re-establish a centrifuge manufacturing baseline, including access to extensive records. 
  • The IAEA also faces a gap in knowledge about Iran’s advanced centrifuge manufacturing activities at the former TESA Karaj facility from June 2021 until January 2022, raising doubt about its ability to ascertain whether Iran may have diverted centrifuge components.
  • The IAEA warns, “Even if all records were provided by Iran, additional safeguards measures were applied by the Agency, and the recovered data proved to be comprehensive and accurate, considerable challenges would remain to confirm the consistency of Iran’s declared inventory of centrifuges and heavy water with the situation prior to 21 February 2022.” 
  • The IAEA concludes that “Iran’s decision to remove all of the Agency’s equipment previously installed in Iran for surveillance and monitoring activities in relation to the JCPOA has also had detrimental implications for the Agency’s ability to provide assurance of the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme.”

Read the full analysis here.

1. Andrea Stricker is deputy director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ (FDD) Nonproliferation and Biodefense Program and an FDD research fellow. ↩

Iran and the Antichrist Prepare to Square Off: Daniel

Supporters of the Iraqi cleric Moqtada Sadr gather inside the Iraqi parliament in the capital Baghdad's high-security Green Zone, as they protest at a rival bloc's nomination for prime minister, on July 27, 2022. - The protests are the latest challenge for oil-rich Iraq, which remains mired in a political …
AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP via Getty Images

Iraqi Supreme Court Says It Cannot Dissolve Parliament, Setting Stage for Shiite Showdown


8 Sep 20222

Iraq’s Supreme Federal Court ruled Wednesday that it lacks the legal authority to dissolve Parliament, as demanded by Shiite nationalist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. The much-anticipated ruling sets the stage for a showdown between Sadr’s followers and other factions, as Iraq approaches one full year without a functional government.

Sadr formed his own political party last year and won 73 seats in October’s elections but ordered all of his lawmakers to resign in June because he was frustrated with the paralysis of Baghdad politics. Sadr himself was one reason a government could not be formed, as he vetoed several candidates for prime minister and flooded the streets with his followers to ensure his demands were met.

Hundreds of Sadr’s followers occupied the secure “Green Zone” in Baghdad over the summer, erupting into violence in late August after Sadr announced his “final withdrawal” from politics. His ultimate demand was for the Iraqi Supreme Court to dissolve parliament so a completely new government and legislature could be formed, including no one who has held office since the United States invaded and overthrew dictator Saddam Hussein.

Supporters of Iran-backed Shiite Coordination Framework attend a rally to denounce their rivals, followers of an influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr who stormed the parliament last month and have since been holding a sit-in outside the assembly building in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Aug. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Anmar Khalil)

Sadr is the most popular nationalist leader among Iraqi Shiite Muslims, but there are other Shiite factions loyal to Iran, and they clashed with the Sadrists during the Green Zone riots. Iraqi security forces were deployed after the Supreme Court rejected lawsuits from Sadrist lawmakers seeking the dissolution of Parliament. 

Middle East Eye on Wednesday found Baghdad residents holding their breath and waiting for Sadr’s next move. Some thought Sadr might back down because he is locked in a struggle for authority with other Shiite clerics — a struggle he might be losing since his supporters were not able to seize control of the Green Zone after his ostentatious withdrawal from po