The Risks of Indian Point at the Sixth Seal

Drone photo of Indian Point Power Center in Buchanan on Tuesday, April 28, 2020.Indian Point: Mass. nuclear plant deal could be decommissioning model

John Meore & Peter Carr/The Journal News

“This agreement provides critical protections, includes compliance measures stricter than federal requirements, and secures the funds necessary to safely and properly clean up this site,” Healey said Wednesday.

FIGHT: Indian Point communities stake claim to $15M fund as they fight for their future

HELP: Lawmakers back first-of-its-kind law to help Indian Point towns, schools after shutdown

RISK: Dismantling nuclear plants is a gold mine for some, but at what risk to you?

New York Attorney General Letitia James has voiced similar concerns about the shutdown and decommissioning of Indian Point, which is slated to power down next year after four decades generating electricity for Westchester County and New York City.

Earlier this year, New York joined eleven other states in supporting Massachusetts’ challenge of the sale of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station to Entergy, which also owns Indian Point.

Holtec’s pending deal to buy the Buchanan plant awaits the approval of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

In February, James called the deal with Holtec “very risky” and questioned whether the company had the experience and financial backing to tackle a full-scale decommissioning.

Holtec said it does and has promised to finish the job in 12 to 15 years, knocking decades off the typical timeline for a decommissioning with the help of state-of-the-art technology that allows for the swift removal and shipment of radioactive material.

Entergy said the Massachusetts settlement was good news for the pending sale of Indian Point.

“This is a positive development for Holtec and demonstrates continued progress in clearing regulatory hurdles and reaching agreements with key stakeholders,” spokesman Jerry Nappi said.

Entergy reached an agreement to sell Pilgrim to Holtec in 2018. The plant, which housed Massachusetts’ last power-generating reactor, shut down the following year.

Massachusetts agreed to drop its legal challenges to the sale in return for the agreement.

“Our commitment to be a good neighbor, and our shared goal of protecting the health and safety of our workers, the community, and the environment were clear drivers for both parties that led to this agreement,” said Pam Cowan, the chief operating officer of Holtec Decommissioning International, a subsidiary.

Pilgrim sits on 1,600 acres along the coast of Cape Cod Bay some 35 miles from Boston and, like Indian Point, has been the focus of efforts to shut it down.

Holtec said once the buildings and structures are taken down, the Pilgrim site will be reduced to 50 acres where much of the spent nuclear fuel will be stored.

Indian Point sits on 240 acres along the Hudson River.

The leaders of Buchanan, the town of Cortlandt and the Hendrick Hudson schools are hopeful the property can be opened to redevelopment in the years after the decommissioning so they can begin recouping what’s expected to be millions of dollars in lost property tax revenue.

“We’re at Ground Zero here and we seem to be overlooked,” Buchanan Mayor Theresa Knickerbocker said.

The village was not a party to the shutdown agreement, which was negotiated with the state of New York and the Hudson River environmental group Riverkeeper in 2017.

And Knickerbocker is concerned the village will be stuck paying for damage to roads beyond the gates of Indian Point, which will be used to transport multi-ton pieces of steel and cement.

“Our goal is the safe restoration of the property, so we can re-use it,” Knickerbocker said. “Did anyone work with the local communities who are going to have the biggest impact?”

Buchanan is staking a claim to a $15 million community and environmental fund Entergy agreed to fund as part of the 2017 shutdown deal.

The $193 million Holtec will set aside for Pilgrim will cover cost increases, project delays and any newly-discovered contamination. Another $38.4 million will be put aside to cover the transportation of spent fuel as well as the cleanup of the site where it was stored.

Holtec will be paid out of some $1.3 billion that’s accumulated in Pilgrim’s decommissioning trust fund.

Holtec said it will cost $2.3 billion to decommission Indian Point, roughly the amount that has accumulated in trust funds for each of the plant’s three reactors.

Holtec purchased the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant in New Jersey from Exelon last year. Holtec is trying to develop an interim storage facility for nuclear waste in New Mexico, where it hopes to send the spent fuel from facilities it buys.

In February, Westchester County Executive George Latimer praised James for her efforts to challenge Indian Point’s sale with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

“All of Westchester County, from Cortlandt to Yonkers, stands to be greatly impacted by the Indian Point decommissioning process and this move by the Attorney General brings the resources and expertise of the state to this high-stakes proceeding,” Latimer said.

India Contests the Chinese Nuclear Horn

The long range ballistic Agni-V missile is displayed during Republic Day parade, in New Delhi, India, on Jan. 26, 2013. (Manish Swarup/AP Photo)

The long range ballistic Agni-V missile is displayed during Republic Day parade, in New Delhi, India, on Jan. 26, 2013. (Manish Swarup/AP Photo)


India Test-Fires Nuclear-Capable Ballistic Missile After Minor Border Clash With China

By Aldgra Fredly

December 15, 2022 Updated: December 16, 2022

India on Thursday carried out a test launch of a long-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile, Agni-5, which came days after a renewed clash between Indian and Chinese troops along the disputed Himalayan border.

Indian Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said the successful launch of Agni-5 from Abdul Kalam Island in eastern Odisha state marked a “historic milestone” for the country’s defense industry.

“The missile will add great value to the defense and strengthen national security to a greater extent as it can travel 5400+ plus kilometers,” Joshi said on Twitter.

The Agni-5 uses a three-stage solid-fueled engine and is capable of striking targets at ranges up to 5,000 kilometers (around 3,100 miles) with “very high degree of accuracy,” according to the Indian Ministry of Defense.

This was not the first time India test-fired a surface-to-surface Agni-5 ballistic missile. The ministry test-fired one on Oct. 27, 2021, which it said reaffirmed India’s policy to have “credible minimum deterrence” that underpins its commitment to “No First Use.”

India’s “No First Use” policy stipulates that nuclear weapons will only be used in retaliation against a nuclear attack on Indian territory or Indian forces.

Renewed Clashes

The recent Agni-5 missile launch came on the heels of fresh tensions between India and the Chinese regime following clashes between their troops along the disputed Himalayan border on Dec. 9.

Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said that Indian troops prevented Chinese soldiers from crossing the line of actual control (LAC) at the Tawang Sector in India’s northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, a territory that China claims as its own.

“The Chinese attempt was contested by our troops in a firm and resolute manner,” Singh told parliament.

The border clash resulted in minor injuries on both sides. Singh said that India’s commander met with his Chinese counterpart following the incident and demanded that Chinese troops “refrain from such actions.”

This has occurred as a video of an earlier unreported violent brawl between Chinese and Indian troops believed to have taken place in September 2021 in Arunachal Pradesh went viral on social media this week.

Pentagon Press Secretary Brigadier General Pat Ryder said the United States will “fully support India’s ongoing efforts to de-escalate” the situation and is closely monitoring developments.

“We have seen the PRC continue to amass forces and build military infrastructure along the so-called LAC,” Ryder told reporters on Dec. 13, referring to China’s official name, the People’s Republic of China.

“It does reflect though, and it’s important to point out, the growing trend by the PRC to assert itself and to be provocative in areas directed towards U.S. allies and our partners in the Indo-Pacific,” he added.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) didn’t acknowledge the skirmish in its daily media briefing on Dec. 13.

“As far as we know, the China-India border area is generally stable, and both sides have maintained smooth communications on boundary-related issues through diplomatic and military channels,” spokesman Wang Wenbin said when asked to comment on India’s official statement on the clash.

The border clash happened just days after the CCP criticized the India-U.S. joint military drill in Uttarakhand, about 62 miles from the LAC, which it claimed violated the spirit of relevant agreements signed by both sides in 1993 and 1996.

The last time a major bloody clash occurred between the two armies was on June 15, 2020, in Galwan in eastern Ladakh in the northeastern Himalayas, in which 20 Indian soldiers and 40 PLA soldiers died. The Chinese regime claimed only four died in that conflict, but Indian and Russian sources refuted it. That skirmish also happened due to the border infrastructure India was building in the region.

Epoch Times Photo
This video frame grab taken from footage recorded in mid-June 2020 and released by China Central Television (CCTV) on Feb. 20, 2021, shows Chinese (foreground) and Indian soldiers (R, background) during an incident where troops from both countries clashed in the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Galwan Valley, in the Karakoram Mountains in the Himalayas. The two sides again clashed on Dec. 9, 2022, in Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh, leading to injuries. (AFP Photo/China Central Television)

Greater Concern

Retired Col. Vinayak Bhat, a satellite imagery expert and an Indian military intelligence veteran told The Epoch Times that there are greater things that should concern India in Arunachal Pradesh.

He claimed that Chinese troops had intruded deep into Indian territory and had already built underground bases and underground headquarters in the Indian region they have occupied.

“India must take strong measures to ensure that no further loss of territory takes place. India and the Indian Army are capable of handling these small clashes,” Bhat said, adding that the Indian Army will further take appropriate steps to ensure that there is no loss of territory or escalation of conflict.

Venus Upadhayaya contributed to this report.

The German Nuclear Horn: Daniel 7

In March 2022, the German government decided to purchase 35 US F-35 aircraft at a price of $8.4 billion to replace Germany’s aging “dual-capable” aircraft. Here, an F-35A aircraft carries a test article of the upgraded B61-12 nuclear gravity bomb at the Nellis US Air Force Base, Nevada in September 2021. Germany will use this combination to maintain its nuclear capability using US-owned bombs. (Photo: US Air Force/Zachary Rufus)

Germany’s nuclear weapons policy and the war: Money for nukes, words for disarmament

By Moritz Kütt | October 27, 2022

With its nuclear weapons policy, Germany has tried to kill probably too many birds with one stone. The result has been a mix of partially disconnected, sometimes even contradictory individual policies and governmental actions. This was the case under the previous Merkel governments, remains the case since 2021 under the new Scholz cabinet, and has not changed significantly since the start of Russia’s war against Ukraine.

However, there is one thing the war has laid bare: For policies that rely on nuclear weapons, Germany’s material and financial support is strong. In contrast, support for disarmament is often limited to rhetoric.

Germany is a strong supporter of NATO’s nuclear deterrence policy. The North Atlantic alliance has kept its nuclear strategy flexible, meaning that the alliance could theoretically be the first party to use nuclear weapons in a conflict. Moreover, in addition to whatever coverage Germany gets from NATO, the United States has promised that it would come to the rescue of Germany with all its might, including nuclear weapons. Germany still hosts 15 US tactical nuclear weapons on its soil and provides dual-capable aircraft to deliver these weapons under the control of German pilots to potential targets.

At the same time, Germany sees itself as a leading actor in efforts at global nuclear disarmament. It is active in the Stockholm initiative, a group of 16 non-nuclear weapon countries that try to renew disarmament debates within the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), focusing on a “pragmatic and result-oriented nuclear disarmament agenda.” And the country has recently been an observer to the first meeting of states that party to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW, also known as the “ban treaty”).

A turning point. In 2021, Germans ended a 16-year-long streak of conservative governments under Angela Merkel. A broad coalition of three parties from the left and the right formed a new government, consisting of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Free Democratic Party (FDP), and the Greens—technically known as “Alliance 90/The Greens.” Because of the involvement of the Greens, many observers had hoped that disarmament would become a more prominent topic within the new government, because the party has roots in the 1980s peace movement. The last time it came to power, in 1998, the Greens’ party platform argued strongly to replace NATO with a European peace order. Significantly more moderate in that regard today, subsequent Green party platforms still propose a Germany free of nuclear weapons, and in 2021 proposed accession to the TPNW.

Then came 2022. Only a few weeks after taking government, the new coalition had to face the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Then followed a succession of governmental decisions and changes—partly as a direct reaction to the war but also because of a broader trend toward policies that strengthen Germany’s existing nuclear posture. This happened despite a conflicting trend toward government actions that promote a world free of nuclear weapons. It is not wonder that there has been much public debate in Germany on the issue of nuclear sharing and nuclear deterrence.

Government support for extended nuclear deterrence and nuclear sharing. Only three days after the start of the war, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) announced a “Zeitenwende” (turning point) in German defense policies. In a speech to the German parliament, he announced a special military investment budget of 100 billion euros (98 billion US dollars), and a stronger commitment of Germany to achieve NATO member states’ goal of spending at least two percent of a country’s gross domestic product for defense purposes.

In March 2022, after the war in Ukraine started, the government decided to purchase 35 US F-35 aircraft at a price of $8.4 billion to replace Germany’s aging “dual-capable” aircraft. (“Dual-capable” means that these aircraft can transport US nuclear weapons.) This decision marked the end of a debate that lasted more than a decade, which, taken remarkably swiftly, suggests there was already an underlying leadership support for the sharing of nuclear weaponry across the political spectrum, despite surface impressions to the opposite.

Funding for these aircraft comes from the new special military investment budget. The request for purchase was confirmed by the US government in July.

Another step that demonstrates the German government support for nuclear sharing will be the first-ever national security strategy. The drafting process for the strategy was announced by the foreign minister in March 2022 and is still ongoing. As part of the strategy, the foreign minister plans to retain a credible nuclear deterrence through Germany’s NATO membership. The strategy is expected to be made public early next year.

But while it funds new nuclear sharing capability, the German government also continues to assert—in words, if not in deeds—that it wants to eliminate nuclear weaponry.

Government efforts toward a world free of nuclear weapons. Germany, along with NATO allies, repeatedly criticized the ban treaty in previous years. But this changed too in 2022. In June, German diplomats observed the first meeting of states parties of the TPNW in Vienna, despite the initial criticism from other NATO members. But Germany nevertheless participated in the meeting—and was joined eventually by five other NATO—or soon-to-be NATO—members: Belgium, Norway, the Netherlands, Finland, and Sweden.

At the meeting, Germany announced its intention to provide support for victims of nuclear testing and environmental remediation of damages caused by nuclear testing explosions. The signatories of the ban treaty are required to take such actions by its members under so-called “positive obligations.” Germany, even though it is not a TPNW member, repeated this pledge again at the review conference of the NPT in August. As the government has not taken concrete steps in that regard yet, it is unclear if that was just rhetoric or if serious action will follow.

Like previous initiatives by Sweden, Canada, and Mexico, the new German government announced a new focus on a feminist foreign policy, which it defines as foreign policy “based on the conviction that gender equity and equal participation are preconditions for long-term peace and security.” It is the government’s goal, the policy says, to work for equal rights, equal representation, reduced injustice in resource distribution, and include a view on diversity in foreign policy. This marks an important shift even though it is too early to know if the new approach will have immediate as well as long-term implications for nuclear policy—if any.

A shifting public debate on Germany’s nuclear policy. The war in Ukraine led to rapid, visible changes in debates about Germany’s own security. As soon as the 100-billion-euro defense fund was announced, the discussion started on what should be funded with that money. In this debate, some voices say the Russian invasion of Ukraine results from a weak stance toward Russia. In this view, Germany’s future security can only be maintained if the country commits to higher investments in military equipment and personnel. Often, however, there is no reflection on whether such investments might end up being counterproductive by fueling an international arms race. Voices of the opposing view—those critical of war and armaments in general—remained mostly quiet. There has been, so far, no indication of a large-scale response by a new German peace movement.

There has been, however, frequent calls for a “Euro-deterrent,” provided by the French strategic forces—most prominently voiced by Friedrich Merz, the leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the main right-wing opposition party in Germany. His party colleague and head of the conservative European People’s Party in the European parliament, Manfred Weber, went further and even proposed that Germany fund the French force de frappe.

Such moves, if implemented, will come under fierce criticism from other members of the NPT. Whether or not it is legal also remains subject to debate. But the NPT Review Conference this summer has already shown that an increasing number of countries see nuclear sharing as problematic—with Germany finding itself on the defensive side. Similar attempts to change Germany’s nuclear policy in the past have been seen as expert debates much disconnected from the public debate. But this might change this time. For instance, in a June 2022 poll, a majority of the interviewees expressed a supportive stance toward hosting US nuclear weapons in Germany. This is in stark contrast to previous years where a large majority of Germans in polls were in favor of removing these weapons from the country.

Follow the money. The words of the current foreign minister Annalena Baerbock, a Green Party leader and a key player in the current coalition, capture well http://andrewtheprophet.comthe current state of nuclear policy in Germany: “disarmament and arms control as being complementary to deterrence and defense.” Complementarity, however, does not necessarily mean that these two priorities are equal. Judging from the special military investment allocation—and if one tracks the money—there seems to be a clear preference toward nuclear deterrence over concerns for nuclear disarmament. Moreover, additional defense spending since the war started is significant, also reflecting its increased prominence in policy.

In contrast, there is no indication whether new financial support will come for issues related to nuclear disarmament. The public debate in Germany also shows that as the international security environment deteriorates, military options and new nuclear armaments are becoming more attractive among political leaders.

There’s no question that disarmament supporters in Germany should applaud the government for showing some support for the ban treaty—both as observers and as proponents of victim assistance. But this happened in the shadows of real-world armaments, including the purchase of new dual-capable aircraft for nuclear sharing. By its recent actions, the German government has de facto increased the relative role of nuclear weapons and fueled an ongoing arms race.

Germany needs to do more if it wants to help achieve a world free of nuclear weapons. Positive steps can be taken even in times of ongoing conflict, but they need to be more than mere catchphrases.

As part of the new German government’s coalition agreement, the three governing parties promised a “disarmament offensive.” But given the recent government decisions, a lot remains to be done to make this promise a reality. Actions will speak louder than words

Who is the Antichrist? (Revelation 13)


Who is Moqtada Al Sadr?

At the height of the US occupation of Iraq there were few figures American troops loathed more.
As a Shiite preacher, Moqtada Al Sadr used Friday sermons to rail against the invaders who deposed Saddam Hussein. “The little serpent has left and the great serpent has come,” he told a western journalist in 2004.
It led to him being labelled a firebrand cleric and, eventually, almost three years of self-imposed exile in Iran.
It has not been the easiest journey but the shape-shifting 44-year-old, whose political alliance appears to have won the highest number of seats in Iraq’s election, is on the verge of a remarkable transformation.
The corruption that plagues Iraq appears to have created his political opening.
Cultivating an outsider image, Al Sadr has navigated shifting allegiances, military
Embracing an Iraqi nationalist identity, staunchly against foreign influence, made him stand out in a field of post-invasion leaders at one time or another seemingly beholden to foreign states.
He is now a potential king-maker.
Born in the religious city of Najaf, the young cleric came to prominence after 2003 by raising an insurgent army, leveraging his influence as the son of a revered Grand Ayatollah killed for opposing Saddam.
Armed with Kalashnikov rifles and improvised explosives, the Mahdi Army led the Shiite resistance against the American invasion.
During Iraq’s brutal sectarian war in 2006-2007, the militia was accused of running death squads, seeking to remove Sunnis from areas of Baghdad.
The Pentagon once declared that the group had “replaced Al Qaeda in Iraq as the most dangerous accelerant of potentially self-sustaining sectarian violence.”
Al Sadr later fell foul of the Iraqi government following violence between his militiamen and the rival Shiite group, the Badr Organisation.
It wasn’t until the Iraqi army cracked down on the Mahdi army in 2007 – years after an arrest warrant had been issued against Al Sadr – that the heat finally got too much.
He fled to Iran – studying to become an ayatollah at the preeminent Shiite religious centre in Qom – before returning in early 2011.
The Mahdi army remobilised as the Peace Companies in 2014 to fight against ISIS but today Al Sadr’s influence rests more on his ability to rouse his followers.
In 2016, he reasserted his political relevance when his supporters stormed Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone in protests demanding better services and an end to corruption.
He drew upon that same support base and anger to mobilise voters last weekend.
Campaign slogans such as “corruption is terrorism” resonated across Iraq, but particularly in neglected areas of Baghdad such as the sprawling working class neighbourhood that bears his family name.
Sadr City was once Saddam City but was renamed in memory of the protests which were crushed there following Al Sadr‘s father’s murder in 1999. Uncollected rubbish piles and open sewers fuel resentment at the lack of development.
Like most Iraqis, his “Sadrist” followers want change, lacking faith in the post-invasion political elite to deliver.
But whereas many Iraqis stayed home on Saturday, either as a boycott or from apathy – turnout was only 44.5 per cent – the Sadrists voted in force, believing in his determination to tackle corruption.
He had earlier cleaned house within his own ranks, banning current MPs – accused of corruption – from running.
Instead, Al Sadr formed an alliance with Iraqi communists and secularists, allowing him to inject new faces and complete his move from sectarian militia leader to Iraqi nationalist.
The move worked, with his Sairoon bloc winning the nationwide popular vote with more than 1.3 million votes, and gaining an estimated 54 of parliament’s 329 seats.
“He has undergone a transformation – he is more mature now – but that’s also true of the atmosphere around him,” said Dr Muhanad Seloom, associate lecturer in international relations at the University of Exeter.
“I don’t think he’s a different beast as people say, he’s the same person, he still holds the same convictions, political and religious, but he’s a nationalist.”
Al Sadr immediately began negotiations to form a coalition government, another role he is familiar with. In 2010, after the Sadrist bloc won 39 seats in parliament, Al Sadr showed his ability to bury the hatchet, playing coalition partner to former enemy Nouri Al Maliki. The pact allowed Al Maliki to retain the premiership.
This time Al Sadr will be in a stronger position, though political office is not his aim. As he did not stand as a candidate himself, he cannot be named prime minister.
And as in previous elections, when prime ministers have been selected with the consultation of both the US and Iran, Al Sadr‘s bloc will have to contend with rivals.
The US will be wondering whether it can maintain influence with a man they once labelled a thug but may take solace in his strong stance against Iran.
Iran may be more inclined toward supporting Al Sadr‘s rivals, Shiite militia leader Hadi Al Ameri, and, once again, Al Maliki.
Ahead of the election, a senior Iranian official said: “We will not allow liberals and communists to govern Iraq,” a reference to Sadr’s allies in the Sairoon bloc.
Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, has given indications it would be willing to work with Al Sadr, who visited the kingdom last summer to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Saudi minister of state for Arab Gulf affairs and former ambassador to Iraq, Thamer Al Sabhan congratulated Iraq on its elections, tweeting: “You are truly on marching toward wisdom, patriotism and solidarity. You’ve made the decision for change towards an Iraq that raises the banners of victory with its independence, Arabism and identity.”
If Al Sadr were able to form a government, it could be a step in the right direction for Iraq, Dr Seloom believes: “He wants a technocratic government, he wants Iraq to be democratic and he wants to fight corruption.”

China and India: Nuclear-Armed Nations Clash

China and India: Nuclear-Armed Nations Clash—With Sticks and Stones

By Jeremiah Jacques • December 15, 2022

Chinese and Indian troops clashed at a location on their disputed border in the Himalayas, the Indian Defense Ministry announced on December 13. The violence erupted by the Tawang sector of India’s Arunachal Pradesh state four days before the announcement and resulted in numerous injuries on both sides.

India’s Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said the most recent clash was triggered by Chinese troops attempting to “unilaterally” alter the status quo by trying to cross the de facto border between the two nations, called the line of actual control (lac).

A spokesperson for China’s People’s Liberation Army (pla) said it was Indian troops who had crossed the line.

The ensuing face-off led to a physical scuffle in which the Indian Army bravely prevented the pla from transgressing into our territory and compelled them to return to their posts.
—Rajnath Singh

Hours after the announcement, footage began circulating on Indian social media of a brawl between the two sides. The previously unreleased footage appears to be from a conflict that occurred along the lac on Sept. 28, 2021.

  • Both China and India are armed with nuclear weapons.
  • Both have tanks, artillery and a variety of firearms near the lac.
  • Yet it was not with any formal weapons that soldiers fight in the region, but with stones, clubs and rods spiked with nails or wrapped in barbed wire.

Prophecy says: Tensions remain high, and in the near term, it is possible they could escalate into more border clashes. But the Trumpetbelieves a major conflict between China and India will not happen, and if isolated clashes do continue to erupt, they will be short-lived.

This is our basic forecast because of what Bible prophecy teaches about the role China and India will play in the third and final world war. The book of Revelation says one of the main players in this war will be a bloc of several Asian countries called “the kings of the east.” Ezekiel 38 gives ancient names referring to both modern China and modern India, showing that both will ally under Russian leadership in this eastern alliance. Read more in Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s booklet The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia.’

The IAEA Tries to Slow Down the Iranian Nuclear Horn: Daniel 8

The flag of Iran is seen in front of the building of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Headquarters on May 24, 2021 in Vienna, Austria.

UN nuclear watchdog to visit Tehran as Iran enriches uranium at its highest level ever



Ruxandra Iordache

  • The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will head to Tehran on Dec. 18.
  • The visit targets addressing outstanding ‘safeguards’ issues over traces of uranium found at three undeclared Iranian sites in 2019.
  • There is as yet no indication that the IAEA will be investigating Iran’s recent announcement that it is enriching uranium at 60% purity, one technical step away from weapons-grade material.

The flag of Iran is seen in front of the building of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Headquarters on May 24, 2021 in Vienna, Austria.

Michael Gruber | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The U.N.‘s nuclear watchdog will send a delegation to the Iranian capital of Tehran on Dec. 18 to clarify outstanding ‘safeguards’ issues, linked to nuclear particles discovered at Iranian nuclear sites.

“At the invitation of Iran, an IAEA technical team will be in Tehran on Sunday 18th December 2022 aiming at addressing the outstanding safeguards issues previously reported by IAEA Director General Grossi,” the agency said in an emailed statement, using the acronym for the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Earlier on Dec. 14, Iranian state news agency Irna reported IAEA officials would visit Iran in the coming days. It cited Mohammad Eslami, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, as expressing hope that this interaction would remove obstacles and ambiguities.

The visit from the IAEA comes as Iran is enriching uranium at the highest levels in its history — one technical step away from weapons-grade, the nuclear watchdog agency has warned.

Iran participates in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, https://andrewtheprophetcom.wordpress.comwhich requires it to implement safeguards on “all source or special fissionable material in all peaceful nuclear activities within the territory of such State, under its jurisdiction, or carried out under its control anywhere.”

In June, the IAEA called on Tehran to “act on an urgent basis to fulfill its legal obligations” and expressed concerns over “multiple uranium particles of anthropogenic origin” discovered at three locations in 2019 that the agency said Iran had not disclosed to it – Turquzabad, Varamin and Marivan.

Enriching uranium at 60% purity

The IAEA probe is separate from protracted talks between Tehran and western powers to reach a new nuclear deal, hoped to pave the path for the lifting of U.S. economic sanctions against Tehran. But Iranian negotiators have sought to have the investigation terminated in order to move forward on talks, which have been stalled for several months.

Washington withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in 2018 under former President Donald Trump, and subsequently imposed sweeping sanctions on Iran that have hobbled its economy. Iran’s stockpile of fissile material has expanded rapidly since then, particularly in the last two years.

An annotated satellite image of construction at Iran's Natanz uranium enrichment nuclear facility, with analysis by the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

An annotated satellite image of construction at Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment facility, with analysis by the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

Photo: Planet Labs Inc. | AP

Iran announced in November that it is enriching uranium at 60% purity at its underground Fordo nuclear plant. That is one technical step away from weapons grade enrichment, which is 90% purity.

Under the 2015 nuclear deal — which was spearheaded by the Obama administration and other major powers and lifted economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbs to its nuclear program — Iran’s uranium enrichment was limited to 3.67%, enough for a civilian nuclear energy program.

Tehran “now has enough fissile material to build a bomb, although more enrichment would be necessary to create a modern nuclear weapon,” analysts at the International Institute for Strategic Studies wrote in a mid-November report. “These points together indicate that Iran is on the precipice of becoming a nuclear-threshold state, if it is not one already.” 

Mass protests and JCPOA talks

The 60% nuclear enrichment announcement, and the IAEA visit, come against the backdrop of mass protests rocking Iran in scores of cities across the country.

The protests were set off by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in police custody, a young Kurdish Iranian woman who was arrested for allegedly violating the country’s strict headscarf laws. The unrest has swelled into a broader movement calling for the downfall of the Islamic Republic in full, and has been met with violent crackdowns and executions by the government.

A group of students burned some veils as a form of protest. Protest in front of the embassy of Iran organized by Iranian students living in Rome to protest against violence of Iranian regime and against death of Mahsa Amini. What makes these economic conditions more "difficult to bear" for the young is that they are "better educated" than their older counterparts who are the ones who make the rules and run the country, according to a professor at Virginia Tech.

A group of students burned some veils as a form of protest. Protest in front of the embassy of Iran organized by Iranian students living in Rome to protest against violence of Iranian regime and against death of Mahsa Amini. What makes these economic conditions more “difficult to bear” for the young is that they are “better educated” than their older counterparts who are the ones who make the rules and run the country, according to a professor at Virginia Tech.

Matteo NardonePacific Press | Lightrocket | Getty Images

But despite the brutal state response to protesters and Iran’s supplying of lethal drones to Russia for its war in Ukraine — both acts of which have prompted more Western sanctions — “the definitive death of the JCPOA is not a foregone conclusion,” Henry Rome, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told CNBC.

“For Western governments, the greatest impediment to the deal is not the war or domestic bloodshed but Iran’s positions on issues like the IAEA probes,” he said. “If Tehran were to back off those positions, a deal is realistic possibility, despite the immense political cost it would exact on Western leaders, especially in the U.S.”

IDF exposes Hamas, Islamic Jihad rocket launch sites outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

 An Iron Dome anti-missile system fires an interceptor missile as a rocket is launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, at the sky near the Israel-Gaza border August 7, 2022. (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

IDF exposes Hamas, Islamic Jihad rocket launch sites near Gaza schools

The IDF revealed the location of at least three schools that have rocket launch sites stationed next to them.

The IDF on Wednesday exposed three new school locations that Hamas has been recently using as rocket launch sites, violating the laws of war about keeping war-related issues away from civilian areas.

A statement by the IDF said, “Hamas exposed: This is how the Hamas terrorist organization uses schools and education to promote its terrorist agenda. Additional instances of Hamas deliberately using children as human shields are now being exposed.”Top ArticlesRead More

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“This exposure comes approximately two weeks after UNRWA reported that the ground of one of its schools had collapsed. The collapse was caused by the construction of a Hamas terrorist tunnel,” said the IDF.

Where were the rocket launch sites found?

The first location listed by the IDF is adjacent to the Mo’ath Bin Jabal school in the Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza City.

Near the school, which is used by UNRWA as a shelter during emergencies, is a Hamas rocket launch site, according to the IDF.

In addition, the IDF stated that “prior to Operation Guardian of the Walls, the school’s principal, Mehammed Abu Oun, maintained contact with an operative in the Hamas rocket array, Jalal Abu Aoun,” who the IDF said was managing the firing of rockets from the site.

Hamas stationed a second rocket launch site near the Khalil Al Nobani school in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City, said the IDF.

No additional information was provided regarding the firing of rockets from that location.

Finally, the IDF said that “terrorist organizations stationed rocket launch sites near the Al-Furqan elementary school” which is also located in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City.

It said that “Terrorist organizations launched rockets from the sites near the school throughout Operations Guardian of the Walls and Breaking Dawn, thereby endangering the lives of the students and residents of the Gaza Strip.”

The use of the phrase “terror organizations” and referring also to Operation Breaking Dawn, which was fought strictly between the IDF and Islamic Jihad, suggested that this third sight might have been used more by Islamic Jihad – though this would still be with Hamas, which rules Gaza, encouraging the group or looking the other way

Next, the IDF said that over 1,000 innocent students attend these schools that Hamas and Islamic Jihad use for terrorist activities.

“The cynical exploitation of schools proves once again that the terrorist organization consciously chooses to endanger Gazan civilians and use them as ‘human shields’ for the benefit of their terrorist agendas,” concluded the IDF.

Hamas had not responded at press time.